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Current blog look inspired by and dedicated to Chance, Blaze, Fiona and Zappa who all kicked ass against cancer and liver disease.

Brut Quote

Brut Quote

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Monday, November 13, 2023

This and that

Hello friends, 

Just a little of what's going on.  Hope you are all doing well. 


 Boxer was given 3 months to live from his cancer.  Today marks 3 months, 3 weeks and 2 days that he is still alive.  And we are so very grateful!  He is still doing pretty well even though the cancer is starting to spread.  Please pray for him.  Thank you!

Every night when the darkness settles in earlier and dominates the evening it feels like there is dead space.  It is the hardest part of the day when the loss of the dogs, especially Zappa, is prevalent.  

I make my own Christmas cards every year with the dogs in them.  Creating this year's card was a reality check that they are all gone.  

I have an image in my mind of a dog I would like to have.  I hold onto it when times are hard and I'm afraid I'll never have a dog again.  

Every night we still say good night to the 24 Paws.  Mark sings to them and I talk to them or lay silent while holding a pillow or blanket.  I feel their spirits strongest then and it is comforting.   

Until next time...

Patty ♥

Grandpa Mark and Grandson Zappa
Miss him so much.♥


Monday, October 16, 2023

Zappa's roses are kicking a$$! (even in October!)

 Zappa's roses are the only one out of the six dogs that are blooming.  I think we got his roses in mid-June.  It took us a couple of weeks to plant them and they haven't stopped blooming yet!  In mid-October!  Up here in North country!  So cool!

The rest of dogs had a beautiful, full display of their roses.  It looked like Master Gardener Theater this past June with all their blooms.  Then they all just sort of petered out and Zappa took over the show for the rest of the summer and now into fall.  

Zappa showing off

Since Zappa was the last one here after the others died, it seems only fitting that his roses should last longer than the others as well.  :)

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Wrapping up summer

 I come to the blog every day.  I always seem to find all kinds of things to write about, until I'm actually on that blank post, then all the words and thoughts and feelings trickle down from my brain and leave me empty.  

That's how my whole summer has gone.  It has been a very, very long summer without any dogs.  Every day seemed to drag into the next.  The evenings were the worst part of the day. That's when it would really get to me.  Or going outside alone with no doggie company.  The cats helped, but they couldn't make up for the loss of dogs or the fact that they weren't dogs.  

Time has been hard to fill. It doesn't help either that I have a bum knee and I am limited as to what I can do.  That made it worse.  When I really wanted to get something done and distract my mind, I wasn't able to do it.  To say I was depressed this summer would be an understatement. 

 And while I didn't blog much this summer, I did journal.  Every day.  

I still say good night to all the pups every night.  And if wasn't for that spiritual connection with the dogs, I would have never made it through this summer. 

It did help that the cats were still here.  We've gotten to know each other all over again, which has been good.  And since Boxer is terminal, I've been getting extra quality time with him, that I wouldn't have gotten if there were dogs around.     

Now we will be going into our first fall and winter without any dogs.  I hope Mark and I don't kill each other.  lol  There isn't anything worse than being cooped up all winter without the love of dogs to get you through.  We have decided not to get a dog until sometime after Boxer goes.  It would be way too much stress on him at this time with his cancer.  So we're going to try and make the best of everything and hope for the best.  We only have one life to live and there's nothing better than trying to live it.

Take care my friends.  ♥        

Monday, August 7, 2023

The cats

Boxer on top, Leia on the bottom.

I don't mention the cats much, because, well, this is a dog blog, but they have been in our lives since before the 24 Paws.  Boxer and Princess Leia have become a great source of comfort over the last couple of years in dealing with the dogs' illnesses and deaths.  

I've discovered a new love for the cats after the dogs passed.  Boxer and I have played aggravation with each other for years.  After 17 years of it, I think we have finally come to a unanimous truce.  I'm sure it has something to do with age, but don't tell him I said that.  Boxer thinks he finally wore me down and won the game.  lol

It is never easy caring for sick dogs.  You're heart breaking every day on borrowed time.  The cats were my escape from that.  After their nightly meal we would curl up together in their bed and snuggle.  Sometimes I would cry and Boxer would head butt me over and over.  

My relationships with the cats, is complicated, probably because they are cats. My previous two cats were more like dogs than cats and did not prepare me for how catty Boxer and Leia are.  I've been shocked and appalled at how much cattiness Boxer and Leia have in them.

Boxer, my tuxedo cat, is the dominate angry cat.  He is always glaring and disgusted with something. (usually me)  I swear the only time he is happy is being fed and being on my lap, otherwise, he's angry.

