The Christmas tree is down and already in the alley for pick up.
Our tree this morning
All the decorations are boxed and in the attic. Most everything is back in its place. It’s been a great holiday season. The 7 dogs are snuggled in their places on the couch and in dog beds.
Mitzi (our oldest at 16) and Gilda (13)
We just had a wonderful New Year’s Eve dinner out at one of our favorite Italian spots in Hillcrest. Times Square plays on the tv as we enjoy the wonderful place we call home.
We have two wonderful god sons who have grown into young men.
Joshua (21), Fearsome, Markus (17) and The Better Half
We were there for each of their births and have been their god parents since each of those wonerdful days. Joshua is a senior at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Markus is a senior in the International Baccalaureate program of San Diego High. Both speak three languages fluently. Their dad and The Better Half have been friends since high school, he and his wife are two of the best friends anyone could ever begin to wish for.
The two youngest dogs, our rescued Yorkies, have recovered extremely well from their double knee surgeries and are no longer confined to a nursery area but are living out with us and the rest of the pack.
Phoebe and Betty napping together in my lap, both are just 3 pounds each full grown.
Our home is full of love. We enjoy our community. Our careers are both fulfilling and lucrative.
With overwhelming gratitude, Fearsome and I wish each and every one of of you a very Happy New Year!
We cry when we feel.
We cry because we are vulnerable.
We cry to heal.
We cry with gratitude, or sadness, or joy, or hope, or grief, or pain.
We cry to love.
Today has been a spectacular day around us. My feelings have flowed freely. From joy and gratitude to grief and sadness. I’ve experienced beauty and inspiration as well as bewilderment and confusion.
New art in the alley today beside my barber.
Inspirational sign on the sidewalk I passed this afternoon.
Crystal blue sky above me as I walked.
Our last selfie together just now.
I write as we wait. Nina has had a good day but her health has continued to slide. It’s time.
Grown men cry.
Nina is still with us and peaceful in her bed.
Nina sleeping 12/28/17
It is a quintessential winter Southern California day. Crystal clear blue skies, bright winter sun and 72 degrees F. Nina has spent some time on her patio today, eaten well and napped in her beloved corner bed. Our housekeeper, whom Nina adores, is here cleaning. The other dogs are napping and occasionally barking at the construction workers doing the remodel next door. All in all a nothing unusual beautiful day. It is peaceful with just a little stimulation.
Planning it out couldn’t have turned it better. Our dog sitter who was with me as we rescued Nina together is out of town. Nina adores her as well and she will be back in San Diego tomorrow. She is coming over to be here with us when the veterinarian arrives about 5 pm. Tomorrow is forecast to be as beautiful as today. The Better Half already had scheduled the whole week off, so between the two of us someone will always be home tomorrow.
Earlier Abner and Patsy tried out the comfort of four beds piled together when or housekeeper was busy cleaning…
Patsy (with toy) and Abner reinact the Princess and the Pea.
The joys of life are abundant around here. It’s not gloom and doom. It’s sweet, with the bitterness of reality. The big questions loom. Why? Why are we here? What? What is this about?
Should we loose ourselves in contemplation of the unknown? Or should we just enjoy the moment even though we know the inevitable?
My answer? Enjoy the moment.
I believe there is one sole purpose for life. The purpose I believe in is love.
I am here to love. I am here to share. I am here to give. I am here to serve.
What are giving, serving and sharing? Love.
I am here to love. Period.
Last October marked the 3 year anniversary of our adoption of Nina. Nina’s owner had passed away and she had been left outside for a year behind an empty house. Her story starts HERE.
That was the day I discovered her. She was an older dog but full of energy, happy and playful. I wrote more about our decision to formally adopt her in this follow up POST.
We never really knew how old Nina was, but she has become a very old dog. In the past 6 months there has been a rapid deterioration. If you look back at her previous post there was a spark, a happiness and energy. Unfortunately due to age this is Nina today:
Nina on December 27, 2017. Official age unknown, estimated age 14-15 years.
Nina has a warm comfortable home that she has loved for the past three years. She has had regular medical care, dental care and grooming. She grew all her hair back after adoption and never had a flea again. She gained weight, ate well, played, walked and rarely ever barked. She had a short but happy life here.
