Fur Babies

My husband and I have two dogs…Joe Bear and Dia. I used to be a cat person, but man…allergies developed into asthma and that was the end of me being a cat person. I still love them. Wish I could have a few. But I have this longing to breathe without a wheeze, soooo…no cats.

But Joe Bear and Dia are pretty great fur babies. I guess my big old Joe is about 100 years old in dog years. He is a 14 year old Newfidor–Newfoundland/Black Lab mix. Yes. He is old. Yes, he is big. And, yes, he sheds his undercoat twice each year. When I say it blows…it really does. He reminds me of the bison and buffalo with their fur hanging off their bodies.

Dia is crazy. She is a 7 year old Golden Cockeretriever…I know. I made that word up. While she is a very pretty dog, she is just a wee bit hyper still. She loves me but views just about everyone who comes to our house as a threat to me…

My big old boy has been failing for the last 2 years. These big dogs don’t usually live to be as old as he is, and we know that we will have to make that hard decision pretty soon. If it was just arthritis, that would be doable. Even his humongous cataracts aren’t a problem. But it seems that he has some kind of serious problem now that is causing him a lot of discomfort, like bad headaches. He presses his head against my leg and looks at me with a sad, puppy dog face. I massage his head, and eventually he seems to feel a little better, but I know that he is in pain. As I sit here writing this, he is hugging his head with his paws and I know he is hurting.

So here I sit, trying to decide how to know when it is unfair to keep him living through the pain. How do I know if I am doing the right thing? If I were failing, I wouldn’t want someone to put me down. I would want to fight to the end.

This is the struggle of today. Pretty soon, I am going to be bawling and wondering if I made the right decision and missing his sweet personality. My tender Bear. I don’t think I have the heart to go through this again.

snowfall joe

Joe Bear: Why’d you make me come inside???

 

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Say Goodbye to Chippy

Chippy

It’s a sad day at Nana’s house today. Chippy the Chipmunk had a face to face encounter with Día and Joe Bear underneath the bird feeder. Joe Bear was trapped up on the deck and just about ready to lunge down about 15 feet to join his canine friend in her excitement when I stepped outside and opened the gate.

By the time Joe had barreled down the stairs, the little chipmunk was cornered under the downspout. Chippy never had a chance. Día and Joe Bear had him boxed in completely.

While Día was the ultimate in the hunting category this time, she happily delivered up her prize to the much larger and demanding Joe Bear. You would think HE caught the poor little guy, Chippy wasn’t even as big as that hulking bear-dog’s paw.

Joe pranced around the yard as if he was showing his adoring fans what he had accomplished. And then he plopped down to toy with his fatally flawed friend.

Ummm, no, I don’t think so. I started to back Joe into a submissive stance. He reluctantly dropped his prey. But I could tell he was just waiting me out. Ha! As if!

My daughter, who has a mixed hate-love relationship with animals anyway, cannot stand the animal-side of our dogs. You know, they smell like dogs. Act like dogs. Annoy like dogs.

And they protect us from varmints like…Chippy and little birds…And the coyotes, raccoons, foxes and all the other assorted critters that like to wander in for a sneak of food…They are, after all, animals and have animal natures and instincts.

My daughter brought me a container to dispose of the remains, but oh that Joe was not going to let his fun go without a struggle. Oh no. Not for a minute. I bribed him with dog jerky…not much help. Finally I had to lock him up in the house, with the door fully latched. (He knows how to open it.)

Little Chippy sailed away over the creek bank. And Joe knows it. He tried his hardest to leap the fence. But when you are huge like he is, and old, you have about as much chance of leaping over the fence as I do. After all, Joe and I are about the same age…

But, I’ll bet you dollars to doughnuts that dog will find a way to jump the fence tonight and sniff out Chippy’s final resting place. He is one relentless and stubborn dog. He reminds me of someone…