Wednesday, August 26, 2015

This is why dogs never die


When it comes to toys, nothing will dissuade him from his goal. At Jon and Debbie's pool, Tucson, AZ.
I believe that is Mia looking on.

For all my dogs.....

So this is where we part, My Friend,  
and you'll run on, around the bend,
gone from sight, but not from mind, 
new pleasures there you'll surely find

I will go on, I'll find the strength, 
life measures quality, not its length.

One long embrace before you leave, 
share one last look, before I grieve.

There are others, that much is true,
but they be they, and they aren't you.

And I, fair, impartial, or so I thought, 
will remember well all you've taught

Your place I'll hold, you will be missed,
the fur I stroked, the nose I kissed
And as you journey to your final rest, 
take with you this...I loved you best.

- Jim Willis

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Easton, fly free big boy

As the time with our Goldens flies by, so many of us go through the "will I know when its time?”  This is a crushing weight that we carry around as our sweet dogs deteriorate from disease or old age. I think about this often, especially now that we have committed to adopting senior Goldens. Their time with us is so abbreviated compared to raising them from pups. It would be too much to ask to have them live even twice as long as they do. As god's personal representative for unconditional love, that would be just too perfect; too much to ask; and as we know, life is not perfect. Choosing to surround ourselves with Golden Retrievers, the perfect creation of  God and man; manufactured with the tools god left on this earth for us to sink or swim as we tweak breeds to serve our needs.

In March of 2011, I lay down beside Lady in the vet's office, her eyes and gums perfectly healthy, it was so hard to send her to the bridge. But I knew within two days, she would endure great suffering from dehydration and/or starvation. I swore after Devo, NEVER to let my dear, sweet Goldens waste away because I couldn't let them go.

With Easton, it presented me a unique puzzle I had not experienced in all my years. He was so brave and stoic, it was impossible to determine how ill he might be. Easton died peacefully during the early morning within a few hours of our vet appointment to evaluate his current lethargy. We discovered him at 6AM when Andi came down for tea and Easton’s breakfast. He lay still, so peaceful and relaxed in his favorite sleeping spot near his doggy door. Lesson learned - and that is our privilege, unquestioned by those who matter, those who get it, those who are as invested in the perfection that is our Golden dogs.

You can't tell most people about the death of your dog, not quite; there is an expectation that you shouldn't overreact, shouldn't place too much weight on this loss. In the whole scheme of thing, shouldn't this be a smaller matter? It's just a dog; get another one. One of the unspoken truths of American life is how deeply people grieve over the animals that live and die with them, how real that emptiness is, how profound the silence is these creatures leave in their wake. Our culture expects us not only to bear these losses alone, but to be ashamed of how deeply we feel them. The death of a pet is, after all, the first death most of us know. I know that is true for me.

Rest in peace my sweet, playful Easton boy. I will never forget you and will wait to hear your bark when we meet again at the Rainbow bridge.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Easton Wet Dog

THIS is what Easton lives for. There is nothing, not even his dinner, that he loves more than being in the water. It is tough to coax him out once he has splashed down.

One beautiful Arizona spring day.
One beautiful Arizona spring day.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Remembering Lady

Three years ago we said goodbye to our first, adopted, senior Golden Lady. The day passed uneventfully with a bottle of wine and a few sighs. We were here in Phoenix on that day, so her last happy days were spent with the sun baking her bones and lots of attention from the many friends she made here in the valley. Her portrait is in a place of honor in our humble desert dwelling and I'll always remember how much she loved it here. I miss you my sweet girl.

Lady's special page

Lady - happy and wet - July 2008

Monday, November 4, 2013

Long road ahead

Preparing for a 3 day trip south. Easton has been on my heels all day as I pack and prep. This will be our second long road trip together. He's a very good passenger.

Way warmer than it is here.
First stop: The statehouse is geothermally heated by underground hotsprings.
Second stop: The goldmine has reopened. Think I'll stop by for a free sample.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Abarkalypse Now

By popular demand. Easton and my brother Chip goofing off last spring. Its all in fun, plus it gives me a chance to exercise my rudimentary video editing skills.

