dogs

Spirit animals… could it be time for a new dog?

I don’t know about you, but whenever I lose a pet, they always seem to “visit” from the great beyond occasionally. Eventually, after time has passed, they visit less often.

I understand the rational explanation for this phenomenon. I’m not an idiot– although some people seem to think I am. I know it’s probably all in my mind. I still find it interesting when I get a visit from one of my long lost animals. My pony, Rusty, died in 1993, but I still get visits from him sometimes, mostly in my dreams. In fact, most of my pets visit in dreams, although sometime their spirits seem to jump into my other pets.

Lately, I’ve been getting visits from Zane, who died on August 31st of this year. Zane’s death was different from those of the three dogs who predeceased him. For one thing, his last week wasn’t absolutely horrible. Zane had lymphoma, which seemed to just make him very tired before a tumor in his spleen apparently burst and caused internal bleeding. He had a pretty decent last week, though, lounging in the sun and eating to his heart’s content. Even his last day wasn’t absolutely awful, although the vet told us it was good that we’d brought him in because he probably wouldn’t have survived the night.

All three of our previous rescues– CuCullain (CC), Flea, and MacGregor, all had devastating diseases that were very painful for them. CC had a rare mycobacterial infection that caused abscesses. What made his passing worse was that most vets never encounter Mycobacterium Avian in dogs, and they don’t really know how to treat it. Most dogs are innately immune to that organism, and the ones who do get it almost universally die quickly of the disease. It’s related to tuberculosis and causes painful abscesses, as well as a host of other horrible symptoms. Consequently, CC’s death was particularly bad. We’d even had him on a Fentanyl patch for his last hours, which were spent in a specialty hospital with a vet who acted like he’d wanted to keep him around for research purposes.

Our beagle, Flea, had prostate cancer that slowly destroyed him over four months. He’d been determined to live, so his disease had progressed a lot before he finally made it clear that it was time to let him go. Even then, he hadn’t wanted to die and seemed to fight being euthanized. He was emaciated and, the night before he passed, had lost the ability to walk.

MacGregor had a spinal tumor that was misdiagnosed. The tumor caused incredible pain, but two vets were convinced he’d actually had disc disease. We had him get a MRI at N.C. State University to find out what was wrong with him. The tumor was invading his spinal column. When the vet told me that, I told her we would be letting him go that evening, even though she said we could wait. MacGregor was in a lot of pain and definitely ready, unlike his predecessor.

After their deaths, all three of these dogs seemed to send us signs that they were okay… or, maybe it was just us kidding ourselves. When Flea died, Bill saw a rare shooting star in the early morning the next day. When CC died, he heard an ethereal version of “Fields of Gold” while on hold with the state vet’s office, waiting for the results of CC’s PCR test (to find out what organism had killed him). Immediately after MacGregor died, we heard a lovely, comforting song by Rhonda Vincent called “I Will See You Again”. I was so freaked out by MacGregor’s death that I even read a book about spiritual signs from dogs after they die. Yes… it’s a lot of woo, but reading about the signs and knowing that others have experienced when they’ve lost animals they loved was very comforting.

Besides the immediate signs we got from stars or special songs, the dogs “visited” a lot in our thoughts and dreams, and even seemed to send us new dogs to help ease the pain of losing them. When we got Arran in January 2013, he did some things that were very “MacGregorish”, prompting tears in Bill. MacGregor had been more Bill’s dog than mine. For months after MacGregor died, Arran would do things that were uncannily like MacGregor. It was like he instinctively knew what we were missing. But then he became more of his own dog and we saw less MacGregor in him.

When Zane died, I didn’t get so many signs at first. It took a couple of weeks before he visited my dreams, although he did seem to “show up” when we got a visit from the Jehovah’s Witnesses. It’s only been lately that he’s been lurking a lot. He showed up in a vivid dream the other day. I was sure it was him, but then when I got closer to the dog, I realized that it wasn’t Zane. I woke up just as I was about to pet the “imposter”.

