Posts Tagged ‘family’

Back from the memorial. The church was filled, FILLED & I was amazed as I don’t even know that many people, yet imagine that I could fill even half a church.

 It was a full Catholic service, non of which I knew the secret words & signs, and I unconsciously swore, out loud, yet quietly when the priest called the congregation for the eucharist.

I was under-dressed, as I apparently own nothing appropriate for a funeral, though this was a memorial of life, and there were others amongst the black attire with splashes of color, including a bright bow-tie by a gentleman speaker who said J. would have approved. He was a lover of life, after all. Relief. At the calling hour this morning, I decided it was more important to show up than not, even forgoing the dress code.

Many wonderful things were said of this man and I teared up when his granddaughters stoically gave remembrances. (I am my mother’s daughter; we are real weepers). I barely knew this man–an engineer, a pilot, a husband, an adventurer, a softball coach–whose house I have walked by & shared small salutations for 13 years. I am truly awed by his life, his family, his happy marriage of 53 YEARS. How does a mate go on after such a life? What do you do in a big empty house where once was constant chatter?

I must remember to not only wave, but perhaps, stop in now and then, bring more bread, be bold enough to ask how she is doing, when there is no good answer.

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Trooper went to the vet today for a sore mouth, but came home & now has a stomach ache–I can hear it roiling–& he’s crawled under my vanity–a place he’s never gone, after I had to force the antibiotics into him, because he wouldn’t eat ANYTHING….sigh.

He bit my finger so hard it’s throbbing. Glad to know those back chompers work…

And today–TODAY–is one year (!) since I found him &…

It scares me when my guys are sick.  It makes the world feel slippery…

Papa was sick this week too, back in the hospital for his heart, and mom was trying so hard to keep a brave face, and we are all of us–mom, dad, me, papa, trying to keep good brave faces while the clock ticks onward.

And there’s nothing I can do about any of it, except try and breathe, try and keep my footing while the ground shimmers and shakes beneath our every step.


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Trooper had dental surgery yesterday, 21 teeth extracted. Yep, that’s not a typo. TWENTY-ONE. Dogs, I just learned, have 42 teeth. He lost half his chops. You know that’s gotta hurt.

Below, this was Trooper this morning, just after his first pain pill kicked in. The green bandage was his IV. I’d take it off, but that’s going to hurt too. I just can’t do it yet.

So, this is what’s up in nursing Trooper to health. The Krupps coffee grinder is now for pulverizing dog food. It’s awesome.

A couple of easy seconds & it’s as fine as, well, coffee.

Since finding Trooper, I’ve been putting the kibble in the nut grinder. It’s a hassle, but it made small chunks he could eat. We won’t be needing this for a while. It’s paste for next several weeks, at least.

Meds! Liquid antibiotics–SO fun! I have to squirt the tube into the back side of his mouth–a place he’ll never voluntarily allow anyone again. I wrap him in a towel, put on my leather gloves and coax it at his mouth until he bites it, then SQUIRT! Whatever works.

The big bottle is post-eating mouth wash. Can’t let those stitches get infected. This is the same act as the antibiotics, except as long as I get it ON his mouth–his muzzle, his fur, he can lick it off. It must be sweet, because it’s ridiculously sticky.

The blue bottle? His teeth. (Second to last photo if you want to leave now.)

This is the extraction chart. It’s a bit hard to see, but look above and below the layout of the teeth. See all those Xs? Teeth taken out. The Os are teeth missing already and the 3s are teeth I have to watch, brush regularly if he wants to keep them. I have to brush. his. teeth. Am going to need a hazmat suit w/thick rubber gloves. Oye.

I hesitated showing the teeth. I didn’t want to gross you out. (I soaked them in bleach them before I touched them.) But look at the size of them?! This is a barely nine pound dog and those molars are weighty, nearly the size of the penny. I had no idea the teeth roots went that deep and were also bone. I just never thought about it. All those tiny little pieces to the left were his front bottom teeth. They’re all there, so tiny, more root than tooth, because he had ground them all down living on the street, we presume.

Trooper’s been groaning, moaning and agitated, but of course! Seriously, if this were me I’d be in the hospital on a morphine drip.  But, I came home from the store to find him standing in the kitchen looking at me. “Chop, chop, lady! It’s 4:30. I need a walk!”

So, I bundled him up (chilly day) took along a blanket incase I had to carry him home, but he walked six blocks AND tried to hump another dog. Okay. (Note, he did not get neutered. He was under anesthesia for several hours, the vet said, and I had told her if it’s too much, don’t. So she didn’t. Maybe, for his health, another day.

Right now, he’s eaten his mush, gotten squirted in the face with the mouth wash, gotten a face bath, then bundled back up. He’s crashed out, asleep. And tomorrow we’ll do it all over again.

d, xo

p.s. Trooper’s surgery cost approx. $800, or as I like to say, rent. If you feel so inclined–and several amazing Twitter folks have!–I’ve got a PayPal donation button set up on my other blog. (I put this story here, because vintage shoppers don’t want to see growdy dog teeth. *Smirk* Thank you, d xo

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Look at these two. All day long I get this look. How do I get any work done?

