Tag Archives: dogs

My New Country Song

I have decided to write a country song. I don’t think I ever really believed the old songs that talked about the songwriter’s dog dying, the truck being stolen, the house burning down, and the spouse leaving ‘em. I mean, really??? If all that happened to me, I don’t think I would be writing a song about it!

Well, on the other hand, maybe I’ve got my own song to write this week. It might go something like this:

My son’s mad at the world and he won’t call.

Hubby’s been using me for a walking cane, so he won’t fall.

My old dawg quit eatin’ and then she passed.

What a week this has been! Geez, how long can it last?


When I stopped by Mom’s house, I set off the alarm.

The Meadows Building is costing a leg and arm.

Dog Sam has a danged infection; allergies are just that way.

Goat Bob likes to head-butt me and that’s on a good day!


Friday afternoon, to surgery Hubby will go

To fix his pain in the neck … and mine too, you know?

Termites have invaded Mom’s storage barn and garage.

What more can go wrong? Surely, it’s all been a mirage!



We brought Stephi home to die …

… and she was a good girl to the end.

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Stephi quit eating last weekend and had a dramatic loss of weight.  Sam gained most of the weight she lost because Sam was eating Stephi’s food.  I took her to Vet Kelly Harrington last Tuesday and pleaded with her to keep Stephi alive for a few more months, just until Drake got home.  They got her to eat but she wasn’t drinking enough water so they kept her for a few days.  She quit eating midday on Thursday.  By Friday, she was no longer responding to them at all. 

Vet Kelly said she thought Stephi might’ve had a stroke.  She didn’t have the energy to get up and when they would stand her up, she just sunk back to her side. There was no recognition in her eyes at all.  We picked her up Friday afternoon and brought her home to die with us.  We could’ve let Vet Kelly put her down but, even if she didn’t recognize it very much, I wanted her to die in familiar surroundings, with Sam and SoLow at her side.

We placed her on the bed she used to love, hiding under my old desk, peeking out at the world.  Occasionally, she would try to get up so I thought she might like to go outside for a while.  I think she really enjoyed the breeze ruffling her coat, and seeing the birds and the blue sky for a while.

Our friend Ken and his son came and dug a grave for her out behind the house.  We live on a rocky hill and this was not an easy task.  They said their good-byes to all the dogs but Ken’s son gave Stephi a lot of attention when they left.  I don’t know that Stephi even knew what was going on, but I knew and I really appreciated the effort and kindness of both of them. 

She went through a period last night when she would move her head and make strange noises, almost like she was dreaming and trying to bark but she didn’t look she was in any pain, just restless.  Vet Kelly had given me pain medication, similar to morphine for dogs, and I made sure she wasn’t hurting.  Ed and I both spent a lot of time with her last night, calming her and trying to keep her comfortable.  I laid down beside her about midnight and fell asleep petting her.  Around 1:10 am, I awoke and found that Stephi had slipped away while I dozed next to her on the floor.

I buried her this morning, after letting Sam and SoLow say their good-byes.  She is placed so that she can see the house, Sam and SoLow in the dog yard, the goats, and the rising sun.  She was our little princess, our first Sheltie, a good girl.  She will be missed.  Drake will be upset that he missed saying good-bye but I gave her a special finger-wave especially from him.

We love you, Stephi Lynn.

Lunch in Southlake

Yesterday, there was a Good Old Girls Club lunch meeting in Southlake at Rockfish.  The food was wonderful and the company was even better.  We talked so much; I’m really surprised we tasted the food.  One of us had the lunch salmon; one had the fish ‘n chips; and one had the crab cakes appetizer with a side of coleslaw.  Each one of us commented on how good the food was.  I bragged so much to Ed that he wanted to go for lunch today.  I wasn’t hot to make that drive yet again but the food really sounded good.  In fact, I started drooling when he just brought Rockfish up.

I have to tell you that spending a Sunday afternoon sitting outside on the sidewalk, talking, nibbling on great seafood, and people-watching was fun and oh, so peaceful.  It reminded me of working in Chicago, when I would stop on the way to the corporate apartment after work, sit outside and eat dinner, watching the Chicago crowd pass by.  A nice breeze was blowing today.  There were lots of families walking by but no screaming kids.  People were all ages and all ethnicities, usually toting a shopping bag from some store or a to-go container of food. 

