Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dog Rescue

Yesterday, I got a phone call from Taylor as she was headed out. "Mom, there is a little dog down by the creek. I couldn't stop to get it, but can you go see if you can find it...He's really scared." I asked Kyle if he wanted to run down there with me to rescue the poor thing. "You're gonna have to stop being so nice." he replied to me. I always thought being "nice" was a good thing??

We looked for about an hour and didn't see anything.
This morning as Rodney and I were on our way back home I saw her. Rodney reluctantly stopped and let me gather her up. I figured I could at least find out who she belongs to by her tag. She was wearing only a rabies tag. I called the vet's number on the tag and the serial number led us nowhere. It was loosely connected to a cat? I figured somebody just threw a tag on her so she wouldn't look like a stray.
There is something wrong with her eyes. She seems to be able to see, but not well. I will be taking her to see Dr. Devlin in the morning, who is the Sevier County Humane societies president. We will assess the situation and go from there. I've offered her a foster home until we can find a forever family for her.
She is just as sweet as she can be. Scared, but sweet. She does NOT like Emma's shenanigans which is quite confusing to poor Emma. Typically, Emma's over exuberance is tolerated quite well by her peers (and her humans).
If you know anybody looking for a dog and would be willing to adopt one with a slight malady, please let me know. You know, it is the dogs who are broken and in need of rescue that make the best pets. I'll be posting pictures of her via Facebook and the Sevier County Humane Society tomorrow.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Catching Leaves

I posted this on my freedom blog but decided to share it here as well.

So far this year, the leaves on the big oak in the back yard have been clinging pretty tightly to their branches. Over the past couple of days, they have finally decided to let go. This morning those leaves put on quite a spellbinding waltz as they twirled and perfectly pirouetted to the dance floor beneath them. Rodney piped up once and said "they sure do fly a long ways don't they?" which started me counting seconds. Yep, sipping coffee and seeing just how long any particular leaf could stay in flight.

I told Rodney it was like watching an aquarium. There really is no explaining why it was quite so fascinating but, for some reason, we sat there in a trance. I counted one leaf that floated downward for a full 7 seconds...he was the winner this morning, according to my data.

I couldn't quite capture the thrill of it all with my lens, partly because the wind wasn't blowing when I decided to grab my camera, and partly because I didn't feel like waiting till the wind decided to blow again.

I headed out into the mystical morning dawning my big ol rubber boots but decided to leave the umbrella behind. No, I wanted to be in it, to absorb the moist autumn air, and even let it mess up my hair. After I fed the goats and bunnies, I started back to the house but thought I'd try to see if I could catch one of those falling leaves first.

I stood staring up at the tree, waiting. My glasses became foggy and covered with drops of rain but, here came a leaf! I ran towards it but it escaped my fingers with ease. Now this was a challenge between me and the tree (and the wind, and the rain, and my own skill and balance). I found myself laughing out loud as I missed one after the other. They would seemingly head strait for me and then, as if tied to an invisible string, would dart away. Emma became very excited by what I was doing and wanted to play too, she just wasn't sure exactly what her part in it was. Finally, I caught one. It was a great victory.

My trophy (along with the pear I intend to eat later today). I momentarily thought "what a waste of time, counting seconds of leaves falling and running around like an idiot in the rain". Then I went back to that idea of being authentic. I feel better this morning than I've felt in a while. Perhaps there is healing and a connection with God in the moments we "waste". If God puts on a show of waltzing leaves, it might just behoove us to take a second to watch it. And if you feel the need to play a game with a tree, there is probably not a more constructive use of your time.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Big Girl Emma and Farm updates

My blogging has been averted to the Freedom Journey blog lately but there are things that must be bloggerized with reference to the farm.

First of all, I am so so proud of Miss Emma. Over the past few days she has made leaps from puppyhood. In a way, it makes me a little sad but mostly, I am bursting with delight. The first thing is that she has graduated from having to sleep in her kennel. For about 3 nights in a row, she was waking up at least once a night needing a drink or to go potty. Opening a kennel in the dark while half asleep and ushering around a boxer in a groggy haze is not a fun as it sounds. Monday night after she made her rounds to potty and to get a drink, she jumped on the couch laid down and gave me a look that clearly said, "pleeeaaasse let me sleep on the couch". I patted her head, gave her a kiss and told her to be a good girl then went back to bed. Morning came and she found her way to my side of the bed and was ready for our first snuggle of the day. Good girl Emma.