A couple of days ago, Bill came out of the bathroom with a strange look on his face. I’m sure it was unrelated to the massive dump he’d just unloaded. He said, “I’m a little bit freaked out right now.”

“Why?” I asked.

“You know how Zane used to like to come into the bathroom and nap? I just had the sense he was in there with me.” Bill explained.

There have also been a few times when I could have sworn that I heard Zane’s whine… a familiar sound when he wanted or needed something. Over almost ten years with us, he had become adept at telling us his needs. All of our dogs have done this, although they’ve each had different ways. MacGregor, for instance, was really good at words and would get excited if you mentioned the one he was looking for. If he wanted to go outside and we said “outside”, he’d jump up enthusiastically, his eyes bright. If we mentioned “cookie” or “chewy”, and that was what he wanted (which was almost always), he would reward us with happy barks and a victory dance.

Zane was less like that. He would whine, like a needy old man. It was especially like that in his last year. I’d often find him at the bottom of the steps, waiting for an escort to bed. In earlier years, he’d come up behind me and whine when he wanted to jump into my lap for snuggle time.

Flea, on the other hand, would simply squeak plaintively or bark demands. I still remember when we lived in our first German house, he’d wake up in the mornings and announce himself before coming downstairs. We always got up before he did. He was like a little despot, and he demanded to be waited on like the regal beagle he was. Every day at ten in the morning, rain or shine, he would demand a walk by whining and squeaking plaintively– much more insistently than Zane ever did. Incidentally, I was initially attracted to Zane because he sort of resembled Flea. But then when I saw him in person, he didn’t look so much like Flea. There were times when he behaved like him, though… especially when he demanded food by barking at us.

Well… it’s happening again. Arran is starting to take on some of Zane’s traits. Zane was the king of “dog spreading”. He would get up on our king sized bed and stretch out until Bill and I were pushed to the edges of the mattress. Zane also loved to burrow under the covers, snuggling up to me until he got too hot. He was also very good about going potty outside, and would tell us when it was necessary. He liked lying on the fuzzy blue blanket at the foot of the bed… that was also one of MacGregor’s habits.

Arran was trying his hardest to give us both lots of attention last night. He was especially insistent on getting time with Bill. Bill is Arran’s favorite human.

Arran, by contrast, has always liked snuggling between Bill and me at the head of the bed. He has always curled up into a tight doughnut, above the covers. Last night, he burrowed. Not all the way, like Zane always did, but about halfway. He’s also discovered dog spreading. One positive thing that’s happened is that Arran, who has never been as reliable about house training, has almost completely stopped having accidents. He tells us when he wants to go out and rarely makes mistakes anymore. I noticed when he would make a mistake, it was usually when Zane was sleeping with us. During the last year of Zane’s life, he and Arran mostly took turns sleeping with Bill and me.

Zane and Arran had been friends when we first got Arran, but neither was alpha enough to maintain leadership, so Arran would challenge Zane a lot. Zane wasn’t a fighter, but he would defend himself against Arran and, as long as he was feeling okay, would often win the battles. I think that because of the scraps they’d get into during the latter part of Zane’s life, they weren’t close friends at the end. Arran was always trying to take advantage of peace loving Zane, and Zane just wanted to be left alone. Zane got along better with MacGregor, who was a lot older and didn’t care about who was in charge. In fact, that was what had made MacGregor such a perfect buddy for Flea, who was extremely alpha and would challenge any dog, regardless of its size. Flea needed to be the leader by all means. I think Flea was our biggest challenge, too, while so far, Zane has been the easiest dog.

Usually, by now, we would have found another dog… not to replace the one departed, but to give another dog a home and enjoy another family member. We’ve held off this time, but it’s been difficult. I often feel drawn to certain animals, and there’s been at least one that has “spoken” to me. She’s very young, not a beagle, and bigger than what I’m used to. I worry about how Arran will behave with another dog in the house. He’s loving the attention he’s getting as the only dog, but he’s also getting older himself. I also think that the frequent visits from Zane are reminders that there are other dogs out there who need a home.

