Saturday, June 12, 2010


Glad to meet you. Shadow says hi too. She's feeling pretty good this morning. She cleaned her breakfast dish and chased after her tennis ball three times. She's taking her morning nap now. Her tail is tired from all that wagging.


Friday, June 11, 2010

Gus say hi to Jane

or as his name really is, Asparagus. All our pets are named after the show"Cats"at the moment we have McCavity, Jellyorum, usually know as Cav and Ellie and Gus He is a rescue dog mostly Ridgeback with other bits added. Our vet just looks and laughs at him as he is such a clown. We have always had dogs usually gundogs but this one needed a home and he is now ours. I am so pleased with him as he was Harold's dog and thought I was just there to tend to his needs. he has decided he belongs to me and has really changed, quite loving , sleeps with me plus Ellie, we have a very large bed! The other night Ellie decided to open our kitchen window to go out and Gus did his thing. I was so pleased as I have the best alarm anyone could need. Jane please don't worry I have to move on and your conversation is just what I need. I do so understand what both you and Rosey are going through, have been there several times , I don't think Cav will last much longer,he is 21 in our years but I can handle losing a cat much better than a dog.When I can work out how to put a photo on here I will post and you will be able to see the idiot. Many hugs Bee in NZ.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


I stopped by the vet's office today to give the staff a copy of the "Training People" book I've mentioned here and told Harriet that whatever that shot was that she administered Tuesday, I'd like one too. Shadow was almost perky yesterday and ate two small meals, drank fine and even asked me to throw the ball out the door but didn't seem to want to go for it unless I went out in the rain with her. Her yard time, even though it was accompanied by some tail wags when it dried up, didn't last long though. I canceled the summer shave down and bath with the groomer because there's not much point in putting her through the stress and exertion required. She's still happy today to some extent but I've been told the improvement was due to the fact that the medication calmed her GI tract but it's not going to last more than a few more days. I was gone a fair amount today, not much by choice and she greeted me when I got home. I'm skipping my usual Friday hand quilt and lunch tomorrow. I need to do so much here and I want to spend as much time as I can with the old girl. When she gets close to the shape she was in on Monday and Tuesday I will end her suffering. When I return from the graduation doings in NY I'll think about what if anything to do next. Most people who know me and aren't even dog people themselves say I should get another one and my DD who doesn't want to have a dog in her house says that she can't believe that I can live without one. She's probably right and I'll no doubt be visiting the adoption tent at the Farmer's Market in Sylva on Saturday mornings. Those dogs have been fostered, neutered and seen by a vet so what you see is what you get in terms of health and, very important, temperament.

Thanks for your posts, emails and general support. I know what you are going through Rosey, and I know the pain is a long time in easing. Sometimes, even after five years, I get teary telling crazy Molly stories even now.

Bee, I hope all this dog mourning hasn't seemed as though we have trivialized you recent loss. Get yourself a dog if you don't have one. They don't mind if you cry into their neck. Molly was very patient with me after Al died. If I hadn't had those dogs I wouldn't have bothered to get out of bed some days. My simple advice is take your time, go ahead and shed tears and get help if you need it. Grieving takes a lot of patience. People who haven't been there sometimes think you are permitted a limited time and then should "snap out of it". They are wrong.

Love to all,


Jane in NC - sending hugs, thoughts and prayers your way for both you and Shadow.

I've only had to put down two dogs, and both times, they had stopped eating and drinking, which were my clues that something was wrong. The first was a rescue Irish Setter, we had no idea how old he was, but his face was quite white. Vet felt him up and rattled off a list of organs that had and were shutting down. Alex crossed the bridge almost 18 months ago. He was also in dire intestinal distress (a bit messy) and vet couldn't figure out what was wrong, but at 16 years of age, we both agreed if testing did not kill him, the cure would, and at his age the expense and stress were not worth it. It was time to let nature have its way. He came home "in hospice" and by the next day, I knew it was time to help him out of his suffering. I sat by his side all day long, held him when he let me, and cried with grief. It was New Years' Day, so had to wait another day to call the vet's office.

