Thursday, March 29, 2018

More: Over The Rainbow Bridge

Last Saturday we had to put our Rusty Doggins down.  It was a very  hard thing to witness and especially hard to do.  Rusty is no longer suffering, and we have started to understand the reality of it.  We cried and hugged and said goodbye to a dog we had spying on us for 11 1/2 years.  I say that lovingly, because anyone who has had a dog knows that they follow you around and watch every move you make.  They bounce up and come running at the slightest noise in the next room.  You're just opening a package or opening a can of soup, but they have to see what you're doing.

So now, as with our loved ones, we are remembering the fun times we had with Rusty.  I will (but I won't) miss his habit of pestering me about 4:00 or 5:00 pm for a walk outside.  It didn't seem to matter if it was 9 below zero, Rusty wanted a walk and would persist for about an hour until I gave in or simply ignored him.  Sometimes he snorted at me after an hour of trying.  All I had to do was say the word "walk" and Rusty was bounding around the house anticipating a walk. Oh, and you couldn't say "talk", or "clock" or "taco" or "sock" or any word with the "awk" sound in it. They all meant "a walk", and he would come running.

 He didn't seem very interested in walking the last few months, though.  I think he had pain when walking.  He reluctantly took a walk with me, although it seemed like he enjoyed it toward the end after he limbered up a little.

We got a really nice sympathy card from our favorite pet doctors with some paw prints of Rusty to remember him by.  We'll probably put it in a "shadow box" on the wall.  So ends the saga of Rusty Doggins.  ~JN

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Over The Rainbow

We have a rescue dog named Rusty Doggins.  My daughter named him Rusty, I tacked on the Doggins because his goofy antics reminded me of Bilbo Baggins in the Hobbit.  The Hobbit movies were popular soon after we got the Boxador almost 13 years ago.

Recently, Rusty Doggins has developed doggie Alzheimer's, cataracts, hearing loss, weight loss, arthritis, and weakness in his hind quarters. He gets confused in the dark at night in the house and can't find his bed.  We've actually positioned a night light next to his bed so he presumable can find it in the dark.  We often wake up at night to hear him walking in circles (to the left) for a long time, until we get up and intervene, helping him to his bed.It's heartbreaking to watch. We put him outside to do his business, but he often does his business inside instead.  So we spend alot of time cleaning up after him and airing out the house.  Rusty is banned from all the carpet and we have a wall of chairs across the opening to the living room.  He is restricted to the vinyl floor in the kitchen and dining room.  And we are also restricted to closing all the doors and moving chairs to go from one room to the other.

 He used to be a robust strong dog who could drag me along easily on a walk.  Now you bump him, and he almost falls over.  It takes him days to recover from a weekend stay at the kennel. He used to play with us and do tricks  on command.  Not any more.  In the evening, especially, we look into Rusty's eyes and it seems as though there's "nothing there".  They don't sparkle like they used to.  Of course, we've had him checked out, and the vet says there's basically nothing wrong with him.  "It's just old age, and there's really nothing we can do."

So, we've made an appointment for Saturday morning to help Rusty across to the "Rainbow Bridge".  This isn't how we thought Rusty's life would end.  In fact, I don't remember us every talking about what would happen if or when Rusty would have health issues to the point we would need to think abut end of life decisions.  I think it's something every family should talk about at some point in a pet's life with kids who can understand.  It's a hard reality, but a necessary fact of life.

Here's the "poem" from which the Rainbow Bridge came. ~JN

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....
Author unknown...

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

I Saw A Robin

I've been hearing robins on and off for a couple of weeks.  Some people say they migrate, others say they hang around if the winters are mild.  I believe they all went south this winter for some reason.  If I could have gone south, I would also have done so.  Anyway, when our kids were little, we encouraged them to all watch, and report back, if they saw a robin in the weeks before spring.  If they could confirm a robin sighting, we would bake a "worm cake".  A worm cake is a cake of any flavor chosen by the one who saw the robin, and was either filled by Gummy Worms, or Gummy Worms were crawling all over the frosting.  I think it's great idea for kids to anticipate the change of the seasons, and a worm cake is just the thing to bake when you see a robin.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Valentine's Massacre

The Valentine massacre in Florida was a horrible event.  How can we stop such things from happening?  I think there's only one way.  When a person's heart is right with God, all the other issues of respect for other people's lives, opinions, lifestyles, hurts against you (forgiveness), etc. will be in check.  That's the only way evil against your fellow human being will cease.  JN

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

I Think Dogs Are Spies

I think dogs are spies.  I don't know who exactly they are working for, but they are always watching me.  We have one dog named Rusty.  He's a Boxador, meaning he has a boxer front end and a Lab back end.  He follows me all around.  If he's not following me, he comes over and lies down in a location so he can watch me.  Even if his eyes are half closed, he's listening intently to whatever I do.

We used to have two cats, a brother and sister.  They don't care what a person does, unless I'm opening a tuna can, then they are all ears.  I don't think cats are spying on me.

The dog, he's always watching.  I'd like to know who he is reporting back to.  Not that I'm doing anything criminal.  I think whatever the dog tells his handlers is often pretty boring.  I'd just like to know how much the dog is getting paid and what exactly is he telling whoever it is that he's talking to.  The dog is home alone most of the day, so anyone could come to the door and get the lowdown on me and I'd never know it. (On the other hand, he's a fierce protector of the house and would bite anyone who he didn't know.)  Some day maybe I'll find out.  It might be in eternity in the afterlife.  Speaking of the afterlife, I hope Rusty isn't there.  I hear dogs get their voices back in Heaven.  Oh, boy! Will there be dogs in heaven?  That's a topic for another day. ~JN

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

We're Halfway Through

According to those who should know, we're half-way through the winter here in the Midwest.  You wouldn't know it by the temperatures and wind chill values recently.  It seems as though winter is here to stay and will never end.  I've heard (from younger folks) phrases like, "I've never seen it this cold".  Well, they just haven't been around Nebraska all their lives like some of us older folks have.  We used to have blizzards with drifts up to 6 feet tall, miserable winds, and devastating tornadoes.  It's just a matter of time until we get one of those years again.  Thankfully, we are not living in the northern most part of the Soviet Union, where they finally called off school because the air temperature was 88 degrees below zero today.  (Everything below -40 is just a bonus, I guess.)  How could you even survive for a few minutes in that kind of cold?  I'm ready for spring, in fact, I was ready for spring last week.  I know warmer weather will come, it always does, but I'm just plain tired of this weather and dreaming of fishing on a boat on the lake again. I should go through my tackle box while I'm waiting. ~JN

Friday, January 12, 2018

Let's Work Together

I am always amazed that a group of local senators cannot work together to get things done that really matter.  There are senators from both parties who cause more division than cooperation in what is supposed to be a non-partisan legislature called the Unicameral.  They seems to waste valuable time with pet projects, instead of focusing on bigger picture important issues.  There is one senator that recently wanted to get an initiative through the legislature restricting the sale of ivory, to protect animals such as elephants and rhinoceroses from poaching.  There are already federal laws restricting ivory sales.  Do we have an underground ivory market in Nebraska?  I've never heard about it.  I think persons with disabilities, for instance, would be better served with any money an ivory restriction law would cost.  The governor's budget has cut funds to those providing services to persons with disabilities, to the point where some agencies will have to close down.  Where will those persons with disabilities get services then?  My suggestions to senators, let's work together to solve those problems that are really important. Let the Feds deal with ivory.

More: Over The Rainbow Bridge

Last Saturday we had to put our Rusty Doggins down.  It was a very  hard thing to witness and especially hard to do.  Rusty is no longer suf...