I've spent the last week being bandaged, then splinted. Whenever someone asks what happened to my finger, I tell them I strained it by over-using it, but the truth is I had some surgery on a joint in my finger. Not a great look for someone who works with her hands on a daily basis, but I'm getting used to it. I never realized how much I use my left hand and, specifically, that finger. For work, I mean...Just another week or so and the splint will come off and I will get the stitches out. In the meantime, I'm still managing to get things done.
Well, I've thought so for a while, but to have a grooming professional--who, herself, owns two Golden Retrievers--say it carries some weight. Not only did Teddy's groomer declare that he was the hairiest dog ever, she also said that Teddy has more undercoat than any dog she's ever seen. We're number one! We're number one! Teddy is outstanding in many ways, but clearly, hair production is one of his top talents. Here are a couple of pictures of my handsome boy right after his recent grooming. So, these are photos after mass amounts of hair were removed. When I picked him up after grooming, I thought he looked kind of shaved, but looking at these photos of him, he looks normal, not shaved. Hairy or not, I love him!
First of all, I want to send out a very heartfelt "thank you" to all who sent their condolences following Sophie's passing. Your cards, comments, prayers and phone calls were all deeply appreciated. If you're even looking at my website and this blog, then you are probably a dog lover, and so you know that losing a pet is losing a member of the family, and when you lose someone you love, grief is grief, whether they walked on two legs for four legs. Having others acknowledge that loss kind of validates it, I guess. So, many thanks for standing by us in our loss and lifting us up with your thoughtfulness. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Now a note regarding an event that I originally planned on participating in this evening (which is repeated from my home page)...
A note to anyone who read on my October 1, 2012 blog entry that I was going to participate in a sale at the Columbus Cultural Arts Center this evening (Nov. 9)....Those plans have changed. The format of the sale was different from the last couple of events I have previously participated in there, and the deadline for submitting items to the sale was last week. Given all the things that have been going on in my life lately, I did not have time to re-mark each item as required by the Center and get it down there in time. Things were just a little overwhelming, so I will not be participating this time. It is still a really neat event, with lots of handmade jewelry by other artists that I know (and some that I don't), as well as enameling and ceramics, as well as a gift shop full of all kinds of handmade goods and art. It's a great place to pick up some one-of-a-kind Christmas gifts, so if you were thinking about going, you should definitely do it, even without me! If you are local and you would like to purchase some of my pieces for holiday gift giving, you can still do that... I invite you to set up a time to stop by and have a look. Send me a message under "Contact Me" and we'll set up a time. Bring some friends and I'll make you a cup of tea, and you can see what I've got in time for the holidays. I'll even gift wrap it for you, if you want. Thanks!
Wow. I really miss Sophie. She was always nearby, following me from room to room. It's hard to get my head around the idea that she's gone and I'll never see her or hear her or touch her again. I try to take comfort in the fact that I gave her the best life I could, full of walks and treats and car rides, as well as a lot of time together and some travel, including a trip to the outer banks of North Carolina. She was always up for an adventure. I would tell my husband that I thought we should celebrate the dogs' birthdays, and he would always say, "What would we do differently? It's like every day is their birthday." I hope that's true, and I hope she knows how much she was loved and that I will never forget her. I also hope that we gave to her at least a fraction of the joy she brought to us.
I'm not sure that Teddy knows what happened exactly, but I do think he misses her. She was always the leader when it came to those two, and he was the follower. Since she's been gone, he doesn't have another dog to follow. He learned a lot about being a dog from Sophie. He had kind of a rough start as a pup (at 12 weeks old, we were his fourth or fifth home), and I think that made him a little insecure at first. He wouldn't even go out the front door on his leash unless Sophie went first. She taught him how to wake us for breakfast and how to perform at 7 PM each evening for a strip of rawhide. She also showed him that car rides were nothing to fear, even if it led to a vet visit, because a treat was sure to follow. As much as Teddy learned from Sophie, she was probably a little annoyed when he first showed up, all paws and playfulness, but she took much comfort in her big friend when the two of them had to stay home by themselves, as she always curled up right next to his crate to sleep until we came home again. Teddy is doing a good job of absorbing the affection usually handed out to two dogs, and we joke that he is "eating for two," as the treats have been generous during this time.
I am trying to focus and get some work done, but it is hard. There has been a lot of activity surrounding my dad's recuperation from knee surgery which has kept me busy, and that's been a good thing. I am hoping that, with time, the sadness and emptiness will gradually be displaced by the satisfaction of helping a great dog live a happy and fulfilling life, and I hope that the immediate memories of that post-surgery horror will be replaced with the happy memories of a spoiled (in a good way), happy dog. In an attempt to get to that point, here is a little video of Sophie doing something she loved, and something I loved watching her do, as well as some optimal Sophie moments. I believe that all dogs go to heaven, and if they get to choose how they get there, I think Sophie may have chosen a car ride...and as soon as she got there, I'm sure she found some pillows.