There was even one man with a 9-month-old Newfoundland, a HUGE dog, and a young son.  “Please tell your dog that I’m a friend, ok?” Ed said to the man.  “The dog is very friendly but you’d better watch out for the boy,” he replied.  He was smiling when he said it but no, he wasn’t kidding.  I can’t remember when I’ve seen a more active little boy.  Even Drake wasn’t THAT hyper!  He climbed on the restaurant metal fence and crawled along the top of it to one end.  THEN he turned around and crawled back the way he came and crawled on top of his dad, almost knocking his dad’s cap to the ground.

Son would pound on the dog and the dog just kept looking around at people walking by.  It never seemed to bother her at all.  The only time I heard her bark was when Mom, who had met them in front of Jamba Juice, walked a few feet away with her son so that she could try to get him under control.  One bark, that’s it.  It didn’t startle the Mom or make her move any faster but the dog kept watch until she and her son got back to the table.  

Meanwhile the dog was a magnet for people just walking by, especially children.  They ALL had to stop and pet this huge, brown gentle giant.  No, I didn’t pet the dog but I sure wanted to.  She was beautiful and fluffy.  I did notice that Ed reached out and petted her back while she was sauntering by our table.  I was jealous.  Did I mention that she was absolutely beautiful and fluffy? 

If you are in the Southlake Town Center area, there are a few restaurants with outdoor seating.  Enjoy the peaceful setting now while the weather here in Texas is not too hot and not too cold, but just right.  It won’t last long, believe me, and it’s SO worth it.


The Weekly Synopsis

Monday: my weekly singing lesson.  I’m getting better and better.  I’m practicing the glottal attack now and strengthening my vocal chords.  I actually hit high C without going into my head voice.  I felt like they could hear me all … Continue reading

Waiting for the Snow

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I am waiting for the snow.  I kept waking up all night, looking out the window, anticipating those little white flakes falling from the sky.  I’m still waiting.  Ed is still asleep.  The dogs are still asleep.  I’m sitting on the chaise lounge in the bedroom, watching the news on the shooting in Tucson, grieving for all of the victims, and listening to the rain fall outside the window right behind me.  I’m still waiting.

Why is it that we get so excited when it snows, especially in the DFW area?  It would be simple to say that we get excited because it snows so rarely down here but that’s not it, I don’t think.  When it snows, kids are outside playing in it, parents are taking pictures, the dogs are racing through it or maybe just sitting in it wondering what it is.  This happens all over the country, not just here. 

My favorite thing, at my age, is to sit and have a cup of coffee and to just gaze on the wonderful white display.  Yes, I too get the camera and take pictures of the dogs enjoying the snowy wonderland.  Little SoLow had to jump like a rabbit in the last snowfall we had, which was absolutely hilarious to watch, especially when Stephi and Sam just walked like normal.  I wonder if they were laughing at SoLow in their own way? 

Right now, the girls are sleeping and don’t realize what is coming soon but I can anticipate for them.  Every time that the rain slows down, I twist around to see if it has started yet.  I gotta watch that so I don’t get a crick in my neck before it even starts.  Man, does that hurt and really throws off the fun of the day!

I think part of the reason that I love the snow is that I won’t go anywhere when it snows.  Yeah, I know, it’s safer to drive on the snow than the ice but usually around here, there is ice just under a thin layer of snow.  That’s because it usually was fairly warm the day before and the snow immediately melted when it hit the ground but then froze because of the cold and wind chill.  I may go outside and walk in it but I won’t drive on it.  That means a day at home, relaxing, probably curled up in bed with SoLow, facing the windows.  Ed will probably be watching the football games today, reading the Sunday paper, and it will be a wonderful day. 

I hope you have a wonderful day today also, relaxing with your loved ones, and grinning from ear to ear all day.  If you do have to go out, please be careful.  Drive and/or walk safely.  Bundle up.  Cover your head and ears, protect your hands and feet, and, if you live in Texas, remember it could be worse…it could be a hot, humid August day and you could’ve just gotten into an enclosed car, waiting for the A/C to kick in, drenched in sweat.  Yeah, maybe the snow is pretty good after all, at least for us.