Leia, my Siamese, is psycho.  Simply put.  She is hyper off the charts.  She isn't mean or angry...she is just crazy.  I have to use my "get a grip" tone of voice to get her to back off from me. She is the pesky little sister that bugs Boxer and me.   

It's been a completely different household having just cats, that I have slowly learned to enjoy again.  Since they are both older, Boxer is 18 years old and Leia is 16 years old, I appreciate their quiet pace.

We found out a few weeks ago that Boxer has a rare, aggressive form of cancer.  We have seen two different vets and an oncologist.  There is an option of surgery, but the space is tight and they may not be able to get clean margins.  That means since it is aggressive, it will come back again.  We have opted not to do the surgery and they gave him three months to live.  That's how fast this cancer spreads. So, we are spending every minute possible with him.    

Leia has kidney disease (which is common in cats) that is being regulated with special food and supplements.  She is pretty stable and we try to keep her that way by making sure she eats. So far, so good.

So, while our lives have changed with the loss of the dogs, we still have Boxer and Leia to hold on to for however long we may have with them.    


Friday, June 2, 2023

Need some predators...

 Without a house and yard full of dogs, our property has turned into a woodland wonderland.  I never realized how much 6 dogs kept the critters in check.  Not that we didn't have wildlife before, but now they are everywhere.  

The rabbits have been the worst.  Wrecking havoc on the memorial garden.  They killed one burning bush that was for my cat by stripping away the bottom half of the bark.  They chewed two other bushes all the way to the crown and gnawed my wild roses in half. All plants that I've had for years and years.  I don't know how they survived, but they did. Thank goodness they didn't get the dogs roses.  

Other creatures we are seeing is a couple of feral cats, who think they own the yard.  I don't mind them, they are keeping the mice population down.  But they will be in for a rude awakening when we do get another dog.  There are opossums walking freely during the day and moles, who have taken over the yard.  Fiona was our mole catcher, and they've gone crazy since she has been gone.   

And if that wasn't enough, we have a chipmunk that makes daily in-home visits.  We've tried everything to block where the little guy comes in, but to no avail.  I haven't decided how I feel about him feeling so comfortable in our home, but I know I don't want him in there over the winter!  

If you have ever heard of how the ecosystem was restored at Yellowstone when the introduced two wolves onto the park and how out of control the land was before the wolves were put on the scene.  That's what it feels like at our house, an entire upset of the balance of nature.  I need some predators to put things back in order.  

In time... 

Monday, May 22, 2023

Better for knowing them.

 We lost beloved dog blogger, Carrie Noar (Houndstooth).  She was a devoted blogger, which is so rare these days.  Carrie's blog, Tales and Tails was about her dogs and life.  The last few years were tough for her,  as she battled breast cancer and brain lesions.  

Carrie's passion was for Greyhounds.  She had several over the years and had to leave her last two babies behind.  I think of them and her husband.  Such a difficult place to be in.  I can't begin to imagine.  

Carrie knew how to tell a story.  It didn't matter what the subject, but it always had to do with Greyhounds and dogs.  It wasn't always a pretty picture she painted, but she had a way of adding just the right amount of humor to make the worst story about her dogs, one the best.  

I'd been following her blog for several years.  I discovered it through a blog hop, about the time I started the 24 Paws, twelve years ago.  And she's been a part of my life for that long.  When I heard the news of her passing, I didn't know what to think.  I didn't know she was getting worse.  I know she fought the fight.  You just don't think it can happen.  And although we never met or talked, I cared for her as I do all my blogging and FB friends.  You are all like family to me.  

In the past 7 months, this is the 4th couple that I have known to have lost a spouse.  Not to mention the loss of two dogs that were like family to us and Zappa.  It has been a tough year for us, with so many deaths in such a short time.  But like Carrie and the others, we were so blessed to know them when they were here.  And our lives are better for knowing them.  ♥  

Monday, May 8, 2023

The pick-up game with Fiona--2 year Anniversary

 I never really got a chance to grieve Fiona.  Zappa took over her blanket and most of my thoughts, getting him through that time period of losing the three dogs.  So, now with the blanket free I've begun the process of sadness for my little girl.  Chance and Brut may have been my heart dogs, but Fiona was my love.  She was the one who went out of her way to cheer me up.  Fiona was so full of love, sweetness, and affection.  She had no problem expressing her love.  She was precious that way.  

