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

The Girls Step Up!

March 4, 2009 by  

It’s good to be home. Long week in Chicago……..colder than cold there. Glad to be back.
Didn’t have time before I left to congratulate my GrandGirls – they all had super accomplishments in the last couple of week – these grandkids are going to get me branded as a “braggart” pretty soon. Actually, I don’t mind —- keep it up all of you. Anyway – here’s the scoop on the GrandGirls:

**

    Ashley Elizabeth

kicked hiney at Billings in dance. Won the Senior Title as i understand it. That is awesome. That girl has more moves, and more grace, and is more fun to watch than anything you could find on television. She works so hard and is so dedicated, yet when you watch her it looks totally natural – like she was born to it. That, my friends, is the sign of an accomplished dancer.

**

    Courtney Morgan

made the volleyball team. Nobody works harder than Courtney when she wants something and she wanted a slot on that team. I only hope, since it is a school sport, that I can make a game sometime this season.

**

    Braelyn Grace

has obviously decided that crawling is for babies! Latest video shows her traveling all over the place on two feet! There is no stopping her now. Hang on Rebecca and Ryan – hope you can keep up.

I love you young ladies very much and am extremely proud of each of you.

Not much else going on that i am aware of. Back to the office in the morning to see what I have been missing. Oh boy! Plus – we have had the pleasure of what appears to be a pretty serious car problem. Has to be fixed by an authorized Toyota outfit to be covered by warranty – we think. We all know who the authorized Toyota outfit is here in Casper – good ole Foss Motors. Kind of makes me nauseous to think about having to deal with them but I don’t think Toyota will pay to have it towed to Fort Collins! Some kind of a leak up behind the timing box that is estimated at 16+ hours just for labor. Must have to pull the engine eh? I’m no mechanic but sounds costly to me. Anyway – bad enough leak we can’t drive it – they had to tow it from the house! Fun!
Just watched American Idol and my faith was a little bit renewed in the judges – they did NOT invite Nathaniel back for the WildCard Show. Okay voice but gave me the heebie’s to watch him. Of course I will have to suffer through watching Tatiana, but I actually do like her voice.
Peace & Love-
The Dad

a moms love

February 24, 2009 by  

Just checking in and letting everyone know how proud of my children I am. First ther is Brandon, you all know he has been strugling with the decision as to go back to Casper, or stay in Fort Collins? Well he has made the choice to go back to school in Casper, for this we are very proud of him. He is truely an amazing young man, and we feel his choice will serve him well in the future. Great choice Big B, know we will miss you lots but support your decision. Next there is Nathan, well he is a much stronger person than his father and I are. We have both been trying to figure out why he did not place at the state wrestling tourament. But Natie has the right answers. Just that it was not in Gods plan. How mature is that? Much better than I!!!!!!! Nate we are so proud of you, you are awesome at all you do! Keep up the great work. Sissy, well she is busting her you know what at volleyball try-outs. She is great because she always gives 100 percent at all she does. We are proud of her too! Good luck Courtney Morgan, go for all your dreams! Just so you all know she is doing awesome at softball, she is an amazing young lady. And then there is Keegan, well he is going to wrestle in the all state tournament this weekend. Along with wrestling he is busy with baseball practice. He is such a natual at all he does we are sure he will be just fine. Well Tony and I are good too. Just busy trying to keep up. We sure love you all and can’t wait to be able to spend some time with everyont. Just don’t know when that will be. Love you all so much! See I am getting better at this blogging thing! Love, Wendy

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

State wrestling

February 19, 2009 by  

First, wanted to say the weather here in Fort Collins is very nice Ryan. Well Nathan wrestles his first match tonight at the Pepsi Center in Denver. I am on pins and needles. Everyone say a prayer for him. I am sure he will do great, as he has had a fantastic season so far! We will keep everyone posted. Wendy

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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Good athletic day yesterday

