What I Want To Do

As much as I miss my sweet Nell, I know in my heart that I don't want another pet. I like the company, the walks, and furry kisses. We seem to have long living pets, with 2 cats that made it to 18 and 21. Zebra Finch that usually have a short life span lived longer in our home. I would like to have another cat but can you imagine Hubby cleaning the litter box at age 85? He grunts and groans just putting his shoes on now, as do I. And the mess; fur, food, litter, toys, feathers, seed, and poop of all kinds.

We've always had a pet of some kind, but I never realized how clean our house could really be without them.  With shampooing carpet, cleaning walls, and major dusting, it's starting to look good in here.

With that all being said though, I still want to be around animals but not take on the long term commitment. That's why I am pursuing being a Pet Sitter. There are 3 big franchises that offer sitting services in town. One of them is different in that they have an owner in town and cover all types of pets and match a client to a sitter. The other two work with dogs only and prospective clients just look at profiles to find a suitable sitter. I started with Fetch (the first one) by filling out an online application on New Year's Day. After almost two weeks I hadn't heard anything, so I called and left a message. Still nothing so I called and finally got to talk to someone. He wasn't the owner but said he could help me. He found my app and said he would get back to me. Still waiting after three days so I call again. I was not going to give up. I reached the same guy, Bill, who apologized for not getting to my app yet. He said they've been really busy but hoped to get to it by early in the week (meaning today). I asked what the next step would be and he said he would like to meet me and go over the sitting qualifications to see if I'm interested.

So that's where I stand now, just waiting for a call. I have way too much time on my hands now and it sounds like a lot of fun to walk, visit, and have sleepovers with animals. Keep your fingers crossed friends!


We Carry On

It's been a rough week, not gonna lie. It's the little things about Nellie that I miss the most. I expect to see her lying down outside in one of her favorite spots. I will always look for her as long as we live here. The house is quiet without the jingle of her collar, snoring, and yes even the farting. The way she would nudge my arm from behind my chair when she wanted treats. The little twinkle she would get in her eyes when she was excited about something; usually a walk or dinner. When I would come home with groceries she would meet me and jam her head in the bags to see what I brought her. She learned what "On your marks, get set, go!" meant but she was a cheater and always took off on "get set" and beat me.

I am mostly at peace now, but will always regret the vet we used. That is what will eat at me forever. I left a bad review of him on Google, maybe some will bypass him for his euthanasia services.

We have kept busy cleaning. I'm working little by little with my new machine until the whole carpet is clean. The shelter where we adopted her now has all of her personal items, except the ones we kept for ourselves. I was able to send back unopened medications to the online pharmacy we used. They were just going to credit my account, but I said I would never have another pet so what sense did that make? It's too bad they have to destroy the meds, but they did agree to pay me back for their purchase. Our own vet will donate the opened meds to other patients, was happy to hear that. The Kid and I painted our salt dough paw prints.

Just yesterday I laid on the floor so The Kid could pop my back. She's my personal chiropractor :) It's a part of the floor I haven't got to yet and it smelled like dog. Not in a bad way, just a Nellie dog way and I started crying. She probably thought I had lost my marbles lying on the floor, sniffing the carpet and crying!

Her ashes were hand delivered by the same young man that picked her up. They came enclosed in a cute little red heart inside a red box. We put some in several little bottles for each of us, even my Mom. A small bag was set aside for this spring to scatter around the yard. The rest went in a decoupaged jar that my Mom had done in 1998. At the time we had joked about using it for her urn. It was perfect. We cleared off a shelf for her ashes, collar, treat ball, toy, little jar of fur, sympathy cards, and picture. Weird maybe, but comforting.

We took The Kid back to college yesterday. She's not adept at driving in the snow yet and this week is supposed to snow a lot. As if right on cue, as we were heading back home, it started, so I'm glad we did it that way.

So I guess we carry on like anyone else does after a loss...of any kind. Just one foot (or snow boot) in front of another.


