Q109 – Tough Quarter for Dogs

March 26, 2009 by  

Tonight, a fellow employee at Aplus.net is spending her last night with her dog, Dru. I just learned on Facebook about 4 or 5 weeks ago that Tracey Seib had an English Mastiff. I think I must have posted something about Hoover or somehow she ran across his pictures on my site. Anyway, she told me she had a 10 1/2 year old male English Mastiff named Dru. Just a week or two later, she learned that Dru had terminal cancer… a lump developed rapidly in his leg, and she was forced with the dreaded decision of what to do. Sadly, it came to her having to make the decision to put Dru down, and she scheduled the date just a week ago to take place tomorrow, March 27th. It has become very clear that Dru is a major part of Tracey’s life, just like Hoover is in my life. I have lost sleep and been very uneasy the past few weeks because Hoover is having a leg problem, has developed a small bump on his leg, and hasn’t been eating quite right. The bump on his leg, combined with the timing of Tracey finding out about Dru has weighed heavily on my mind. Fortunately for me, Hoover is eating better and his blood tests came back indicating no issues. Tomorrow, he begins new medication to hopefully help his leg, else we will have to have some x-rays taken with him sedated — something I don’t want to do. But for me, I am so fortunate because Hoover is in good health, yet his “brother” Dru is spending his final night (for now, at least) with Tracey. Last night I got out of bed and went and layed down with Hoover and thought hard about what Tracey is going through, and how someday that very well be me. I know Dru has been getting extra special attention from Tracey these past two weeks, and I was pleased to read on her Facebook page just moments ago that Dru has been enjoying some cheeseburgers and chicken nuggets, while popcorn and ice cream await him later this evening. My thoughts and prayers are with Tracey and Dru tonight… it will be a tough night for Tracey, followed by many tough days ahead, but Dru will leave this earth tomorrow having had a very good life and knowing that he was loved.

Dru and Tracey

Dru and Tracey

This follows just two weeks after my sister Wendy and her family had to go through the exact same situation with their dog, Casey. Casey was 13 years old and had a tremendous life and brought joy to my sister, my brother-in-law Tony, my nephews Brandon, Nathan and Keegan, and my niece Courtney. Of course, she was a great dog to her extended family as well, and it will be hard next time I am in Fort Collins (in less than 2 months to celebrate Nathan’s pending graduation — you will be graduating, won’t you Nate?) Won’t get to see that cute little dog Casey-Casey. She, too, was diagonsed with cancer, but she made it on drugs and love for about a year before they had to make the ultimate decision to let Casey go before the pain was too much. Like Tracey and Dru tomorrow, they had the act performed at their home with the whole family there.

Casey Casey

Casey Casey

Aside from Dru and Casey, my parents lost one of their two pugs, Maggie, just a few months ago. Unlike Dru and Casey, Maggie died unexpectedly when she went in to get her teeth cleaned. She was, so it seems, in good health, but they had to sedate her to do the procedure and she went into cardiac arrest. This is why I am trying hard to see if we can get Hoover healed without getting sedated xrays. Unlike Tracey and my sister’s family, my mom and dad didn’t get to say goodbye to Maggie… they didn’t get an opportunity to come-to-grips with it. In some ways, I think that’s good… I know when my day comes and I depart this earth, I want it to be sudden and quick, just like Maggie’s passing … a passing with no suffering. But, on the flip side, not getting to spend time saying goodbye… eating cheeseburgers and chicken nuggets… is something that you hate to think about missing out on.

Maggie Moo

Maggie Moo

I should mention, too, that though I don’t remember all the details about what my friend Shawn Porter told me (sorry Shawn, I *think* I may have had a few pre-birthday drinks when we talked last week), I know he lost his lab this year, too. I do remember him telling me how hard it is to explain to his daughter, and I know someday, I may be in that same place, too.

Time helps heal all wounds, but quarter one, 2009 sure has been a tough one for my family and friends when it comes to their four legged family members. My thoughts are with them all, and it is great to know that I am not the only nut in this world who loves his pet as if it were his child. Here’s to the four legged family members and those that have cared so much for them. Hang in there, Tracey, and though I didn’t get to meet Dru, give him a hug for me.

-RElledge

Comment on I MISS HER SOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! by Grandma

March 14, 2009 by  

Keegan.. I agree with you completely… I miss that little white fur ball also…. and her black friend Maggie. Yes they both left us too soon. It is ok to cry Keegan… I am crying now. Your blog is beautiful. The memories that Casey and Maggie have given our family are so precious. We will miss them forever, but God will heal the pain eventually. We all loved Casey very much, she was a special friend to all of your family and to everyone who came in touch with her. Love you my great little grandson.

