Friday, August 31, 2012

Imagine - a world without pets

Disclaimer: I truly love my pack and hope to have them for a decade or so more. However, I do have moments (like when Lee jumps up and pees on the guest bed in front of the man for no good reason and 10 minutes later, Phod is off after the deer for a few minutes or I wake up to a huge puddle of mystery pee), when I imagine a world without my pack.

Here are some good things I imagine that would happen if I didn't have a pack:
-we would have nice things, like complete walls. (although having them wreck things is a good excuse to get new things)
-we wouldn't have to rush home to let the dogs out.
-I wouldn't be stressed every time I left them worrying that something was going to be destroyed today (although I may be more worried about someone breaking in).
-We would have more money. I don't for one second begrudge any $ spent on care and treats, I do begrudge money spent on replacing things someone chewed up.
-I wouldn't have as many conversations about bodily functions (for example, a morning conversation may be, Phod is empty, but Lee hasn't pooped yet so can you take her out again before you go to work?)
-I wouldn't have to scoop cat litter, pick up poop, clean up vomit as often.
-I would get to sleep in an extra hour every morning before work.
-Imagine all the room in bed!
-I would not need to sweep and vacuum as often (which may make me lazy about cleaning)


Here are some things that would suck:
-I wouldn't walk as much. I know there is no reason why I couldn't walk without the dogs, but I wouldn't do my 2.5-3.5 km most mornings without them. This would likely lead to me being overweight.
-Research shows people with pets live longer and are more relaxed (perhaps they weren't my pets).
-Life would be very quiet and maybe a little boring.
-I wouldn't have the excuse "Oh I need to go let the dogs out" to avoid social situations I don't like.
-I wouldn't have connected with all the great people through dog blogging (I doubt I would have found them without being a blogger myself).
-The house would feel empty.
-The joy would be gone from our house.
-I wouldn't have pet hair as the perfect accessory to every outfit.

At the end of the day, the pros to having my pack members (mainly the dogs, the cats at aged 17 are pretty chill), outweigh the cons and I know that without them I would be lost.

I guess life could be worse, I could have kids:)

Happy Friday!


Thursday, August 30, 2012

The miracle pill that wasn't


After very careful consideration and consultation with our vet we decided to try Miss Hailey Bug on a medication to help with her anxiety. While I really didn't want to get to this point the stress of worrying about what she might do while we were out and the reality that we could not stay home all the time pushed me to try it.

Modelling the new thunder shirt
After a funny trip to the pharmacy to fill the prescription (I love that is says for Vet use only on the bottle, yet the fact sheet about the drug tells you not to drink while on it - Lee says it will be hard, but she will try not to drink), we gave it a try. Woody had suggested trying it for 10 days to break the cycle of anxiety. With a heavy heart (because I truly feel we have failed her given how anxious she is) we gave her the first pill at a time where we could watch her. If anything, she was more crazy, more fearless, doing more crazy play stuff. The second one didn't seem to have any noticeable effect either.

She has now been receiving this pill 2 times a day since Saturday night with no obvious change. In fact, she actually scratched the wall which we had almost finishing repairing on Tuesday (no thunderstorms came through).

One of the challenges with her anxiety is it is not consistent. It is not every day that she destroy things. You never know.

Yesterday we tried to keep the dogs in the basement (away from the wall to destroy). Hailey was in her new thunder shirt. They got out of the basement and were sitting waiting by the door when I returned, but no damage.

Not sure what we will do next. Sigh!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

We are the same

After the wall incident (which is still not roll on the floor funny yet, but getting closer), I took some time to reflect on why, given all of Hailey's issues (if you are newer to the blog go back to when it started nearly 2 years ago for some great destruction stories), I just can't stop loving her.  Clearly she is beautiful and full of life but she is NOT a good dog, but I adore her.  It occurred to me I love her because she is me in dog form.

When I told my husband my conclusion he rolled his eyes but I think it is true.