Oh good grief,,,, I'm crying all over again right now. The sadness is still here inside me. So I'll cry for a bit, and think of both you, Rosey P and all the others who have lost their dearest, most beloved of four-legged friends. I truly believe Alex was my "heart dog." I still miss him. (((Hugs))) to all of you.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

whew! Marion

What a close call! Glad your puppy dog survived. We had a Siamese cat in the early days of our marriage and she died unexpectedly - we blamed it on rat poison we had also put out for the mice in kitchen cupboards. Once in a while she would get herself locked in them.............

JANE: Once again, all I can say is I'm sending HUGS as you and your beloved dog go through this time together. Wulfie's last days were very similar - he lay down on the tiles in the laundry one day, just outside the toilet door and couldn't be moved; wouldn't drink, etc. It was a choice between asking the vet to put him out of his misery where he lay, or calling the RSPCA, where we would always kennel him, for them to bring their doggy ambulance and dog-sized stretcher and take him back with them. We opted for the latter, as he was very fond of them, and they of him. Graham followed on and was with him at the end.

ROSEY: Continued hugs to you as well AND to your grieving canine friend.

MOVING: I can see us having another good 5 or so years here in this house, health allowing. After that, however, it will be a choice between paying someone else to look after the pool and garden or downsizing. That I am not looking forward to, as we have 2 big storerooms down the back full of paraphernalia. At least I can't say I won't have anything to do after retirement - paring all that down to the bare bones will be a big task. Then it's 'whether and where to go?' Adelaide, where my extended family live, is 4 hours' drive away but we don't like the idea of living a suburban life after all this time. Wherever the boys end up they will have to go there before coming up here. The pool is an incentive LOL plus we have lots of spare bedroom space, a big dining room table etc for family gatherings and are close to the beach as well (eh, Mary?). Plus we have our friends here. Big decisions. Then again, we could end up visiting each of the boys for 4 months at a time.........yes? LOL

A friend from school and her DH have just moved to another country town, slightly closer to Adelaide but not much. They have lots of services available there: hospital, shopping, etc. However, they don't know anybody there, their 2 sons live thousands of km away and the hubby has Type 1 Diabetes and doesn't like to/can't go out that much. We can see her being stuck at home and not even getting the chance to get to know other people and socialize. It will be even worse when one of them passes, especially if house prices begin to decrease, as they seem to be doing in some areas, making it harder to 'escape'.

On a brighter note, we are off to the city on Saturday to visit family and see Yusef Islam (sp?) aka Cat Stevens perform on Sunday night. Not an option usually but we have a holiday Monday so it works out perfectly!

Fran in S'Oz

Growing old against our wishes

Jane, I know that you've been concerned about Shadow recently and I'm sorry to hear the news. I had a shih tzu go many years ago with kidney failure...just came on quickly, as it seems Ceilidh's hemangiosarcoma did but in fact, I know nothing 'comes on' overnight. It seems as we grow older, we, if we are lucky, finally get to live in places that give us such comfort and where we choose to be. Then, something happens..a spouse dies, then our beloved pets and there is just us left. Then what?

It's interesting but it does not bother me to not have my adult children nearby as I age. With the community resources that we have here in Canada, as long as they supervised my care, I'd be happier living in a small town such as Penetanguishene or Midland, Ontario. Having lived now 46 years without street lights, I'd have a hard time adjusting to city living just to be near one of them..

I'm just home from a two day sprint around the countryside north of home. Took an 80 yr. old married-in for lunch in the small town of Orillia, Ontario, where I lived many years ago, then drove over to Georgian Bay and the beach where himself and I grew up. Hope, who made the trip with me, is definitely stressed out trying to adjust to life without her sister, Ceilidh. They slept with their backsides touching at all times; came down stairs side-by-side, it was as though they were one dog, not two. Even though Geordie, our older Aussie, at 15 yrs. is still with us, he sleeps much of the time and is as deaf as a post. He doesn't relate to Hope at all. She is trying to connect with him to no avail. So, I'm the next best thing to a furry, four-legged buddy at the moment.

