Friday, December 14, 2012

Saying Good Bye Is Never Easy

Never easy, but inevitable.  I snapped this picture of my Jess saying good bye to Coral.  Ron said his good byes to his special girl at home, taking her for a very short walk, then just sitting with her on the sofa with her head in his lap as they have done so many times before.  Ron & Coral.   Jess met me at the clinic, as she did several years ago when we said good bye to Sidney.  It's never easy, but having someone to share the grief seems to help.  Coral's favorite Vet Dr. Amy did the deed and shared our tears as Coral passed peacefully and slipped away to wherever good dogs go.  Heaven?  The Rainbow Bridge?  If good dogs go to heaven, Coral did.  She was a very good dog. If they go to the Rainbow Bridge she has probably already re-connected with her Grandpa Morris and all the other relatives who passed before.

Puppies are the best therapy and it's hard to be sad when a puppy is giving you kisses!  Britt was only too happy to oblige!  A visit with the puppies made everything better.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Time To Say Good Bye

When I took this picture of Sanka last night, the first thing that came to mind was how much she looked like Coral, at least in this picture.  She's only very distantly related to Coral, does not have Coral's big eyes, and maybe it's just the open markings and distinctly red liver color that look so familiar.  Or perhaps it's just that Coral is so very much on my mind right now.

Today will be The Day, Coral's last day.  The appointment is made with Coral's favorite Vet, Jess will meet us at the clinic, and I know that it is time, but I almost backed out last night. Is it really time?  Is she really in pain?  Does she still enjoy her life, even though it no longer appears that way?  It's such a very hard thing to do, to decide when to say Good Bye.  If only they could talk, and share their feelings with us.

I had hoped that Coral could die at home, in her sleep, free of pain, but that is not to be.

Coral has a large, rapidly growing mammary tumor in addition to severe arthritis and chronic kidney failure.  She walks with great difficultly, with her back severely arched, and has great difficulty getting up and down.  Although we have throw rugs everywhere, she has trouble staying on her feet, and can't always manage the 6 inches to step up on the dog bed.  She falls often. Yet she still eats the meaty portion of each meal (no veggies please) and gazes adoringly at Ron when he talks to her.  She's patient with the other dogs, and even Fern is respectful of her.  Coral never pees in the house because Ron takes her out every 3 to 4 hours, but she can no longer control her bowels.  She never complains, never whines or cries out, and is just as stoic as she has always been, but I can tell by her eyes that she is in pain.  The sparkle is gone and has been replaced with a resignation.  I asked her last night if she was really ready to go.  Her eyes said Yes. So be it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Too Cute

The pups are amazingly cute now and are acting like little dogs, play fighting, wagging their tails, and trying to keep their bed clean.  They are also trying to climb out of the whelping box, so it's time to keep the pen gate closed.  It won't be long now.  They get to come out of the box for a few minutes in the evening, to explore their pen and Holly's nearby crate, but they don't travel very far yet and still fall asleep quickly.

Next week I will take the front panel off their box and give them unlimited access to the pen.  I'll also put a low panel on the front of the pen so Holly can escape if she feels the need.  She will.  Motherhood is starting to have less appeal now, and Holly is quite happy to spend time upstairs and away from her puppies.  She got her first walk on Sunday night and loved the snow.  Holly is from Texas, so this was her first experience with snow, and she was not ready to come home when I decided she'd had enough, but I was afraid she'd get frostbitten breasts!

Because of the weather, it's risky and time consuming to try and get home at noon.  A real disappointment to me because this is my favorite age, and I hate to miss the chance to sit in the box with the babies, if only for a few minute.

Holly is in the dog house, so to speak.  She's absolutely ravenous right now and every calorie she takes in goes into making milk for her brood.  While typing away here I heard an odd noise, but did not bother to check it out.  Fernly has been so good lately, I didn't think about the fact that Holly has not!  A few minutes later I discovered that she had removed my dog walking jacket from the back of a chair, and was busily eating through the pocket for the treats inside.  Bad Dog!  Hungry dog.   My favorite dog walking jacket will never be the same. . .

Monday, December 10, 2012


Yesterday was spent trying to stay ahead of the snow that was falling at the rate of an inch an hour.  We ended up with about a foot of the stuff.  It's beautiful outside, but the drive to work is likely to be time-consuming and to consist of numerous white-knuckle moments.  After several weeks of above normal temperatures the current temp is 11 degrees and the wind chill is below zero.  It's gonna be a long day as I won't try to get home at noon to visit the pups.

Pups are doing well and are incredibly cute - but more on that tomorrow.  Day 21, my favorite day with pups, when they seem to turn into little dogs.
That Maxwell and Britt. CUTE!

Sunday, December 9, 2012


Today's project is to come up with a suitable picture for Christmas cards.  I should have added some Christmas balls to this one!