No More

No more potty training
No more digging in the yard
No more chewing off bushes
No more jumping
No more pulling on the leash
No more obedience training
No more barking at the mailman

No more long walks
No more puppy sighs
No more playing keep-away with toys
No more puppy kisses
No more traveling companion
No more treats
No more playing in the snow
No more doggy playdates
No more lying in your corner of the yard guarding your kingdom
No more meeting us at the gate when we come home
No more last bites of our dinner
No more running in the football field
No more compliments on how beautiful you are

No more pain meds
No more incontinent meds
No more joint meds
No more cleaning up accidents
No more picking you up off the floor
No more sleepless nights
Pain…...no more, Nellie

You’re free

Nellie had a hard time over Christmas weekend. We were only gone for about 4 hours but she had messed in the house. The next day she snuck into our daughters room to throw up. Her legs were much worse and she fell all day long. Getting in/outside was treacherous for all involved because we'd have to pick her up off the snow and ice all hours of the day and night. We truly did the best we could to cater to all of her needs but it just got to be too much. We were basically on duty 24 hours a day. It was a very hard decision but we were all in agreement to let her go.

I arranged for a mobile vet and then a crematory business came to pick her up and will deliver her ashes at a later date. We will scatter some in the corner of the back yard in her favorite spot. The Kid wants to have some ashes used in a personalized piece of blown glass. It seems to be something that is gaining popularity. The day before, her and I made some salt dough paw prints. One will be able to hang, and one will lean up against her urn.

Still, all of this brings no consolation. I had no idea it would hurt so bad. I am riddled with guilt and sorrow. I am second guessing our decision every day. The day before and the day of our appointment, I gave her extra pain meds in the morning. We usually only gave her some at night. She seemed to be getting around better and then I felt horrible for what I had planned. Was it just a short term rebound? Would she have had another week, or maybe a year?

The mobile vet I called sounded nice on the phone. He was nice, but still all business. He seemed to rush through the whole thing. Gave her a poke of sedative while she was standing up. We set up a portable massage table so we could all gather around. He said "Oh I don't need that, I can just do it on the floor". I didn't do it for you dumb ass. I don't think the sedative ever took place and the rest is too horrible to even type, but I will never forget those last few minutes of her life. I feel like I have murdered a member of our family.

And then to kick a family while they're down, the very next day my husband got let go from the job that he loved. It's almost too much to handle and a sucky way to end the year. I'm so glad our daughter is home for one more week before going back to college. She is the only thing keeping me whole.


Merry Merry

A Very Merry post Christmas to you all!

The Kid had her Wisdom teeth removed a few weeks ago. It was easy extraction, so they say. I don't have any embarrassing video, just one chuckle-worthy shot of her after we put her coat on. She had her arms sticking straight out and I said she could put them down. She only got them as far as her face and has no recollection of this. They waste no time in getting them out the door; basically just wheeled her out and put her in the car. She was out until we got to the drugstore to pick up her meds. She got the usual anti-biotics as well as a course of Prednisone. For pain they prescribed Hydrocodone and Oxycodone. That seemed a bit extreme to me so thankfully all she needed was the Hydro. When she finished the anti-biotics, she got a rash from them. It doesn't bother her but she looks like she's got measles, even on her palms!

Christmas Eve was spent at my Mom's with brothers and their wives, nephew and wife, and us in attendance. I made a baked potato bar and we had spiral ham and other goodies too. It was a nice evening and we were home about 9:30.

Christmas morning was fun and cozy with just us three. I always put together one crazy gift for The Kid. Usually I fill her stocking with candy but decided to switch it up. Instead I put in practical things like deodorant, toothpaste, notepads, etc. She was quite perplexed to not find any candy in there. Hubby then asked her to go get something out of his dresser and she came back with this.

I rolled 6.5 lbs of candy into a giant ball with saran wrap and tape. It took her quite awhile to unwrap it all. I told her I still got some tricks up my sleeve!

Didn't hear a peep from The Sons. Not one word. They couldn't take  a minute out of their day to say Merry Christmas to their Dad or Sister, truly sad and disrespectful if you ask me.

Well that wraps up the end of the year for us and I guess we'll meet again next year.