January 25, 2009 by  

Stevie tested yesterday for his brown belt at Karate. He passed. He is very young to have that high of a belt. We watched him. He did Awesome. He broke a real board with is foot. I know I am staying away from his kicks..
Nathan won his meet yesterday in Denver. He won in really short times pinning his opponents and won the final 16-3. Another Awesome.
Keegan wrestles today in the Denver area also. Hope he does as well. Good Luck Keegan.
I will upload pictures of Stevie soon. I have a video of him breaking the board, unfortunately it is too long to post in the gallery.
Well it is Sunday morning and I am about to be off to church.. Last week of our current sermon series. It has been awesome. We got to say good morning to Ms Braelyn this morning while she was eating her donuts and driniking her milk. She actually waved and threw some kisses. Thanks Brae.. love you

Love to all
The mom

My First Christmas!

December 26, 2008 by  

Boy did I get a good night sleep last night!  Finally, because I have been so tired having had so much to do for the past week.  I flew to Denver on the 19th with my mommy and daddy, and we rented a car and drove to Fort Collins and picked up my cousin Courtney who rode to Casper, Wyoming with us.  We got to grandma and grandpa’s house where we spent almost a whole week.  It was really fun, but there were so many people around that I didn’t sleep much because I didn’t want to miss out on a thing!

While in Casper, I got to spend time with a lot of my family that I never get to see, so it was so much fun!  I played at Great-Grandma Hotshot’s house with all of her Christmas toys.  They play music and I like to dance to it.  I also like crawling around her house and exploring all the really fun stuff.  I got stuck a few times!  Daddy is going to put some pictures up on his website, maybe on mine, too.  I loved seeing my great-grandma.  She loves me so much and I love her, too!

I also got to see my Great-Grandpa Carlen.  This funny guy just keeps kissing and loving on me.  He gave me so many kisses this past week that I won’t know what to do without them.  He is so lucky… he is going to spend a whole month in California.  I haven’t ever been to California, but my mommy and daddy said we’ll go there sometime and go to Disney Land and see our family out there.  I can’t wait!

I also got to see my Aunt Stephanie, Uncle Mikey and my cousins Stephen and Ashley.  They all love me, too!  It was really fun spending time with them and going over to their house to party like the rockstar I am!  When I grow up I hope I can dance as good as Ashley.  Ashley and Courtney both tell me how hot Zac Efron is.  He is cute, but I don’t like boys yet.  I also am going to learn karate like Stephen so I can keep all the boys away from me!

Of course I also got to spend a lot of time with my Grandma Vickie and Grandpa Steve.  Boy, I sure love them and wish I could see them a lot more.  I have been lucky to see them a lot this first year of my life, especially considering how far away they live from me.  They love me lots and it was sure fun seeing them in person instead of on the computer like we always do.

I can’t forget to mention that my oldest cousin Brandon “Big B” was there for some of the time and so was my cousin Keegan.  They were fun to hang out with, too!  I just wish that Big B, Nathan,  and my Aunt Wendy and Uncle Tony could have been in Casper for Christmas Eve with us.  It’s ok, though, because I got to go see them on Christmas Day in Fort Collins.  It was weird to see them all at the hospital because Big B had surgery on Christmas Eve morning.  His surgery went well!  He looked different with a bandage all over his head, but I got to see him after they took it off and he had cheeks just like me!  Big B loves me lots and kept holding my hand.  He is so special, I love him so much.  Nathan thinks I’m pretty cool, too.  He always likes to hold me when I see him.  I can’t believe how big he is now!  I will get to see him in May when he graduates from high school.  It was really fun seeing all of the Lechers, even if it was at the hospital.