I write because the time has come. We must make that decision that every loving pet owner never wishes to make.
She is confused. She’s not able to walk well. She can’t see nor hear. When she is able to walk, it is in circles as she has developed vestibular disease. She is often incontinent. She eats, but needs assistance. She appears uncomfortable.
We may not have to do it today, but we may. I just got the number for an in-home euthanisia Vet. I’m about to make the call to ask the questions and possibly schedule.
With tears I write. With written words I gain strength.
UPDATE: The in home appointment has been made for Friday 12/29 at 5 pm.
The healing has begun and they are starting to walk!
Betty & Phoebe two days post-op.
Still staying at their surgeon’s house. They are learning to walk with their casts on. We miss them so.
Our beautiful little recent family additions, Phoebe & Betty, came into our home due in part to their continuing medical needs …and honestly because I fell in love with them.
Betty & Phoebe
They weren’t just your average three pound cute little homeless 1 year old Yorkshire Terriers who would have been adopted before they even made it into the shelters. They are both medical needs fur babies who had grade 4 Medial Luxating Patellas. In other words the inbreeding that occurred to create smaller than normal dogs in the puppy mill to which they were born, led them to have a hereditary birth defect where their tiny little knee caps aren’t in the groove on the front of their tiny knees, but off to the insides of both legs completely leaving bone on bone scraping.
Thanks to The San Diego Humane Society, these two escaped the hell of a total of 170+ Yorkies being hoarded in one house that was obviously breeding and selling to boutique puppy markets. They had been at the shelter since February under contestant medical care for severely infected ears & hernias while they awaited medical fosters. We came along in May and fostered them to adopt, starting with Phoebe and adding Betty 5 days later, and adopt we did. We are blessed with the means and the ability to give them the surgeries they will need to correct their birth defects.
Successful is what their surgeon said when he called me after each one had their first leg operated on. Complicated was a term he described their tiny tiny knee cap surgeries. Betty’s being a bit more involved than Phoebe’s more straightforward anatomy defect. Their surgeries were yesterday. We will not see them for about 10 days. Last night was lonely in my bed without them. The surgeon’s wife is their physical therapist and will keep them to manage their pain and to get them started on the road to recovery. Once they can bear weight on the leg with the cast and can take a step they will get to come home. She will work with us training us to continue their therapy and meeting with us to check progress and add more excercises.
In six weeks they will go for their second surgeries to complete the needed repairs. In about 8 months we will complete their therapy and have two almost normal tiny 3 lb Yorkies who will be able to have long, healthy and hopefully pain free lives.
Our recent additions to our family, Betty & Phoebe, were two of the little Yorkies rescued from the same horrible situation in which Rylee was found.
Most shelters would simply have euthanized Rylee when faced with more than 180 dogs in a single rescue. Not San Diego Humane Society, SDHS has been at zero euthanasia since July 2014. Their mission is to stay that way making San Diego County, which is the size of Connecticut, a no kill county. They are even taking in animals from shelters outside of San Diego County in order to prevent unnecessary euthanasia beyond the borders of San Diego.
That’s why we have stepped up our game and have committed ourselves to donating at least $5,000 annually to support them.
Even if you don’t live in San Diego, is it possible that you could spare $25 to help the wonderful mission of San Diego Humane Society?
If you have just a little extra, please open your heart and your wallet and just click HERE.
A little will go a long way to help those who love us but can’t speak for themselves.
Fearsome, Betty & Phoebe thank you!
Yes Fearsome is posting a cat video, kittens no less. It will make your day a better day.
This is just one of the many reasons we support The San Diego Humane Society. This feature short highlights their kitten nursery that cares for, nurses to health, spays, neuters and manages to find homes for more than 5,000 kittens a year. Yes that is FIVE THOUSAND kittens per year.
The San Diego Humane Society “got to zero” in July 2014 and has remained at zero since that date.
“Zero” means that zero rehabilitatable animals are euthanized by this facility. We are proud to stand with and support such a facility.
Could it be that maybe we are fostering a second Yorkie? Maybe a cousin of Phoebe?
Why yes we are, and her name is Betty!