Marion, I'm very glad that Russell was able to catch Holly in contact with the mouse poison and that she is alright. Thanks heavens for that.



Jane big hugs to you and Shadow, also to those who are thinking of moving don't forget to make sure you have support near to your new abode. A friend moved to a beach quite near to where we were thinking of going and three weeks after moving her DH badly broke his leg , this involved a helicopter ride to the nearest hospital and a 4 hour round trip for her to visit him. Later she was not able to drive and they were really stuck in a small village ,no anything so beware. We have a dr. ,chemist, and library about 15 mins away which is so useful. Hugs from a cold NZ Bee.

Jane big


The Shadow news is a bit of good and a lot of bad. The bad news is that she is at the end of the road or very near it. Harriet, vet and neighbor, says the drinking behavior I witnessed is a clear sign of near complete kidney failure. There is serious irritation of the esophagus and on down the gastro-intestinal tract when that happens. It’s not that she can’t drink; it’s just that pain discourages it. I had elevated the bowl by placing it on a pile of magazines slated for recycling yesterday morning when the drinking resumed but seemed almost reluctant. Her weight is seriously down which is no surprise. It was 26 and some fraction pounds yesterday. Her healthy weight was between 32-34 pounds. That’s about 18% loss and shouldn’t be a surprise in view of her on again/off again eating of the past year. She has accepted an occasional treat when offered since yesterday. Harriet gave her a shot of something, the name or even purpose of which were lost on me and she was happier this morning but not very. I expect to be making the final decision in the next few days. Thanks for all your concern and good wishes. I know that Shadow has lived the best life we could give her and she brought so much into our lives. What more can we ask? I’m staying home today to watch her and give her lots of TLC. Hmmm, who is getting the TLC? I think that is mutual.

Jane in NC

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Down-sizing homes and caring for pets...

Hi everybody. Haven't posted for awhile , but both of these topics are issues for me us at the moment..! DH and I are hoping that we can do what Bee did, move before we have to, and be settled before one is left without the other. When I came back from UK. last year, following the death of my sister, I realized that there was a lot of sorting out here to be attended to . Neither of our daughters live nearby, one in the Nth Island and one overseas, so I could imagine that neither would take time to sort out belongings and donate them to where they might be useful, should it be left to them. I made a good start but still have a way to go. We have always lived in the country , the thought of having close neighbours and no mountain views is scary, to put it mildly ! The thought of open days and people walking , critically through the home that you love , is also off-putting.. Last week we were approached by someone who would like to buy the house and the land. That set us thinking. We can see advantages for both parties and there seems to be no pressure coming from them about when this should take place. They just wanted us to know that when we decide to sell, they would be very interested... Sounds too good to be true .... we'll see. Today the sun came out for the first time for weeks so DH and I went out for a drive to see if there is anything around that would interest us... it's a glorious day and the mountains look spectacular. The houses we saw , on smaller sections, all seemed to be hiding behind fences or trees and all views would have been lost. That wasn't very encouraging ! ..

The dog issue happened on Monday. A public holiday here. It was a very wet day (following on from a very wet week..) We decided to clear out the cupboard under the stairs... we found evidence of mice. DH plastered up some small holes and put rat bait down.... yes, you've guessed it, our beloved Beagle, ate the bait... Fortunately DH saw her and got most of it out of her mouth. He then rushed her into the emergency vet (it was a public holiday remember...) $160 and two hours later, they returned home. Holly ,fortunately, hadn't absorbed much of the poison. She's back to normal now and bouncing around but it was a long two hours , waiting to hear whether she would live or die...
So, to you Jane, my sympathy. It's hard to see a beloved pet, off form. Hopefully Shadow will be back to normal soon..and for Rosey, the loss of your beloved dog will take some time to deal with. They become more than friends somehow, they are confidants and comforters too, the loss is extreme.

