Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Two years and no posts. A lot has happened.

Shadow died. It took her six months to die. It was heartbreaking to watch her decline and die but I wouldn't have been anywhere else in the world but with her. I never thought I'd live with a dog. What a blessing she was in my life. I truly loved her. And now, a year and a half after her death, I feel more grateful for her than I can say. I always referred to her as my only dog. She came home with me as an alternative to euthanasia, which she and I both felt was an excellent and necessary choice. I gave her five great years and she gave me an entirely new perspective on living. A couple of weeks after she died I adopted Duff, also scheduled for euthanasia. I can't say I fell in love with Duff instantly, as I did with Shadow. I was still mourning her, after all. But more than a year later I can say I love him dearly and he is as wonderful in his way as she was in hers. How lucky can I be?

Sad to say that after Shadow died, two more elder cats died as well, PJ and then Smokey. Lisa and Lucy had already passed away, after my mom. Hard losses. And I knew Smoke and PJ were getting to that point. But it's still hard. I was fortunate to be able to spend time with them, as I had with the others, and see them gently to their final days, in some cases holding them in my arms as they took their last breaths.

So now I have a garden full of dead cats and one dog. And here in the house with me, McDuff and Gracie. A boy dog, a girl cat. And they are wonderful companions. Gracie is more lovey and cuddly now that she's the only cat. It could not be clearer that she is fully enjoying her days at about thirteen years of age. She has even decided that the dog's bed is quite comfy if she plops herself clear in the middle of it. And he's too much of a gentleman to ask her to move. But he has other beds. And couches. And lots of soft rug. AND trips in the car, little walks with mom, and a dog house that he's decided is a splendid place to survey his outdoor kingdom from. Some nights he even insists on staying out there. And with all the frog symphonies going on and coyote sing-alongs, and errant squirrels and raccoons and neighbor cats thinking of intruding - well, there's a heck of a lot of work for McDuff to do.

So this is where we are now. I hope to post more often here on things outdoorsy and animal related.
Happy almost spring.