Joyful Dog

Our 16 year old yellow lab dog died not long before we moved to our new place, so we moved with only our 12 year old black “who knows what” dog. We went from two dogs, to one dog, from homes on 1/8 of an acre of land to homes on 20 acres of land, from a landscape of mostly concrete, asphalt and lawns, to natural undisturbed hi-desert “landscape”, from traffic noise to almost absolute quiet.

We also went from him always being a on a leash when not in the back yard to him being on a leash only at night when he can disappear into the darkness and from seldom being able to be in the car to nearly always being able to ride in the car.

I love it. My wife loves it. Our dog loves it.

It is amazing watching the dog wander about the land. There have been a lot of monsoon rains and the grasses/desert plants are tall and green. If he gets more than a few yards from me, all I usually see is his tail sticking up in the air. Sometimes he trots, sometimes he runs full speed, sometimes he stops…checking the P-mail, most likely.

This morning, a grasshopper caught his attention. I could hear the grasshopper as it flew and I could see the dog run after the grasshopper. Every now and again, the dog would jump in the air, snapping at (and missing) the grasshopper as it flew. Eventually he lost track of the grasshopper and he went back to just exploring.

Yesterday afternoon it was a small toad and later a Pinacate Beetle. He wasn’t sure what to do about the toad, so he just stood there watching it. The toad’s instincts–stay very still and the threat will go away–were correct. Eventually interest in the toad was lost and his attention turned to the beetle. The beetle did it’s customary “stand on its head” maneuver, which got the dog’s attention. A couple of tip overs due to nudges from the dog’s nose, caused the beetle to spray some stinky and mildly irritating, but harmless, liquid. The dog jumped back and the beetle scurried away. I think the spray must have lingered in his nose as we immediately went back to the house. When he saw another beetle this morning, he stood back from the beetle and just watched as the beetle scurried along about it’s business.

Gypsy

Today, we took our 16 year old yellow lab dog to the vet…for the last time. She was the oldest Labrador Retriever at her vet’s practice.

It was time. Up until today, she always acted happy to be a dog and would be excited when we would get the leashes (and poop bags) out. Today, when I got the leash out, she just lay there looking at it, not even wagging her tail. Today she would not even eat chicken.

Our daughter, when she was 10 years old, picked a young yellow lab dog out of all the dog’s at the humane society dog adoption center. We called her Gypsy.

Gypsy was found, three days earlier, tied to the front door of the humane society when the staff showed up for work. They said when they found her, she was frightened, hungry and thirsty and estimated her age to be around 2 years. No one knows why she was left, but it was better than abandoning her in the desert to die.

Our daughter is now 24 years old and living in the Northeast USA, so she had to say her goodbyes via Facetime.

We were hoping Gypsy would see her new 18 acre “territory”, but it was not to be. The injection was done at 8:03pm April 23.

We had her pack mate with us at the final moments. He, too, got to say his goodbyes. He licked her muzzle, like he always did. Obviously there was no response.

So he is now, at age 12, “the senior dog present”.

From June 2021.

Leaving

Two days ago we were in Mackinaw City, Michigan, USA and both my wife and I, and our daughter were ready to drive off to our homes. Our daughter the 100 miles back to her new place in northern Michigan and my wife and I the 2,400 miles back to the USA desert southwest.

Our daughter was sad and excited, all at the same time.

She picked “yellow lab” when she was 9 years old and that was 13-1/2 years ago. Yellow lab is now 14 years old and this is likely the last time they will be together.

And, excited that she will be starting a job at a bank…and the job is related to her business administration degree….

Good Luck.

If you are lost, you can look and you will find us

Cold or Flu?

For the past few days I’ve had no energy, a dry cough, sore throat, muscle aches, a headache, but no fever.  And, it’s going away as quickly as it showed up.  The only remaining symptoms is a sore set of ribs from my coughing and some fatigue

One year I broke my foot, leg and ankle in multiple places and I had to make my way 1/2 mile (800 meters) to my car (I spent 3 days in hospital, plus had a several hour surgery for that little “stunt”), so I know I can keep moving when it’s not comfortable.  This makes it even more difficult for me to accept the idea that I need to build up my energy to walk from the bed to the sofa or back.

The 19 year old cat and the 9 year old dog laid tight against me when I was in bed.  The other dog is 13 years old and she isn’t able to climb up into the bed.  So, she laid on the floor where I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed without stepping on her.