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Dawgs - 2010


Lady and Helen and I just went for a New Year's walk - 5am. Helen says that there is a full moon. It is snowing and overcast, but there was enough light for us to see without flashlights. No cars, just fresh snow. May the world be peaceful, may there be light through your overcast skies, and may you enjoy each other's company in this new year.

Helen has not written notes for us since January 2009. So a brief update is in order. Lady and were thinking about things as we rested on the futon last evening, enjoying the fireplace (and, no, we did not stay up until mid-night).

--Lady has been here for a year last fall, and Jenny has been with Dan for a year. Another shelter dawg (a beagle) has been with Helen's friends for almost a year and has just finished Dog School. Helen is still walking dawgs 3-4 times a week, so the ups and downs of shelter life is part of our well as the smells when she comes home from walking.

--The catz are really crazy. Shadow decided to stay outside during the fall. She lost lots of weight, and Helen set a live trap to get her in. She has gone to Ocean Park to live with Erik and Patches. From what I hear, she is doing well. The catz here - Bear, Maggie and Morgan - have developed several places for doing business, like upstairs bathroom and front hall, and downstairs in the cat room. Real pain to watch out for.

--As for the byrd, Dick got Kira a noise-activated parrot that responds twice to a sound. Kira makes all sorts of noises trying to get the parrot to sing. Kira still likes the byrd sounds CD at least twice a day, and tolerates classical music other times. He particularly likes to dance to a piece called "Bolero". He and the peeple carry on various whistling conversations. No way do peeple sound like byrds, but Kira still tries.

--As for me, Mahler, I am doing well. Lady and I actually get along pretty well. But sometimes I really wish that I did not have to share so much. My right front leg does ache a bit with the cold, but it's manageable. One sadness, though. About a month ago, my friend Buddy died. He was a golden retriever a year younger than me. I had visited him summers when his family was in Maine, but had not seen him for several years. Will ask Erik to put a picture of me and Buddy on the website.

--Peeplewise, things are generally fine. Dick was in the hospital for a few days for observation after fainting early last year but has been doing well since. Helen had surgery on her left wrist (carpel tunnel) early December and it limited her for a week or so.

And for those of you who are not here to share in this update:

--Donovan, I trust that you are enjoying your vacation week with Krista and Erik. Look forward to your returning. (We have all had some separate time in Ocean Park over the last year. Thanks to Erik - and to the catz, begrudgingly - for the hospitality.)

--Tess, I know that you were in Ocean Park a couple of weeks ago while your peeple had a new baby. We understand that a baby is a small peeple, but we have never seen one. How is that for you? Tell us about what it is like. I know that Helen will be trying to see you all regularly, so maybe you can get her to tell us your story. Maybe Christy and Mike can e-mail notes for you.

Want to add my greetings for the New Year. And a word of caution -- dawgs, don't eat chocolate, at least not much of it. I got into a box after Christmas and was really sick to my stomach for about a day. It tasted so good going down......I am very content here. Less itching with my new diet. Essentially am not allowed to have peeple food, so begging is generally futile. I know that that is also hard on Mahler and Donovan. Sorry, guys.

Anyway, from us to you, have a good New Year!

January 30, 2010

Happy Birthday to Dick!

Dick, Thanks for
*Sharing your snacks with us. We know that sometimes you try to get to your room without us following you, and that we try not to let you succeed. You just make good snacks (not like Helen who gives us veggies from her salads!). You make sure that we all get things, even when Lady is not right there. We have seen you go over and give her a snack.
*Loving all of us in our own way. You let us be different. Like Don getting you up: that's his job! And letting Mahler just sitting outside meditating for ages: he's a philosopher. And noticing how content Lady is here. You treat us as beings with our personalities.
*Letting us in and out of the door to the yard that just happens to be in your room. We know that we interrupt things, and that sometimes Mahler goes out, comes right back in and goes out again. You are so patient with us.

So, thanks, and have a good lunch, even though you are going out. Please live up to your reputation for being generous and remember a doggy bag for us.

In other news,
TESS visited Erik again this month because her new baby was taken to the hospital in Portland for about a week. We understand that Tess had a hard time. It was too quiet there and she needs things going on around her. Tess is home now. Helen has seen her several times and says she is doing OK in dealing with the baby getting attention. It is hard when she has been the main one for so long.