Immortalized In Paint

Last Sunday I had my painting session to paint our dog Nellie. After reserving my spot, I had to send a picture of her. This is the one I used and although it's several years old, it's a good one.

What they do is print the same picture in grayscale onto a canvas. It was cool to walk into the room and see them all lined up and ready to come to life. This is mine. They include the original for color/shading reference.

Next we had to choose an instructional sheet on a background we'd like to use, or you could just do what you wanted. That would be for people that knew what in the heck they were doing. That sure wasn't me. I followed along and since the background was a small area, it didn't take too long.

Now onto the fur. Not supposed to use all black, that's used for shading. So I added brown with black since she does have brown in her. Using short small strokes makes for more realistic looking fur. I worked as fast as I could but still wanted it to be darn near perfect. If it was any old picture I wouldn't have cared as much, but I was only going to do this once and it meant a lot to me. As I was making perfect fur, the instructor was on to talking about how to to do the nose, eyes, and small details like little gray hairs. I couldn't watch though because I was under the gun.

That's the problem with these classes. Three hours may seem like plenty to finish a picture, but for this particular one I think it needs to be longer. It was always rush, rush, rush. Finally I have everything done but the nose, eyes, mouth, and collar. 

It may look like it would take only a few minutes to finish but these were the hardest parts. Since I missed the instruction, I had no idea what to do. I filled in the nose all black but it looked like a big black pig nose. The artists are floating around the room so I raise my hand. Nearly in tears I ask for help. They are not allowed to do it for you, but can only tell you what to do. This wasn't fun anymore as class was over. She told me that I could take some paint home to finish. Well can I take an artist home too because I don't know what to do? 

It was time for the group photo but I wouldn't get up. I said I wasn't finished and wasn't going to stand there and proudly show off my pig-nosed dog. Here's poor little me, sitting all by my lonesome.

I got help finishing the eyes and nose and went on to the mouth and by the time I got to the collar I was just jabbing on colors. The greenish color I wanted was all dried up so ended up with teal somehow. I also had to add the fine grey hairs and whiskers and finish the bottom edge. I was there a full forty minutes after class ended. It was embarrassing. 

Considering all of this though, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I can see parts I wish I could still work on but hopefully no one else would ever notice (except my Mother, the artist). The picture now hangs proudly on our wall and Nellie will be a part of our lives furrever!


Enjoyable Evening

Last Saturday we went to a Christmas party hosted by Hubby's boss. It was held in an iconic building downtown called The Steam Plant. It's a refurbished building that once kept the downtown buildings heated from 1916 to 1986. The smokestacks stand 225 feet high and you can take self guided tours inside to see the old pipes, boilers, and displays from different viewpoints. Other than the restaurant, the building houses several retail shops and a brewery. We have been there before but it has been many years.

I learned that the pharmacy got their start 12 years ago and when they began it was was the owner, his wife and one other guy. I'm not sure how many are employed now but the room held about 50 with spouses included. He gave a heartwarming speech thanking everyone for their service and acknowledged that they wouldn't be where they are without their employees.

Our introverted daughter and myself weren't too uncomfortable. A newly hired older gentleman sat with us so we kind of kept to ourselves but met many co-workers. A week or so ago my Husband actually told me he liked this job. I have never heard those words come out of his mouth...ever.

We all enjoyed horderves, dinner, drinks, and dessert. After dinner, each employee grabbed a big tin of gourmet cookies, along with a smaller tin that held 2 movie vouchers, and $100 gift card to a restaurant. He got The Old Spaghetti Factory, his favorite. Another employee gives out socks (don't know why), so he got a nice pair of dress socks. The best was a bonus for $500.00...to an employee that has only been there less than 2 months. I could tell it made my Husband very happy and feel good to be a part of such a good business.

Feeling full and very grateful we waddled our way back to the car. We had parked in a lot without paying but found no ticket on our window. Boom, another bonus!



I don't do politically charged posts, but sometimes you just have to do it and get it off your chest. Humor helps a lot to deal with the disbelief, anger, frustration, and sadness. This is just a sampling of the funnies I have seen the last few weeks.