Note: I'm not great with making videos, so the transitions aren't as smooth as I'd like. Please cut me a break. Also, the music is "Sometimes I Wonder" by Ernie Haase and Signature Sound, with Doug Anderson handling the vocals on this song. I hope they don't mind me using their beautiful song...We actually went to their concert on the night of Sophie's passing, so she was very much in my heart when they sang this song. I'm not sure they wrote it with dogs in mind, but I think they would be pleased that we connected with it. This song seemed perfect for Sophie because she was very frightened of thunderstorms in her later years, so the idea of no storms in heaven is nice. And no...we didn't feel like going to a concert following her death that morning, but we'd had the tickets for months, and we also took my mom, who needed something uplifting after a lot of care and stress following my dad's surgery. My dad was supposed to go, too, but he was still at rehab. And my dog-loving friend, Judy, insisted it was the best thing to do, as she had gone to a concert the day she lost her dog a year ago, and was thankful for it. It wasn't easy, but we went, and it was a good thing. Anyway, Ernie Haase and Signature Sound are great. Check them out: www.erniehaase.com. Thanks, Ernie, for a little light in the darkness.
I lost my precious Sophie today. Such high hopes after a good visit last night, but she took a turn for the worse. An early morning phone call. A mad dash to OSU. Goodbye. Things can change in a flash. We are devastated, broken and sad. I am grateful for the time I had with her, but it is never enough. I will love her forever, and I will miss her forever. Goodbye, sweet girl.
Look at my brave girl! She was much peppier this evening when we went to see her. She sat up and whimpered the whole time, and downed two sticks of Puperoni, like a champ. She was not into her canned dog food, but took two bites for us. I wish I had taken her some chicken, but she was so uninterested in food last night that I thought I'd be lucky if she took the Puperoni. She is still in her oxygen cage, but they are decreasing the oxygen, and soon she'll be on air. There's a possibility that she'll be coming home tomorrow. If she does, I'll have some chicken waiting for her. Go Sophie!!
Sophie did well with her surgery, and she is still recovering in the ICU at OSU. She's in an oxygen cage while her body adjusts to breathing with considerably less lung space than before. I got to visit her last night for a little while. (The photo at left is her in her oxygen cage with the doors open. I caught her with her eyes open, so she looks a little more alert in the picture than she did most of the time I was there. Art wanted me to take a picture for him since he couldn't go last night.) She was pretty sleepy with pain meds, but I think she knew I was there. Who else would be rubbing her ears for twenty minutes and kissing the top of her head and her nose all the time? She probably couldn't hear me talking to her because her oxygen cage makes some noise and she's a little hard of hearing, but I still told her how much I love her and how brave she has been. Art and I will go back tonight to see her again. I miss her so much....
Well, we did make a decision, and we opted for surgery. Sophie is just too spunky and well-loved to give up on her, and it became apparent that not doing the surgery would mean saying goodbye much earlier than we originally thought it would, as her coughing increased dramatically in the last week or so. As a result, my little girl is headed to the operating table at OSU tomorrow morning to have the mass and a part of her lung removed. So, if you're saying a prayer tonight, think about my scruffy little poodle-doodle, and wish her well.
If you're wondering why I haven't posted much about my jewelry or painting lately, it's because my energy (or what's left of it....) has been focused on Sophie and my dad, who recently underwent knee replacement surgery and had some complications with it. He's doing better, but there hasn't been a lot of time to do what I usually do. Here's hoping that tomorrow is a new beginning.
I am happy to say that Sophie is back home tonight after spending the night at OSU Vet Hospital. She is happy, comfortable, eating and drinking, and totally bossing Teddy around. It's like nothing even happened. She is sporting a ridiculous haircut, with a wide shaved band around her middle. Oh, well....it was a matter of life or death, and life isn't a beauty pageant...or it shouldn't be, anyway. Now we have a difficult decision to make (surgery vs. nothing). It's kind of like choosing between the lesser of two evils, and both of them are pretty evil.
Sophie is spending the night in the ICU at The Ohio State Univeristy Veterinary Hospital following a needle biopsy of a mass in her lung. During the process she developed a pneumothorax, meaning that air escaped her lung and entered her chest cavity. They have aspirated the air from her chest twice, and I am told that she is resting comfortably, but they would like to keep her overnight for observation. As much as I hate the idea of her staying overnight, I think it's a good idea. Otherwise, I would probably hover over her all night long to monitor her breathing. The pneumothorax is just the beginning of the story, as we are also waiting to hear more about the mass that was biopsied. It can't be good news, but there is some news that would be worse than other news, so we are still hopeful. Please be hopeful with us, and if you're reading this, consider whispering a little prayer that she gets to come home soon. Thanks.
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