Thursday, June 23, 2011

I just dropped Alexander off at Safety Camp. I am sad and angry at myself because I had the opportunity to tell him how proud of him I am and that I love him so much, but I forgot to until I drove away. This is a big deal for me because my brothers and I didn't get much of that growing up and I had vowed to be different, better. Alexander was the littlest bit apprehensive about going to SC, even though he does great around new kids and new situations. He did great this morning too, joining in almost immediately with the kids in a discussion about light sabers. He looked happy and relaxed. Then he asks a question of the Sheriff's Deputy, who's there with a huge SUV pulling a boat (boat safety is first on the itinerary) and next thing I know, he's in the boat behind the wheel! I remembered back to when I was a kid - and these memories are few and far between - and I would have been scared, very shy, and definitely not talking to anyone unless spoken to first. Maybe my mom would correct me on this and tell me that I did fine, but these are the feelings and behavior I recall. When I had Alexander, I so much wanted not to pass on those traits to him (and tried extremely hard not to) and it looks like I haven't. I'm so grateful. And when I said goodbye to Alexander, I wanted to tell him how proud I was that he overcame his apprehension and started making new friends right away. I wanted to tell him I love him just because I do, and you can't say it too often, can you? You can be sure I will this afternoon when I pick him up, right before I ask him to tell me all about his day.

I'd had a small bag full of rolls of 35mm film sitting around forever, waiting to get developed mostly because it's just so darn expensive compared to digital. Well, I finally got it done and look what I found...this picture of Cupid from last winter, right around New Year's. But this is not in Minnesota, this is at my mom's house in Prescott Valley AZ. Sure they get snow there but it usually melts within 12 hours or so. They got a major snowstorm before the first of the year and it stayed extremely cold too. This was right when my mom was in the hospital and I needed to drive through the hills to get to the hospital in Prescott. I know pretty well how to drive in snowy and icy conditions but a lot of Arizonans don't and this was evident all along the sides of the roads though these hills and beyond, with abandoned vehicles pointing in all directions.
Anyway, we found out after moving at MN that Cupid loved to lay in the snow, no matter how cold it was outside - crazy girl. She still loved it even when she got old and her joints must have ached; most seniors like warmth on their old bones but not my Duper.
Update: Mom's doing fine now. Amazingly, there appear to be no lasting effects. She was in the ICU for 3 weeks, telemetry for another 3 weeks, then moved up to a specialty rehab hospital in Phoenix for about 2 weeks, then two more rehabs in Prescott Valley for another 6 weeks or so. Unfortunately, her back/leg/nerve pain is worse and she is trying to get on the fast track for surgery, but now her surgeon is apprehensive because of all she's been through. I feel for her; it's no way to live.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

My Cupid is gone

Cupid of Peppertree CD

December 25th, 1996 - June 8th, 2011

I said goodbye to my beloved Cupid. She was almost 14 and a half years old. We were used to her having her bad and good days but she woke up to a very bad day. So much pain. I couldn't get it managed despite the morphine, Rimadyl, and tramadol. She wouldn't eat any of her favorite foods. She wouldn't even drink water from her little bowls that I set next to her. I called the house-call vet I've been using lately and waited an unbearably long time for her to call back. She will hear about how disappointed I am, after their being wonderful caregivers to Cupid over the past year or so.

My regular vet hospital, Como Park Animal Hospital, came thru for us and they were even willing to euthanize her in the back seat of my car where she had spent so many happy hours. I had her cremated and will keep her ashes until I find a forever burial place for them, as well as those of my other Shepherds. It will not and cannot be Minnesota. This will never be home to me. If I never find the appropriate place to bury them, I have instructed Dana that I want all of them buried with me. Here's Dana's tribute to Cupid: Angry by Choice: Goodbye dear friend

I seem to be managing fine - better than I thought I would be - but then something out of the blue triggers memories of her and I break down. This afternoon, the sadness and crying and missing her so terribly went on for hours (and it's not done yet). I know I need to feel the pain, process the pain but thank God for alcohol and television to distract and numb. And now, if you'll excuse me, I need another shot.