Then this morning, Rodney and I had to sort some calves down at the corral. It has been a rainy, foggy morning so I made another big decision and left Emma in the house while we were gone, not confined to her kennel. I asked Sophie and Charlotte to keep and eye on her told them all to behave. We were gone for about 2 hours. I hesitantly came through the door, wondering what I would find chewed or broken. Joy and rapture! Good good girl Emma. All was in order. Needless to say, everybody got an extra cookie this morning.

We have been without Goat milk for over a month now. The does have all been bred this month (I hope) and are due to kid in March. I've really been missing the daily chore of milking and certainly missing the milk. When we bought our first gallon of cow's milk from the store, Taylor drank a big glass of it and it very much upset her tummy. I guess she had so acclimated to the goats milk that her poor tummy had no idea what to do with pasteurized, store-bought cow's milk. We no longer have our mean old buck. I sold him to a friend and then "borrowed" another buck. He did his job and went back home which leaves me with only my 8 does and one wether. The wether is the little goat that I bottle fed from an infant and has a bit of identity-confusion. He isn't sure if he is a goat, a dog, or a human. They continue to find ways into the yard and, almost daily, I am diverting them away from my pumpkins and trees and back into the pasture.

This weekend will be 11 years since we made the farm our home. It has been, at the least, a learning experience. I am beginning to compile a list of things I've learned over the past years of being a farmer and will share it sometime this weekend. One thing we have found to be true is that we are NEVER going to be done. Farming is endless. There will never come a day when we will sit back and observe our accomplishments and say "well, we're done". We can merely face the tasks of the day and every day brings new challenges. I heard a line in a movie once that summed it up pretty succinctly. It is from the movie "I dreamed of Africa" which revolves around a woman who moves to a farm in Africa and faces extreme hardships while working very hard to improve the lives of the people around her. She tells her son at one point, "We think we run this place but we don't. It runs us." I guess that can be said about life in general. We think we're in control but it is only an illusion.

Allowing the farm to run our lives has been quite an adjustment. It has taught us much about surrender, about patience, and about life. I pray there are many more years to come and, even when the hard times come, we will look around us and feel God's blessings.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Join Me

I have begun a new blog about the new journey I am on in my life. My plans are to continue blogging here about farm things and, of course, my dogs...but most of my attention has been focused at the new blog lately.
I am searching for followers and would like to invite my current followers here to join me. If you know anybody else that might benefit (or at least get a kick out of my endeavors) please invite them as well.
Thank you all for being so sweet and kind. See you on the freedom journey.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


About 15 years ago, I bought my very first down-comforter. It is the same one I've had and loved all these years. I remember it being quite an investment at the time, paying almost $100 dollars for it.

Over the years, it has become tattered. Kitty cat claws, toddlers, puppies, and Rodney's bristly gorilla hair have all taken their toll on the poor thing. It's funny how attached one can get to a blanket, even as an adult.

I have patched holes and tears in it but lately it became obvious that I was going to have to retire it. Every night when Rodney and I would get into bed, we had a small down snow storm. It was actually a little bit amusing to me but it did become impractical having down leaking all over the place.

A few weeks ago, Rodney and I purchased a new comforter. It was a bitter-sweet occasion. But my old one was still full of down...it still was so soft, what can I do with this? I don't want to just pitch it in the dump, surely I can think of something.
It came to me today. I can make a doggy bed for Emma!! I have been thinking of purchasing a dog bed for my precious new baby but I kind-of already blew my doggy budget on vet bills and her snazzy new i.d. tag.

Anyway, I began brainstorming on how to put the comforter to use as a dog bed.

This is what I came up with.
I folded it, and refolded it until I came up with the right size and thickness. Emma was in love with it already. It is so comfortable.

