Tag Archives: Love

My Valentines

May you be so blessed as to have Valentines as wonderful as these!I am never alone and I am always loved.

I have a companion for every activity. Baxter the lab-rott mix is always ready for some frisbeeing or hiking. Cassius the greyhound is ready to play with toys, or for snuggling, your choice. Zeke on the bottom right is up for running, hiking, and anything that involves spending time with me. The two sheltie girls always accompany me on nursing home visits. Shelby with the bandanna also hikes with me and helps me teach a class at the vocational school. Shelby is my right hand pup. I can count on her to do a good job no matter what it is.

With these pups as part of my family, how could I not say…Life is good!

True Love

Some of you might wonder why I would want to keep a dog like Zekie when we foster so many “nice” dogs. Not dogs like Zeke who do things like stress chew their bowls until, as one person put it, the bowl looks like it was mangled in an airplane crash. Well this photo right here sums it up. True love. (Or for you Princess Bride fans To Blave) No one loves you like an intense, crazy dog. And hey look, there’s a lampshade on my head, so life is a party with Zekie!

Let’s be honest, my life isn’t complete unless I have a crazy dog, or so I’ve been told. I have to agree with that assessment. Anybody can handle life with a calm, normal dog. And I’m always up for a challenge. Normalcy is boring. I prefer a dog smart enough to watch tv and figure out how to open the kitchen doors to counter surf.

Or like my heart dog Duncan. Smart enough to learn how to use the latches on the crates so he can let the foster dogs out and eat all their food.

May you be fortunate enough to have such a dog. And survive it.

In the Wild Blue Yonder

To you my friend. I’ll hold you in my heart until we meet again in the wild blue yonder.

I miss finishing each other’s sentences with the exact right thing. I miss laughing with you until I double over. I miss the way that you encouraged me to do things.

With you I learned that I could:

  • Do a 180 degree turn around in a pickup truck to get to that ice cream stand we just drove by
  • Carry an abandoned kitten that we found for half a mile to get home
  • Hike up an actual mountain in the state of Maine carrying a backpack
  • Put up a tent in the dark
  • Survive getting divorced and become a better person in the end

You also taught me that no matter what happens there is some good to be found. And that when times are rough, they will be good again.

You made my life better by being the bright spot that you were to so many. I miss you but a little bit of you goes wherever I go.

A Little Bit of Crazy

Why do some dogs take a piece of our hearts?

Such as Zeke, a leash aggressive, separation anxiety ridden, jumping, abandoned, mixed breed of uncertain lineage. There is no logic to it that I can see. More and more I find myself saying, “Duncan used to do that”, about something Zeke has done.

Duncan

Duncan was the love of my life. Of course for his first few years I referred to him as the sheltie from hell. He got into trouble frequently, often because of something he chewed up. The corners of the coffee table, the pull handle off the lawn mower, handles from a bicycle, drywall in the garage. He also charged at bicycles on walks, and had endless energy. But as the years went by and we worked together on all these issues, we developed the deepest of relationships. He even earned the title of TDIA (Therapy Dog International Active) for completing over 50 visits to nursing homes and care facilities. He attained this because it made me happy.

And now Zeke does some of the random things that Duncan used to do. He charges bicycles, he pulls me up hills on walks when I’m tired. He likes hanging out with daddy but lives for when I come home. Just like Duncan.

I do realize he’s not Duncan. But I do love Zeke dearly too. Perhaps, as time goes by and our relationship grows, I will be gifted with another Lifetime Dog.

Zekie, My Pit Bull!?

This is Zeke, aka Zekie. He is my pit bull. You don’t think he looks like a pit bull? Well, he’s not exactly a pit bull.

You see, I really wanted to get a pit bull. My plan was to get one and train it to use for my therapy dog work. I wanted to help improve their image and also show that they were a member of our family of dogs and cats. I hadn’t quite convinced everyone in the family to proceed with this idea but I was wearing them down.

