In preparation for rain, I decided to make the most of a sunny day yesterday and did outdoor work and hung out with the dogs. Today would be indoors. So… 10am….45 degrees and sunny. I’ll just do a little outside – perhaps get the outdoor bird area together so my goal of being able to feed them from the deck or through my living room window is a reality.
Done. Still sunny and now 50 degrees. More cleaning up and putting things away….lawn furniture, training equipment… just stuff. Dogs are lovin’ it.
Ari is not in pain (although he wobbles a bit) but he IS running around – sometimes bunny hopping, sometimes trotting, but nevertheless, having fun! Since August when he was down and could hardly walk he has gone up to the point of getting around just fine and, while there has been a slight change up and down in his rear end movement, someone other than an overprotective mom would probably not notice. So, for the last three months, I’ve made an effort to spend time with him knowing that this probably will be his last summer.
It started with the trails. He wasn’t able to keep them open by his running so I mowed them. Pretty cool… why not do more so, of course, I did….through the woods, (some mowed but after I almost rolled the mower thought better of that method for forging trails in the woods) and in the area behind the woods. All the dogs liked walking on them although sometimes Ari wasn’t able to make it far so we did short jaunts.
While in the woods I noticed the grapevines…. OH MY GOD!! They are KILLING my trees. And so the war started. It became an obsession but the dogs loved it! They just thought I was spending time with them! So the war continued… slowed down a bit by the attack of the BEES that took me to the emergency room and the poison ivy (who knew it was still there even though it looked dead). There were many dead trees and we had a really strong wind come through and five came down. I marked what I could and one day Jason and his father, armed with a sharp chain saw, spent a few hours just cutting down dead trees and cutting into smaller pieces the ones that were already down. My best guess is that I have a bit over an acre of woods but it sure seems like more sometimes. What a big help that was! But then he mentioned that all the trees with thorns should come down. Something to do I think with not being native and taking over….. fast forward…. today… ended the day with cutting a little grove of those buggers and stacking them. Came inside… 3:30.
Before I came in I was thinking of the last year. Tori had been returned to me in September (2008) from her calling of being a Psychiatric Service Dog. She couldn’t handle it and shut down and I picked up a dog who had given up on life. She emotionally adjusted but in November I was told that she needed surgery. The rescue had her on their website and there was no adopter in sight. And now with the surgery, they said that they couldn’t do more so basically, if I didn’t want to adopt her, she was to be put down. I already had 5 dogs and she only got along with Ari so keeping her was not in my or her best interest and also I didn’t have the money for the surgery. What an emotional time. So I wrote a letter asking for donations for her and they could go through the rescue. Hopefully someone would step up and adopt her if the money issue were out of the way. It hit the internet and donations came pouring in. In a few weeks, over $2000 was collected and, yes, someone did appear to take her, someone who had applied the day before she was removed from the website. Ups and downs… She went to her new home Thanksgiving week. I saw her for a birthday party in January but that was the last time. It was too hard on both of us. Her story is documented here: Tori-Tori
A month later, I lost Teddy. What a great dog and how hard it was to let him go. He touched so many lives as a Therapy Dog and the dog that would come to school with me. Read his story here. Teddy Edward ….I still grieve for him.
Then, in April, Ari started limping. Tests eliminated problems with his Addison’s, tick diseases and other diseases that blood tests would identify and the diagnosis was a probable brain tumor since he was having seizures. May through August… 3 times I gave him days. He would hit bottom, not be able to walk and then he would recover. In August, he stopped having the downturns and here we are today – November 18, 2009 …. Out in the yard enjoying the weather. Life is good right now….
Below is a slideshow from yesterday. It is another school bus story and the sun is very low casting long shadows. Ari, Olivia and Kobie were hanging out and then Ari heard the bus and ran to the front. The bus kept going and then I heard it again…. Backing up… apparently the driver thought that the kids who get off weren’t on the bus! Then after a boring stretch, it was on it’s way home so there was yet one more exciting event! The color of Olivia’s coat is amazing. The sun was directly on it and must have brought out the red!