Here is how we are the same:
1) We both love routine. We like things that are the same and predictable.
2) We don't mind people in general but both have a few special people we love.
3) We both could work on our listening skills.
4) We both suffer from anxiety. While I personally love a thunderstorm, I do have many other things in my life that cause me great anxiety. I have never ripped a hole in the wall or destroyed the carpet but I can totally relate to that feeling of panic. Even though I get really mad at her in the moment, when I step out of it, I feel totally bad for her and wish I could do something for her to help. (FYI: There have been times in my life where if I thought I could escape certain things by eating the wall, I would have). Only people who have anxiety can sort of relate to creatures with anxiety.
5) When we have our mind set on something there is nothing anyone else can do to regain our attention.
6) We are both stubborn.
7) We both know how to use our sad little eyes to get what we want from others.
8) We are both loud, head strong and independent.
9) We often will try and be sneaky and do things we know we should not.
10) Neither of us knows the word no (but somethings I think we should learn).

See, we are a lot a like and I think that is what has save my crazy dog many, many times!

We are experimenting with an anti-anxiety med this week for my girl (more about that later) and her thunder shirt arrived yesterday (can't wait to try it).

Monday, August 27, 2012

Zaphod at week 3

I realize I haven't done a true update on Phod for a while. The reality is, he just fits in so perfectly that it feels like he has always been here.

Here are some things we know about him:

He demands more love and snuggles every day.
He still can have very sad eyes at times, but we see those happy eyes more often!
He would play fetch forever. Fortunately our house is big enough to play inside. I am trying to limit it to play with soft toys.
He is the slowest eater we have ever had. He takes his time to eat. We have to keep Lee out of his food, she is not a slow eater.
He is having a really hard time learning the command down. We will keep at it.
His recall blows my mind. If he takes off into the woods after a deer or the turkeys I don't worry because I know in 1 minute he will be back at my side. (Even with the horses he came back soon).
He hasn't had an accident in the house since his first week here.
He has pup dreams and breathes really loudly when sleeping.
He was drinking water obsessively when he first came here, but that seems to be gone.
We have to keep the toilet seat down or we get wet bums when we sit down.
Turns out he loves to be brushed. Finally a dog that likes this. Lee gets jealous when you are brushing him, so you can brush her.
While he spends most of the night sleeping on the floor, he likes to come up for his pre-sleep snuggle on the bed before we go to sleep.
He really wants to make us happy.
We think he sleeps up against the front door when we are out. There are big glass windows he can look out.

He truly is a wonderful boy and we feel very blessed to have him in our pack. Initially we (and by we, I mean me) had planned to expand the pack in the fall. However, we are thrilled it happened earlier because he is just so wonderful! Let's just hope he stays out of the horse pen!


Sunday, August 26, 2012

I'm a cowboy baby

The scene: A nice leisurely walk to the lake so the dogs can have a swim before we have to go into town. The Phod had been being so good he was off leash.

The place: Close to the lake by the barn.

The event: All hell broke lose.

The horses at a calmer time
Mr. Phod had determined he could get under the fence in with those big dogs (the horses). For what seemed like forever, but was likely a minute or so, he ran around them while they stomped and hollered. The man was screaming "Zaphod Come here" at the top of his lungs. Hailey and the Lady stood motionless. In the lady's mind "Do we need to go into the pen and get him? Will they kill him?"

Finally a very happy goofy looking, unhurt dog comes out from the horses to his people. He immediately falls to their feet and curls up like they will beat him. He did get a verbal scolding (because he actually deserved one) and then they continued to the lake. One of the neighbours heard the screaming, hopped on his ATV and came over to make sure all was well.

Lesson: Phod can't be off leash near the barn.


Saturday, August 25, 2012

What did they do to you?