No more boomers Bud.....

Shame on me, I've been ignoring my Blog, distracted by a million things including Facebook. The Blog venue is much more to my liking, but I have to discipline myself to sit down and write something. My normal motivation seems to be waning, not so much that I don't have material, but more like FB saps it away in teeny-tiny bites every day. This Blog is about my dogs, FB - not so much. I do owe it to Easton to write and photograph him more that I do. He is a special and unique boy in his own right.

Easton's staff photographer Michael got a new camera. The quality of
these photos are nothing short of amazing. I don't remember the camera
details, but maybe I can get him to write a review, which I'll post here.

Last Thursday night / Friday morning, the worst thunderstorm I've ever experienced here in the Northwest came roaring through. Since my first Golden "Sunny" in 1986 (Cosmo 1991, Devo 1997, Lady 2008 and now Easton 2011) none of the dog gave a rip about: Thunder, Lightning or even Coyotes howling right outside our door -- except Easton.

Strike a pose.

Easton and the boomers: Imagine a large herd of prehistoric Mastodons stampeding full speed from the outside towards your backyard fence. That is what Easton imagines when he hears thunder. He blasts through his doggy door and braces, growls and barks, posturing what can only be described as an "I'm going to tear you apart when you come over that fence" defense of his home. Make no mistake, he is not afraid. He shifts to full blown guard dog mode, reaching deep down into his Golden heart for his inner-Rottweiler.

With his always present over-sized tennis ball
A gift from his Aunt Virginia

It is my job to prevent him from keeping our house and the neighborhood awake all night. So I try to distract him, play ball, pet him, reassure him that the Third Reich was defeated in 1945 and is NOT invading our back yard. When I just can't stay awake anymore, I slip his eight foot leather leash on my wrist and fall asleep on the living room couch, hoping he'll do the same. Only when the storm passes will he settle down. It eventually does around 3AM. Its time to get some sleep. There are no more boomers Bud.

Indoor, no flash, just natural light from the window

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Go Zags, Easton celebrates a little too much

Easton was invited to cousin Buddy's house to help celebrate the High School graduation of Morgan Green. A good time was had by all, especially the big, red one! Like an over-the-hill, weekend warrior, Easton never stopped playing for 5 straight hours. He is paying the price today. Very stiff with a slight limp, a day of rest and a few aspirins has helped what only time will eventually heal. He did have a damn good time though. The picture below was pretty much the theme of the day.

PS: Buddy will be with us for a week starting Sat. the 22nd. His family is vacationing on the Washington coast. No dogs allowed at the condo. In their defense, they won the trip and didn't want to pass up this gift. We agree and are glad to have Buddy over for a long play date. He is a hoot.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

New pictures of Easton

Big Red and I spent almost 3 weeks in Salem, OR. It was not the happiest of times, but Easton always made sure we stayed grounded and attended to his every need! It was a welcome diversion from our grim task at hand. Thanks pal, your Golden smile and happy tail greeted us every time we walked in the door. Seeing the spring in your step and the joy in you eyes when we took our walks lightened my load. You even brought the ball back every time it was thrown. I guess you knew something important was going on. 
Honoring Jim and Jeanne

Monday, January 21, 2013

2700 miles away, but always close to my heart

Just wanted to acknowledge the passing of Toby, one half of the famous Chub brothers residing at the sanctuary known as Golden Pines. I've followed their story from the beginning and became quite invested in these two Senior Goldens; hoping they could live their lives out together and never have to be separated again. These guys were so happy and resilient, making friends all over the world and providing comic relief via the GP blog. Their story is told at the following link: Toby & Bubba's story

Fly Free Toby, you can run and bark with Bubba again. I'll miss you both, but will smile knowing you are together again.


Monday, December 3, 2012

Gloomy day, Golden Boy

Windy, rainy Sunday morning, Seahawks in Chicago making me crazy (they won in OT) and Easton hanging out after our very early walk between the rain drops. He loves to have a toy with him at all times just in case play breaks out. He is so mellow and such a good boy. What a joy. How lucky we all are. Happy Monday!

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