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Zephyr is always hot. He hates being in the house, lounges on the cold cement outdoors, in the garage, in the dirt. The first sign of cold weather and he’s begging to get in the jeep. He can sit there for hours. It’s officially Fall.

How could I not love this guy?

d, xo

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I am an avid people watcher. Always mesmerized, surprised, moved, shocked by what people say and do; I can not help it. Nothing beats real life for crazy, touching, frightening, tear provoking.


Today, Zephyr and I walked in McKinley Park. It swarmed with serious runners, huffing, panting, plugged in, tuned out, racing around the park in the metaphorical fast lane. There was soccer practice, tennis matches, a few strollers (most mommies and nannies walk on week days), but everyone moved with purpose, looking ahead, talking on phones, distracted, missing, what I thought, was a beautiful day. Zephyr stopped to smell every tree and bush. I sipped my coffee. It was all good.

We wandered through East Sacramento–capital E,  the trendiest neighborhood to live in, populated with the next generation of preppy:  upper class, mobile (imports from the Bay Area) and fashion forward. It’s like watching reality tv.

These are my two favorite moments overheard today:

At a yard sale, a Latina woman, who didn’t speak much English was asking about a pair of shorts.

The woman selling: “Those are $8.”

The buyer, shocked went to set them down.

Seller: “Well, I bought those at Abercrombie & Finch. They’re not USED. See the tags are still on them, and well, I gained a bit of weight…but they’re still NEW!”

The woman walked away.  New or not, it’s a yard sale, lady. Ugly yellow shorts after Labor Day go for a dollar, maybe two. That’s why they’re for sale in September in your YARD.

* * *

Back in the park, Zephyr stopped to attend to some business. Two women were sitting on a park bench near us and this is what one said, rather loudly:

“Oh! THAT’S  why I don’t have a dog. The POOP. It’s disgusting.”

I turned around and looked straight at her. “Well, YOU poop TOO. I hope THAT hasn’t stopped someone from loving you.”

She looked aghast. A little poop is hardly worth mentioning for all the companionship Zephyr brings. 😉

As for yard sales, I picked up a genuine Louis Vuitton handbag for a dollar. I’d call that a successful morning.

d, xo

P.S. After much research, the Louis Vuitton bag is a really good fake. Still, it was interesting research and I did only pay a dollar for it. The excitement in learning never ends in. 😉

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Today was windy and cool, a California autumn on the heels of a hot Indian summer. Zephyr and I  hadn’t been to the river in weeks. It was time.

Starting out in the park. Bright eyed and ready to walk.

By 5:30 the sun was heading west, cooling down so Zephyr could make the first half of the hot dry trek to the river. I love the dusty dirt road, but Zephyr heats up fast these days. I have to be careful.

If Zephyr were any other animal. He would be an otter.

The water is still amazingly high, higher than I’ve ever seen it this late in the season. Gates at Folsom must be wide open, because you can see the rise marks along the sand.

The sun was still hot on the upper dirt road, so we took the forest path along the river, which stays hidden in trees and vines. The path is very narrow in places. Fallen trees block passages. Despite, the dreadful “beaver fence” all along the rocky ledge, the beaver have been busy. (The dreadful fence keeps deer out, dogs out, people too, but the beaver, not a chance.)

Zephyr ahead of me on the trail. He trots on then turns and makes certain I’m coming. At 12 1/2 years old, he can still trek ahead. This makes me SO happy.

A little trouble on the big rocks at the end. Agility is best kept to the flat trail.

Coming back on the high road. Having fun in the setting sun.

We made it! Zephyr gets the rock ‘n’ roll dog award for this trek. Our celebratory photo.  Every single time we can still make this trek I feel blessed.

d, xo

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Dad and I met for coffee this morning. It was the first really sunny day in what felt like weeks. I knew he would show in shorts. Do I know my dad or what?

No one takes a sunny day with more happiness than dad. The man lives for summer: mountain hiking , chips, salsa & beer by the pool.  Apparently, he has retired his Birkenstocks, but he’s a beach guy at heart.

Go dad. 🙂

d, xo

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My mom managed to deliver a beautiful plant I was eyeing at her house last week. It came  in a bag with a bright red bow and this card, via my dad. That’s a long distance transaction, well planned.  

Thanks mom, d. xo

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We’re big walkers in my family. Take the dogs, go find a trail. Mom found a Thanksgiving hike so off we went–mom & sis, my niece, two big dogs & me in the back seat. It was a ridiculous cram. I nearly spilled my coffee! (Mom pulled over just to shoot this photo. Zephyr is actually sitting on Crystal, his furry “cousin” because she won’t move her big fat butt.

My sister and niece at the trail head. Gorgeously sunny day. 🙂

Me, alone on the pond. Tried to get Zephyr to jump out here too. He wouldn’t have anything to do with it. So much for Christmas photos.

The trail was a muddy clay mess the whole hikeIt was like hiking on frozen–going soggy–banana peels.  The dogs, of course, loved it.

Back home after a long wet muddy hike, we poured tea and worked on the jigsaw puzzle (it’s my new family thing).  Papa spied these turkeys in the back yard. “The ones that got away!”

Happy Thanksgiving, d xxoo

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