Practically speaking, it would probably be better if we waited until we leave Germany before we get another dog. But I don’t know how long we’re going to be here. We could be gone next year, in two years, or in five years or more. I keep thinking that after Christmas, we’ll start thinking seriously about getting another dog for me… not so much for Arran, who would probably just as soon stay the only dog. It still seems like Zane is trying to tell us something, though. He’s still with us in spirit and in our hearts. I know he’d want us to share what we have with another dog. I also think that when the right one comes along, we’ll know. He’ll probably tell us.

By the way… I don’t remember ever getting signs from human loved ones who have passed on. I know people do get “visits” from parents, grandparents, or children they’ve lost. Not me… I only hear from the pets. I guess that says something about the bond I have with my animals.

This was the book I read after we lost MacGregor. I don’t remember what I thought about it, since I posted a review on Epinions and Epinions is long gone. If you choose to buy it through this site, I’d get a small commission. Frankly, though, I’m just posting this for those who are curious. I was so freaked out by MacGregor’s “signs” that I felt compelled to read about them… Maybe it’s time to reread this book, since Zane keeps visiting.

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music

Here’s to Life…

No… I have not become a pro-lifer. I just have life on the brain this morning, for a couple of reasons. First off, I learned this morning that Amy Jordan Duggar King (whichever last name she’s going by these days) just had her first baby, a son named Daxton Ryan King. It seems like nowadays, we’ve given up all the names that were incarnations of Aiden… Jayden, Braden, Hayden, Kayden, and Maiden… Now “axton” has become the popular suffix of modern names. We have Jaxton, Braxton, Saxton, and now Daxton. Well, as long he’s healthy and happy, I guess that’s all that matters. Amy had a C-section in a hospital. She looks like she’s over the moon due to the arrival of her son. Good on her! I hope the planet is good to him as he grows up.

Sigh… I love this song.

“Here’s to Life” is also the name of a beautiful song I first heard in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Composed by Artie Butler and Phyllis Molinary, this is a wistful song about the passage of life. The song was made popular by Shirley Horn, but the version I heard was done very movingly by the Jordan Family, a musical family from New Orleans who, at the time of the Katrina fundraiser in 2005, were still missing a couple of people due to the flooding. The above video is a beautiful live version done on the second anniversary after Katrina hit.

Artie Butler talks about how he came to write this beautiful song and Phyllis Molinary wrote the lyrics. He wrote it for his dad.

I would love to do the jazzy rendition done by the Jordan Family, but it’s not available. Since I just updated my iMac to Catalina, I wanted to see if my music library was affected, in terms of DRM. I had Barbra Streisand’s karaoke version of “Here’s to Life” that I never uploaded, so I decided to do it this morning. I don’t know that I ever listened to Barbra’s version before this morning. Barbra Streisand is one of those singers whom many people love. Personally, she’s not my favorite, even though I recognize her brilliance. I would rather watch her act than listen to her sing. I feel the same way about Bette Midler, whom I think is a wonderful comedienne. But I do like what Miss Streisand did with “Here’s to Life”. Below is her version.

This is very nice. I like the arrangement very much, although it kind of misses the gut wrenching emotion of Stephanie Jordan’s version, which I can tell really came from her heart.

I also did a version this morning. In a former life, I may have been a torch singer. The lyrics are especially meaningful to me lately. Zane, the wonder beagle, has been on my mind a lot. I really miss him. I probably miss him more than some of the people I’ve lost over the past few years. Arran, our other dog, has been adjusting to the loss… it’s almost like Zane jumped into him and imparted some manners. He’s been very snuggly and cuddly, obviously enjoying not having to share the attention with Zane. We’ve had fewer behavioral issues. It’s been nice, although it doesn’t make up for the hole in our little family. Last night, we had beautiful rainbows as the sun came out during a rainstorm. Although I know it’s just a weather phenomenon, it made me think of Zane and made me wonder if maybe he was saying “hello”… So I took a few photos.