I'd been teaching Fiona to pick up toys and other items off the ground, then she would immediately drop them.  I tried everything to get her to hold the item in her mouth for at least a second more with the hopes that she would drop it in my hand or lap.  She was way too excited to hang on to the item.  She wanted that treat.  lol  So, one day I'm having a tough day and Fiona just starts picking up and dropping items on the floor.  It was so darn cute and she had me laughing in no time.  

Fiona was definitely special.  So sweet and loveable.  She had a way of touching my spirit when I needed it most.  And every time in between.  

To my girl, 

I can't believe it has been two years since we played our game.  Or saw your smile.  Or how you shook your booty when you were excited.  Two years...and not a day goes by that I don't think of you.

I love you, Fiona. ♥

Friday, May 5, 2023

2nd Anniversary--Dear Chance,

I'm sitting here thinking about the best damn dog, I've ever had, respectively.  An awesome tower of power and serious goofiness with a racehorse quality that was all your own.  

It is more than memories that I have shared with you, it was the experience. It was my soul.  Both of us being such nervous Nellies, until we got on the trail and got some footing under our belts.  Those were the best times.  

It was like we just cut into each other.  Jagged pieces of a puzzle that just snapped together at the same time.  

I loved your serious face and thoughts.  A deep thinker.  Task oriented.  Everything was a job and your mission was to complete. You wanted direction. You didn't care to lead, but you learned to enjoy it when you were given the chance. 

You ran with wind, fire and ice through your veins. Like a thoroughbred.  Running because you could.   Oh, how I love to watch you run.

Your heart had a big hole in the middle.  Just like mine.  Somehow, someway our love for each other filled it.  

Two years of missing you.  Two years of not having your physical presence.  Two years of knowing I have to wait to see you again.   

Thank you for being my best friend.  A treasure I will always keep close to my heart.

Love ya Chance ♥


Friday, April 21, 2023

Thank you blog friends

 I don't know what I want to write.  I've just come here to write.  To talk. To laugh. To cry with all of you.  My blogger/FB friends. I feel an overwhelming need to thank all of you, for just being who you are. For following the 24 Paws until the end.  It means a lot to me to know that so many of you were there from the blog's beginning until the end.  I don't know how many times after the tough days of Brut and dogs fights your encouraging words would carry me through another day.  Or when Chance and Blaze came back and I was juggling two packs.  Yea, that was tough, but there you were again, cheering me on to do the best I could do. Then there was that one year of peace, well almost peace, with all the dogs.  Like it was the last hurrah, before Brut died.  Then Silver.  Then Blaze, Chance and Fiona.  And now Zappa.  And you were there for me through it all.  Along with your words. Your words meant the world to me.  And I just wanted to let you all know,  thank you for being there with us and the 24 Paws of Love.  Love ya~Patty  

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Just dogs? Let's get real

I am sitting here thinking how I got to this point in my life and the passing of Blaze, Chance and Fiona all so close together and now Zappa.  I'm thinking how I didn't want to have puppies when my husband came up with the idea after getting Silver.  How we went through the hassle of trying to breed Silver with a couple of studs before getting Brut.  And I'm thinking of the night all the puppies were born, having never witnessed a birth before, and the miracle of ten healthy puppies.  Two we would keep and two would come back home to us, thus beginning the two packs of the 24 Paws of Love.  For thirteen years, this was our life.  

But it went even deeper than that.  Being bipolar, having PTSD and surviving almost 30 years of childhood abuse and I never went to therapy for any of it, the dogs were my counselors.  I would not have survived the after effects of the flashbacks and memories, if it were not for those dogs that we bred, on purpose, and having all those little pups.  I took the harder road, because there was no one I could trust with my secrets except hubby, Mark and six dogs.  And after a while even Mark couldn't help me anymore, it was just me and the dogs.  

Let that sink in for a minute.  

Brain washed for practically 30 years, molested, raped, abused and tortured and the only ones who could help me were the dogs we bred together and the family that came out it.  And now all of the healers are dead and gone.  Brut, Silver, Blaze, Chance, Fiona and Zappa.  That tells me how far I've come and that their purpose on Earth is complete.  No one told me it would hurt this much to be so proud and honored at the same time.  I have mixed feelings that I can't even begin to explore at this time.  Maybe in another post.  I mean, how do you inhale and digest all of that information?  Those puppies that I didn't want to have, saved my life, my soul, my mind over and over again.  How do I thank them?  How do I ever repay them?  