Trying to get a picture of me and Phod but he wouldn't stop kissing me!
One night I had a cup of water sitting on the table. I have lived with animals long enough to know that if I am going to leave water sitting around, it better be in plastic. Zaphod was walking by the coffee table and accidentally knocked it over with his tail. He then ran and hid like we were going to do something horrible to him. Broke my heart a little that my gentle giant would be scared of me.

I just cleaned it up and then called him over for love.

It makes me wonder what happened to him before he was rescued. Our poor sweet boy. Hopefully he will learn that these sort of things are ok in our house!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Feline Friday and misc updates

Yesterday I was out with for the count with some sort of virus. For about 36 hours I battled the fever and chills. I am feeling better now.  While I spent a day and a half on the couch, this is what my beloved pups did.

The war zone, all the white stuff is stuffing from toys!


Ok, now about the felines. Regular readers will know that Baggy has had kidney problems for some time (I am thinking nearly a year). The protein in his kidneys was way, way, way too high. Given that he is 17 the treatment we have decided to start with is special protein free food. Our vet has been monitoring his kidneys about every 3 months and we are thrilled to report that for the first time since we started this, Baggy is in the high normal range. (They levels had been decreasing over previous visits). This is excellent and given how well he is responding to Hill's k/d diet, we don't have to make difficult choices about other interventions.

While talking to the vet, I have determined the correct dose of gravol for Zaphod for the next car trip (we really want to be able to take him places) and we have a prescription for an anti-anxiety drug awaiting us at the clinic for Lee. Our vet has suggested putting her on it for 10 days to see if we can just break the anxious cycle. We have put her through a lot by moving and getting Zaphod. While she has not been as anxious (meaning we haven't had to do any drywalling lately) she can still become very nervous (now even if it just rains she gets into a state). I am willing to try it to see.

That is life here in our crazy zoo. Wishing everyone a happy Friday!


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Evening Routine

Our current evening routine goes something like this, after everyone has eaten, we go to the lake.
Here are some pictures of it!

Last night at the lake
Hailey, hoping that by sitting nicely she will get a cookie!
Lee wading into the water. She is tethered to the land via a rope.
Without it she leaves the beach and goes into the bush.
video
Zaphod now swims. Watch him go!

They both like to go down to the beach and wrestle and play in the water. It isn't quiet and peaceful, but it is a nice way to spend an evening!


Monday, August 20, 2012

Adventures of a Crazy Woman

I realized 2 of my 4 pets needed to go see the vet and I decided what made the most sense as our vet is now far away (about 1 hour each way) was to make one trip. So early last week I called and booked 2 appointments with technicians, one for Zaphod to get his microchip and one for Bagheera for his kidney monitoring.

Phod before he got sick
When I told my husband I believe his words were to the effect: "Are you freakin' crazy?"  I then asked him if he had a better idea, and he did not.

We knew that Mr. Zaphod had a history of car sickness but were told if he fasted he was fine. We held off breakfast for him. He hadn't eaten for about 16 hours.

Saturday morning I loaded Zaphod into the back seat and Baggy in his crate in the front and off we went.

Poor Phod started to throw up. He had not eaten so he was just puking up stomach acid. I felt so bad for him but there was nothing I could do. Of course since he was hooked into the seat, he ended up laying in it. By the time we got to the clinic he and the back seat were covered with puke! He was sick at least 5 times on the way down. Thank goodness for my $10 car seat protector. It saved my seat (and he managed to only be sick on it).

I took poor him and Baggy (who only complained for about 30 seconds the entire ride) into the clinic. When they took Phod to the back, I left Baggy on the bench in the clinic and did my best to clean up some of the back seat. This was challenging.

Baggy ready to rock and roll!

Phod did an AMAZING job at the clinic. He was a little nervous but nothing major. The staff and people in the waiting room all commented on how awesome a dog he was. Baggy did ok. I never heard him screaming. He did complain a little (his results will be in tomorrow).

The clinic gave us a towel to put on the back seat so at least he wouldn't be laying on a wet seat cover. The ride home went better. Phod only threw up one time and it was very near the house.