Even if he wasn’t greeting us, the rainbows made me think of Zane, and how quickly almost ten years can fly by. He would have turned eleven next month and we would have celebrated ten years with him in December. And now he’s gone. “Here’s to Life” reminds me that life is fleeting, and it’s a good thing to savor every moment if you can. Zane was one of those creatures who was almost always happy, and he made me happy. I was not blessed with a naturally cheerful personality, so I have to work at seeing the bright side of things sometimes. I try to maintain perspective as much as possible. I think that’s something everyone should do. Unfortunately, some people aren’t able.

This morning, I was looking through memories on Facebook and was reminded of an argument I had with a conservative friend of mine. He’s a police officer and, I think, is a bit embittered by the so-called “liberal media”. I had shared a video of a black woman who was in tears because she was pulled over by a white police officer for driving too slowly. She was absolutely terrified that she would be arrested, wounded, or killed by the officer. I was responding to this woman’s palpable distress at being pulled over and not understanding why the cop had stopped her. She obviously felt her life was in jeopardy and there was nothing she could do about it.

The police officer clearly felt terrible that the woman was so upset. He really was a good officer who was legitimately concerned about her safety. He gave her a hug and begged her not to cry. But the woman was still legitimately afraid. I thought her story was heartbreaking, and said so. My cop friend tried to make himself and other police officers out to be victims of the “liberal media”, who make people like the woman in the video terrified. But it’s a fact that unarmed people of color have been killed by law enforcement. The woman’s fear is not unfounded or unreasonable, and I empathized with that reality. That was what I was responding to, even as I understand that my cop friend feels badly when people complain about police officers abusing their power.

Here are a few comments from our discussion. He claims I “misread” his intent.

Not that I want to rehash this discussion, per se… this is more a comment on perspectives. My friend John has the perspective of a police officer. I can see his perspective on a cognitive level. I also see the terrified woman’s perspective. Being pulled over is scary enough when you’re not in a group who is regularly targeted simply due to your appearance. I can see why the lady in the video was so frightened and, as a fellow human being, I related to her pain. It doesn’t mean I can’t empathize with John. I just didn’t feel like we needed to turn the narrative of this particular video into something about the poor police officers.

I know that most cops don’t abuse their power. Too many of them do, though… and people sometimes get hurt or killed. A nice lady who was driving a little bit under the speed limit should not be reduced to tears of terror simply because someone who is supposed to protect and serve pulls her over due to legitimate worries about her ability to drive safely. The cop described in the video was doing his job well, and I commend him. He is a credit to his profession, and reminds us that no situation is truly “black and white”, and almost nothing is all good or all bad. But that doesn’t mean the woman was “wrong” to be scared, nor is her legitimate fear necessarily the media’s fault.

Black and white thinking– assuming someone or something is all good or all bad– is a bad habit a lot of us get into. It’s important to remember that the vast majority of people are not all good or all bad. Most of us are middle of the road. I don’t assume all police officers are horrible people based on a few media reports. However, I also don’t assume that people like the woman in the video are wrong to be scared when they get pulled over by the cops. Unfortunately, by sharing this video, I got into a minor argument that ultimately got kind of negative. But even this discussion led to something good. We had a discussion, and it’s a part of what inspires me to write today.

Zane, the wonder beagle, taught me that most everyone is inherently good on some level. He maintained a positive attitude and didn’t engage in black and white thinking. It’s easy to be bogged down by negativity and hatred when someone or something causes a negative reaction. But almost every situation has a silver lining, and that’s why it’s so good to try to maintain perspective. Even bad situations can lead to something positive and hopeful.

For instance, in 2012, when we lost our sweet “bagel” MacGregor, Arran came into our lives and brightened it. We also made several new friends in North Carolina. Zane brought good things to our lives, too. And now that he’s gone, his life still makes a difference… even if it’s just in the form of inspiration that comes from singing a song, taking a photo, or writing a blog post.

