Tale of Two Dogs

 

Bonnie 5/5/2015


On May 8, 2015, I put my animal companion, Bonnie, to sleep. She had been by my side for over 15 years. In 2014 her health began to fail. The failures were slow at first and by the beginning of 2015 the failures were obvious. She could no longer jump up on the bed. She began to have more accidents in the house. I have been feeding her a special diet since 2006 because of her digestive problems. She was no longer eating well. In February 2015 I took her to the vet and the vet told me that I would know the time when I would have to stop her pain.

I was still seeing the very young dog in my mind that was living with me years ago.

Bonnie on the run, 2004

I took her for her last walk in the park before going to the vet. On the way home, I thought no more dogs. I spent the afternoon cleaning the house of doggy paraphernalia. I vacuumed and tidied up to make sure there were no signs of a dog. I no longer had to cook a special diet. I didn’t have to run some places to be home to make sure she was OK. I was more or less free of responsibilities for anyone other than myself.

I slept in the morning and stayed out later at night. After a while I realized that sleeping later in the morning was because it was hard to get out of bed in the morning. The summer of my freedom was the most depressing summer I’ve ever had. I was able to visit my son out of state with more ease. I spent more time cooking for myself that I did for the dog. And the freedom wasn’t as great as I thought it would be.

In August, the owner of the kennel, Stacy where I usually boarded Bonnie called to ask if Bonnie was OK since she hadn’t heard from me. I gave her my sad news about Bonnie. She had known Bonnie since Bonnie was a puppy and she was genuinely sad.

In early September, Stacy called me and said she knew of a dog that needed a home. The original owner had to go to assisted living. Her son took the dog but did not like the dog and renamed the dog Oscar.  The dogs’real name was MissyLu. I hadn’t planned on another dog but my life without a dog was not very happy. I agreed to go take a look at this dog. So I went to a home in another suburb to take a look at MissyLu. She was a quiet, sweet senior dog. The people who had her said their infant grandchild made her nervous.

After looking at her papers I realized she was 11. I thought I may have gotten something I really hadn’t planned on. MissyLu turned out to be a real surprise. She is not your average 11-year-old dog.

Missy Lu Sept 2015

She reminded me of my first dog, Holly.

 

Holly and Marsha 1950s

Missy Lou is all terrier. I took her home and she made her self  quite at ease. We both adapted very quickly. She loves my backyard and all the squirrels.

 

  
 

Meet MissyLu, my wonder dog, and a new joy.

MissyLu Nov 2015

Walking the Dog

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Yesterday I decided to walk my dog a different route in my neighborhood. It’s late Spring and this is the time of year the classic cars come out. The cars are in garages or storage all winter. Driving around you can see so many classics. And since I am driving, I can’t get any pictures except at the Woodward Dream Cruise in August when they all come out to drive on one street all day.

I was lucky to see this one in “cherry” condition on a street near me. The dog did not care one bit

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Dog Walking Her Owner at Park

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Yesterday I dutifully went to the park to walk my dog. She wasn’t having it. She had ideas of her own. The walk is a little over a mile and it started out well.

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We started along the path on a beautiful sunny day. On weekdays,the park is relatively empty and there were very few dogs. So Bonnie(the dog) decided to look for other entertainment. After attempting to chase squirrels, she realized being on a leash did not facilitate chasing squirrels. So, she decided to checkout the stream. I went along for the ride.

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I decided not to walk across the stream on the log. Bonnie was disappointed. But, never mind, there were other areas to explore.

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We heard ducks here and never saw them. From the pile of old logs in the stream, I though there might be some animals in there. Bonnie looked for the ducks. Some times, she held her nose in the air sniffing all the new and different smells in the park.
I was tired after the loop and Bonnie wanted to continue. This may be an ongoing theme. The vet told me to take her for more walks to relieve her arthritis and she is getting better each day.

?.?.? A Sunday Walk in the Park….Disappeared

My post disappeared…trying again….

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Yesterday I decided to take a walk in the park with my 14 and 1/2 year old dog, Bonnie. It was a beautiful sunny day. I usually walk Bonnie in the neighborhood and it was not energizing her this year as it had in past years.

The path in the park is between one and two miles. There is a enclosed playground with many children. There are grills and picnic tables. A stream wends its way through the park. For the most part, the path follows the stream.