And because the abuse was so damaging it took every one of those dogs to help me trust my husband fully and completely.  And I never realized any of this until they all died.  Until they all died.  I'm still in total shock and grief with just that fact alone, but to come to this epiphany is way beyond my comprehension.  All these years I thought I knew and understood what unconditional love was from a dog.  I was no where close.  No where.  They had more purpose and value than what I gave them and I gave them a lot.  So much more will be revealed.  


Thursday, March 2, 2023

End of an Era: Zappa Jan. 2, 2008- Feb. 23, 2023

 A week ago, on February 23, 2023, Zappa passed away with assistance.  He lived for 15 years and 53 days.  We didn't know if he would make to his 15th birthday, let alone beyond.  

He survived tumors inside and outside his body.  Muscle loss and arthritis in his back and rear legs.  And he had laryngeal paralysis.   Every day was a miracle with him. 

I swear by cold laser treatment, as it kept Zappa walking and functional.  I would do it again in a heartbeat.  By far the best money we spent on Zappa. 

He fell four days before his death, which we believe lead to the tumor bleeding in his liver.  

Zappa was the last dog of the 24 Paws of Love and so not only did we lose Zappa, but the 24 Paws as well.  

End of an Era.  

Thank you dear readers for being with us through our journey of love.  Thank you for sticking with us.  And while our journey with Paws is not over, we will be taking a reprieve to mourn the loss of the greatest dogs we have ever owned.  


Mark and Patty 

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Food for thought

 She didn't say it outright, but hinted at the notion he was going to suffer and we didn't want that, did we?  The vet had just completed the ultrasound of Zappa's abdomen and the results were not good.  Even though we suspected something was wrong and having been through liver tumors with the other three dogs, we were somewhat prepared.  What we did not expect was a vet hinting at the fact it might be better to put Zappa down and expecting us to make a decision right there and then.  The tumor was large, 11cm x 9cm, and the outcome wasn't good if it ruptured and this was where she was "concerned."  She was afraid Zappa would die a suffering death. 

OK, I get that.  I didn't want Zappa to have a slow and painful death anymore than she did.  But, the tumor had been there all along, long before she discovered it and it wasn't just going to burst the minute we walked out the door.  Obviously Zappa had been living with it for some time and so far, so good.  

I also get that he could go at any time.  Zappa could fall or bump into something or twist the wrong way bursting the tumor and he could die.  But, I don't think that warranted an immediate death certificate to "save" him from this suffering.  

I found myself flabbergasted after she finally let us go home to think about it.  When we left the office, the first thing my husband said to me was, "Doesn't Zappa get a say?"

If he was suffering, right there and then, we would put him down, but he wasn't.  Zappa was living life with no clue to his body.  Which makes me wonder how many of these diagnoses this vet has given and encouraged them in so many words to euthanize their dog immediately?

I couldn't even fathom the thought, much less act upon it.  

That was two months ago and I'm still blown away by her suggestion.  If I would have followed through with it, I would have lost some of the best times I've ever had with Zappa.  And I mean the BEST!  Zappa and I have really begun to communicate.  Knowing more and more what the other is thinking.  It has really been so cool!  He actually comes to me when he wants something.  It has been an incredible experience that I had no clue would happen.  Didn't seem possible and now, we are having the best time of our lives.  

How much I would have lost out on if we had listened to the vet? 

How much would have Zappa lost out on?

How much have others?  


Monday, January 23, 2023

The pains of walking without a dog

 There is nothing worse than walking alone, especially without your best friends.  I have barely taken any walks since Chance, Blaze and Fiona died.  And while I walk with Zappa, when he could walk, the walks were very short and slow.  Just the facts of walking with an elderly dog.  

Every day I'd wake up and say I was going to take myself for a walk and almost every day I failed.  I just couldn't bare the thought of going alone without my protectors.  It started to become unbearable when my body would revolt against me.  All of this pent up anxiety and energy I had gave me torturing leg cramps to the point I was standing up while watching our evening show.  I couldn't relax and the only other thing that made it tolerable was laying down.  Most of the time all this tension was at night, but there were times during the day when my legs would act up.  

And I still couldn't walk myself.  I made due with the times I was able to walk Zappa and that helped some, but I really needed to burn off some steam.  Every day asking for this to be the day and 99% of the time, I still couldn't do it.  Even with all the physical and mental anguish, I didn't want to go for that lonely walk.  I wanted one of dogs to go with me.  I needed them for my self-confidence.  I needed them for the distraction.  I needed them for the communication and connection.  How was I going to give myself what the dogs had always gave me?  How could I do that??

