Preparations Underway

Written March 29, 2017. As many of you know, we lost Sirius Black to illness back in February. Every loss is unique, and this one continues to hit us hard. When I am not concentrating, I still find myself glancing around the room, looking or listening for what Sirius is up to, and it's a new blow every time I don't see him and everything hits me again. That being said, we are a dog household, and, within the Sirius-shaped hole in our lives, is a dog shaped hole. Therefore, we decided to move forward with a process we had been exploring for some time, and we are hoping to bring home our new retired racing greyhound this weekend. At this point, we don't know the age, sex, or size if the dog we will be adopting. Nor do we know whether the dog has been in foster or will be coming directly from a track environment. This means there will be more...
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A Painful Goodbye

I have spent the last week looking for words more elegant than “I feel like someone ripped a hole in my heart,” but I haven't found any. Perhaps there aren't any. Last fall I shared a bit of the experience we had been going through with Sirius Black. After he went blind, it was initially diagnosed as SARDS, a poorly understood condition, but one that has few side effects besides the blindness itself. Over time, he should have adjusted to the blindness and generally resumed generally normal activity. He didn't. Over the last few months, his condition gradually deteriorated. He could walk less far and became confused more often. Eventually, he could not walk or even respond at all. Looking back, we can even spot signs of deterioration in June of 2016 or possibly earlier; before he showed overt signs of blindness. Frequent vet visits and repeated tests brought us no closer to a firm diagnosis, while gradually eliminating possibilities that promised...
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Good-bye, Old Friend

Good-bye, Old Friend

This post is almost two weeks late for one simple reason: I didn't want to write it. By writing this post, I am acknowledging that I have lost a friend. A young dog who only a short time ago seemed so healthy, is gone. I don't want to dwell on the negatives, instead, I am trying to remember the good times we had walking, visiting, and watching her play with Sirius Black. And I think that is the right approach. Loss is something we live with in life, especially when we share our lives with pets, who are typically shorter-lived than we are. Of course, the sense of tragedy is increased when one dies so young. But there is nothing to regret in a well-lived life. And there is nothing to be sorry for when we know we have done everything we can for the animals in our lives. So, I propose a toast for my late friend, "It was a privilege to know you....
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Reflections on a Life

This note originally appeared on my personal Facebook wall on June 9, 2010. Sydney passed away on June 8, 2010 (aged approximately 14 years) from kidney failure. She had lived with my family since August 2007. When we adopted her, we were told the kidney disease would probably give her only 6 months to a year to live. That, more than anything else, motivated us to enjoy every day with her and truly see her time with us as something special. I'm reposting this here today in honor of several family members and friends who have recently lost pets, or learned of their beloved companion's terminal illness, including, once again, my own family, in Sydney's steady companion/seeing eye dog/hearing ear dog Bailey. She came to us like most shelter dogs - some good, some bad, but mostly unknown. But her Beagle pride and quirky personality soon shone through, in her tolerance for Bailey's wildly waving tail, her penchant for cat poop and...
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