Time for a cup of tea ! Too much sadness around...
Best wishes to all...


Well, guess who just lapped, albeit very slowly, half a bowl of water? She then, with tail down looking wistful, asked for the morning ball toss. I just gave it a gentle toss and she went to it and looked at it then wandered off to her morning pee place. One more toss which she approached with listless wagging, looked at it and came back but ate one of yesterday's treats. I'd say she's a bit better but still has taken a turn for the worse. Today is surgery day for the vet so I'll ask to bring her in this afternoon.

When DH was dying of lung cancer, a brutal way to go, his liver was also failing and the oncologist told him that the liver failure was a much easier way to go. In his case, sadly, while his state of liver failure was advanced he succumbed to the lung first. However, the oncologist did say that with all that toxicity in the system there is often a period of mental confusion that occurs. Perhaps that's what's going on here.

Sorry, that's pretty gruesome but that's where my attention is at the moment. The worst sign is the drooping tail. That is so unlike her.

BEE and FRAN, your advice is sound. I have a garage full of stuff in boxes and as soon as the quilt rush is over I'm going to work on that.



Jane, I also would like to say I'm thinking of you at this time of Shadow's life. We still miss Wulfie dreadfully, 18 months down the track. If only they lived as long as we did! Lots of hugs,
Fran in S'Oz

getting older but not wiser

Hi all, first sorry to hear that Shadow is not too well, hope it is just something that can be fixed, these pets hold a special place in our hearts. Our old cat now 21 has no teeth and I find it quite difficult deciding what to feeed him. Today I bought some nice fish but he did his thing and refused it . Fussy wee thing!!!! Now about leaving it too long before anyone moves to a smaller place. If we were still in our old house I would really be in trouble, I am way too old to be moving years of memories, and that is what a lot of our items are in the house. Be brave and get rid of them , there is always someone very grateful to receive items. I didn't like living in a much smaller house and garden and missed the bush setting we were in before but now I am so pleased. Apart from being on my own I also have health problems and lots of garden and a big house I could not manage and by having moved a while ago I am quite settled which has made things much easier. Also we now have neighbours and I like the feeling of security. We all have to grow older but DON"T leave it until too late. Here endeth the lesson for today. Hugs Bee in NZ.

Monday, June 7, 2010


A lot of us that quilt also knit and I was wondering if any of you have this software and would like to trade it for Electric QUILT software. If you do, please contact me here or email me at lightningsjATjunoDOTcom


I can sympathize with your anxiety. I know that, if I live much longer, I'll have to give up my mountain home with the night sky unobscured by light pollution, very little road noise, the ability to let my best friend come and go through the doggie door without ever worrying about her going all the way to the road or bothering neighbors and my wonderful neighbors and quilt pals. Sadly, we are often the last person to recognize when it's time to make that move. With the bust real estate market, I would never get enough for my present house and fifty acres to support me in the purchase of a condo or rent in assisted living. I will feel a lot more secure financially if and when the market picks up. DH and I had always planned that the real estate investment would see us through that time of our lives. It turned out to not be an issue for DH but with all my aches and pains, as far as my doctor and I know, there are no life threatening conditions hanging over my head. I just deplore my increasingly declining short term memory and difficulty keeping up with the chores required for independent living. I promised my girls a long time ago that when I have to make a move it will be to somewhere close to one of them so all vacation time and money won't be spent by them running back and forth. I'm quite a bit older than you, Sarah, but I suppose your DH's recent medical problems have him agonizing over the heavy lifting required for independent home ownership and concerns over your welfare should he predecease you.