John Rasmussen, the awesome artist who made this, was inspired by Zane, too. Check out his Facebook page.

Well… this post turned into a roundabout discussion, didn’t it? I do enjoy my “music” days, even if other people don’t. I feel good when I can make music for myself and anyone who cares to share it with me. I write most days and writing often brings me satisfaction, but music brings me joy. I’d probably be a happier person if I could do more music and less writing… at the very least, I’d get into less trouble. So “here’s to life”… and here’s to you. And here’s to realizing that if you want to see rainbows, a little rain must fall.

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dogs

I think Arran is grieving…

The past three weeks have been strange as we’ve been getting used to losing Zane. I think they’ve been especially weird for Arran, who was not in attendance when we said goodbye to his buddy on August 31st. Arran saw us take an ailing Zane out of the house, and that was the last he saw of the dog who was his companion for 6.5 years. I think Arran knew Zane wasn’t feeling well, but he probably doesn’t understand that Zane won’t be coming home. Add to the fact that Arran was passed around a few times before he landed with us, and you have a dog who might wonder if he’s going to be “sent away”, too.

Last week, Arran started licking one of his paws to the point of rawness. Bill took him to see the vet, who cleaned the paw and put a bandage on him. We kept the bandage on for a few days. It was removed on Monday of this week. Meanwhile, Arran started licking his other leg. I’ve been giving him Betadine soaks to keep the areas clean and allow them to breathe. It’s hard, though, because he keeps licking and, short of forcing him to wear the “cone of shame”, there’s not much we can do to stop him that doesn’t involve using another bandage. The last one irritated his skin, leading to another raw spot, which he also licks. I’m not sure what brought on the licking, although I am starting to wonder if he’s suffering from anxiety.

Yesterday we were watching TV and Bill came home after having been away for a couple of days. I heard him come inside the house, but Arran didn’t react. Normally, he would have run downstairs to greet him, but he didn’t move from his spot. He looked sad and lethargic. I became alarmed and wondered if maybe he was losing his hearing or something. But then I rang the doorbell, and it was clear Arran heard it. That means he just ignored his favorite person’s homecoming.

Later, someone from a charity rang the bell, and Arran reacted to that. I noticed his mood brightened significantly as we ate dinnerm and realized that Arran must be grieving, too. Not that I’m surprised, or that this is a new phenomenon for me… I know dogs grieve. It’s just that the ones we’ve had in the past were not so obvious about it. Arran is more sensitive than our other dogs have been, which is really saying something. I think he really cherishes having a family and still worries about being passed to someone else. Adjustments seem to be harder for him than other dogs we’ve had. Bill was gone for a few days, so it was just him and me. He’s more Bill’s dog than mine. I wonder if he thought he was going to be sent away, too.

Usually, when we lose a dog, it’s about a month before I bring a new one home. This time, I think we’re going to wait awhile, unless fate intervenes. I would like to have another dog. I think it would cheer me up a bit. But… it’s not as easy to get a new dog in Germany as it is in the United States. Americans have a bad reputation for leaving their pets in Germany, so many shelters won’t let Americans adopt. We could get a dog from a neighboring country, and we may end up doing that. But traveling with pets is not as easy as traveling without them. I’d also like to do some more traveling.

Arran is getting older himself, and a new dog may be a big adjustment for him. I think he misses Zane and the routine we had, and he’s a little confused by the change in the “pack structure”. But I also think he will come to enjoy all of the attention we can give him now. He doesn’t have to share it with another dog. I’m afraid if we bring one home now, there will be fighting and chaos as they try to decide who is in charge. Zane didn’t care who was in charge, although when he was feeling well, he didn’t let Arran push him around. I don’t like dealing with dog fights.

