Monday, October 27, 2014

Thank you....

I wanted to thank each and everyone of you for all of your kind words, messages, and thoughts as The Reluctant Farmer and I dealt with the loss of a very special member of our family Friday.  The outpouring of love that we felt made the loss of Addie more tolerable, and as we grieved her loss you all embraced us, not once judging us for loving Addie on the level in which some love their human family members. 

A special thank you to:

Brent & Briley Remy who drove to comfort a very hysterical Reluctant Farmer and later myself.

Eden Maxwell who drove me home from work when I was too distraught to drive myself, and gave Addie her last car ride to the veterinarian.

Traci Nestor who held me as I cried my eyes out in disbelief, as I couldn't quite wrap my head around what had happened.

Dr. Kalo, Dr. Eisenberg, and the staff of Stonyridge Veterinary Service who treated my dog as if she was the most important animal on this earth while she was alive and again in death.  Thank you for dropping everything you were doing to do an autopsy on Addie right in the middle of your afternoon appointments because I needed to know what happened "right now".  (Dr. Kalo, thank you for later toasting to my girl over a glass of wine.  We thought Addie's life was most certainly "toast worthy" too and are blessed to have a veterinarian that felt the same way.)

Julie, Andee, and Christie thank you for not only seeing what we saw in this girl, but for always being there 100% of the time.  We save lives.  We change lives,  Addie was proof.

Christine Herring thank you for being unrelenting in your quest to get me to cave and bring home that "big ball of mushy face sweetness".  I admit, I was nervous because if your track record for picking mastiffs was anything like your track record for picking chihuahuas, I was concerned they would never find my body.  You were right though, she was perfect in every way and I would do it all over again in my very next breath if I could....

You all have touched me deeply.



Sunday, October 26, 2014

The right thing to do....

The owner of the new barn texted us this picture tonight.  I think Mia looks content and happy!

For nearly 2 decades, our horse has lived as a show horse, being kept in a 10 x 12 stall, not really getting the chance to live the natural life of a horse.  Seldom being turned out to graze, feel sunshine on her back, or socialize with other horses.  (Before you all write me, I know this is not how all show horses live!)   However, truth be told, Mia hates to show and several years ago became "ring sour".  We bought her knowing this about her, but it never affected how safe she was out of the ring, or what a great friend she was to our daughter, and it certainly did not stop us from making her part of our family.  A vital part of our family actually....

For months we have mauled over the idea of selling or leasing Mia to someone else, freeing us up from the cost of owning a horse, and we actually did sell her to a family last spring, only to have them call us several months later because "owning a horse during the winter was just too much work for them".  I have prayed, cried, and just about driven myself crazy trying to do what was right for our family and more importantly Mia.  I didn't want Mia to live the rest of her life out in a stall.  I want her to live the rest of her life out being a horse.  She has done her job, and she has done it well.  She has toted my daughter around for 5 years, happily submitting to all the brushing, hugging, and horrible riding that Miss K subjected her to in the early years.  She has put up with all of my "rookie horse mom" antics, and has never once been unkind to me.  She does everything you ask her to do, and she does it willingly.  Because of this, I was determined to work on a solution for Mia.

Today, we switched barns.  We went from a partial care barn with no pasture turnout, to a full care barn with turn out everyday.  We gave up our indoor arena, for an outdoor arena, and where we won't be able to ride all winter, we don't care because it was the right thing to do for our "hooved family member".  Mia will have horse friends, sunshine, and grass now.

I go to bed tonight with a content mind and happy heart.  
I hope Mia does the same....

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Loved you for a thousand years....

Before you read this blog post please do me a favor.  I want you to click on this link:  Then minimize the video, turn on your speakers, and read this post.

I work in a pediatric hospital.
I volunteer at the animal shelter.
I am active in dog rescue.
I am no stranger to death.
I am prepared for death in those situations.
I was not prepared for Addie to die.

Looking back, I think in my heart I knew something was not "right" with Addie when I picked her up at the vet Thursday night.  She was sluggish, and slower than I thought she should be.  I had our vet check her over one more time before I took her home, just to make sure everything was okay with her.  It was.