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It was a joyful walk. Bonnie tried to run after squirrels. When she went down to the stream, it reminded me of a former dog who would give me a fish eye before trying to dive in the stream. She made it once into the stream. Bonnie perked up at the sight of other dogs, runners and joggers. We socialized with several dogs and their owners. Bonnie loves to meet and greet other dogs. By the time I ended the walk she was strutting her stuff again. I was tired.

A Happy New Year

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Bonnie photo bombed my first selfie

Today is the first day of the new year and I have made no resolutions for the year. I can say I do have some ideas about how I want things to do some things differently the coming year.

This last week, Bonnie, my silky terrier, had her fourteenth birthday. I gave her a bit of leftover Christmas turkey and she was happy. The picture below was a taken on her birthday when we got a bit more snow. She was out on the deck and it was a bit warmer that day. She likes to bury her face in the snow and eat the snow. She spent a bit of time trying to catch snowballs.

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It has turned colder again with more snow. Tomorrow, I will shovel her a path to the yard. In the meantime, she manages to look absolutely miserable at the door if she waits more than thirty seconds.

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The View from the Deck

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last week at this time, this was the view from the back deck of my home. I had shoveled a path to the yard for my very small dog and it had been snowed over a couple of times. Only an inch or so each time so it was not time to shovel again. I noticed the reflection from the snow with illumination from my deck light was making it easier for Bonnie to see in the dark. When this picture was taken, Bonnie wasn’t shivering immediately when stepping outside.

20131221-180901.jpgThe weather has changed. Tonight we are expecting rain and as the temperatures go down, freezing rain turning to ice. Bonnie is standing in the rain surveying her kingdom. She especially likes how squirrels show up more easily in the snow. Maybe tomorrow it will be one of those days where the top of the snow on the ground will turn to ice and Bonnie will walk on top of the snow until the sun turns the ice to slush.

Growing Older

Bonnie, November 2013<
On November 17, 2013, a storm hit the Detroit area and has since been billed by Detroit Edison as the biggest in ten years. It started as a thunder-storm with heavy rain. I could hear the wind blowing and I learned later that it reached gusts of over 70 miles per hour. About and hour into the storm, my house lost power. I have electric baseboard heat so I also lost heat. At the time, it was about 40 degrees F. Losing power is not commonplace here, so I got my battery operated lantern and sat down to wait. I reported the outage To Detroit Edison. It was dark and looking out the window, I could see that my neighbors had no power. I had just finished dinner so at least I wasn’t hungry.

I got out a book to read and read by torchlight until I was tired. I went to sleep early and woke up cold. I fed my dog and I had a cold breakfast. I checked the mobile outage map on my iPhone and saw that we were supposed to get power right before midnight that same night. I decided I could tough it out. The house got colder and colder. Bonnie, my dog, and I went to the car to warm up. I started charging my electronic stuff.

By mid afternoon. The car wasn’t cutting it. Bonnie was shivering in the house. Bonnie will be fourteen next month and I have seen signs of her age. I can see that the hair on her muzzle is turning white. When I come home she recognizes me first by voice. At night when she goes out, she sometimes has trouble seeing and navigating the stairs. She doesn’t get up on the bed as easily. Unlike people though she is not plucking her grey hairs or complaining about pain in her joints. the sight of her shivering was a reminder that she is more fragile than she used to be. We went riding in the car. We both got warm. I finally stopped in a coffee shop which turned out to be and ad hoc warming center. While drinking the coffee, I checked the outage map. More were out of service and I was now scheduled for return of power in two days. I began to call kennels and got Bonnie a warm place for the duration. When I went home to pick up her food, it was colder and the temp was supposed to fall below freezing that night.

I delivered Bonnie to a kennel and stopped by a motel and booked myself a room. I was lucky. While I was there, another motel called to see if they had any rooms left. I got a cheaper room. It was clean and warm.
I went home to pack and go to the motel. I had offers from a couple of acquaintances to stay at their home. I did not know them well enough to stay at their homes.

I had to eat out. One was the “American BLT”. I thought it would be a normal BLT. Imagine my horror when I found a slice of the processed cheese product some call American cheese melted on the sandwich. I was able to scrape it off so I could eat it.

I stayed only one night. My power was restored early. Bonnie was two nights in the kennel. With my kind of heat it takes about 6 hours to warm.

The next couple of days, I had to go through my food. I had to throw out a lot. I had put some in the freezer which didn’t work. I had packed some in ice and it didn’t work.

Finally, by Saturday I was through the clean up and by yesterday I was back to normal.