Then along came Zekie. He was transported from a local shelter to our house for fostering and was supposed to be a sheltie. Not only is he not a pit bull, he’s not a sheltie either.

Just what is he? He’s my type of dog, that’s what. He has separation anxiety. He has no fangs left, having broken the last two off on his crate since he’s been here. That was on Prozac twice a day. I’m weaning him off of that since it doesn’t help much and he’s not going anywhere. He is leash reactive, barking and lunging at other walkers. I have purchased an Easy Walk harness to see how that goes. He jumps up, mauling us when we return home. Still working on this.

Despite these behaviors, Zeke is my type of dog. He is loving and thinks he is a lap dog. Ironically, he loves everyone who comes in our house. It’s only people he meets while out walking that bring out his nasty side. He is fairly obedient. He loves to give kisses. He is grateful for any and all attention.

So although Zekie is not actually a pit bull, he came into my life and I love him so he is here to stay. The pit bull will have to wait until another time in the future. I foresee Zeke keeping me busy for the next couple of years. You will just have to humor me as I refer to my pit bull Zeke!

Zekie!

Just a quick update on foster boy Zeke. He is a happy pup.

He still has separation anxiety but it is manageable on the Prozac. If you don’t mind a dog with sizable amounts of drool in his crate when you come home. The crate is now more or less where it was when we left. Mondays are always the worst after I go back to work for the week. It’s a good thing I don’t wear expensive clothes (although this is part of the reason why) because Zeke jumps and paws at me for a while when I return. Dogs are far superior to nice clothes any day!

But the rest of the time he is a joy. He becomes a 43 lb. lap pup for about 10 minutes every day. We both enjoy this. On Sunday last week, he got to go to grandma’s for a visit along with Baxter and Cassius. The girls, Nikki and Shelby, stayed home because they were having a turn to go away the next evening to visit at the nursing home. Zeke was well behaved and listened. We had our 10 minutes of lap time there because I suspect he was feeling insecure.

Yesterday, hubby and I took Baxter, Cassius, Shelby, and Zeke for a walk on the Hike and Bike Trail and there were no incidents with other hikers. Of course this may have been because it was 15 degrees and snowy, so there were no other hikers! 😉 Hey, you seek progress where you can find it.

And last but not least Zeke has wormed his way into my heart enough that I call him Zekie!

Foster Dog, Day 2

Foster dog Zeke, Day 2. Today we ran errands. I didn’t want to leave Zeke home while we were having work done on our house, lest he become afraid or slip out the door. So he got to go along with me. He traveled like a champ. 

So far he does pretty much everything like a champ. He can sit, lay down, shake, and wait for your permission before going through a doorway. He goes in a crate on command. He is calm and well mannered. Has no house training accidents. He apparently lived with cat/s before because he had no reaction to ours. 


Zeke was turned in to an area pound, along with another dog, by his owner because there was a change in living circumstances. That is all I know except that he is up to date on shots, heartworm negative, and neutered. 


I am guessing that someone, somewhere is heartbroken to have to give up their dogs. Dogs don’t get like this by accident, a lot of training was involved. When you tell Zeke to sit, his back side hits the ground  immediately. To honor this person, I will do my best to make sure that Zeke ends up in a loving home where he receives the best of care. That is what I would pray for my own dogs. And Zeke deserves no less. 

Kammie 

Kammie left this world this morning, after a lengthy illness, with her loving human mother by her side. She was nine years old.


We had the privilege of being Kammie’s foster family for 14 months. She was a sweet dog with an agreeable personality.  Her first human passed away which landed Kammie at one of the Cleveland shelters. She didn’t kennel well and was fortunate to be taken in by a short term foster family. They wanted the best for her so sent her on to our sheltie rescue. She was on thyroid medicine and antibiotics for a bladder infection. I met someone in a parking lot to do the transfer to get her to us. The plan was to get some weight off of her,she came to the shelter at 59 lbs, get her healthy and then find her a home.