Then I tacked it together at several of the open folds to keep it from being too wadded up. By the way, this comforter is about 1000 thread count and putting a needle through it was one of the hardest things I've done in a while.

I purchased a twin flat sheet for $3 at Wal-mart to make a cover for it. I simply did a quick measurement to find the dimensions the cover would need to be, cut it out and stitched it up.
Incidentally, when you have a raging case of A.D.D., things like this happen frequently. I've learned to live with it. You should too.
My mom has always told me that I'm not messy, I'm just creative. Creative or not...my seams are a big old mess, but it got the job done.

Once I got through the sewing marathon, It came time for me to stuff the comforter into the cover.
I left one edge open and stitched velcro on it so that the comforter could be removed and the cover easily washed.
Even when I was trying to stuff the thing...little-miss-thing refused to budge from it. It was her nap time. I was so excited that she loved it so much that she didn't want to move. After a bit of struggling and maneuvering, I had it.
And, voila!
I did a little looking online for down-dog-beds and one this size would cost about $200. I spent $3 on a sheet and reduced, reused and recycled. I feel so stinkin green. And, just look at how content my darling beautiful puppy is! Little projects like this are so rewarding.

The big kicker is, I put the bed in her kennel (which up till now she has wanted nothing to do with) and she is now sleeping soundly in it. I may even attempt to have her spend the night there tonight. Sleeping with her is completely sweet but I've been reading my "How to Raise the Perfect Dog" book and I think I may have to actually begin respecting her place as a dog and stop trying to make her my baby. I love Cesar Milan and, as hard as it may be, I am going to have to try to incorporate some of his principals.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

firsts and lasts

Today is the first day of school. These days are always hard on me. I can't remember a first day of school that didn't cause me to crumble. Not that it is really sad, but that it marks a milestone on my journey here on this planet and I become aware of how fleeting life is. And, I really REALLY like my kids and miss them when they are gone.
I'm not sure why God gave them to me. I've always questioned His judgement on this. ME? You want ME to raise them? Surely you're mistaken.

We have a lovely relationship, my kids and I. For one thing, I have given them permission to be who God made them. In return, they allow me to be me and we dance around each others' weirdness with a natural balance. They never fail to tell me when I'm being dramatic and I don't hesitate to tell them that I am simply figuring out life just like they are. I have told them a hundred times that I didn't get a practice run on this whole parenting thing...they are it and I am, more than likely, going to mess some stuff up.

Today happens to be Taylor's last first day of school. Yes, she plans to go on to college but you know what I mean.
This was her first day of school. Pre-K. She didn't start kindergarten until she was almost 6 because of the way her birthday fell. I must admit, God was gracious to let me keep her almost a whole extra year. Just look at that kid. She was born ready to go. I didn't want her to ride the bus but she put her foot down, literally. Her little legs could barely climb those stairs. This picture isn't the greatest but you can see that beaming smile. As apprehensive as I've been over the years about letting her cut apron strings, that gumption she has in her spirit and her calm eagerness to face the world has given me peace. Look how happy she is for crying out loud! How could I not let her go?

Change is hard, I guess. Probably because we tend to get used to the way things are and we don't want to have to move from where we feel comfortable. Rodney told me this morning that we still have so many "firsts" to look forward to. He is brilliant, isn't he? So, instead of crying over what is gone, I am attempting to look forward to the next chapter in life. My goal this year is to embrace it fully. Each day and each milestone we pass. It is going to be a very full year and I am anxious to see what it will bring. I am thankful that I have my darling husband by my side to share all of our firsts and our lasts.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Goat Milking 101

A couple months ago, our family started drinking goats-milk. There were several reasons for doing this. I have goats, they have milk, and... why not? Then I researched a bit and found out that fresh goat milk is actually quite good for you. There's lots of good stuff in it.

So, here is my lesson in goat milking.

First of all, you'll need one of these
...lots of this
plenty of fresh water
and a bucket.
This bucket is just slightly over-kill for milking a goat but it works.
Also, a handy milk stand is a must.
I built this one myself, thank you, thank you very much.
Having a few helpers for moral support is nice, although annoying at times...but cute none-the-less.

