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Thora, my ultimate dog.

Having one senior dog is tough, having three?  It really is a lot to deal with…  but I wouldn’t part with even one of our oldies.  Today’s challenge was to photograph something old.  I jokingly asked my husband to pose for me after telling him what my challenge for today was, obviously he turned me down.  😉  I thought about snagging a snapshot of one of our antiques…  in the end though, Lily-Ann’s idea won out.  Sweets wanted his supper, Brandibuck wouldn’t sit still, so Thora it was.  I’ll admit, I don’t like photographing her with my iPhone.  It just doesn’t do her justice.  She really is a gorgeous, gorgeous dog.  I have a hard time believing she’s twelve.  I remember the first time I saw her in person – after her trek with the underground railroad (traveling to us relay style driven bit by bit by volunteers like ourselves) – I broke down in tears.  She really was the most beautiful puppy I’d ever seen, and to this day I’ve never met her equal…  not in brains, drive, beauty, or spirit.  She is a dog who is unmatched in every way, and I have been so blessed to have her as part of my life.

jan23b

The light seems crazily yellow here…  but that’s a camera phone for you.  😉

photo a day challenge for january

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Thora, Bucky, and Sweets; our old dogs.

I started writing a post about old dogs…  got about a paragraph in, and deleted it.  The fact of the matter is that we now have three old dogs, and as much as I love old dogs (seriously, I’m a sucker for a senior dog, there’s just something about them) I worry for our hearts.

We’ve only ever had one senior dog at a time before.  And it wrenches your heart out when they leave you.  Time helps you heal, but the hole they leave in your heart never completely closes back over.  I imagine my heart looks like swiss cheese.  I’ve had far too many go on ahead to Rainbow Bridge to wait for me.  I wonder how many more holes I can handle.

Thora.  Can’t believe she’s 11.  I have no idea how it happened.  I remember the day she arrived (via the underground railroad – volunteers each driving a leg of the journey to bring her here).  I cried when I saw her for the first time.  She was everything I had ever hoped for.  Lurchers are fabled as the “ultimate” dog, and she really is.  The idea that she’s a senior is just so foreign.  She’s still my “baby girl”.  She’s still that ultimate hunter and protector – the perfect dog.

Brandibuck is 12.  Boy, she and I have weathered a lot of storms.  She was my Service Dog for a number of years.  I retired her officially at 8.  She was ready to just be a pet, she didn’t want to deal with stores and people, and traffic, and crowds any more.  Now she just has to patrol the yard…  keeping everyone in line.  She’s always been a momma dog.  Keeping the unruly puppies in check.  She’s what we call a gentle alpha, though the last year or so she’s kinda let the alpha part slip (allowing Thora to step in).  She’s always been a bit of a princess too – unless she’s rolling in the dirt and mud.  Good grief.  I wonder how I ever kept her in show coat.  Oh right!  I used to brush her long locks every day.  I enjoyed it too, she mostly just tolerated it.  I think she was relieved when I finally relented and clipped her down.  My funny little Havanese…  my little Neezer.

Sweets.  Well…  Caesar.  He hasn’t been with us that long.  But like I’ve mentioned, we’re kinda suckers for an old dog.  CZ came here for his “last hurrah” – to breed to a couple of girls.  It didn’t take long for us to realize he wasn’t going anywhere, that at 11 he’d found his forever home.  He’s very much the king of the castle here.  The girls all pander to him (except Thora, who’s top dog, and she mostly lets him do his own thing) and the people all dote on him, heck even the cat – who avoids all the other dogs – will love him up.  He’s one seriously spoiled old dood.  And he really is the sweetest little old man Chi, which is why I’ve dubbed him Sweets (and yes, it’s a nod to Bones as well).  We’re quite happy he chose us as his family.

So there we are.  Three old dogs.  One who joined our family when she was two, one at three months, and one at 11 – yet all are within a year of one another.  I can’t imagine how our hearts will fare when they begin to say goodbye.  I truly hope it’s a long, long ways away.

 

one of our wedding photos, with three of our dogs

Our wedding in 2006; with Thora, Brandibuck, and Nico (now at the Rainbow Bridge).

You can meet some of our dogs here:  http://www.dogster.com/family/373333  But it’s a few years out of date.  Guess it’s time to think about updating it (especially seeing how half our dog aren’t even there).  😉

Feeling Peaceful

I’m laying in bed next to my daughter, listening to the quiet of the house.  Besides the breathing (the girlie and the dogs), and the muffled click of my fingers on the keys, the house is silent.  That simply doesn’t happen very often.

The animals are all still.  My husband is out (fetching a movie and slurpees).  And I get the simple joy of solitude – without actually being alone.

Moments like these were once taken for granted.  Back in my twenties, when it was just DH, the dogs (and other sundry animals) and I.  These days though…  when the full of energy, high need, super creative, way too smart for her own good, kid is tearing around?  Yep.  These silent, calm, relaxed, pensive moments are few and far between.

In a house this small, with this many lives within it’s walls, you truly hear someone at almost every hour of every day.  Whether it’s the cat padding around the stairwell, or Thora (the Lurcher) running in her sleep, Zenora (our congo african grey) telling tales, or the turtle splashing into her pond…  even when the house is mostly still, there is still life to be heard.

And just like that my moment of calm surrender is broken.  Liz (the Miniature American Eskimo) started yipping.  I’m wondering if she may be coming into heat…  she’s being extra annoying.  😉

Happy Easter everyone!  Hope you too are able to find a quiet calm moment to just be present, somewhere, today.

Apples and a Walk with Thora

So… this post is for yesterday AND today.  I ended up in bed, in a lot of pain, all yesterday afternoon, evening, and night…  so just couldn’t muster up the strength to post.  Thankfully today has been MUCH better.  🙂  That said, today you get a two-fer.

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I am a proud Mommy, so have to share the wee girlie’s first bulletin board at school.  😀  Her pre-k class did a project on apples…  so here’s a quick shot of the bulletin board outside her classroom.

Apples!

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A couple days now, I’ve taken Thora (our Lurcher) with me for the six block walk to pick up the wee girlie from school.  Lily-Ann absolutely LOVES it!  And, of course, so does Thora.  🙂

So here’s a picture of my two baby girls…  only one of whom has reached the double digits.  Thankfully.  😉

A Walk with Thora

Thora

Thora is our Lurcher (border collie x greyhound).  She’s the most amazing dog I’ve ever had the privilege to know… and as a trainer and handler, I’ve known a LOT of dogs.  Beautiful, smart, fast, soft.  She made me a better trainer.  The day she leaves our family behind will leave us all awfully empty.

Thora, the Lurcher

Thora

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