We got home, I stripped the seat cover off the seat and threw it on delicate cycle in the washer and dryer (good as new) and gave Phod waterless baths 2 times during the day. (He stunk!)

He seemed no worse for wear after the adventure, although he hated the smell of the waterless bath. He ate well and had a great nap.

I have promised him we will get him some sort of anti-nausea drug before he has to go in the car again!

If my poor Phody hadn't been so sick, it would have been a great trip and I wouldn't have been so crazy!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Happy Birthday to our Man

To celebrate your birthday this year, for the ay we will let you think you are the alpha of our pack.

Happy Birthday!

Love Baggy, Nin, Lee and Zaphod

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Relaxing?

Last evening, being that it was the end of my first full week back to work and the fact that I am an Ultimate Frisbee widow Friday nights, I decided I would spend some time soaking in my tub.

Here is the tub:


While I admit  originally this style of tub was not my dream tub, it is very comfortable! (Which is great because it will be years before I can afford to replace it).

I settle into the tub. Hailey takes her place on the bathmat. (FYI I wonder why I spend money on nice dog beds when Hailey is happiest curled up on an $8 bathmat.) Zaphod is laying on the bathroom floor. It is rather peaceful.

Part way through my soak, I realize Z is standing over me. He is licking the water and trying to find a way to get in. (He didn't get his nightly swim. I decided taking them to the beach alone would be challenging and I am not ready for that yet). I give him a pet and tell him to go lay down. He leaves the bathroom and returns with this:


He wants to play fetch. After he tries to persist to get me to play for a few minutes, dejected he goes and sits and gives me the saddest eyes ever! (Clearly I do neglect my pets).  It was very hard to enjoy my bath with Mr. Sad Eyes staring at me. 

Next time I will close the bathroom door (because the dogs scratching at and whining at the door will clearly be more relaxing!)

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Lake - Bad Rock


Our evening routine includes a trip to the lake. I promise to get some better pictures/videos. The problem is I am often going for a swim too! 

The first time we took Zaphod to the lake he was a little unsure. There were some boats which made it a bit wavy and he wouldn't go in. Hailey likes to bite the waves. This second visit he was much braver and I missed a video of him laying in the water. He did well until he met this rock . . . . .

video

(Now he is a great swimmer, maybe too great, more about that later).

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Guard

While working at home yesterday (the best day of the week if you ask me), I had a guard.
Note: These pictures were taken by me while I was sitting in the chair (making it hard to photograph him).
Needless to say, being trapped in my chair by my dog did help facilitate a lot of work! 


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Bodily Functions and other fun and games

Anything I did wouldn't be as bad as Lee, so you love me more!
I am away for 36 hours for work and here is what has happened according to the calls I have gotten.
Hailey did not destroy anything yesterday. She could take the baby gate before I got out of the house so I just trapped her in the basement. However, Zaphod had what appears to be 2 accidents in his crate (poor guy), so the Man had to clean that up.

Both pups did a great job with the horses. Hailey would sit and not bark as long as the horses kept their heads on their side of the fence. When they came over, that scared her. Zaphod will sniff the face of a horse and try and get them to play.

Zaphod had a great play at the beach with one of the neighbour's dogs. We live in a great dog friendly neighbourhood. This is great!

Hailey showed Zaphod the deer across the road and he did run away and took a longer time to come back. So we know if he sees deer he will run. 

The house had a very rough night. Hailey threw up. Cinder threw up.  The man didn't really sleep. 

Today they are calling for severe thunderstorms so the man, who is tired and very cranky, will stay home with them. This will be a temporary solution until the thundershirt comes and we find some sort of steel (not wire) cage for her. 

I hope they have a good day cause I don't want to get home this evening to cranky people:)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Rough Plan

Well after the shock of a hole in the wall, we have forgiven our Bug for her bad behaviour. We appreciate how stressed she must have been to do this. We also are glad she didn't chew the electrical wires.

