With this in mind, we welcome Maeve. She spent the first year of her life unwanted, discarded and wandering. Someone finally called animal control, but in rural Kentucky, controlling the stray dog population usually has a pretty grim outcome for the dogs. But someone was watching over Maeve, and rescue swooped in (www.stopthesuffering.org). Maeve's future prospects grew brighter. She came to Ohio in February and had a loving foster home with a lovely lady, and for the first time, she had a soft place to lie down at night and food that was given to her every day, and medical care, and baths, and loving attention. And then I saw her on Petfinder. I wasn't looking for a Great Pyrenees. I was looking for a Golden Retriever, but Maeve kept coming up. I even requested an application from another rescue for another dog, but there was a delay, and that dog disappeared from the online list, so I inquired about Maeve.....and now she's here. She can't be officially ours until next week, but we feel like she's ours already. I know she appreciates the soft beds and the regular food supply and the big yard and her new little buddy, Maggie, but the thing she likes best is love and attention, demonstrated by belly rubs, neck scratching, and head rubbing. She is relentless in her pursuit of affection, and once you start petting, she tries her hardest to never let you stop, and she is pretty irresistible. So, if you come by to visit her, be prepared to stay a while.
Welcome to the family, Maeve. We love you already.
One of my favorite things to do is walk, preferably with a four-legged friend (and ideally with a four-legged friend and my husband). I used to walk with Teddy, and Sophie, every evening. As long as it wasn't dangerously cold or icy, and everyone was feeling well, we walked. Teddy missed a few walks after his surgeries, but he was walking right up until just a few days before we lost him. He loved to go, and so did I. When I would walk with Teddy, and Sophie, I would listen to my iPod, look at the moon and stars, and walk. (Whenever I see the moon now, I think of Sophie...) If we were lucky, we would run into some of our neighborhood dog friends and their walkers, who were also our friends.
A couple of years ago, I got a new iPod because my original one wasn't holding a charge for very long. My new iPod holds a lot more songs, has a radio function and a fitness mode, and impressively survived a full wash and rinse cycle when it was buried in bedding I used when sleeping on the couch near Teddy after one of his surgeries. It took me a while to realize that the fitness mode was there, but once I found it, I typically started to run it when I stepped out the door with the dogs. I have only had this iPod a couple of years, so walking Sophie probably preceded this iPod, and it was probably months, maybe a year or more before I started using the fitness function regularly.
Anyway, I stopped carrying my iPod after Teddy died because I started walking with Art in the evenings, and we talk instead of listen to music. But after my surgery, I was encouraged by my doctor to walk increasing distances to help my recovery. My first walks were shuffling around the house. No iPod required. When I started walking outside, I could only go very short distances before it became painful, so there was no need for the iPod then, either, and Art was accompanying me, too. The last couple of weeks, however, I've been able to cover a good bit of ground on my own. Since I'm going it alone and interested in how far I'm walking now, I'm back to using my iPod. As I checked my steps and distance the other day soon after resuming use of my iPod, I noticed the second screen; the one that tracks steps for the week, the month and the total. I noticed that the total was well over a million steps. According to the steps I see on a daily basis, it's just under 2500 steps to a mile, so a million steps is at least 400 miles.
It occurred to me as I was looking at the screen and doing the math and thinking about those steps, that I shared every one of those one million steps, 400 miles, with Teddy. And then I missed him even more...
Thanks Teddy. I don't take a step without thinking of you...
I came home from the hospital two weeks ago today after spending four days there. My recovery is going well, and I actually feel better than expected at this point. The worst part of it all is that I am limited as to how much I can lift, and a 15-pound wiener dog is off limits. That's really bad news for Maggie, because she is unable to go up or down stairs without being carried, and she can't get into her favorite spot next to me on the couch or the bed without being picked up and put there, and she can't get down from either place either. Life is full of disappointment for her right now... at least it's only temporary.