Once you have all your supplies, your ready to milk. Hopefully you have a cooperative goat that won't kick and scream on the way to the stand as if going to the gallows. Thankfully, most goats cooperate nicely. They get a nice quite meal and it provides a great deal of relief for them.
Once you've got your goat secured on the stand, the fun can begin. If you happen to have three assistants, it is at this point that they will become very excited and impatient. They will wonder why in the world you are taking pictures when such critical proceedings are imminent.
Make sure you have a good balance of grains to feed your goat while she patiently allows you to collect her milk.
A nice, patient goat makes this event pleasant for both of you. She is, after all, allowing you to become quite intimate with her. Be kind, go slowly and thank her for her generosity.
Beg her pardon and begin by cleaning the teats with a clean moist towel.
Then, gently but firmly, compress the teat with your hand; starting at the top and working your way down. It takes some practice but is easy to pick up on with just a little effort.
You will be amazed, if you are anything like me, at the volume of milk that will begin to freely flow.
Periodically, squirt some milk on the milk stand for your helpers. This will keep them happy and out of your bucket.
It also creates an outpouring of brotherly love and community service as they assist one another in their efforts.
Everyone comes away from the experience with a great deal of satisfaction.

Your milk will need to be strained. As careful as you may be, it is very common for a stray goat hair or other debris to fall into your milk pail. A coffee filter and sieve work very well for this task.
A well-fed and cared for goat will produce about 2 quarts of milk per milking. It is best to do this twice a day. I like keeping mine in smaller containers so each milking can be kept separate. A container with a lid is ideal so you can shake the milk before pouring. There really is nothing quite like a cold glass of fresh goats milk. You can read here for more information on why it is beneficial.

Monday, August 9, 2010


After weeks of non-stop busyness ...weddings, vbs, teenage drama, company, farm alterations, sick dogs, death, funerals, relentless heat and sleepless nights, I'm one cooked turkey.

For the past two days I've had a moderate to severe headache. I think this is God's way of telling me to stop and rest for a day, or two or three. For one thing, I suddenly find myself not caring a whole lot about much. People keep asking me what we are having for dinner and I can hardly muster up the energy to say "I don't know!!" I am actually starving right now because I can't find the bag of chips that was lingering in the kitchen, so I just ate the left over sweet tarts from the movies (except for the blue ones which I left in a pile for Kyle to find and wonder if I'd lost my mind). My hair is inexplicable and I keep telling myself that the natural oils are good for it and I can consider not showering a beauty treatment. The only activity I've had in the past 12 hours is taking Emma out to potty and occasionally dragging a toy across the floor. I did manage to empty the dishwasher and decided that was quite enough hard labor for one day.

I haven't milked the goat yet today. I peered out at the goat pen while letting Emma potty and that poor udder was about to explode. Oddly enough, I had no urge to get my milk bucket and head out to help the poor dear. That would have meant me locating my boots and putting on pants. There is a load of clothes in the washer that needs to be hung out on the line or put in the dryer but I don't want to fold the clothes in the dryer.I may need some sort of psychiatric help. I'm drained emotionally, physically, spiritually and mentally.

Writing this blog is my last resort at attempting to boost my morale. That and a big glass of wine and maybe some chocolate. Surely this will send me on my way to better days. I guess I better go milk the goat now...where ARE my pants??

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Have you ever heard the term "ring-tailed-tooter" and wondered what it looked like?

Well, let me introduce you. Oh, she looks sweet and innocent but don't be fooled.

Emma and I have gotten to know each other very well over the past few days. I've been attempting to use Caesar Milan's formula of "exercise, discipline, then affection". The affection part comes natural, it is the easy part. Exercise, that too, I think I can handle fairly well. Discipline... uuhhhh, look at her face!! The tricky part about discipline is that it is harder on the disciplinarian than it is on the disciplined. They need it, they want it. Dogs don't want to be the pack leader, they want rules, boundaries, and limitations. And, being the human, I've got to be the one to set them. It ain't gonna be easy folks.