This is what we are going to try.

Putting Zaphod in the crate in the guest room. Putting Hailey in her sweater (the thunder shirt has been ordered) in the guest room with a baby gate across the door. It is our hope that being in her favourite room with a gate will help. When given a choice, Lee loves to sleep on the guest bed (this is something that started at the old house a few months ago). We also hope that by having the gate and not closing the door will reduce destruction.

Thankfully there are no thunderstorms in the forecast today. There are tomorrow (and I will be out of town until 7ish tomorrow night).

Here is the door at phase one of the repair. Likely won't have time to finish it until the weekend, but looks much better
Wish us luck!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Wits End

It is not often that I am left speechless or unable to find the humour in a situation, but Hailey has managed to do both. Last evening we attended a wedding. When I returned home, I opened the door and saw this.


I actually turned around and walked out. After a second I came back in. I just couldn't believe it and I couldn't find Hailey. (Turns out she had gotten herself under the gate to the cats food and gotten stuck. Turns out while she was down there she dug the litter to hell, but that really is the least of our problems, back to the hole).

Words do not describe how angry the people of the house are. While part of me is trying to imagine how terrified of whatever she must have been to do this, I just can't find sympathy for her. We just don't know what to do with her. This is the worst thing she has ever done. I think regular readers of this blog will know that we try really hard to give her the best life possible. We have tolerated her "Hailey-ness" more than others may have. However she has crossed a line and we don't know what to do to help her. We can't afford to replace a wall every time we go out. We had thought her anxiety was getting better, but clearly it has not. We are going to try and crate her, although I fear she will just destroy them again. We are also going to explore medication for her. 

So today instead of having a house warming party (which we have cancelled), we are going to learn to fix drywall. We hope that one of the paint cans left in the house is the right colour. 





Saturday, August 11, 2012

The problem with recall

We have figured out Miss Bug's issue with recall. When it is just fun and games for a cookie and she knows she will get to keep running and playing, she is a superstar 90% of the time. The problem becomes when she knows it is time to go inside. This is when she takes off. So now, we will have to trick her to come in. We will have to act like it is still play time and when she comes over we will have to grab her and put her on her leash. Let's see if this works!

(FYI she does come back but not before she has visited the neighbours or gotten into other trouble).


Friday, August 10, 2012

More about Zaphod

Nightly visit to the lake

Well Phod (pronounced Fod) as I call him, has been a pack member for 4 short days and it sort of feels like he has always been with us. Overall he is an easy dog.  Here are some things we have learned about him this week.

It is hard to get a good picture of him because he is always moving!

He loves to play. He loves fetch (LOVES it) and wrestling and defacing toys. He plays a lot, which makes us think he is closer to one than 2 as he still acts like a puppy.

He knows a few commands: sit, drop it, come, no.

Given how he responds better to the Man, we assume he had a male owner.

He pretty much ignores the cats now (they are hissing less), however to be sure, we keep him in a crate when we are out.

He is a dainty eater. He eats slowly and takes his time. All our other dogs have eaten like they are starving!

He is a drinker! The water dish is always empty and I am keeping the toilet seat down so I don't get a wet bum!

His recall rocks. Not that we would leave him outside alone or have him off leash on the road, but it is much easier to have him off leash during "bathroom breaks" and to have Miss Bug on leash than to try and have the 2 on leash. He has never tried to leave the property and if he gets close and you call him he immediately comes back.

How does Lee feel about him? She is at that stage which we have seen before, when you bring a second dog in, "the you tire me out and I am grumpy so I don't like you phase, however, I do want to play with you when I want to so you aren't so bad". I can see a nice relationship developing between the 2 of them.



Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Introducing Zaphod

We would like to extent a warm welcome to Zaphod. After an intense interviewing process we have decided he is a suitable member for our pack.

