Monday, June 24, 2013

15 Ways

I got this idea from one of the blogs I follow,  I figured I would give it a shot; hopefully I won't have so many complaints of making people cry as I did with my last post.  All it is, is fifteen ways DJ and I are different...  we'll see how this goes!

1.  He's a boy.
     I'm a girl.  That counts right?!

2.  He could live on Natty Light, yeah,  he's classy. 
     I would rather drink water from a pond...

3.  To him, horses are hay burners.
     To me, they're part of the family.

4.  He's a morning person.
     I consider hurting him when he wakes me up.

5.  He won't eat anything that lives in water.
     I wish there was a coast that was closer for this reason alone.

6. He's never had glasses or braces.
    I had 'em both and now retainers.  He's a lucky, lucky man...

7. He's a planner.
    I fly by the seat of my pants.

8.  DJ likes to stick around home.
     I love to travel.

9.  DJ won't take his shoes off in the house without being told.
     Ma has me trained to drop em at the door.

10. DJ likes to fall asleep with the TV on.
      I prefer the radio.

11. If food is open for more than three days, DJ thinks it needs to be tossed.
      Unless it has mold on it, I'm gonna eat it.

12.  DJ loves chicken and noodles and beef and noodles.
       I would be A-OK with never having to eat it again.  Ever.

13. DJ loves history.
      I guess I'm more of a science nerd.

14. He's not a fan of country music.
      I'm trying to change that about him ;)

15. DJ throws anything and everything he can find in the washer and start it.
      I like to sort them out and make a complete load before starting it.

Alright, that was difficult.  I can't lie.  I'm sure if I was doing 15 things we have in common, I would be able to think of a bazillion differences, but I'll save that for another day!  Hope you learned something new about one or both of us! :)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Love Story

Note: this post will continue to be updated as more memories come up.  I don't want to forget anything!!

Just a forewarning, this may be the longest post in blog history!

DJ and I woke up Saturday and I got up and made breakfast.  That should have been our first clue it wasn't going to be a normal day.  We ate and he headed to the shop and I headed into work since I had weekend duty.  I get home just in time for OS to call saying she has some plants for me to pick up.  So we plan to meet in 20 minutes or so.  We meet and exchange our stuff for each other then I head back home, when I'm sidetracked by the garage sales.  I stop at a couple and then head to the grocery store to pick up some stuff for supper since MS was coming up to spend the night.  DJ called and said he was going to go fill the car up and then maybe take a nap.  Alright, I'll be home soon.  I leave the store and head home.  Only to again be sidetracked by a garage sale.  I head home after that and about two miles away, DJ calls.

And this is where it gets a little blurry.  He tells me UC has been hit.  I said "What, how bad?"  I needed details.  He said he was pulling in and UC came out to greet him and didn't see the car coming from the other direction and they hit him and he doesn't know what to do.  I remember him mentioning killing him and I said I'm almost there hang on.  I put the hammer down and upon arrival the car that hit him is in the road and DJ's over UC.  I turn around and with the help of the driver, we load him up and head to the "ER."  [I would like to take this moment to say thank you to the driver for stopping instead of keeping on driving.  And also for helping us load him up.] 

I call the ER to tell them we are on our way and what happened.  I was in the back holding UC's head and talking to him.  He kept moving one of his back leg so that it was up against mine and would put pressure on it.  It was almost as if having it like that gave him some relief.  That worried me.  He was breathing normal for the most part, but then it would turn into labored breathing for a bit and then go back to normal.  That worried me.  I kept talking to him and petting him.  I made him keep his eyes open.  I told him to be strong and that we were almost there.  I called Pa but Ma answered and I told her what happened.  I don't remember what UC did, but I hung up on her to give him my attention.

We finally get there and they bring a carrier out for him.  DJ and the vet or vet tech, I don't really know what he was, carried him in.  I filled out the paperwork.  We sat in the waiting room and waited.  The vet finally came out and told us that his vitals were all normal and ECG looked good but he was shocky so they were giving him fluids and then they would go from there. 

After the fluids, she came back out and said he was really tender in the front shoulder/neck area but couldn't feel that leg.  She said she wanted to do x-rays to see what was going on.  She said it could be something in his neck and/or front leg. 