P.S.  IT’S SNOWING!!!!!  Gotta go get coffee and the camera!!!

Stephi and Surgery

A week after we got back from Chicago, I noticed that the tumor on Stephi’s chest was starting to leak blood.  Yes, call the vet and make another appointment.  This time, instead of waiting for it to rupture and drain, we decided to do surgery and try to find out what was causing this anomaly.  I had been hoping that it was a symptom of her thyroid problem but it didn’t go away or reduce the size of it after she started taking the medicine.

We set up surgery for last Thursday but I needed to keep the tumor from bleeding all over our carpet until then.  What to do?  The vet suggested getting an infant’s t-shirt to protect it.  A baby shirt???  Yes, that probably would’ve worked but I went to a discount store and found a dog t-shirt instead.  For 2 days, Stephi wandered around with a green tie-dyed dog t-shirt on, stuffed with a lime green (cheap) microfiber wash cloth to absorb any drainage.  It worked and she looked adorable in it.  Seriously, since her hair hasn’t grown back in totally, she is a lot cuter with the t-shirt than without it and I loved the white peace sign on the back.  Can you say Hippie Dog???

The surgery went just fine and the vet found some kind of growth in the muscle that had a “head” sticking out and that is what was causing the tumors that kept coming up.  They removed it all and put a drainage tube in.  Stephi, at age 14, didn’t handle the anesthesia well though.  She refused to drink any water after she got home, wouldn’t eat anything, and snarled at me when I even looked like I was going to touch her side. And she just kept getting weaker and weaker, until finally she couldn’t even stand up on her own and she didn’t have the energy to snarl.  We kept the vet informed and took her in on Saturday so they could give her an IV with fluids.  They were concerned with dehydration.  I was concerned with losing sweet Stephi.

After the IV, it was like we had our old Stephi back.  She still was not skipping to the door to go outside, but she was eating a little and drinking a lot.  Today, she IS trotting to the door to go outside.  She’s wagging her tail much more than she was before surgery.  She’s actually “perky” nowadays.  (I considered calling her Katie Couric but thought better of that.)  Her hair is starting to grow back.  Her eyes are more focused now and she’s generally more alert.  This is getting better than before surgery!  She is still deaf but this is like a much younger Stephi and we are loving it!   One day, she will again have a beautiful coat.

I take her back on Tuesday to get the drainage tube removed.  She will definitely look forward to that, I know.  That leg is still a little stiff and I figure it’s because that tube is uncomfortable.  I know the vet is going to be amazed with the change since Saturday. 

Our Little (much younger) Stephi

Home At Last!

Sam was ecstatic to see us return from our Thanksgiving vacation, as was Stephi.  SoLow, on the other hand, was a little standoffish at first and really didn’t warm up until we got home.  I’m assuming that she finally realized that all of us were going to stay home together.  THEN she gave lots of kisses and got excited and playful. 

There was no one at the American Pet Spa and Resort who knew their likes and dislikes so I was really interested in the Vacation Report Card for Stephi, Sam and SoLow. 

–       They always looked forward to eating and always finished their meals … duh! … yet they weren’t protective of their food and shared with each other. 

–       They apparently were not nervous, aggressive to other dogs, or protective of their things.

–       They didn’t tear up anything, they liked to bark, and they felt cozy in their own room. 

–       On Saturday night, they “watched” the movie Snowdogs … yeah, right … and their favorite thing to do was to play with each other. 

What it all boiled down to was that they were a little shy, especially SoLow, which I would expect their first time in a kennel, but they were very sweet and loved to be petted.  Yeah, I probably could’ve told you most of that before we left, but it was nice hearing it from strangers.  They really are such good girls.

We still have not completely straightened up after we had the foundation leveled so the house is still a mess.  There still were dishes in the sink from the day we left.  Knowing it would be VERY cold while we were gone, we had left the heater on so the house was a little warm.  The girls apparently were so upset that we had left them for an extended length of time, that all three of them had their revenge by pooping all over the house the first night.  Yet it was SO good to be home.