Friday, March 27, 2009

Still a Princess

It hit me a couple of days ago. Sure, I knew at her last birthday that Golly's thirteen years old. But a couple of days ago it hit me that she's really getting up there. Golly's hearing is getting worse. Or maybe she's just ignoring me more. And her sight has never been great. She's getting grayer in places I wouldn't expect it, like her paws. And she sleeps very deeply.

But Golly eats with gusto. She demands treats for any and all behaviors she offers. She still plays as much as she ever has (which isn't much). She doesn't seem to have trouble getting around - Golly can still jump onto whatever chair she has chosen for her vantage point of the moment. And she expects everyone to treat her like the princess she still is.
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Thursday, March 26, 2009

On hope

On Tuesday an agility training buddy of ours lost her beloved 8-year-old Cocker Spaniel Becky to lymphoma. Deb lost Becky's sister, 11-year-old Brittany, to the same disease last year.
Becky lived almost a year after her diagnosis. Deb (and Gus) were tireless in their care of her. Becky had chemotherapy and radiation, ups and downs. Her sister Brittany had the same devoted care.
I don't know if I would have had the intestinal fortitude to endure their last 18 months. The ups and downs, good days and bad. Constantly monitoring, fearing the worst, hoping for the best. The stress on their emotions, their lives, their relationships must have been phenomenal.
I asked Deb once why she kept trying, putting herself and their family through the treatment. And she told me that as long as Becky's good days outnumbered her bad, and she tolerated the chemo treatments well, as long as there was hope, she'd keep trying.
That's a powerful testament to the love our dogs bring into our lives. I don't know if I would have made the same decisions Deb did, but she made them for all the right reasons. And I hope I'm never put to the test.
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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The meaning of life isn't 42

I've gotten older since the last time I posted. Literally. My birthday was on Saturday.
So now that I'm officially all-grown-up, which I think 51 entitles me to be, you would think I would pause and reflect on the meaning of life, the universe, and everything. (With apologies to Douglas Adams.)
So my new philosophy of life is: What the hell!
I have given up caring what anybody else thinks of me and the choices I make. If it's what I want, it doesn't hurt anybody else, and I'm willing to live with the consequences - then Go For It, because What the Hell!
It's a change from my old philosophy of life which was: Do not meddle in the affairs of Dragons, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup.
And it fits better on a Post-It.
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Friday, March 20, 2009

We both survived!

Last night was the first Agility class for Ceilidh and me in about six months. I took time off because of my chronic hip bursitis, and then to make sure that Ceilidh's heart medication was working.

How'd it go? It was like Ceilidh had been to class the day before and hadn't taken any time off! She sailed over the jumps, did the weave poles quickly - all 12!, climbed the A-frame, did the teeter (OK, it was low, but still!), ran the dog walk, even did a triple jump! Ceilidh had such a great time last night I felt kind of guilty for taking so much time off.

As for me, I'm kind of stiff and I'll make sure not to miss taking Alleve for a couple of days, but seeing my dog so happy and focused was worth it!
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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Keeping warm

It's still chilly here, so the dogs snuggle up to the heating vents to keep warm. Roc thinks Dax makes a mighty good pillow.
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Friday, March 13, 2009

One more week, and then READY OR NOT!

Here we come! After taking a few sessions off, I think Ceilidh and I will rejoin our Agility Class! Ceilidh's heart condition is mostly under control with medication. The vet feels that taking a class where she's used to the place, and most of the people and dogs won't cause her to become worse. And it will give Ceilidh much joy. I've also been feeling somewhat better lately. So, we'll see how my hip bursitis feels - whether or not I can run, walk or give some semblance of moving with my dog. And then try to walk the next day! So next Thursday will be the test!
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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Caught in the act

No toy is Ceilidh-proof.

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Worth every penny

We just couldn't let it rest. Okay - Roc's fan club nagged until we went and got a third opinion on what was going on with him.
Thank goodness for friends! Our regular vet was right - Roc does have something growing at the base of his heart. A pad of fat. Perfectly benign. Yippeee!
And there is something going on with his lungs - chronic bronchitis.
We're absolutely thrilled! Roc's not so happy about it, though. When we feared the worst he was getting scrambled eggs every night with his dinner. Now he's back to beans. After all, a healthy guy's got to stay in fighting trim!
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Friday, March 06, 2009

Spring is on the way

It's going to be near 60 degrees today! I know it's not spring, and one forecast I saw had flakes for next week, but it's sure nice while it lasts. And the dogs are in heaven! Dax is much more active. Ceilidh is more impossible than usual. And the Griffs, Golly and Roc, are barking more outside. Dax is even sitting outside in the sun, raising her cute face to catch more rays! Pretty soon all four will be tearing around the back yard, making mud fly everywhere! Can't wait...
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Thursday, March 05, 2009

Daxie does agility!

I've decided to post all the videos of Dax and me in agility. I figure if I start now, while we're still absolutely raw, Novice A competitors, I'll be able to look back and laugh by the time we're in Excellent!
I've never before been involved in any kind of competitve sport. This is one I love - I get to play with my dog, we're only competing against ourselves and the clock, and no matter how good or poorly we do - I still get to take Dax home at the end of the day.

This was the Smack Dab Agility Club Trial in Naperville on February 27, 28 and March 1. We didn't compete on the 28th, and I forgot my camera on the 1st.

This was the first time (out of three whole trials!) that Dax did the A-frame in competition. So proud of her!

This Jumpers run was the very first time we managed to finish a course! Progress!

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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Trials and smiles

Dax and I were in our third agility trial over the weekend. After our last outing, I wasn't sure we'd continue since Dax seemed so unhappy.
What a turnaround! We had a wonderful time - Dax was happy, running, playful, climbing, jumping, and generally a joyous little dog. Which is what it's supposed to be about, at least for us. Agility is a way to get out with our friends and have fun with our dogs.
We even came close to qualifying a couple of times!
Previous to this weekend, I didn't really understand how people could say they had a great weekend, their dogs ran great, and it was a terrific time, even though they didn't qualify. Now I get it. We had a blast. Even the last run of the day, which was a complete disaster because I totally forgot the course when I stepped in the ring, ended on a good note. We worked together, Dax and I. Such a good girl!
I'm trying to decide whether to post a video diary of our trials (and tribulations). Since I have absolutely no illusions of competence, I probably will. I'm definitely in a "what the hell" stage of my life. If we give someone a smile, either with us or at us - why not?

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