There is one thing I really miss, though, that Zane used to do… I never thought I would miss this. Zane loved to burrow under the covers and snuggle up next to me. I think he must have been one of the puppies at the bottom of the heap when he was born. When I would change the sheets on the bed, he could not wait to jump under them. Sometimes, he couldn’t even wait until I was done putting the sheets on the bed, and I’d have to shoo him away. It wouldn’t be a minute after I made the bed until he was digging under the duvet to bury himself. It used to annoy me, but now I miss it. And I miss how he’d insist on my holding the covers up for him so he could jump under them and situate himself just so, right next to me. Then he’d get overheated, and climb out, dog spreading on the blanket at the foot of the bed, just like his old buddy MacGregor used to do. Arran doesn’t do this at all. He sleeps between our heads, and more often than not, his ass is in my face.

Sigh… I really hate this transition. I love to rescue dogs, but hate the bereavement followed by the breaking in period. There’s a mixture of trepidation, anxiety, and exhilaration that comes with getting a new dog that is tough on everyone. Arran is not as easygoing as Zane was. But sometimes, fate has a way of working these things out… We’ll see what happens.

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musings

Always look on the dark side of life…

This morning, I’m feeling kind of blue. It’s Monday, and Mondays are tough for a lot of people. I’m feeling especially blue today. It’s probably due to one of my worst habits. I have a tendency to focus on the negative.

Even when I have a hundred reasons to be happy and grateful, one or two things can bring me down. One hundred people can think well of me and be friendly, but I’ll focus on the one cranky jerk who has a negative opinion. Trust me. I understand that this is a destructive habit that will only make my life more difficult. I’m working on changing my attitude and trying to be more upbeat and optimistic. But it’s hard, especially when I’m often right when I look at the dark side.

Take, for instance, Zane’s death. About three weeks ago, I was petting him and felt that his lymph nodes were slightly enlarged. I immediately got worried and told Bill we needed to get him to the vet. But then I started Googling and reassured myself that maybe he didn’t have cancer. I kind of knew deep down that he probably did, but then I thought to myself, “There are plenty of reasons why lymph nodes enlarge. Maybe it isn’t lymphoma.” But it was.

The week I found the swollen nodes, a young woman at our veterinary practice was murdered. The practice was closed. Would I still have Zane if we had gotten him in sooner? Maybe… maybe not. Unfortunately, all living things die, and even if we had gotten him treated sooner, he would be dying eventually. I still feel kind of shitty about it, though.

Then I think about people who give off weird vibes. They seem friendly on a superficial level, but there’s something about the way they behave that clues me in to their real agenda. Bill isn’t like this. He always focuses on the good in people. But I don’t. I almost expect people will dislike me. That way, I can be pleasantly surprised when I’m wrong.

Focusing on the negative may be something that is hardwired into people’s brains. It turns out that people like Bill are rarer than people like me. Most people are more likely to dwell on insults and negativity than focus on what is good or right about something. I think about when I used to write reviews on Epinions.com. I wrote about 1700 of them. Almost every single one of them was given an overall rating of “very helpful”. The one time one wasn’t, I removed it from the site. I actually got really pissed off about the lower rating, mainly because the people rating it would not tell me how to make the review more helpful. I thought that was bullshit and told them so.

For those who know about Epinions and the drama that used to erupt there, I will say that the review in question was posted in the dreaded electronics category. I didn’t often write in that category. The people who regularly wrote there were notoriously stingy with their ratings, even the advisors, who were supposed to help review writers improve their work. I was upset, not necessarily because of their ratings, but because they refused to explain why they rated the way they did. They claimed they “didn’t have time” to explain, even though Epinions was paying them to do so. So, rather than leave my “helpful” review up for the masses, I got pissed off and took it down. I later reposted it on my own blog, along with an Amazon link. I figured that if anyone decided to make a purchase due to my review, I’d get a commission. And I didn’t have to subject myself to some arbitrary guidelines set by people who didn’t want to be held accountable.

Are they onto something? Or is it ridiculous to be “positive” when you’re hanging on a cross? Life’s a piece of shit, when you look at it… but that’s no reason to be down and out.