Here is a little about him: He is a shepherd, between ages of 1-2.  He was found as a stray and picked up by the Plantagenet pound. He was seriously underweight suggesting he had been on his own for a while (he still has some weight to put on).  He was rescued by Catahoula Rescue (the same rescue that saved Haley from a certain death). After letting Gloria Baggs from the rescue know we were looking, she suggested Zaphod as he is cat friendly (a little interested in Nin today as Nin will not stop hissing and he clearly wants to be his friend) and a real calm soul. He had been with his foster mom Jenn for 2ish weeks.

Getting to know him, it is clear that he had been with people before. He sort of gets the house rules, he understands and listens to the word no (this has never happened in our house before) and he has better recall then Miss Bug (it is sad when the stray has better behaviour then my own dog that I have worked with for 2 years. Hailey says this is because she is a free spirit and not meant to be the subject to human control).

I will admit I never pictured myself owning a shepherd, but he is so calm and sweet and this is what I wanted over breed. This is a reminder that we should not judge a dog by its breed anymore than we should judge a person by their race or ethnicity. We should all be judged for our actions or inactions.

After a great play and run with Hailey, we had a quiet evening. After Jenn and Gloria left last night he just sat by the door. He would periodically come check to see what we were doing, but then would just sit by the door. After a while he did settle in to our bedroom with us. We are very happy to report that he seemed very happy to sleep on the floor (we really don't have room in our bed).

This morning he has been more active. He and Hailey have had a good wrestle and we had a great game of fetch in the dining room (it is 29 feet long so lots of room for fetch). He seems happy to be walking around exploring, while Hailey is happy to be napping on the couch.

He has marked in the house twice. Once just before Gloria and Jenn left (on our bed of course) and this morning in the garage where I had taken him to eat. I don't know what it is about this garage and peeing.

The big test today will be can I take both of them for a walk.

Our big decisions today: 1) do we change his name 2)  do we want to get a crate for him for when we are both out. If so, where do we put it?

So that is my crazy life for today. I am sure Lee and Big Zee will have many adventures together! (Things more exciting then they both pooped on leash when I had both of them together this morning).

Monday, August 6, 2012

Days without Destruction - 0

Wow, it has been a very long time since I wrote about destruction. This is because Ms. Bug has been a pretty good girl.

Yesterday, we decided it was in our best interest to go to town and get a few things. Going to Gatineau is now a big deal (it is about 30 minutes to the Gatineau shopping district of Maloney). Off we went. While we were gone a storm rolled in. (I got drenched in town, like ring your undies out drenched but there was no thunder etc). We are not sure how it was at our place in the mountains, but the power had been out, so we think there was either thunder or strong winds. Ms. Bug does not like the thunder. So this is what she did:

Door to garage


While we appreciate she suffers from anxiety, this really ticked us off. Here we are in our new house and she is wrecking the place. We are going to take a few days and figure out what we can do for her. It is possible a friend will calm her down. Our vet has been suggesting drugs for her for months, we may explore this. We are also wondering if going back to crating her would be helpful. We have a HUGE garage we could set the crate up in (so if she did get out, she couldn't destroy anything).  Time will tell.

Other updates: She is on a regular poop schedule and even pooped on leash this morning. However, yesterday when I was putting some empty boxes in the garage she went in and peed there. What a girl!


Sunday, August 5, 2012

You know you are a true dog owner when

Your dog hasn't pooped for 2 days and you are getting worried and when she finally goes (in the garage of all places) you are just so happy you can't scold her!  (Later when she asked to go to the garage to poop I took her outside and waited her out and she finally went in the bush - it is hard to imagine there is not a spot on these 2 acres that is not suitable for pooping!)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Turkeys and horses and toads, oh my

We are now country people! This has meant a lot of new wildlife for Hailey. Within 30 minutes of being at the new house, a flock of turkeys walked by the window. I wish I had the camera handy at the time, the look on her face at the size of the birds was priceless!