They did x-rays.  Lots of x-rays.  And they took forever.  She finally came and got us and we went back and looked at them.  Nothing was broken or out of place.  Yay, right?!  Normally one would think.  It was actually what I was praying I wouldn't hear.  I started crying.  She said she couldn't say for sure, but was guessing it was a brachial plexus avulsion, which basically means the nerve "ball" in his armpit was ripped out of place.  This was why he couldn't feel his leg.  There isn't much to do for this.  Very rarely does it fix itself.  Pretty much our only option would be to amputate.  She said she could send it to radiology to determine if that was what it was or if they thought something else was going on.  She said she would hear back within four hours.  I was crying too much to talk and so DJ asked if we could talk about it so the vet left the room.  I settled down and we agreed to send it to the radiologist and go from there.  Then OS got there and I lost it again.  (Get used to that in this story...)  The vet came back in and we told her we wanted to send it off and then we would decide what to do.

We headed home.  We talked about our options.  DJ didn't think he would be happy with three legs and didn't think we would be able to care for him like that.  I wasn't sure.  I could understand that.  He came from a home where he was in the kennel most of the time and I saw how much he loved to run when he first came.  And how much he still did.  I understood where DJ was coming from, but I couldn't let myself not give him a chance.  I don't think I ever agreed to anything.  I think I said we would just wait and see what the radiologist said.

MS got there about then and DJ went to shower.  I was looking up stuff online about brachial plexus avulsions and three legged mastiffs.  I was ready to put up a fight for UC.  DJ came upstairs and I said I was going to shower.  And then the phone rang.  I gave it to DJ, knowing I couldn't talk. 

The radiologist confirmed what the vet thought.  It was a brachial plexus avulsion.  I heard that and I knew DJ and I were going to have a discussion/arguement.  But she kept talking and I couldn't really hear what she said.  He said we would talk about it and call back.  He tells me its the BPA, but there is also some fluid in the abdomen.  I again started crying.  I wasn't ready for that.  I just said I was going to shower and walked away.  I knew what had to be done.

I came back in after showering and we talked (okay, I cried...) about our options and I finally said the words.  And I cried more.  JW came over and sat on my lap and I cried with him. 

I told DJ I wasn't ready.  I told him I wanted to wait until he would be home to be with me.  I wanted UC to be able to come back home one more time.  To sleep in his bed one more time.  To know he was going to stay there.  DJ tried getting someone else to take his trip, but with the late notice, he had to go.  He said he didn't want UC suffering anymore and it had to be tonight.  I agreed, but told him I wanted to make something first so we could get his pawprint.  He stuck MS on that duty and we went out to look for a spot for the grave. 

We decided on where we would put him.  I told him we would have to have it where we could put JW there when it was his time (which I later said better be a long, long time from now and he better go in his sleep!).  We marked the spot with a rock and then we just held each other.  It was terrible.  We knew we were doing the right thing, but it sucked.  We didn't want to do it, but we were his parents and we had to for his sake.  We went in and got his blanket.  The one he always slept on by my side of the bed.

We went back to the clinic and told them our plans.  We wanted to see him first though before we told the vet.  They were doing another procedure so we had to wait to see him.  I kept hearing a whimper and I wondered if it was UC.  He would do that when he wanted a door opened at home.  After what seemed like forever and a ton of tears, we were told we could go back and see him.  They took us to him.  He was right by the door by where we were sitting.  It was him I heard.  We got down and we pet him and we talked to him.  He stopped crying when I started talking to him.  I took that as he could hear me.  I kept telling him I was sorry.  I hated seeing him like that.  So did DJ.  We couldn't put him through it any longer and we agreed it was time.  We went and told them and I said I wanted to be with him when they did it.  DJ said he couldn't be there/watch.  I totally understood that, it's not like I wanted to.  I just couldn't let him think we didn't care or that he was alone.  I wanted him to know we loved him and that we cared for him so much.  We did the paperwork and they told us they had to wait for the vet.  He started crying again so I went and talked to him through the door.  DJ and I just sat and cried.

And then the nicest lady came over (or maybe this was before we went back to see him.  I'm not sure.  Blurry.)  She handed me a hand full of tissues and said she got them for me and told me that she was praying for us.  Then she gave me a hug.  And pet my head.  And was just there.  I don't know why but she had this calming affect to her.  And then she reminded us that God doesn't let us down.  And those words helped so much.  They still do.  I think about her often.  I wish I could tell her thank you for her kind gestures.  A total stranger.

