I know that it has been a long long time since I wrote to you via the blog but I know that there are some people out there who miss the connection. I have had a roller coaster of life events, these past few weeks, beginning with the failure of my 9 year old friend and companion, Tank.
He was beginning to lose weight and was having difficulties with his digestion, which concerned me enough to take him to the vet. The prognosis was that he was going into kidney failure, which the vet seemed to think was brought on to exposure to Lyme Disease. We did everything in our power to keep him going, for about a month, with antibiotics and diet change but in the end, with broken hearts, we took him for his very last car ride and helped him through the drug induced transition that brought the end to his life. To say that we were heartbroken is an understatement but during the long decline, we promised ourselves that we would love again.
Within about two weeks, I responded to an ad by a gal with black lab pups and that next weekend, we packed Sydney into her car seat which was next to the crate that we had not used since we moved the dogs up here, almost 7 years ago. We took a 90 minute ride up the valley to a beautiful ranch with sheep and chickens and most importantly, the mama and papa of the last two male Lab pups. We were greeted by dogs and a very nice couple, who explained that because the sire of the puppies was 10 years old and the husband's hunting dog, they had decided to mate him to their son's Chocolate Lab, with the hopes of securing an heir to the duck hunting prowess of daddy dog. The fellow struggled with who to keep of the two remaining puppies but when he chose the less dominant pup, we traded an envelope for a wiggly 10 week old little boy we named Teejay. He has turned out to be a wonderful little boy and while he will not reach the size of Tank, who was a very big Lab, he is chunky in the English style and a sweet companion for Auntie Trixie. That was one circle of life that was completed, in March. We realized that this puppy came to us to teach us to get ready for the next step, which was to get our energy up to to be grandparents again.
Yes, on Wednesday, the 2nd of April, our daughter Lauren gave birth to the most wonderful 8 pound 2 ounce baby, with a BIG head of hair, our little Lily Olivia. Lauren had told me a couple of weeks before the birth that she had had a dream and the baby looked just like her. Well, she pretty much did, because Lauren was born with a full head of dark curls and little Lily is a beautiful brunette, like her Mama, unlike her light haired sister. She is sweet and her Mama's new little love and we feel very blessed by her arrival. I will, of course, post photos, as I venture back into connecting with you through this avenue.
The second circle of life came together when, on Sunday, I heard from an attorney in Hamilton Montana. He called to tell me that my 87 year old father had died that day. It was such a shock and I did not ask him the cause of death, figuring that he had left his body in his sleep. That was not the case. Dad, who was very independent and going blind (much like my mother) had decided to take his own life. He thought it out very deliberately and took care of all of the details, so that his two daughters would not have to deal with the physical tragedy, choosing to take care of the mortuary and attorney details before leaving this earth. I can tell you that the flood of emotion has been deep and wide but I am coming to terms with his decision, which he put into motion 20 years ago, when he moved away from family, to live in what became his beloved Bitteroot Valley. My sister Dena and I kept in contact with him over the years and when he and I reconciled, I thought that he was actually in a good place. How can an artist be "in a good place" when the eyes go? I guess that this is why he chose to leave us and not become a burden to anyone. He had done so much to keep healthy, giving up so many things that cause disease but according to my eye doctor, it was probably his years and years of smoking that caused the damage to his eyes. We will never know exactly why he left us this way but we both understand and forgive him. A good friend of mine told me that he chose to leave The Cowboy Way. Yeah, I guess so.
So, my friends, this is my story. Death and life. I promise that next time, there will be pictures, to show you the new additions to the family, both human and canine. Life goes on.