I didn't know.  But this past month the pain was so intolerable,  I had my coat on and was out the door before I could stop myself or even realize what I was doing.  I walked to the corner and back.  I had finally done it...walked without a physical dog.  Down the road, out in the open for anyone to see me.  Walking alone, with my self consciousness flaring like a beacon and still I walked on.  All the way to the corner, where I did a 180° turn and came back with my breathing starting to slow as the fear and stress released from my body one step at a time.

Now I'm walking on a regular basis.  All I have to do is remember how bad my legs get at night and I am pushing myself to do it.  It is a good feeling.  I don't like walking without a dog, I never will, but for now that is what I must do.  I know the dogs are there in spirit, but for the most part this is my own personal battle between me and myself.  Maybe I will never get over my insecurities, but I will be stronger for the next dog, because I had the blessings of walking with Chance, Blaze, Fiona, Brut and Silver who all gave me something to grasp to...themselves. 

I just look better and feel better with a dog next to me.  :)  

Friday, January 20, 2023

Zappa bonding

I think I'm in the final phases of accepting the loss of Chance, Blaze and Fiona.  It struck me on and off throughout last summer, fall and this winter that it is just us three, Mark, Zappa and I.  And the closer the three of us bond the more apparent it is.  Our pack has gotten stronger and stronger, in ways I would have never thought possible.  I don't even know if I can explain it, but Zappa is like having all the dogs put together in him.  We are tighter than we have ever been and we are living and breathing on that strength.  A bond I would have never thought could happen, between Zappa and I, is happening.   

And I still can't believe it!

Monday, January 16, 2023

The Turkey Sandwich

 I've mentioned before that Zappa and I were never very tight.  In fact, he wasn't my favorite out of the bunch.  He was smart enough to get Daddy Dog Brut in trouble when Zappa was the one who started messing with Brut.  He knew exactly how to push Brut's buttons, and then cry for me and I, not seeing what happened, would blame Brut.  Once I caught on, I didn't care for Zappa or his antics.  Brut was my dog and Zappa was too smart for his own good.  To top it off, Zappa was hubby, Mark's dog.  So, even though I loved him, there was always a riff between Zappa and I. 

Rewind to almost 2 years ago when the Chance, Blaze and Fiona died:

Things were pretty rough.  We had just lost Chance 3 days before and it was our first day after Fiona died.  All our emotions were raw.  My lunches were always spent with the Front Dogs (Chance and Blaze) since their headquarters were in the kitchen.  And here I was sitting with this stranger of a dog all alone on the back porch and I didn't know what to do.  Maybe Zappa would like to share my sandwich.  So I ran in, fixed lunch, and offered him some turkey.  

He took it slowly and gently.  His eyes relayed he was still in shock and fresh pain.  I'm sure my eyes were a reflection of his.  For a moment we connected.  For a moment we were there for each other.  And for a moment our personal feelings for each other didn't matter.  For that moment we just were.  

For that moment, we were OK.

Monday, January 2, 2023

Zappa's 15th Birthday

15 years ago, on a cold, snowy night, I followed Silver again outside to go "potty" at 2:30 am in the deep snow, when this large, grey bubble came out.  After confirming it wasn't a puppy, I realized her water broke and we ran back in the house to wake hubby, Mark...they were coming.  

At 2:50 am, on January 2nd, 2008, a reddish-brown Husky-looking puppy was born.  We named him Zappa and there was no doubt, we were keeping him.  Zappa was the first one of the train of puppies that were to be born that night.  A total of ten, to be exact.  It was Zappa who got the ball rolling.  

Zappa was a momma's boy from the start.  He fought for the top dog position with Chance, as well as feeding position.  Chance and Zappa also went head to head for top weight.  Chance usually won all three.  Zappa hung out tight with the other Husky-looking dogs, Grumpy and Blaze.  And he was adorned by Mark.  Out of all the puppies, Zappa was the only one Mark really knew for sure.  He couldn't keep them all straight.  lol

Fast forward to now:

It is 38 degrees out, there are snow spots on the lawn and Zappa may be the last remaining puppy from the Power of Ten litter.  Besides our three, Chance, Blaze and Fiona that are gone, we know positively of three more (Grumpy, Angel, and Jack) are also gone.  More than likely, the other three are gone as well.  

And that makes Zappa's 15th birthday a pretty big deal.  The fact that he's here to celebrate is a miracle.  After Chance, Blaze and Fiona died, it was touch and go for a while and we didn't know if he was going to make it or not, but Zappa's still here!  We are making the most of each day with him.  

So I want to wish a Happy Birthday to Zappa and the miracle he is 15 years later.


Also, Happy Birthday to the Power of Ten litter.  They changed our lives forever.