When it was time, they came and got me.  I went back with them and she asked if I was ready.  I said no.  I sat with UC and cried and I told him I was sorry again and I told him the plans.  I told him he was going to come back home and he would have to watch over the farm and JW and the barn when we put it up.  I told him he was going to go meet OB, WD, CJ, and JDB and that they were going to dance until DJ and I got there to dance with them.  I told him that he was a good dog and I loved him and DJ loved him.  I told him I didn't want him to be in pain anymore.  I hugged him and I kissed him.

I told the vet it was time and she explained the procedure.

I talked to him the whole time.  Telling him I loved him.  That he wouldn't be in pain anymore.  And then he was gone.  And then I hated myself.  I had just given her permission to kill my dog.  My baby.  I sat there and cried.  I couldn't believe it.  That has to be the hardest part of all this.  I told her.  I said do it.  Then I watched her do it.  The image of the syringe and the fluid going into him still runs through my mind.  It haunts me.  Damnit.  I wish it wouldn't have turned out that way.  I wish I didn't have to make that decision.  She apologized for not having a coffin big enough for him and I told her it was okay, we had his blanket.

I went back up front and when I saw DJ and told him he was gone I cried more.  It took me a bit to mumble the words that we had to drive to the back to get  him.  We went back and they loaded him in.  We brought him home.  I told him this was his last ride.  I hated thinking that.  Man.  He loved going for rides!

We got him home and BC had dug the hole.  It wasn't where we had picked, but it worked.  I brought JW out to see UC one more time and to say bye.  I wanted him to understand.  I didn't want him wondering where UC was.  I don't know if JW saw the accident happen or not.  DJ and I then carried him down.

I couldn't watch DJ cover him.  I drove away.

MS decided to get us some pizza.  DJ and I just talked.  It all happened so fast.  We made the right decision.  He wasn't in pain anymore.  He's watching down on us.

I cried myself to sleep that night.  Poor DJ.  I don't know if he got any sleep or not.  His alarm went off and he went to shower.  I just laid there and cried.  Every time DJ left before I got out of bed, UC would wait for the garage door to close and then jump crawl into bed with me.  I knew he wasn't going to that morning.  And I cried.  JW came up like he always did when DJ got out of the bed and we both just laid there.  I think I cried for a solid three hours that morning.  I finally made myself get up and out of bed just so I would stop thinking of that.

I have had some good and bad moments.  I couldn't talk about it/him for awhile.  I would just start crying.  I could text or type, but as soon as I started talking the tears would flow.  I think I cried every time DJ and I talked that day.  Just hearing his voice would set me off.  Ma and Pa took me out for lunch the next day and when we pulled in BC's dog barked.  And I ran inside and cried.  It should have been UC looking out the window barking at us to let him out.  After a few days I was able to talk about it.  I was mowing one day and the lady that was in the car that hit him stopped to check on him.  I told her what had happened and she apologized.  She said they had been thinking about us.

I don't know where they were going when it happened, but I know it all happened for a reason.  I don't know what that reason is, but there was a reason.  Maybe it was just to remind us how short and fragile life is.  To remind us to live each day to its fullest.  To remind us of the important things in life.  Maybe by stopping to check on him and help load him, they were able to miss being in a wreck.  Instead of losing one of them, we lost UC.  Maybe it was something completely unrelated.  Maybe he had cancer really bad and instead of us agonizing over the decision to put him down due to the problems from that God made it clear to us.  Maybe it was because there is going to be another dog that needs "rescued" like he did.  Growing up, I always told myself I wanted to experience as many life events with my future husband as possible before getting married so I could know for sure what I was getting into and that he was the one.  Losing a loved one was on that list.  Maybe that was God giving DJ his shot at that life event and instead of us losing a close family member or friend, we lost our dog.  I don't know what the reason(s) was, but there was one.