During our walk to the lake, we encountered the evil horses. Currently 5 horses live in the field across the road from us. Hailey does not like them. If she can see them she barks and barks and barks. Last evening the horses were in the field directly across from our house. She could see them from the front door . . .  her barking drove me crazy and I eventually dragged huge boxes in front of the door so she couldn't see them.

Other wildlife adventures have included: Encounters with a toad one night, which resulted in the licking of the toad. Chasing a bazillion crickets (Lee can bounce about 3 feet straight up in the air if she wants to). Tracking goodness knows what (this mornings walk it was clearly deer we were following). A wade in the lake (I think because it was so calm she just walked in, we will see if we can get her to swim!)

Who knows what today's adventures will bring!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Moving Day!

Finally this day is here! We will likely be off line for a few days as we don't get internet at the new place until Satruday (gasp! How will we live?)

Here is Lee helping unpack during a visit yesterday.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Grief at 1 year

Today marks one year since probably the worst thing that has every happened to me, the death of Gemini. For those who may be newer to the blog, Gemi received a head injury as a result of rough play from another dog last year. The symptoms of the head injury didn't show up until 3 days after the injury. She was left brain dead and I had to make the decision to have her euthanized 5 days after the accident. All of this happened while my husband was away (he went to Europe to meet up with his brother who was on leave from a tour in Afghanistan).

Looking back now, I must admit I have no idea how I got through those first days and weeks. I lived with many of the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I lived on edge. There were days I was barely able to function. Showering became the hardest task. I dreaded it because I knew going into the tub opened up this pandora's box of grief (aka hysterical crying - FYI  it is hard to wash your hair and dangerous to shave your legs if you are crying that hard). I could barely go to the dog park, any play sent flashes to the accident. It was freakin' terrible. 

But I did live through it and now whenever I am faced with something stressful I say "I lived through Gemi's death, I can do this." (With all the stress of moving, and praying for a buyer and bank errors, I have been saying this a lot!). This past week, Gemi's ghost has definitely been with me and I have had some challenging moments. 

While I haven't talked about it here, Gemi is always on my mind. Usually more good/funny things than pain. Last month while at Conroy for a walk on a stinking hot day my brother-in-law and I discussed how Gemi would have hated this heat. She would have not refused to walk, but walked so slowly that you were sure a turtle would beat her. And if you had tried to pick her up . . . she would have given you the evil Gemi eye.

Even a year later I still occasionally have waves of grief and guilt. They are further apart and less intense than those first few months. (So don't worry I have been able to shower this year!)

I think the thing that I am struck with is that I feel like the accident and her death changed me. Maybe not so much in a way that others would see, but inside I have felt different since then. This is so different then Loki's death (he died after a lengthy battle with an auto-immune disorder). I think the difference is, rational, fair or not, is that I see Gemi's death as preventable. It was an accident. Loki's was something I could not do a darn thing about, it was internal. I think being involved in an accident, (even one where everyone would agree was not foreseen and they would not have done anything differently), always leaves you with a "should have." It also showed these things could happen in my rather blessed life. I am not immune from tragedy.  

All of this and maybe because it was only 14 months or so after Loki's death, "broke" a part of me. I don't know if it can be repaired, nor do I always think it should be repaired. I believe the scars we carry (internally and externally) do make us who we are and remind us of the good, the bad and sometimes the really ugly of our lives. The show that we have lived and are reminders that we have survived things. They can also help put other things in perspective and give us the strength to endure new challenges. 

 This being said, of course if I could go back to 1 minute before the accident I would avoid this scar and still have my Gemi (who would likely hate day camp and be making this move stuff harder); But since I can't, I will just live with it. Maybe that is the balance I must strike in my life. To have had the joy of my Gemi for 6 years, I have to carry the pain of her death with me for the rest of mine. 

We go forward in our lives. Loving our cats and Lee. Preparing for a move to the country, a new start so to speak. But where ever I go, both Loki and Gemi are always with me. I think this comic probably shows how all bereaved dog owners feel:


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