Many, many thanks for the cards and flowers and books and gifts and phone calls and general well-wishes. All of it brightens my days and it is all very much appreciated.
Art and my mom have done more than their fair share when it comes to taking care of me. Art has demonstrated domestic skills that will come back to haunt him after I'm well, and my mom is determined to feed me back to health, which has been very delicious.
Thanks to all of you who have shown me your love and support!
Last Saturday evening, the Delaware County Humane Society (http://www.hsdcohio.org) held their annual fundraiser, the Fur Ball, at the Medallion Club in Westerville. I was honored to have a portrait commission offered at their live auction. It is my understanding that it made a healthy amount of $$$ for the humane society, which makes me very happy. Some very nice and thoughtful portrait customers of mine made the experience remarkably easy for me by doing all the legwork and setup and using their own portraits as samples. All I had to do was say, "Okay," and it was done, which was great because I am swept up in the chaos of details that happens when you are preparing to put your life on hold for a little while, as I am preparing for some major surgery soon. If that is what it feels like to delegate, I like it! They and the folks from the humane society did a great job with the display, and I appreciate their efforts! I also appreciate the bidding that took place, and many thanks to the winning bidder. I look forward to creating a really special portrait for you!
Thanks for the photo Jason!
I hope all your Christmas dreams came true...
Thinking of Teddy at Christmas
It's Christmas night,
and I'll be alright,
but there's something that I'm missing.
It's not a toy,
but a golden boy,
whose nose I was used to kissing.
The gifts were great;
there were at least forty-eight,
and I'm sure some came a quite a cost,
but wouldn't it be nice,
no matter what the price,
if we could get back someone that we've lost?
He comes back in my dreams,
or so it seems;
I've only slept for six nights, maybe seven,
and when I wake up
I still miss my pup.
I can't wait to kiss him in heaven.
Thanks to all of you who came by last Saturday to my open house. It was the busiest one yet, and it was great! I appreciate you taking time out of your weekend to stop by.
Maggie had a great time meeting so many people. She didn't get stepped on once, and no one tripped over her. All the excitement did take a toll, however, and she was wiped out for days:
Here's a shout out to the winners of the drawings: Teri P. won the personalized paw print pendant, and Sue B. won the mini pet portrait. I sent you guys each an email, so if this is news to you, check your junk folders!
A magic moment for me during the event was when one of Teddy's oncologists came by and gave us a very special gift in memory of Teddy. If you were here, I probably showed it to you, and if you were here long enough, you probably got tired of hearing about it. Sorry. I was very excited, as I just love it, and I was very touched by the gesture, as was Art. Have a look:
It's a print by Todd Young (www.ToddYoungArt.com) and I love it! Did you notice the little tennis ball by the side of the dog? So sweet.
Thanks again for coming to my open house! I had a great time and I hope you did as well. One thing is kind of bugging me, though, and I'll share that with you.. I can't account for a pair of earrings that is missing. I'm hoping that they dropped behind something somewhere, or someone put them some place other than where they started out and I just haven't found them yet. I'll keep my fingers crossed....
It's hard to feel gratitude when you're grieving. It's easier to feel angry,and cheated, and depressed. But feeling those things wouldn't honor Teddy, his memory, or the God that have him to me. And even though my heart is broken and I miss Teddy terribly, I have a lot to be thankful for. For one thing, take a look at the cards and flowers we received to mark his passing. And that doesn't include the email, blog comments, phone calls and in-person support from a number of other friends, and family. I am deeply thankful for each and every one of those cards and comments and calls, for the effort expended in selecting or making those cards and actually mailing them. I will keep them always as part of Teddy's scrapbook, and I'll print out those emails and comments, too. Thank you all for validating the loss of a very best friend.