I'm sitting here writing this.  I don't know why.  I guess I was hoping it would help me cope.  Here I am, sitting at work on lunch break, and I have tears rolling down my cheeks.  I can't even count the number of times/people that have told me that I have a heart of stone.  It's true.  I don't think I've ever denied it.  I would watch movies with friends or read the same books they would and I would never cry.  I could get hurt and wouldn't cry.  I got dumped and no one knew until they asked why he wasn't coming around anymore.  But when it comes to my babies, I cry.  And I am not ashamed.  I have cried so many tears for UC and there will be many more that will fall.  He was going to be one of my ring bears.  He was my running partner. One time he was limping so I left him home and the next day I wasn't going to take him either but he made his mind up that he was going.  I opened the door up just enough for me to get through and then he pushed me out so he was able to get out and he was not going back inside!  He was my baby.  One of my best friends.  I talked to him like he was a person.  He knew everything.  He saw me naked.  Heck, we took showers together (hey, you try giving something that big a bath in the regular sized bathtub!)  He slept with me.  He comforted me.  He loved me.  And I loved him.  I still do.  I always will.  He has a place in my heart forever.  I was told to get a tuft of hair so I could clone him.  He was already burried when they told me that, but I said no anyway.  There will never be another UC.  It could have the same DNA as him, but it wouldn't be UC.  Nothing/no one will ever replace him.

I have to thank all of my friends and family members (and that one stranger) who are helping me get through this.  All the texts, phone calls, visits, words of comfort, prayers said, hugs, food fed, drinks, scratch tickets.  I am blessed.  I have to thank the family that gave him to us.  I mentioned to him once that I had always wanted a mastiff and then he helped make my dream come true.  He called and asked DJ if we wanted UC and DJ called me and I said yes I'll be home soon he can bring him!  It was love at first site.  I'm glad they wanted more for him and I'm glad we could provide it.  I hope they don't regret their decision on letting him go to us.

I have to thank UC.  You made a statement wherever you went.  You helped introduce us to a couple who have turned out to be some of our best friends.  GG sure misses you coming over for treats!  Not every dog could leave with such an impact.  Thank you for the memories.  And thank you to everyone who reminds me of something crazy he did or something about him they remember.  Having tea parties with the neighbor girl and the rest of the Knollie Dog Gang.  Waking Pa up by "licking" him (I still say it was just his wet nose).   His tail.  It was so powerful and it was always wagging, which for multiple guys, caught them off guard!!  Him stealing a pound of bacon.  Twice.  Swallowing a porkchop bone whole. Barking at random objects (saddles, antlers, machinery, a pair of pants, the list could go on and on...).  Just his personality in general.  Him running.  Him running through peoples' legs, or trying to.  Me being able to give him a bath outside without  having to restrain him.  Him waiting by JW when JW got caught in the trap.  He saved JW's life.  Oh man, him and JW.  They were tight.  Best pals.  Mutt and Jeff.

Last but definitely not least, I can't thank DJ enough.  That poor guy!  He has definitely passed the test.  I think I could count on one hand how many times he has seen me cry prior to this.  For him to handle me with such care means so much.  He can say the right thing or not say anything at all and just hold me.  For him to care as much about the dogs as I do means the world to me.  They really are our babies.  I don't know if he'll ever read this, but I love you, DJ.  Thanks for putting up with me and the crazy animal lover that I am :)

UC came into our home/lives as a surprise.  And he was taken from us the same way.  Until we meet again my baby... Good Dog, Carl

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Calm Before the Storm

A couple few weeks ago on a Sunday I decided I was finally going to put my garden in.  So I did:

Pretty.  Nice.  Straight.  Alive.

And then my asparagus and pumpkins:
Asparagus trenches and my little baby punkins.
And then about six hours later 108mph winds came ripping through throwing little frozen peas around... 
I will have to get an updated photo to show you how everything is fairing after the wind/hail. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

I Suck-You-Lent

It's only been a day or two since I last wrote, right?!  Right.  I tried something new this year with my black green thumb.  Succulents.  My neighbor gave me a couple jars this spring and I knew I wanted to try an atrium.  And when I told her what I was thinking, she said she had some succulents I could use.  And then we went to the greenhouse and I couldn't help but buy a few more, which I don't have pictures of yet.  It has nothing to do with the fact that they are still in the pots I bought them in...

Here was one of my original jars with not the plants I had planned on putting inside!  Turns out that hole is much smaller than I thought.  I couldn't fit the plant and my hand both in the hole.  It got stuck with the small leftovers.  They may or may not have died already, leaving the jar sitting on the deck with just dirt in it.  You'll never know!

Little baby jar

I sent my neighbor a picture of the first one I did, which I think I put a picture on here, but really it's hard telling at this point. She said she had a bowl I could use for another.  I picked it up and instantly thought of a few of my friends that I thought would love the bowl.  So I put something together in it.  I can't tell for sure if the little evergreen tree is going to make it or not-- it definitely wasn't that green when I gave her the bowl...

OS's birfday present