Eddie challenged me, don't get me wrong, but I can already tell that this is going to be quite an adventure. Emma had 10 brothers...TEN! This, no doubt, had some affect on her. She isn't timid at all. She is sweet and darling but head strong. Her intelligence has already impressed me. I only worked with her for a few minutes and she had "sit" down pat! I was amazed and so proud. Yesterday was her 8-week birthday and she can sit...I'm a proud momma.
Yep, setting limits and boundaries with a face like this is gonna be tricky. My heart just wells up and I my heart says, "oh, she needs a hug". She is very smart and I can already see that she could, very well, plot to use this for evil if I don't nip some things in the bud. I guess the affection part will more than make up for the discipline...it will for me anyway. Her sweet cuddles and funny antics have sent me well on my way to healing. I love her for that.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

New Perspective

When I was growing up my family moved a lot. I don't remember staying anywhere for more than 2 years until we moved to the farm when I was a freshman in high school. Every new house we moved into, my parents were careful to devise an escape route should the house catch fire. We even had fire drills a few times. There was a designated location where we were to meet outside so that we would know that everyone got out, or didn't get out.

One thing my dad told me quite sternly, on more than one occasion, was "Do NOT go back and get your animals. Get yourself out. Don't worry about the dog or cat or your silly mouse, get your own self out. We can get another dog and we can get another cat but we can't replace you." I think he knew me all too well. Anyway, I remember thinking that was a cruel way to think. You can't replace Freckles or Samantha. You might get a dog or a cat that kind of looks like them but it won't be them.

Well, yesterday I attended a funeral for a 34 year old man. A young wife had lost her sweet husband, parents had lost their son, and children had lost their father. Boy did that put things into perspective. Eddie died on Thursday and Friday morning I had a new puppy. This family can't just go out and get another son, another husband, another father. Eddie's death was heartbreaking but it pales in comparison to so great a loss. My heart started to become thankful that my family was well and healthy, that my husband was sitting right next to me holding my hand, that my children awaited me upon my return home. The things I take for granted every day suddenly became so much more valuable. My eyes have been opened just a little bit more.

I told Rodney that if the hardest thing I ever have to endure in my life is the loss of a pet, then I've had a pretty good life. He told me something profound. He said, "that doesn't make it hurt any less." I guess he is right. Pain is pain, loss is loss. I am thankful that my loss hasn't been great. I'm thankful that my pain is easing. I'm grateful to God for the chance to see things more clearly. Everyday is a second chance, I'm going to do my best not to waste it.

Saturday, July 31, 2010


Natalie and Clara Nell, who are 10 and 7, are spending some time on the farm this summer. They are my very dear friends, Jeff and Angela's girls. They attended Eddie's funeral on Thursday and helped me place leaves and grass in his grave (we couldn't find any flowers).

Yesterday, I received the sweetest condolences I think I have ever seen and probably will ever receive in my life.
Clara Nell drew this one. The fact that Eddie now has wings is almost too much to bear. I'm also very glad to know that he is being attended to by angels.
I love that she even got the tail right, and those smooshy cheeks.
Eddie loved children. He is most pleased with this compassion, I'm sure of it. One thing that Doc told me that gave me some joy on the day of Eddie's passing is that his kids were at the office all day that day and played with Eddie almost all day long. I couldn't think of a better way for him to spend his last day on earth.

This is also Clara's art work. His wings are magnificent aren't they?
And this is what I received from Miss Natalie.

Did you know that if you cry enough tears that your mouth will get dry? I didn't know that until Thursday. I also didn't know until yesterday the great toll that intense grief can take on you physical body. The kindness of all my family and friends and the love of God has been my saving grace over the past couple of days.
And this, this melts my heart. If dogs do go to heaven, Eddie is, no doubt, there. Saying goodbye to him was among the hardest things I've ever had to do. I was counting on him being with me for a long time, at least to see me through my transition into my empty nest season and on into being a grandmother. God never ceases to surprise me with the direction life takes...it's one of the reasons I don't do a whole lot of planning. I do know for sure that He wants the best for me, He would never hurt me and, even the grief I feel now will pale in comparison to the joy and happiness that awaits me. He is simply perfecting my faith.