Besides seeing everyone for Christmas, I had a lot of firsts while in Casper.  I went to church for the first time and I was such a good girl.  I really liked it and want mommy and daddy to take me to church more often.  I think God is pretty cool!  I also took two steps on several occasions.  Everyone clapped and told me how big I was — they are so weird!  And, I got lots of presents!  Aunt Stephanie cheated and gave me one of my presents a few days early.  It was a really neat play purse full of fun stuff.  I also got a coat and a bunch of clothes from my grandma and grandpa.  I got a really pretty (even if my daddy doesn’t think so) leopard print outfit from the Lovatos and Ashley.  The Lechers got me some really cute purple overalls and matching shirt.  Great Granpa Emmett gave me one of my great-grandma cookie’s collector beanie babies, and my great-grandma hotshot gave me money that mommy and daddy are putting into my savings account for me.  While all of the presents were neat, I really loved playing with the wrapping paper and bows!  I also loved dancing to all the music that was played.

On Christmas Day we flew back home where I got even more presents.  None topped seeing my Bubba again!  I really missed him but was happy to see him when we picked him up from his Daddy/SD’s house.  When we got home, I got to open more presents from Santa, Mommy, Daddy and Bubba!  I got a big kitchen to play with, a really neat musical stand with a computer just like daddy’s, an awesome Dave Matthews Band shirt and more!  It was a great first Christmas, that’s for sure.

This morning when I woke up after a long, really great sleep in my own bed, I got to see my Hoover (and the other dog) again!  I really missed them, too.

Well, I think I need to go take a nap.  I am exhausted just thinking about all of the wonderful time I got to spend with my family and all of the fun and pretty presents I got.  I can’t wait for Sunday because I get to have another Christmas with my Grandma and Grandpa Bradshaw, my uncle Chris, Aunt Sandy and my cousins Cayse and Wyatt.  I bet more people will be there, too.  And then, in just a couple of weeks I will get MORE presents because it will be my First Birthday!  Oh, the excitement.  I am tired.  Watch for pictures and probably even some Hoover videos coming soon!

Love,

Braelyn Grace

Well I think it’s time for me to take a nap.  I am so exhausted just thinking about all of the

Mom: It’s that time of the year again

November 28, 2008 by  

I loved your thankful list. Quite an assortment.
I too am thankful…for you and Mike and Ashley and Stevie.
I am thankful for Wendy and Tony and Brandon, Nathan, Courtney, Keegan.
I am thankful for Ryan, Rebecca, Spencer and Braelyn.
I am thankful for the love of a wonderful husband.
I am thankful for salvation through what Jesus has done for me in my life. Thank You Father.
Wow so much to be thankful for.

We are truely Blessed

Monday Monday

November 10, 2008 by  

Kind of a typical Monday here in Casper, WY. Looks like it will be a nice day – a few clouds but looks pretty sweet out there. Just having my morning coffee – trying “Green Mountain Nantucket Blend” this morning. Not too bad. We sure are enjoying the Keurig Coffee Maker The Mom gave me for my birthday.
Have two new clients today. First meeting will be at an Attorneys Office with a potential wind farm developer. 2nd one will be this afternoon at my office with one of those mystery people who can’t tell you what they want to do over the phone because they are afraid someone will “steal” the idea. I have probably met with a few hundred of those through the years and I can’t think of one that has worked out yet. Okay — enough of boring you with work.
Happy belated 10 months old birthday to BGE. It is absolutely incredible how much they develop in that first year. I was looking at a picture of me holding her on the cruise last spring — she has come a long way since then and it wasn’t that long ago. Sure could use a BGE hug occasionally.
Nate & Keegan wrestled this weekend, Ashley danced, B worked, not sure what Courtney was up to, and Stephen vegged with his Dad while his mother played alot of volleyball. I did hear that while Stephen was teaching the game of Texas Hold ‘Em to B and I, that Nathan was cleaning up at the Lecher’s Friday night poker party in Fort Collins. Way to go Nate.
So … I guess it is time for work. Another week – another advenrure. Weird week however, have a holiday tomorrow to honor our Vets. Gonna say a prayer or two for all of those on active duty also. David is over there now – God Bless him and his comrades. Thanks David.

The Dad

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