That night, I did something I've never done for another dog that went in for a routine procedure, I slept on the couch with Addie just to make sure she was not alone, and so I could be right with her if she needed something, administering pain medication, comforting her, and making sure she was warm.  My thought was she would sleep off the anesthesia and she would be more peppy after a good nights sleep.  She seemed slow that morning, but better.  I told her I loved her, she thumped her lethal weapon of a tail on the floor a couple times, and I told the Reluctant Farmer to stay home with her just make sure she was okay.

I received a hysterical phone call at 3 pm from The Reluctant Farmer stating she had went upstairs to grab a pillow off our bed, and Addie had died while she was upstairs.  I was completely shocked and beyond devastated.

To know Addie, was to love Addie.  There was something so special about that dog and her spirit, and perhaps The Reluctant Farmer knew better than me the entire time.  Addie was meant to be ours.
I think my favorite thing about Addie was that she exuded love and happiness, and she was so appreciative of the love and resources she finally had.  Daily we would find her huge mastiff body squeezed into one of the chihuahua's dog beds surrounded by every bone and toy she could find.  She would thump her huge tail on the floor and grin from ear to ear at all the stuff she had managed to drag back to "her bed".  If she was not squeezed in her bed, she was on the couch.  It would make me laugh when I would walk into the livingroom and there camped out on the couch with her huge head laying on a pillow would be Addie. And, I will never forget the weight of Addie's head when she would lay on me at night while I was reading or watching television, snoring to the point I could not concentrate.

She was a one of a kind dog, a gentle giant in every sense of the word, that has left a 100 pound hole in my heart and home.  I hope God has a comfy couch, a secure trashcan, a spare pair of eyeglasses, plenty of toys/bones, and extra underwear, because the goofy girl he called home yesterday will expect nothing less....

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Forget the past

I sure by now most of you have seen the movie Blindside, and if you haven't I recommend you do.  It's a movie that will change your life!  Addie reminds me of Big Mike off that movie, and not just because of her size.

Yesterday,  as The Reluctant Farmer and I were in the shelter, she kept saying to me:  "I want to take that dog home with us.  Even if we don't keep her, she doesn't deserve to be in a shelter." My major reservation was that we had two 5 pound chihuahuas at home, and I did not want them to be a mastiff snack if Addie decided she didn't like other dogs.  Not to mention, what if Addie didn't like cats or people?!  None of these thoughts were necessary though.  Like Big Mike on the movie Blindside, Addie's biggest gift is that she is able to forget the past.

Even though it is obvious someone has not been very kind to this dog by the state of her health, the way she shrinks away from our hands if we try to touch her head too fast, the fact she has terrible ear infections in both ears and is urinating what appears to be sand, Addie has been sleeping non-stop since her arrival, as if she knows her worries are over and she can finally relax.

We will do our best over the next few weeks to get Addie to a place where she is healthier.  I don't know what the future holds for her, but it's brighter than her past and she is running towards it, not looking back!  Dogs are my heroes for that reason.  There is no victim mentality.  They live in the moment, take people at face value, and don't let the past define them.  Perhaps the human should  take a lesson from the dog....

Saturday, October 4, 2014

I've been duped....

This morning I went to volunteer at the animal shelter and I was working with an enchanting pitbull puppy, when I noticed she was loaded with fleas.  I called the Reluctant Farmer, and asked her to quickly bring some flea control for the pooch and when she did, I was duped.  Our friend Christine and The Reluctant Farmer plotted against me and now I have a bull mastiff sitting behind me as I work at my desk.  

I whined about fostering this girl because of her size and the fear of bringing home a dog of this caliber with my other dogs and cats, but I must hand it to this girl, she is a dream.  Tonight I watched her look down at her feet before moving to make sure she wasn't stepping on Fat Tina or Esa.  She has not so much as even looked cross eyed at another dog here or cat, and honestly I think a mastiff is just my speed as they have two speeds:  slow and sleep!  Life with Addie is not all rainbows and fuzzy bunnies though due to the horrible shape she is in, but we are working on some medical issues she is currently dealing with, and hopefully in a few weeks Addie will be able to go to her new home.  Although The Reluctant Farmer is hoping she is already there.....