I am also thankful that I had a great dog for ten years, that I was able to spend a lot of time with him during those ten years, that, up until this final illness, those ten years were really healthy and happy. I am thankful for the ad in the paper and the phone call from my mother and the chain of events that led me to him. I am thankful for every walk I had with him almost every night for ten years, an activity which is probably one of my greatest joys in life...walking my dog, listening to my iPod, especially under the night sky in the brisk of fall and winter. This winter will not be the same.
I am thankful that we had the funds to give him the best medical care available and that Teddy was treated so well by all the hands that helped him, even right up to the end. I am thankful for, in the words of my vet, a gentle death, and two kind and understanding people to help him make that transition. Teddy was the only being in that room that didn't struggle that evening.
I am beyond thankful for a husband who understands "how I am" about my dogs and didn't bulk at extraordinary vet bills (buying time is very expensive) and stepped in when I couldn't do any more and who was willing to sleep on the couch downstairs so I wouldn't be alone with Teddy on his last night because Teddy could not climb the stairs one more time. [He's also really great about a lot of other stuff (see "four Christmas trees," below...).]
Being thankful and feeling gratitude doesn't erase the pain, but it makes it worth it. Sometimes great joy brings great pain, but it's worth it. Teddy was worth every tear and every dollar. I think that's what gratitude does...it changes your perspective.
In every thing give thanks...Thessalonians 5:18. Amen.
I decided to go ahead with my Holiday Open House this year. I started planning it prior to losing Teddy, knowing that it may not happen depending on his health. After losing him, now two weeks ago, I thought it would be good to follow through with it. It would keep me moving forward. So, you might consider it a kind of therapy for me.
If you've never been before and are thinking about coming, just know that I would be delighted to have you stop by. I offer my jewelry for sale, but it's really about the opportunity to get to know you or to visit with you a little, especially in an atmosphere that isn't rain-soaked or bug infested or miserably hot or humid, like it so often is at the arts festivals. So I hope you'll consider stopping in on Dec. 5th. I even have a few pieces that are not pet-related, so if you're bringing a friend that's not really into animals, why are you friends? No, no....even they will have something that might interest them.
Here are a few photos from last year and some for this year:
So, if you're on the fence, maybe becoming a little familiar with it will win you over. If you're looking at this and are not on my emailing list or didn't get a little printed invitation, you can still come...I'd love it if you did! Just send me a message in the "contact me" area of my website, and I'll send you all the info. So, I hope to see you there!
I knew it was coming. I even knew it was really, really close. Yet, I still wasn't ready for it. And now that it has happened, I still feel wholly unprepared. Almost ten years to the day that I brought Teddy home after meeting a stranger in the parking lot of Cooper Stadium in response to a "Free Dog to Good Home" advertisement in the paper, he is gone. He was a twelve-week old orphan, and we were his fifth home at that young age after his first owner died unexpectedly. Last Saturday was one of the worst days of my life. We miss him as deeply as we loved him, and we love him still.
There are three thoughts that keep me from drowning in despair:
--We did everything we could for him that would benefit him, and we stayed with him to the very end;
--Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal; and,
--Every dog I lose in this life, I gain in heaven.
I'll see you there my sweet boy.
Yesterday was the three-year anniversary of Sophie's passing, and I've missed her and thought about her every day since. Every year on the anniversary, I've lit the little candle they gave us at the OSU memorial service and said a prayer for her and sent her my loving thoughts. I did so again last night, and this time I had a special message for her. I told her about Teddy and asked her to keep watch for him because he will be joining her sometime kind of soon (too soon). She helped him a lot when I brought a shy Teddy puppy home ten years ago, and she showed him much about confidence and street smarts, and he loved having a smart, funny good-natured older sister. I told her that she could help him again when it comes time for Teddy to make his transition. She can show him where the bunnies hide in Heaven and how to find the hamburger trees and the softest pillows. He will love having her guidance again, and she will be delighted to remind him just how smart she is. I hope she heard me...
I miss her still, and I will love her forever.
All images and designs are copyrighted and the property of Dana Keating Marziale and may not be used or reproduced without express written permission. Copyright 2011