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'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.

Friday, July 23, 2010


The news is bleak for my darling Eddie.

Dr. Martin had to remove a mass that was between his small and large intestines. The mass was attached to his lymph nodes as well which also had to be removed. He said it was a "mess" and that it looked to him to be some form of cancer. And, the tears stream down my face as I stare at that word and wonder why.

The similarities between Eddie's predicament and Wilson's is eerily similar. It has left us all wondering what the cause could be. I am going to send off some of his dog food to make sure that this wasn't the cause.

As for now, Eddie is in critical condition since the surgery was so tedious, attaching large and small intestines back together. The next 48 hours will be uncertain and precarious.

I am attempting to be optimistic but am heart broken to say the least. I keep thinking that Eddie never really belonged to me in the first place, God has just let me keep him for a while and I'm praying that He will have pity on my heart and let me keep him a little while longer.

It Ain't Over Yet

I love Eddie. Have I ever told you that?
I love when his lip gets stuck in his teeth. It makes him look so goofy and silly which reveals that true side of his character. It also puckers up his cheek which makes it even more fun to nuzzle and kiss.
Eddie is still sick.

After the initial "purging" at the doctor, he came home to me and we all thought that was the end of it. We were wrong.

His appetite has been good but he is not able to eliminate anything but a little bit of bloody crud. This is not for lack of trying, for we had to go out almost every hour, even through the night last night.
So, early this morning, we went back to the vet.
We still haven't gotten any news back on the culture but with the way things are going, it is apparent that something has poor Eddie's bowels tied in a knot. How he can keep this sunny disposition with his bowels screaming is beyond me.

Doc will perform surgery first thing this afternoon.
I'm a skeered.

Feel free to pray.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Bowels of Hell

I got the call from the vet this morning. The good news is that no surgery was required. The bad news is that I had to spend 10 minutes on the phone talking about laxatives, unidentifiable crud, and massive pooping.

Doc gave Eddie a stool softener and a laxative last night and when he took him out to walk this morning, apparently the gates of hell swung open wide and the demons were released from that poor babies bowels. We aren't certain what the blockage was since Doc deemed it indescribable green-nasty-not-niceness. He re-x-rayed his tummy and sounded the all clear. He said that he would give him some food and see how he handles that this morning and I could possibly come pick him up this afternoon.

I did request that he send off a specimen to make sure we weren't dealing with salmonella or any other horrible bacteria. My initial thoughts are that he over did it on the june bugs and/or dragonflies. I was very glad to hear that he is feeling much better now that he has been purged clean. Doc said his ears had perked back up and that his little tail/nub was just wagging away. Thank you, thank you, thank you Lord!

I can't wait to give his little cheeks a big kiss and start putting some weight back on him. It has always been so comical to watch him chase and catch bugs, I never thought that it could be harming him. I still don't know for sure if that is what caused this but I am certainly going to be more aware of what he is ingesting.

Thank you all for the prayers and concern.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Eddie Update

Even this sad, pitiful face is so cute I could cry. If this isn't a "mom, I really think I need to go to the hospital" look, I don't know what is.

Taylor and I escorted Eddie to the vet this morning.

And, even though he wasn't feeling well and we were worried sick for him, he still managed to make us giggle.

The verdict is that he has some sort of foreign object in his small intestines. Could be string, could be a piece of a stuffed animal, could be a squeaker...who knows?

There were some Chihuahua's from hell in the waiting room whom Eddie tried to lovingly greet. It didn't go so well for Eddie and he left the waiting room with very hurt feelings and some serious confusion about what the heck had just taken place.

Doc is going to start him on fluids and antibiotics and do surgery in the morning. He said I could call about 10:00 to find out the results. Leaving him behind was so hard, even though he practically skipped away wagging his tail behind him. Even in times of great despair, he still manages to be so sweet.

I'll be sure to post the results as soon as I know something. I'm feeling much more optimistic now that Doc seemed to think it would be quite a simple procedure. Thanks to everyone for their concern and prayers.

Friday, July 16, 2010

What's the matter with Eddie?

This is my Eddie. Carefree, joyful, playful. The dog that thinks EVERYTHING is fun!
Like grass-rolling.
He is always bright and alert.
With green pond slime on his chin.

But something has happened to my Eddie's joy, and I don't know what to do about it.
This is him lately. Sullen, withdrawn, pitiful.

I've looked up information about depression in boxers and, shockingly, there was quite a bit of information. I didn't think it was possible for that kind of joy and cheerfulness to be hindered. There seems to be several reasons that dogs get depressed like;
Separation anxiety
loss of a playmate
a big change like a new home or different schedule
loss of an owner

We haven't been through anything traumatic really.

He is still eating and drinking well, but he just seems so so sad. It really makes me want to cry.
This is the face he made when I said, "you ready to go??" Which always perks his ears up and puts that excited, happy smile on his face. But, this was his response. I even threw his ball for him yesterday and he just stood there. Maybe it's the heat?
This has been going on for a little over a week now. If anybody knows anything about this condition, please let me know. All the hugs and kisses and poor babies haven't helped. If he doesn't improve soon, I will take him to the vet just to make sure nothing is physically wrong with him.
For now, I will just keep trying to cheer him up. It is the least I can do for all the times he has lifted my spirits.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Why I Love Rodney

Sunday, July 4th will be the 19-year anniversary of the day I married Rodney.

I always get a little sentimental and mushy around this time of year and reminiscent of the years past. We have both learned a lot and grown up a lot over the past 19 years and, amazingly, are still completely in love.

I just wanted to share a little bit about why I love that man. You can read on if you wish or you can run for your life, I'll understand.

1. He told me once in an old pick-up-truck, sitting in the dark, that if we were going to do this thing and get married, we were going to do it all the way. There would be no quitting, we're in it for the long haul. And I felt married to him at that moment.

2. He is a good man all the way through to his core.

3. He makes me laugh daily, and he laughs at me too.

4. He loved his grandmother and cherishes her memory.

5. He has loved me through all my insanity and chaos, even though he is so structured and persnickety.

6. Once he sat and listened to me weep and spout out hormonal lunacy and explain to him how nobody loves me, not even the dog, and he told me I needed to go lay down... and then went out and bought me some wind-chimes.

7. When my Papaw was dying and we were told that we needed to say our goodbye's, he sat with me next to his bed, with both our hands wrapped around that beautiful mans hand, and wept together.

8. He loves my mother and does sweet things for her.

9. He puts up with my dad.

10. He calls me from the tractor when he sees baby deer to gush about how little and tiny and cute they are

11. He is a good father.

12. He once had to buy unmentionables for Taylor at Wal-mart and was unsure what exactly to get and asked an associate for help.

13. He once dried a barbie-doll's hair because Taylor asked him to.

14. When he kisses my neck, his beard tickles and I fly off into outer-space and see stars.

15. He doesn't care whether I cook or not, so most of the time...I don't.

16. He is teaching my son how to be a man.

17. He sits beside me in church and holds my hand.

18. He loves God.

19. He brought me to live on a farm in Arkansas.

20. He makes the best coffee ever and we enjoy it together every morning and discuss the day ahead.

21. He does everything slowly and thoroughly and has taught me a lot of patience.

22. He is honest.

23. I can tell him anything and everything...and I do.

24. He has loved me when I was overweight, when I was thin, and now when I am somewhere in between.

25. He is not a gooey romantic, but is sincere, forthright and genuine and I wouldn't have him any other way.

I could continue on. I kind-of wish I hadn't numbered these, because 25 reasons I love Rodney doesn't even begin to scratch the surface. I am a very blessed woman and I pray I never take for granted the gift God has given me in that precious darling man.