I can understand Tess maybe feeling displaced by the baby. I sometimes feel that with Lady, when she gets so much attention for her problems. On the other hand, whenever Lady gets something special, so do we. Like when Lady gets pills we also get cheese. And Helen tries to pay special attention to me separately. But I have a reputation for being mellow that I need to keep up, but I still notice where attention goes. Don't worry, I am really glad that Lady is at home with us. She lets us be and does not make demands on us.

The water on the stream has not really frozen this winter, so had ducks until really late, and on warmer days, the beavers or muskrats are out. This gives me something to bark at - and get the humans moving to see what the noise is all about.

I have been having a hard time. I was lame, not eating well, and vomiting about daily. Helen took me to the doctor. X-rays show that I have arthritis of the spine and a slight bronchial infection. I am on medication. And I also have a massive yeast infection that shows up as scaly sores all over my body, so we started on special bath last night. I guess I'll be getting the baths regularly for awhile. The worst part of the bath is waiting 5-10 minutes between the soaping and rinsing. And I am really having difficulty eating. The kind of natural food that Helen got has small berries in it that I do not like and cannot digest. So Helen takes out the berries, and adds pumpkin and water to my food. We give the berries to Mahler and Don, who love them. We will be changing food. And at the doctor's, they decided that I am probably 3-5 years older than they said I was at the shelter. I certainly feel my age some days, and then others, I feel young again - just need to convince my body of that.

Think this is all for now.
The Dawgs

February 02, 2010

We are sad today. Lady died this morning. She came to live with us from the Shelter in September 2008. We never did know how old she was, but we think that she was older than either of us, or at least 13years old. She had a certain dignity about her, like she had seen the world. But she rarely pushed herself on us.

We know that she was not feeling well. Helen was giving her extra attention in a way that showed that she was concerned. Helen even told us that Lady was quite sick and that she would not be coming back from the doctor's this morning. We gave Helen extra attention when she came home without Lady. It is hard on people, too.

Lady, we will miss you. Glad that you were part of our lives. We cannot imitate your dignity - it is just not part of our nature. But it was nice to see. Thanks.

Mahler and Donovan

July 15, 2010

Dawg Notes Morph

We - Tess and I - are very sad to tell you that Mahler died in May. Wait - I have to go back even further, as Mahler had not written since we announced that Lady had died in February. A week or so after Lady died, things got rough at Tess's home. I will let her tell you. We have made it a point not to talk for anyone but ourselves.

The baby was born in December. I visited Erik in Ocean Park then, and again in January when the baby was sick and was in the hospital in Portland. He noticed that I had become very sensitive everything, scared that something was going to happen. People even speaking to me gently seemed like yelling. When I was at home, I had to stay on my bed because the trailer was so small and crowded. I would never hurt the baby, but everyone seemed afraid that I would. So Helen said that I could come back to live with Mahler and Donovan - the old pack back together.

There were strange smells. I could smell Lady everywhere. Mahler and Donovan assured me that Lady would not be coming back. They told me about how she had lost her home and that this became her home, just as it had been my home, and would be again - forever, now. Don and Mahler said that we both were welcome for who we are as individuals. That is truly a welcome.

I was puzzled by all the smells on Helen's clothes. Mahler and Donovan said that she walked dogs because we meant so much to her, and she wanted to help dogs get ready for their new homes. It did not mean that she loved us any less.

A few weeks after Tess came back, Mahler stopped eating the dried food, then other foods that he usually liked. He got thinner and thinner. At first the tests at the vet's were normal, then they changed. Helen said that he had cancer of the liver. That was a shock. And he did not come home from one trip to the vet's. And Dick and Helen were very sad. He was one who said that everything would all right. He liked to sit in the yard and look around. And, even until the last few days, was the one who was ready to go for a walk. We miss him so much.

We have decided not continue Dawg Notes. They were started 10 years ago to our people to let them know how we were doing. But Krista is here now and Tess is not going back to Mike or Christy, although she may see them sometime. Mahler was the primary writer, anyway. So this will be our last note. Helen has asked us to be consultants her new series, Ministry With Dawgs. We may not be speaking directly, but we will still be part of her stories.
Thanks for being our readers. Donavan and Tess

All materials copyright © 2008-2018 by Helen Zidowecki unless otherwise noted. - -

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