Is it right to always focus on the negative? Well, although it’s probably the more depressing way to be, there is a purpose in maintaining a realistic world view. On the occasions when my tendency toward negativity is wrong, I am left pleasantly surprised and relieved.

On the other hand, always being negative is draining and depressing. It makes living well harder. That’s why many therapists employ Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with people who suffer from depression and anxiety. Without getting into the specifics of CBT, I’ll just write that it’s about changing your thought patterns so that they aren’t so negative. Dwelling on negative thoughts and impulses is depressing, even if it’s the realistic thing to do. And sometimes, being more upbeat and positive can actually lead to better results. You’ll feel better if you realize that more about your life is right, than wrong. A positive outlook can be healing and even become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Who am I kidding? I am Dorothy Zbornak personified. Notice that “Mary Ellen” gets kind of negative as she chastises Dorothy for being “negative”.

Aw hell. When it comes down to it, who the fuck cares what other people think of me? What they think of me is none of my business, and mainly has more to do with them than it does me. I do my best to be a good person and treat people with fairness and respect. If they can’t reciprocate and behave in an honorable way, that’s on them.

I guess when it comes down to it, you should try to be optimistic when you can realistically be optimistic. But maintain your sense of reality, too, even if it depresses you. There’s a reason why you have the gift of perception. It helps you stay out of trouble. And to anyone reading this who actually thinks I’m an asshole… well, fuck you very much. My asshole must be very tempting for you, if you’re willingly coming back for more every day. There must be something very compelling here. Could it be my sparkling wit and charming use of swear words? Hey… regardless of why you’re reading, you’re still reading. I guess that is a positive thing.

I love Mondays, don’t you?

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dogs

Labor Day blues…

We’re still adjusting to life without our amazing Zane, who was a beacon of love and a guru for living one’s best life. We spent yesterday recovering from losing him on Saturday. Today, we’re getting some household chores done and, I suspect, taking advantage of the fact that today isn’t a holiday for Germans.

I woke up this morning, marveling at the fact that I didn’t hear Zane’s soft whine, telling us it was time to get up, let him pee, and feed him. He was such a routine oriented dog. When we first got him, Bill used to get up to take him out in the middle of the night so he could pee. He never quite outgrew that habit, and for most of his life, would want to pee in the middle of the night.

There are other things I remember, too. Like how he loved to jump in my lap. I remember when we first got him, I was drinking a soft drink and, all of a sudden, he leapt into my lap, almost knocking my drink out of my hand. Thankfully, he quickly learned to make sure I was expecting him before he jumped into my lap. A lot of times, he’d whine softly, in a certain way, to get my attention and give me a chance to assume the right position. He tried and failed to do it a few months ago and never made another attempt. Although he annoyed me the first time he tried jumping into my lap, I eventually grew to think it was a cute habit.

A really old pic from 2010.
A somewhat newer one…

I made another video this morning to keepsake some of the photos that didn’t get put in the first video. I had so many good pictures of Zane over almost ten years. Bill cries when he sees the slideshow, but I haven’t even done the video footage I have… Zane was a very vibrant dog who lived a great life. I’m so glad we managed to document it, along with a lot of other things…

Seriously… I’ve come to realize that it’s a good thing to be a writer who writes every day and takes a lot of pictures. You never know when that evidence will come in handy. But for now, I’m just glad I have so many great photos of the best dog ever.

I also got a strange message this morning. It was from someone named Marie Miguel. She’s evidently a writer. I didn’t take it seriously when I saw on Statcounter that she spent a mere second on my blog before commenting on the tag entitled “stupid people” (and there are so many). I also noticed she was writing from The Philippines. Not that I think Filipino people aren’t bright… it’s just that a lot of times, I get spam from that part of the world. But anyway, this is what Marie wrote. I Googled her. She seems to get around a lot.

No thanks, Marie… not sure what you’re after and not really looking for anything but a place to vent my spleen…

Here’s the video, for those who care.

This one is shorter than the first one, although I’ve found even more pictures since I posted this.

I hope to get back to my usual bitching soon… It takes time to mourn.

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