I MISS HER SOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

March 14, 2009 by  

This dog ment everything to me. I love her so much. Everyday I see the ashes sit on the mantal and I start balling. She was perfect. She never parked bit anyone she was just AWESOME!!! I just miss her so much! I got a paw print and a chunck of her hair and I can’t look at them without balling. She was my best friend. She was a person who I could talk to when I was sad and even when I was mad. That dumd dog. That was no dumb dog. When she started to stay in my moms closet for ever I knew that it was time. I never thought that day would come. When we went to the cremation place and I saw all of the graves ov other animals I just started to cry. When I saw the hair of the dog I started to cry. When I saw my sister have the ashes in her hands I had to turn away so no one could see me cry. When my dad came in and he was even started to cry. I have never seen my dad cry because he was always a tough man. I wish I could see that white hair ball again. I wish I could feel her fer again. I MISS HER SOOOOOOOOO MUCH. She left to early. Casey you left to early. I know you are out of your pain and I know god is taking really good care of you. Make sure that you play with maggie well and don’t get to fat from great Grandma’s homemade cookies. Lol Know that we love you and that we all miss you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:( I want to see you again. I love her so much. I MISS YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope everyone is doing fine and remember God is taking care of us and Casey, Maggie, and Great Grandma Cookie. Grandma Cookie take good care of the dogs but don’t get them to fat.

Another one of those days…. Friday the 13th

March 13, 2009 by  

I mentioned a while back less than 39 days ago that I have a hard time dealing with changes. That was when we lost Precious Magnolia. Well here we go again. Yesterday the cutest little white dog I have ever known also ended her life. Casey Casey as I used to say to my girls when we knew she was on her way. Casey suffered for a while with cancer. She was on some pretty strong pain meds for several months, but if I walked in the door to her house she ran to meet and greet me. I loved that crazy little girl as I do all my grand dogs.
God has blessed our family with some pretty terrific companions and best dog buddies… They are our children almost as much as our biological children. Tony, Wendy and family loved that little girl so much and she brought them all such joy. She is no longer suffering, and that is the good thing. Her family will miss her desperately for a long time, but can know that they gave her a wonderful home, and she was deeply and dearly loved by each of them and by her extended family. Good bye Casey, I will miss you as I miss my Maggie.

Comment on I HATE THIS PART RIGHT HERE! by The Dad

March 11, 2009 by  

Lovie-
God Bless you and your family. We are all sad for Kasey and will miss her dearly. She has been an awesome companion for all of you and one of the most loving dogs I have ever been around. I love her too and my heart aches for all of you. We haven’t even gotten over the shock of Maggie’s passing yet. Sometimes it doesn’t seem fair but the Lord works in mysterious ways. Just think – of all of the millions of people in the world He picked you all for her family. She has been blessed too!
Hang in there Lovie – thinking of you all.
G-Paw

Guess It Is My Turn

February 22, 2009 by  

I have not been here in a while..I have started several times but just never finished. My emotions have been raw for weeks. I think I am at the point I can write a few words so I will try again. My life has been very different since Maggie died. She really was a hightlite of our life. I know God protected us from having her die at home, or from being very sick, but the shock of the situations still has my head swimming at times. This is the first time that Sophie has been an only dog, and I think she is enjoying it. We have mentioned several times recently how truely funny she is even though she she has a hard time getting around most of the time. She has her beloved turtle and even lets us play with her occasionally.

I want to congratulate Nathan. He has truely had a remarkable year in sports and school. He and his dad finished the summer as coaches of the city champs in Fort Collins Baseball Keegan’s age group. That was great for all of them especially since this was his 1st outing at coaching. Sr in high school and coaching sound familiar Ryan. Nate has also had a great year in school, taking some classes at Front Range College as well as at his high school. That is pretty impressive in itself. Wrestling has always been his main sport. He had rolled around on the wrestling mat since he was a really young child (7) I think. He has really matured and this year has been terrific for him, winning many honors and representing his sport and his school with pride. We got to see a few matches, but both his mom and his sister kept us posted each week on his remarkable year. Nate knows as we all do that God has some pretty important things for him in his life. Jeremiah 29:11 [show]ERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key 'TEST'
This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.
Open Link in New Window comes to mind. “You know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” God is in control and Nathan knows that. Congratulations to him and to his family for enjoying his sport and being extremely supportive of him and all their precious kids. Steve and I feel so humbled that we have 3 remarkable adult kids and they have wonderful spouses each of them. We love you all so much. One of the best things about our kids is that they have given us absolutely incredible grand kids. We are so blessed. Thanks to all of you.
Well I made it through this and I think I will actually get it posted. I love you all.