My next post will be a happier one. All along, my intentions of this blog have been to be uplifting, to be fun, to encourage, and to exhort. I hate that we've all had to grieve this way. Eddie was the brightest, funniest, most uplifting topic this silly little blog has ever seen. I must move forward without him. The first few steps have been slow and difficult but soon I will be running again, moving forward but never forgetting how blessed I was to have him. I am going to place some wind-chimes in the tree above where he is buried and even the summer breezes will remember him. Run and be free my darling little Eddie.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Fare Thee Well

It is hard for me to believe that I had to say goodbye to Eddie today. Oh how I loved that silly old dog.

For the past year and a half, he has been a constant companion. It was even hard for me to explain to him that he couldn't come with me to buy groceries and that dogs weren't allowed at church. I do not take for granted that my occupation allows me to have critters with me wherever I go, and Eddie was the sweetest one of all. The hard thing about this is that I've gotten so used to having him as a comfort when life gets tough. This is the toughest thing I've ever had to do and my heart is confused about what to do.

The very hard decision was made this afternoon when things became clear that he wasn't going make the turn for the better. Rodney drove me to the vets office this afternoon after office hours so we could be alone with Eddie. When they brought Eddie in to see us, we both started to weep as he licked our faces and wagged his whole body. He went to the door and was ready to go home. This was the hardest thing of all. For a moment I even thought about just taking him home and letting him live as long as he could. I didn't want to let go. It was clear that he was diminishing quickly and I couldn't put him through the pain of dying a drawn-out death. When the time came, I gathered him up in my lap and he snuggled against me so sweetly. I hugged him tightly against me and whispered "I love you" in his ear. I buried my face in his neck and could feel his heart beating against my hand. Slowly he drifted off and his heart stopped beating as I clutched his chest and wondered if my heart had stopped beating too. The room was silent and peaceful. I wept into his soft fur and ran my hand under that chin that I loved so much, all those soft wrinkles that always made me smile. He was so beautiful.

We had a small gathering at the oak tree in the pasture behind my house.

This tree.

Kyle suggested this location for Eddie's burial. Mom and Dad came with Natalie and Clara. Rodney and I and Sophie and Charlotte were all there to pay our respects. Kyle was at a school function and Taylor opted to stay home, her poor heart was too broken and she wanted to remember him the way he was. As we gathered around his grave I thought of these words from the movie "Out of Africa".

Now take back the soul of Eddie
Whom you have shared with us
He brought us joy
and we loved him well
He was not ours
He was not mine.
I've grieved so much over the past week. When I found out the news that we were dealing with the same thing that happened to Wilson, my heart was shattered and I couldn't believe it was happening again. I remember the pain of loosing Wilson and feeling like I would hurt forever and then along came Eddie with his sunny disposition and life went on. People will probably think I'm crazy but I've made a decision. Caesar Milan once said that we must grieve the loss of our pets but then we must move on. I've been so grief stricken for these past days, I've been almost sick. There is a boxer puppy in Grannis that needs a home and I need to begin to heal. It might be better to wait, but wait for what? So, tomorrow I will begin to move on with a new puppy.

I will never forget Eddie. A new puppy won't replace what I've lost. One thing about Eddie is that he was always so darn happy and made everybody around him happy. He would hate for me to be sad. If he could, he'd probably deliver the puppy himself, place her in my arms and wish us a million giggles and chin tickles and skip merrily off into the sunset.

This is how I will see him now. Skipping about in heaven and splashing in the ponds where the water is clean. Where he can chase dragonflies all day and sleep in the sunshine.

Today, as I was texting my cousin, Ron, about the pain we were both sharing he said to me, "Eddie is with God". I said "God is lucky". He said, "He sure is, Eddie will make Him laugh a lot".

Rest well my beautiful darling Eddie. I will never forget you.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Couple days...

Eddie is back at the vet today. I really can't even believe any of this is happening. Last night was rough on Eddie and on us. He began straining again to go potty with very little results, staying in a cramped, painful position for long periods of time. At one point last night while he was sleeping soundly next to me, I feared he had passed away because he was so lifeless.

