Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The kindest of notes....

I've spent most of today trying to get my email under control.  This morning when I woke up I had 924 messages in my inbox.  I am not kidding.  I was tempted to hit "delete all" and just walk away....but I couldn't bring myself to do that...

During the course of the day I've been able to whittle through quite a few of them. As of right now I'm down to only 605. How crazy is that?  Yikes! 

Going through them I am reading and re-reading many of the notes I received from my Golden Retriever group friends and Love on a Leash friends that wrote to me about when we lost Jack.  There have been so very many people reaching out to me, it's almost been overwhelming.  It touches my heart so deeply, I can't even begin to express my appreciation.  Many of the notes tell me of other's who've lost their beautiful animals to cancer, suddenly, like we lost Jack. Many offer encouragement....and all have been extremely kind.

I just re-read this one and found it so touching that I wanted to share it.  It came from one of my long-time group members. It brought me to tears.

I am so sorry for your loss of Jack. We all know that our time with our Golden's can be short, and we all worry about that. I want you to know what an inspiration both you and Jack have been to myself and to so many other people around San Diego... I have a therapy dog due to the efforts of both of you and I am eternally grateful!!!! You have had a profound effect on so many dog people and we are all bonded together by you and your efforts. We all would like to support you and have you feel the love we all have for you. Please allow yourself to grieve over Jack, and to feel the love that so many people you have affected have for you. Take care of yourself and give all your kids a hug.

I am truly blessed to have people like this in my life.  Thank you K.S. for this note, and thank you to the countless others who have also taken the time from their busy days to send kind and comforting words this way.

When it all boils down to it, I'm just a girl who loves her dogs - and I am lucky to have these furry beasts in my life.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

All Smiles!

This past weekend the pups were all smiles at Fiesta Island.  I just love to see them this happy. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Creating a Collage

I've been playing around on Photoshop.  Just because...

This was my first attempt at a collage. It's a little hodge-podge, but I'm happy with it, at least for a first attempt. What do you think?

Friday, February 15, 2013

Gopro fun

I played around with a little video clip of the pups that we took a couple of days ago with our new GoPro camera.  It's not the best quality and my editing is amateur, but I was happy with my first attempt.  I can't wait to play with this thing some more!  

Bippity, Boppity, Boo.

Hubby and I got Disneyland annual passes for Valentines Day.  We love Disneyland, but haven't been in a long, long time.  With these passes we'll be able to go as often as we'd like for the next year!  With Pickle in nearby Long Beach, (and she already has a pass...) we'll be able to swing by, pick her up, and spend a little more time with her. 

I just happened to see this posted on my friend Brittany's FB today. I watched it and got a kick out of it.  I especially liked the song at 2:54. Give it a watch, it will put a smile on your face. 

Have a super-sparkly day!

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Canine Cancer Walk

On February 23rd I'll be walking in the San Diego K9 Cancer walk, benefiting the Morris Animal Foundation.  We walked last year with my Golden Retriever Meetup group, and we were thankful that we had 4 very healthy dogs.

Shortly after the walk, one of our girls, Jill (aka GiGi) was diagnosed with a hemangiosarcoma on her front right paw.  We were lucky and caught it in time.  We had her toe amputated, and she recovered 100%. She runs around, no worse for the wear, and is again, a healthy, happy girl.

Up until the 1st of February, we were planning on walking in her honor. She is a cancer survivor, and we felt lucky. Then, as you know, we lost our boy Jack. Sudden, shocking, and sad. He had a massive splenic tumor that ruptured. Most likely another hemangiosarcoma. This time we weren't lucky. 

So, on February 23rd, we will be walking both in honor of Jill, and in loving memory of our beautiful boy Jack.

If you have the desire to make a donation to our team, we would greatly appreciate it.  Any amount is wonderful.  I am the team leader. Here is a link if you are interested. 

I had some special shirts made up for the event for Hubby and I to wear.  I was very happy with how they came out, and how fast they shipped.  I ordered these late last week and they arrived today.  Thanks CafePress.

Friday, February 8, 2013

"Bear" with me

Ok, time for something a little light-hearted.  This had me going for a minute! Pretty cute video...

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Lend me a Pup

I have recieved some absolutely lovely cards from my friends all around the world. Today I recieved the following poem on a card from a wonderful who understands my pain too well. I read it several times, tears streaming down my face. Heartbreaking and touching, but so perfect. Thank you Tom.


I will lend to you for awhile a puppy, God said,
For you to love him while he lives 
and to mourn for him when he is gone.
Maybe for 12 or 14 years, or maybe for 2 or 3
But will you, till I call him back
take care of him for me?

He’ll bring his charms to gladden you and 
(should his stay be brief)
you’ll always have his memories 
as solace for your grief.
I cannot promise that he will stay 
since all from Earth return,
But there are lessons taught below
I want this pup to learn.

I’ve looked the whole world over
in search of teachers true,
And from the fold that crowd life’s land
I have chosen you.
Now will you give him all your love
Nor think the labor vain,
nor hate me when I come to take 
my pup back again?

I fancied that I heard them say,
“Dear Lord, They Will Be Done,”
For all the joys this pup will bring
the risk of grief you’ll run.
Will you shelter him with tenderness,
Will you love him while you may?
And for the happiness you’ll know 
forever grateful stay?

But should I call him back
much sooner than you’ve planned,
please brave the bitter grief that comes 
and try to understand.
If, by your love, you’ve managed
my wishes to achieve,
In memory of him that you’ve loved,
cherish every moment with your faithful bundle, 
and know he loved you too.

        ~Author Unknown

 Jack enjoying the snow. 12/28/2008

Saturday, February 2, 2013

My Sweet Jack

Yesterday a nightmare came true. I lost my beautiful, sweet, faithful, loving boy Jack.