Mom/grandma

I Feel Like I Should Have Something To Say

February 17, 2009 by  

Laying in bed, watching TV. I have become addicted to The History Channel and National Geographic of late. The past few days, I have watched hours of programs related to the Presidents of the United States… a bunch about Abraham Lincoln. In fact, just got done watching a two hour special on how many times Lincoln’s body has been moved since he died. I guess I didn’t pay that much attention during history classes growing up. Oh well, the Boob Tube makes up for that now.

Speaking of Presidents, I must say that (hold your breath, this will likely be a huge surprise to you) I am not impressed with the first few weeks of the Obama administration. After watching last week’s press conference during prime time TV, I think America witnessed just how unsmooth Obama is without a teleprompter. Sure, he sounded his normal eloquent self during the prepared remarks, but the Q&A session that followed actually became very painful. Long, drawn out responses full of “ums” and pauses show that the savior isn’t so swift on his feet. Add to that the botched nominations of tax evaders, the pushing for the American Bailout of 2009 (without the 48 hours of full text disclosure before the vote, as promised)… I know we’re in for a long four years or perhaps eight. I just don’t get why Letterman dropped his feature on presidential speeches where he always made so much fun of W Bush (pretty easy task). Heck, the press conference would have kept Letterman busy for a week, as would Obama knocking his head on the Marine One helicopter … that made lots of news when Bush did it. Oh well, as I well know, it’s all Bush’s fault we’re in the mess we are… I just wonder how long the honeymoon period will be for Obama. At this pace, it can’t be too much longer… can it? Oh, probably so.

Haven’t been feeling the best for the past few days. In fact, stayed home from work today. I think I should be heading into the office tomorrow. I kept up with e-mails and everything, so it shouldn’t be too hard to catch up. It’s my favorite week of the quarter… board meeting week! Ah, I just can’t wait for Thursday.

Friday, weather pending, I may be heading down to Stillwater, Oklahoma. Dusty Harvard, a former player of mine, opens his junior year with a four game set beginning Friday evening. Spencer and I may be making the journey to watch a few college games. I certainly hope D-Town has some successes this year… he deserves it. He will potentially get drafted this year. Sure hope so. Hopefully the pressure doesn’t get to him so he has to juice up like A-Rod. What a shame that America’s (former) past-time has become the mess that it is. Oh well, I will be watching the Royals on their home opening day at the “new” Kauffman Stadium this year take on the (once) mighty Yankees, courtesy of my CEO Phil Spencer. Should be good times. I bet A-Rod won’t quite hit it as far…

Moving from the diamond to the wrestling mat, I am so proud of my second oldest nephew Nathan Lecher, who on Saturday won the regional tournament in Colorado at the 152 lbs weight class. He will compete for the final time at the State Tournament in Denver at the Pepsi Center later this week. He had a pretty good State Tournament as a junior last year, coming out of nowhere and taking 6th. Hopefully he will wipe the mat with his opponents and take home the title. Good luck, Nate. Can’t wait to see you and the rest of the clan when you graduate in May.

Cold front heading our way. I am so ready for spring… or summer. I am anxious to get out on my boat, Wastin’ Time, and waste some time relaxing on the water.

is doing great. She is officially walking. Not all the time, mind you, but she is definitely walking around. It all seemed to click last Thursday. It is cute to watch her moving around, desperately trying to get where she is going without dropping down. At times she appears to be running, though that is quickly followed by a head first slide. It is definitely a monumental step in her development. Now, if we could get her to speak a bit more and quit screaming in that high pitched squelch when she wants something. Oh, I long for that monumental step to come.

The Big Dawg, , seems to have mostly recovered from his limp. He went from not very active to too active a week or so ago as I took him for a lot of walks and from playing with Parker Hashmi in the back yard. He is still a little ginger on that back right leg, but doing much better. If I still see any signs of it late this week, we’ll take him into the vet to have it looked at.