Doctor Martin asked me to bring him back this morning. It was a long drive with much contemplation about what is going to be the best thing for Eddie, because it isn't this. Up until this point, the tears have been minimal even though my heart is in pieces. I knew at some point the flood gates would open and the hurt would become too much for me to contain inwardly. Luckily for me, my flood gates opened in the parking lot of the vets office with curious onlookers.

I was relieved when they finally sent Eddie and I to a room. The whole display of emotion was, no doubt, embarrassing for poor Eddie too. When Doc came in we had a heart-to-heart talk about our next steps. He was in agreement that this didn't need to continue much longer. Eddie is miserable and to see that joyful happy baby in misery is more than my heart can bear. He asked me to leave him there for a couple of days to see if he might just turn the corner for the better. I very much trust his judgement and agreed to allow this. One thing I've learned in my years as a dog lover is that they live in the moment. They don't know that this is going to get better, they only know that they are in pain and in misery right now. For me to prolong this state for him would be selfish and unkind. I love him too much to be selfish now.

I will pray for him these next couple of days and then we'll see. I just hope that the decision will be clear. I pray that he will either show vast improvements or that he will let me know, without doubt, that I'm going to have to let go of him. Wow, I sure don't want to let go. My best friend, Jill, grabbed me and hugged me after sharing the news with her and said, "it's just not fair!" That is exactly how I feel...this is in no way fair. One twinkle of light is that we know what the cause is now. If Eddie should loose his life, it will not have been in vain for I will be an advocate and a voice to educate others about this disease. If just one dog is saved, if one human heart can avoid this pain it will have been worth the loss of one life. One amazing, precious, beautiful life.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Eddie is home. We went to pick him up this afternoon much to his delight. The test for pithiosis came back positive so now, at least, we know what we are dealing with.

The next step is immuno-therapy. We will have 3 treatments over the next month that will greatly increase his chance of survival. The odds still aren't good but they will be over 50% with the therapy as apposed to less than 25% without it.

Right now, he seems relieved to be home. We made a lap around the yard, said hello to the kittens, had a couple of cramping potty episodes and then snuggled in the hammock for a little while. Laying there in the hammock with my very ill Eddie, I was reflecting on his puppy-hood and all the months he slept nuzzled under my arm and how he loved it there. I imagine if I was sick, there couldn't really be a better place than in the safety of my mothers arms. This made me happy that I could provide a safe place for him to heal.

It's obvious that we have quite a battle in front of us. He is thin and weak and obviously in discomfort. I am going to do my best to keep him quite and comfortable and hopefully put some weight back on him.
I gave Dr. Martin a copy of this picture in a frame. This is what we are shooting for, to have this Eddie back. Jubilant, lighthearted, bounding through the fields, Eddie. I have this photo hanging in my living room and there hasn't been a soul that has gazed upon it whom it hasn't caused to smile or even laugh out loud. I think that is a pretty good tool to be hanging in the vet's office, one that makes people smile.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Doc called with an update. Eddie is up and about this morning, still obviously sore from surgery but sunshiny anyway. He has had a couple of bm's, albeit loose ones, but those are to be expected for a while post surgery. He is drinking lots of water and eating what he is offered which are all good signs for now.

We are in agreement that all signs point to pythiosis. In fact, I'll be shocked if the tests come back negative, there are just too many coincidences. So now I'm faced with a mountain of guilt. I look at all the pictures of him playing in the pond, something we both relished and rejoiced in doing and think, all the while this was making him ill? Why?

The task now is to keep this from happening in the future. I am looking into invisible fencing and will surely make an investment in this soon. We are also told that there is a vaccine for this now, not a 100% proven one, but it's something. Should Eddie pull through, he will be confined to the yard and leashed when we go outside the perimeters. The thing about Eddie is, he is oh so flexible and cooperative. If we should feel the need to play in the water, we will be going to the river where the water runs clean and clear.

I would also like to say thank you to everybody who is outpouring hope and love on us. I can't live without hope and God has not ceased to work miracles even for the smallest and least of creatures. He is working on my heart in ways I could never have fathomed and it makes me smile to know that he is using a silly boxer named Eddie to do it.