On that cheery note I will add that my beloved Shadow suddenly refuses even to eat her favorite treats and then this evening I've observed her repeatedly putting her face toward the water in her bowl and not drinking. The hair under her chin is wet so she's been trying. She is obviously thirsty. She walks with her tail down or even under her belly. Normally she carries it fairly high and often wagging for no apparent reason. I filled a water bottle that has a sort of nipple top and stuck that under her tongue and very gently poured small amounts in water into her mouth. A lot dribbled out but she did seem to be swallowing. I'll call the vet first thing in the AM. If there is a mass in her throat so some such thing it may be her time and I'll come home alone to the home I've shared with her. I left the house fairly early this morning and gave her the usual "bye-bye cookies" which were untouched when I got home this afternoon. That has NEVER happened before even on days she didn't eat her regular meal. I'm sure she's suffering but have no idea how to help her or even if I can. Two days ago she was pestering me to throw the tennis ball out the door for her to retrieve. Quien sabe. It's going to be a long night. There is an emergency vet clinic 75 miles away in Asheville but I'm sure that she will still be treatable in the morning if she is treatable at all.

On that cheerful note I will bid you all good evening. I'll report on Shadow as soon as I know anything. I'm so grateful to have my cyber quilt friends as well as my local ones on whom I can unburden my concerns.

Sorry for the downer post.


Moving or not??

Who was it that said "Living is inevitable, but pain is optional, so stick a geranium in your hat and be happy"? I think it was Barbara Johnson, the writer.
And Betty Davis is credited with saying "growing old ain't for sissies".
The thought of change scared the socks off of me, yet it will happen whether I'm ready for it or not. There will be a time, if we all live long enough, when we will most likely have to change living conditions. I'd rather be fairly healthy and happy and do it of my own will if possible. Moving the two elderly aunts about 10 years ago was heartbreaking for them and us. They had never thrown away a magazine, or anything including their deceased mother's clothing in over 15 years. I vowed not to do that to my DD. If they had moved to their chosen place many years earlier they could have gone to the college across the street and audited lots of classes, gone on trips with groups from there, etc. They were so frail when it happened that they just were unhappy and made others unhappy.
OK on the bright side, I'm checking on airlines to fly to N.D. so we can visit said DD and family in August. We had a chat on the phone with them last night and all is going well. She even found a B & B in Mountain, N.D. that I might like.
The sinus headach finally went away that plagued my last night. It took yoga, and asprin and hot shower(s) but doing better now.
Sara in Fla.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

I understand

Sara, I think that change, which is inevitable in this life, is very hard to adjust to for myself, as well. I like nesting and my home has always been very important to me. I don't have to travel to by happy but I do need certain things if it's at all possible. One, in particular, is a room in which I can work with my designs and sewing; windows surrounding me and something I may not be able to recreate...the country around me. I have all of this right now but age will limit myself and himself in being here with the amount of work required to keep it up. So, yes, I can relate to your concerns and more the fact that an unhappy husband is not pleasant to live with.

I wonder how men might feel if women made them unhappy because of their surroundings instead of the other way round. But, the bottom line is that one of us will be left alone in this life and to me, it has to be a compromise whereby I can grow old alone if I need to.

And then I look at Ceilidh's ashes sitting on my bedroom windowbox where she slept every night and in one moment on May 24th just past, she was put to sleep. Geordie, who is older and nearly 15, was the one I expected to go first, yet he is soldiering on. It was not the natural order of things but then life often doesn't work out that way. Having to adjust to change is hard. Look at Fran with her sons all scattered about; look at any of us with children scattered about and not living near home. The old days where you grew up around a village or town and stayed there, your family and yourselves as you aged, was, to me, the best arrangement of family living. The Grausdoddy Houses (sp?) of the Mennonites and Amish where the elders in the family moved to after being in the farmhouse...attached often to the main house, is a good example of the nucleous of family life.

I wonder that women really assert themselves enough to be considered equal partners in decisions such as where to move and into what surroundings or do they just try to make do and adjust as we often have done and do. Like Scarlet O'Hara...I'll think about that tomorrow. Today is all any of us have.

And today, here in Southern Ontario, it's raining cats and dogs and looking to be that way all day.