My thoughts and prayers are still with mom and dad as the continue to cope with the loss of one of their two Pugs, Maggie. She died unexpectedly about two weeks ago when she went in for a teeth cleaning session. She went into cardiac arrest and they couldn’t save her. Devastated my mom and dad. I loved that little girl, too. She always kept me warm when I was back in Wyoming coaching.

Still can’t believe that the Crappys, I mean Grammys, failed to include LeRoi Moore of the Dave Matthews Band in their tribute to lost musicians last week. I guess despite being nominated 12 times and winning one, that just isn’t worthy to be remembered. Screw the grammys. I certainly won’t watch again. I am anxious for May, though, when Rebecca and I will journey to Las Vegas and watch Jason Mraz open two nights for the Dave Matthews Band at the MGM. Good times, they are-a-coming!

Well, I guess that’s enough rambling for one sleepless night. Yeah, I have been having a hard time sleeping lately. Too much on my mind, I guess. Sad thing is I don’t remember half the stuff on my mind. My memory sucks, to say the least, and it is frustrating. Sometimes I think my 90 year old remembers better than I do… and perhaps even my , who is suffering the horrid Alzheimer’s Disease. That is right up there with cancer as the most horrible things in the world. Maybe Obama our savior will bring out the cure for both of those… I’m sure many expect him to.

Signing off from Overland Park, KS,

–Relledge

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COLORADO QUICK-TRIP ON VALENTINES DAY!

February 15, 2009 by  

Vickie & I headed south for Fort Collins at 6:00 AM on Saturday, February 14, to watch grandson Nate’s senior year appearance in the Colorado High School Regional wrestling tournament – hosted this year by Fossil Ridge High School (Nates school) in Fort Collins.
* Nate won by pin his first match in the tournament on Friday the 13th so wasn’t scheduled to wrestle again until Saturday morning.
* We felt it would be easier on Sophie if we went down & back the same day so that she did not have to stay with a dog-sitter. The Lovato’s checked her often while we were there and even stayed with her a few hours. She played on their sympathies a little bit with her crying – Sophie knows the ropes! 🙂
* While en route we learned that Nate wasn’t scheduled until 11:30 AM so we were able to spend a little bit of time with Keegan and Courtney which was a nice bonus valentine for Grandma and Grandpa.
* Nate stuck the dude in his first match and advanced right away to the Championship round since he was the top seed. He is really a polished young wrestler and fun to watch – kind of like a technician, just get’s it done.
* Wendy & Tony were working concession and helping with the Tournament so during afternoon break Vic & I were able to spend some time with The B and Courtney, another bonus valentine for Grandma and Grandpa.
* Then came the big match – and Nate was up to it! He virtually manhandled his opponent. If I am not mistaken I believe that his was the first match on the championship mat that did not go a full three periods. The technician schooled his opponent and won the Regional Championship at 152 Lbs. WOW – another great valentine for Grandma and Grandpa. Seeing him on the championship platform during awards ceremony brought tears to this old boy’s eyes. He has sacrificed alot to get to this point. Next week is State in Denver – I know he will do fantastic – but regardless – there is no doubt Nate is a “winner” and a “champion”.
* BONUS valentine – seeing the pride and elation in both of his parents and his siblings. Great family unit – happy to have been a contributor in some small way! 😉
* Fossil Ridge is a relatively new High School in Fort Collins and I “believe” that Nate has the distinction of being their first Regional Wrestling Champion in their history.
* Trip back to Wyoming interesting. Weather “iffy” all day. Left a few minutes after 8 PM – 12 miles North at Wellington we were turned around. I-25 was closed from there to Wyoming line – “slick roads and multiple accidents”. I asked the Fireman who was directing traffic how long they anticipated – his response was “several hours”.
* Drove back to Fort Collins – shot east to Ault – and headed up US 85 to Cheyenne. Slower obviously – but open and we made it. Cut back over to I-25 at Cheyenne and saw that the gates were still down – it was still closed heading South. We – turned North and got through all of the bad weather by the time we hit Chugwater (50 miles into Wyoming). The rest of the trip home was sweet & clear and the detour only added about an hour on to the trip.
* Sophie was very very glad we decided to come home. Cried like a baby (tears of joy I am hoping!) lol
* All in all – a super day! God Bless the Lovato’s for providing the dog care we needed and the Lecher’s for a fun day.