It happened so suddenly.  Thursday he woke up and seemed fine. He pranced from my bedroom, down the hall to the kitchen, awaiting our morning ritual of "treat time."  All four pups line up, and I get them each a couple of morning treats and we start our day.  We went to the backyard together, I did "poop patrol", threw the ball a couple of times, and came in to check my emails, etc.  All seemed pretty normal, until dinner time came.

Jack is motivated by food. There is no simpler way to put it.  If I was in the kitchen, so was he.  If a crumb was dropped, he'd be there to catch it on the way to the ground.  That boy did not miss a meal, ever.  Until Thursday.  I knew something was wrong when he didn't get off his bed to eat dinner.  My first thought was that he'd pulled a muscle and was simply too sore to come and eat.  I brought his bowl to him, and he just took a sniff, and put his head down.  He'd never, ever turned down food before. I knew something was wrong.

I had a gold party to work that evening, so on my way out, at about 5:30pm, I called Hubby and told him I was worried.  He said he'd keep a close eye on Jack and let me know how he was doing. When I got home from my party, only 3 dogs met me at the door. Not Jack, he lay quietly on his bed, in front of the fireplace, looking sad and tired.  I was shocked. Again, he'd never, ever not greeting me, tail wagging at the door.  I knew something was very wrong, but I kept telling myself that he must be sore, maybe he'd pulled a back muscle.  I changed cloths, sat down on his bed with him, and stroked is beautiful, soft fur. His nose was cold and wet, and he seemed to enjoy the attention.

We headed for bed at about 11:30pm, and were able to coax him to come into the bedroom. I laid in bed, listening to the TV and listening to Jack breathe.  He was panting, and didn't seem to be able to get comfortable.  I dozed off at about midnight, and awoke at 1:08am.  The first thing I noticed was that he was still panting. I decided that maybe he needed to go outside and wanted a little company.  I got up and encouraged him to come with me.  Half way down the hallway he stopped and got sick. I thought for sure now that something was really upsetting his tummy.  I hoped he was able to get rid of whatever was bugging him and he'd bounce back in the morning. I was wrong.

We wound up staying up all night together.After I'd gotten him outside to pee, he took a few steps and laid down in the grass.  He didn't want to get up and come inside, he didn't want to move.  I was finally able to get him in by getting Hubby up and having him help me.  The rest of the night was spent watching him, as he lay in his bed, and various spots in the family room, trying to get comfortable, but never quite finding the right spot.  

At 5:30am he got sick to his stomach again.  As I cleaned up, he managed to walk outside and again he lay down on the grass  and didn't want to come back in. This was not like him at all.  I woke Hubby up again, and together we were trying to figure out what could be going on.  At 7:30am we were able to get ahold of the vet, and booked him for an 8am appointment. After struggling to get Jack into and out of the car, we both were extremely concerned.  He would take a few steps, and lay down.  It was hard to get him into the office, onto the scale, etc.  He just seemed miserable. 

The vet took a look at him and was concerned.  His heart rate was up, and his gums were getting pale.  Bad signs for something serious.  They wanted to do x-rays and blood work, all of which would take some time. They told me to call at 11:30am if I hadn't heard back.

At 10:30am I got the call.  Things were very bad. Jack had a massive splenic tumor in his chest. They believed that the tumor had ruptured and was causing internal bleeding.  His blood work had come back showing there were a lot of things going on - none of them good. None of his levels were where they should have been.  He was in a lot of pain.  I asked the vet, through my tears, if Jack was her boy, what would she do?  She told me that the only thing they could try to do was surgery, and she didn't think he would survive that.  She told me that if he was her boy, she would say goodbye, and let him be out of pain.  Not unexpected news at that point, but still devastating.

I called Hubby, and managed to get the words out.  He was in meetings all morning, but would be home as soon as he could be. I called each of the kids.  Bear was home and came over. Hubby came home at about 12:45 and we turned around and headed back to the vet. We decided against bringing him home for one more night. I couldn't stand to see him in pain, and panting, unable to eat or drink.  The time had come so quickly, but it was time.

We took him outside to a lush green grassy spot.  He loved to nap in the grass in our backyard, and we wanted him to enjoy the smell and feeling one last time.  We took our time with him out there, laying with him, petting him, whispering our love into his soft ears. We felt that he knew, that he understood. He would doze for a couple of minutes, then wake again and look at us with is beautiful, golden sparkled eyes, that look so tired and resigned.  We took pictures with him, in between our tears. It was so terribly, terribly hard. 

Finally, after a nice long while, we walked him back inside. He walked slowly and once inside the small room, he slumped back down onto the floor.  I sat with him, lifting his head onto my lap. I cradled the soft, big, beautiful head of his telling him over and over again what a good boy he was, and how much I loved him. Bear and I stayed with him, giving him as much love and comfort as we possibly could, until he took his last breaths, and his incredibly loving, faithful heart stopped beating.  He passed peacefully from this world to the next, surrounded by love. I don't think any of us could ask for more. 

I have never loved a dog more than I love that boy. Jack was my 40th birthday present - the best birthday present I'd ever had. He came into my life when I was in a depression and he made me feel whole again. He was the most faithful companion ever. He was my introduction to the world of Goldens, and he was a perfect ambassador.  So much of what I do in my life now, the Golden Retriever group I organize, the Love on a Leash therapy I do, is because of Jack.  Being thankful for him just doesn't seem like enough.  That boy really did change my life and I am eternally grateful.

 These are from yesterday.

Keep Grandpa company until we meet again, my dear, sweet Jackie-Boy. You are loved more than words can ever begin to explain.