Our Foster Dog Paula
Paula, name given by San Diego Humane Society employees, is a 3.5 pound 1.5 year old Yorkie. Paula was part of a San Diego Humane Society rescue from a hoarding situation where 123 Yorkshire Terriers were rescued from filthy unsanitary cramped conditions. Ninety two were adopted out the rest were kept as they were either pregnant or had health issues that still needed to be resolved. After all pregnancies came to term, the total was over 160 yorkies.
Paula, who’s name will be changed, was one that had a hernia and otitis media (bad ear infection) both of which requiring surgery. She has been in the shelter the entire time. We are her new foster parents. She came home with us to meet our crew of six this afternoon. She’ll stay here as a foster for two weeks at which time she will go back for one final ear procedure. After her final ear treatment she will hopefully get cleared for adoption.
Yes we are thinking of adopting her. Thinking? Who am I fooling. She will 99.9% most likely be returning here to her new home. We are thinking of naming this tiny tiny girl Phoebe but are totally open to your suggestions. Naming our dogs is usually a 2-3 day ordeal.
What would you name this 3.5 pound 1.5 year cutie?
She seems to fit right in!
Virgil is 15 years old today. Today will be a special day around the house complete with cake. He is our Cinco De Mayo kid.
I learn from my dogs. Since Virgil’s arrival at our home, when he was about 5 months of age, he has taught me patience. He is good at it. He is a laid back kid who is patient and serene. He goes with the flow and therefore he finds very little trouble in his life.
Happy Birthday Virgil! Thank you for the lessons you share with me and may we have many more years of sharing ahead.
Abner came to live with us 5 years ago today. Since he was dropped at an emergency vet with multiple injuries and no information we do not know his actual birthday nor age. He was estimated to be about 2 years old at the time. We adopted him from the pound where he had received veterinary care for his eviserated eye, multiple lacerations and broken foot.
We decided that his adoption day would be his birthday and since he started his life with us at about 2 he would be 7 years old today.
Abner is a happy boy. Abner is an inspiration. Abner is pure joy. Abner is a blessing.
Happy Birthday Abner!
Mitzi is 15 today!
Blowing out her candle…
Everyone wants in on her gift…more Itty Bitty Tennis Balls! (And some stuffed pumpkin toys are hiding up on the counter for everyone, Yeah!)
15 years …Mitzi we love you, we wish you a very happy birthday and wish for many healthy loving years ahead!
Today is Patsy’s day to have a birthday!
Our undocumented immigrant. We couldn’t love her more.
More of her story is HERE.
We had a celebration for her last evening and by bedtime she was content and happy.
Warm and content.
We find that our dogs have much to teach us about the true happiness of contentment, peace, companionship and unconditional love.
We love you Patsy and wish you a very happy 7th birthday!
Nina is celebrating 13 years. She’s healthy and happy and we hope she has many more happy and healthy days ahead.
Nina, our beloved Border Collie
Happy Birthday Nina! We love you!
Gilda is the one who picked me. I’ve written about her before. She simply stepped into the street one day 10 years ago …right in front of my car. She proceeded to sit down right there in the street and look at me. I instantly knew I had a new dog. I got out and didn’t walk toward her but simply opened the rear door to the car. She looked at me and walked to the open door and climbed into the rear seat. She’s lived with us ever since.
We attempted to get her back to her owner. Thank god they didn’t want her. It’s a more complicated story than just that, but she is and was worth the drama. We found out that she was two years old and her birthday was in June. We don’t know the actual date but since she found us about June 1, we celebrated that day as her birthday.
Happy Biryhday Gilda!
You are the most wonderful Belgian Sheepdog in the world!
At this very moment I sit here:
View from my seat in the United Club at Dulles.
….and I am on my way here:
Patsy, Virgil & Mitzi waiting for me on the couch. (Photo just taken and text to me by The Better Half)
I love the journey that is life!
I love travel. I do it often.
The hardest part? Leaving the pups behind.
Just after boarding the plane headed back east this morning the better half sent me this photo. Isn’t she beautiful? I think so.
With anticipation I will see what adventures I find in this weeks east coast travel. I’ll make a few notes along the way. I hope you enjoy the ride along with me.