—– On a different note, on Friday the 13th I went by the vet and picked up Maggie’s remains. She was cremated as most of you know. I cannot believe how difficult that simple act was for me to do. The ashes are in a nice little can and there is a swatch of her hair under plastic on top of it. We will keep it here until Spring and then likely find a nice spot in the sunshine in the backyard she loved so much, and bury her there. Still tough to even write about – hope it always will be because I hope I never forget what we lost with her passing.
Well – I have gone on for quite awhile here so probably time to bring it to an end.

***** BY THE WAY —- WHEN DOES MY FIRST STIMULUS PAYMENT GET HERE FROM MR. OBAMA? I could use a booster shot in the wallet – but my guess is they’ll miss my wallet!

Peace & love.

The Dad

Things Have “Changed” Around Here ……..

February 7, 2009 by  

I have been stewing around for a few days putting off writing the inevitable blog regarding the past week. I guess you can’t put off the inevitable inevitably……….???? The time has come.
* I had been in a meeting in Cheyenne for a couple of hours Monday morning when I got the call. The Mom had taken Maggie in to the vet to have her teeth cleaned ….. and she needed it. Maggie was sedated and they were in the cleaning process when she apparently went in to cardiac arrest. Dr. reported they worked in excess of 10 minutes on every revival procedure they knew — but to no avail. Mags was gone.
* You never know how much you take stuff for granted – even stuff you love – until it isn’t around any more. It is amazing the simple little things I miss about Mags – **things like reaching behind me in the morning and patting her as she lays along my lower back – all cuddled in and warm – wow! ***And I can hardly look at the bannister between the kitchen and the family room now when I come in from work – she would always hustle over to it and “daringly” stick her head and front legs through to greet me and get a pat or two. ****Eating without her woofing at us for a bite isn’t near the fun it used to be! *****Just the lack of having her nearby whenever I am in the house is devastating actually. Lord I miss that four legged black beauty!
* I have, however, figured out a few things. Nothing and nobody walks this earth forever. We all have our time here and then we are gone. Maggie was blessed with a graceful and painless exit. She had a good life (Pugs life expectancy is in the 9 – 11 year age range) – she was 9.5 years old to the day. She didn’t have illness to battle, she wasn’t miserable, she was comfortable and seemed content with what she had. The thing that plays a bit in my mind is ” I only hope we provided her with a portion of the magnificent love, loyalty, and joy she provided to us.” And in the end, she spared us alot of caregiving and decision-making. She was awesome! Awesome ….. I think that pretty well says it! Awesome Mag!
* Sophie is a concern but so far she has amazed me also. Poor crippled-up Sophie who has never lived a night that I can think of under a roof without another dog for companionship. She was plucked out of her litter – I think she stayed a night or two with Wendy but Kasey was there – and then here with Mag. She has got to be confused BUT she really seems to be dealing with it well. She has looked around for Maggie a few times a day – first couple of mornings she seemed frustrated trying to find her under the comforter – she watches the door from her perch atop the hallway stairway – but all in all she seems to accept the loss. She definitely isn’t used to all of the attention she gets since she doesn’t have to share – LOL I think it even irritates her a bit as much as we have been in her face this week …… but I think Sophie is going to recover splendidly. The Mom has been taking her for short rides daily trying to get her more comfortable in the car so she can occasionally accompany us and we don’t have to leave her here alone for awhile if we are headed someplace she “could” go. Anyway —- it’s a new world for Sophie too —- keep her in your prayers.
* Sorry that this got to be a bit of a ramble. First day I have really felt like talking about the week a little bit. What a “Hole” in our lives – what a difference in our home – what a complete lifestyle alteration around here. Maggie – you ARE a huge part of our lives – you always will be – wouldn’t have it any other way. Will never forget you and what you brought to our world Precious …. I love you.

The Dad

Our Precious Magnolia

February 2, 2009 by  

You never know what to expect. Live each day to its fullest. Today, I answered the phone and heard my mother weaping. I could hardly make out what she was saying, but I knew something was drastically wrong. My mom took Maggie Moo, as I call her, to the vet for a routine teeth cleaning — the first time in her nearly 10 years on earth. It was the right thing to do… small dogs, especially, need their teeth cleaned. But Maggie suffered cardiac arrest during the procedure and they couldn’t revive her. Our Precious Magnolia, her given name, died today. She was a great dog, so cute. She will be missed greatly. I put together this video of pictures that my mom and I have taken of Maggie over the past few years as a tribute to her. She brought joy to my family, and I know she passed knowing how much she was loved.

My thoughts and prayers are with my mom and dad as we all cope with the loss of a four-legged family member. Our Precious Magnolia.

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