Sunday, December 30, 2007


More snow here yesterday and the temperatures have been fairly mild. When I let les chiens out into their yard early this morning the sky was filled with stars and the only sounds were the far away noises of snow ploughs and the constant dripping of melting snow.

Yup it's that dog again. I've been noticing, gradually, lately, I think, in that half steeped in denial way that Jake's neck seems swollen, a bit. This morning I came down into the kitchen to pour my first cup of coffee and found him lying in his usual favourite place in front of the door. A place he's always preferred to sleep at night, jammed right up against it and I've always believed he sleeps there because he's protecting us from anyone coming in. If anyone enters this house he wants to be the first to know. I said good morning to him and began our morning patting session, combined with a little doggie massage and I felt a large lump on his neck, or at least I thought I felt a lump (this is where the possible steeped in denial comes in - I didn't apply much pressure because I don't really want to feel a lump or swollen glands or anything for that matter). Needless to say I freaked out, instantly plummeting to that big, bad, worst case scenario place. That was awhile ago. Now he's curled up on the sofa beside me, Bleet tucked in beside him, I'm on my second cup of coffee and I've talked myself down from that place. I've reminded myself that presently he's as hungry as a horse (that's a weird expression), he's running, jumping up with his front paws on the counters and bucking and galloping through snow on our walks like a young pony. He's not showing any ongoing signs of failing health. I do believe the poop fest of November was likely a bacterial thing and the awful sickness of a few days ago really did seem to be a stomach digestion thing.

I'm afraid this is the drill when you live with senior animals, when they've already blown by their life expectancy in a cloud of exuberant health, and when it feels like you love them a little bit more than life itself. You're walking, a lot of the time, on eggshells. Every little thing, you wonder is this it? Is this the beginning of the end.

Bear with me. When I sit down each morning at my laptop with my coffee I write about what's on my mind, and lately ... he's on my mind. This blog is a huge comfort to me, it's such a comfort that I have this written and visual record of our life since July.

There are snow ploughs outside on our street, there's swing music on CBC radio, the fire's crackling and it's Sunday. The best day. I'm making a full on roast chicken dinner for us today with stuffing (bread, sausage, celery, raisins, pecans & summer savoury) gravy and lots of vegetables. We'll go out for our walks before the next round of snow arrives, the forecast says 20-25 more cms and blowing for tomorrow. I'm going to put fresh flannel sheets on my bed with the help of kittens, and I'll begin preparing my office for painting (moving everything out into the hallway)- just the trim and the floor, the walls are already done. And I'll try and remind myself that all that really matters ... is this moment ... now.


  1. Hi Susan,
    I am fairly new to the blog world, and just recently figured out how to leave a comment. I just wanted
    you to know that I enjoy reading about your animals.
    Don't worry about too many dog stories, or cat stories, I enjoy them all!

  2. I'm right there with you, honey. My Bugsy has another bladder infection. Jake is a lucky dog to have you for his Mom...he must be the happiest pup on earth (right along with W.D. and the kitties).


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