Little did we suspect that she was home. She underwent treatment for several bladder infections that never really seemed to clear up. She came to our house in April of 2016. In July, after undergoing an ultrasound, she was diagnosed with several bladder tumors. At that point she was deemed unadoptable and we decided to provide her with whatever time she had remaining at our home.


So Kammie became one of our pack and a member of our family. She would bark and run outside with the other dogs. Sometimes she would then turn around and come back inside, her job escorting the others outside having been completed. She received a number of medications without complaint: Thyroid pills, piroxycam (to slow tumor growth), often antibiotics, and in the later days, tramadol for pain.  Not only did she take them without complaint, she would come and wait for them at the appropriate times. She was a good girl.

Kammie slowed down a little bit at a time with her back end getting weaker until by late this week, she could no longer walk. After a couple days when she had shown no improvement and the veterinarian thought the tumors had probably metastasized to put pressure on her spine, we knew the time had come.  Our time with Kammie was a gift and it was time to give her back. 

Thank you Kammie for sharing your time with us and letting us enjoy your gentle smile and spunky personality. We were blessed by your presence. Kammie’s medical care was provided for by Northeast Ohio Shetland Sheepdog Rescue. The love was provided by us.

A Better Place

Harley was my idea of the perfect cat. He was a good mouser. He was regal and demanded respect yet he was also affectionate and loved his people. I had the pleasure of being Harley’s momma for 16 years. We lost him yesterday. He went in for a dental and did not survive.

It turned out that he suffered from a condition that I was not familiar with. Something called dental resorption. As near as I understand it, the tooth or teeth, begin to calcify at the root. This forms lesions and the calcification attachs the tooth to the jawbone so that it is hard to remove. There are more details and technicalities but I will spare you. In Harley’s case, the teeth were very hard to remove. In essence, by a few hours after the surgery, the amount of blood loss he suffered was too great and he succumbed. This was traumatic and unexpected for us because although Harley was old, he was in fairly good shape for his age. We picked him up from the vet’s and brought him home. He is now buried with our other furry family members that have gone before.

I first got Harley when I and a friend where hiking with our dogs on a path that ran beside my house. We made it about half a mile down the trail when a kitten of about 4 months came running up to me meowing. This was near farm land that was grown up and no longer used. I think someone dumped Harley there. He couldn’t have been born there, he was too friendly to be a feral kitten. He ran up to me even with our dogs and let me pick him up. My friend Becky said “you can’t leave him here”. And so I didn’t. He let me carry him all the way back home. He never struggled to get down. He soon became a part of our household.

I thought for a while on what his name should be, and finally came up with Harley. Now he is not named after the obvious Harley Davidson of motorcycle fame. His name was short for Harlequin because he was a black and white cat.

Harley made the move with us to our current house nearly 14 years ago.  It is an old farmhouse, built in 1830. Read as:  mice like it here! Harley was a supreme mouser. And catcher of moles, and chipmunks, and baby squirrels. Unfortunately for us, this was all in the house. We would not do well in this house without a cat. Harley taught his protege’, Morty to catch mice.

Once he had passed the torch, as it were, he gave up hunting. That was apparently something for the next generation.

In his retirement, Harley became ever more affectionate and communicative. Once we discovered that his teeth were bad, which is another story, he ate canned food. He would call to me first thing in the morning and again throughout the day whenever he wanted his canned cat food. I would put it in a crate for him (so the other cats and dogs wouldn’t take it) and in he would go. I would then close the door. Whenever he was done, he would call to me again so that I could let him out and put any remaining food away for next time. This usually made me smile because he communicated so well. 

He also followed me around for affection. He would sit on the arm of the couch beside me and squint his eyes with happiness. He would rub on my hand and ask for ear rubs. And if I was busy doing something else, he would sit on the back of the couch directly behind my head, for maximum closeness while I read, or watched tv, or talked. He was my kitten always.

My world is an emptier place without a Harley Cat. But it is a better, richer place for having known him.