Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Funky Town

Yeah…that’s where I’ve been. I’m in a funk and I can’t seem to leave. I don’t know if it’s my continuing grief over losing Bowser, this gray, gloomy, snowy weather, other work type and legal related issues or a combination of everything. It also feels like I may be coming down with something.

Anyway, speaking of Bowser, I just wanted to thank everyone who expressed their sympathies either on this blog or via email or phone. It has been a rough week. I keep looking for him everywhere. Only recently have I been able to walk into the house without bursting into tears when he’s not here to greet me with his smiling face and wagging tail. I would particularly like to thank Jim’s parents and my parents who stepped up and helped care for Bennett so I could have time to clean, sort through Bowser’s stuff and most importantly, grieve. I would also like to thank Auntie Bonnie who called and sent some beautiful flowers – they definitely helped to lift my spirit. I also want to thank Kara who has been a great email support over the last couple of weeks and who valiantly tried to cheer me up this weekend during a play date by simultaneously juggling an open cup of milk and Bennett’s soother.

Since I’ve been feeling so down, I thought I would try some retail therapy. However, a new pair of shoes or clothes just didn’t seem to cut it. So, Jim and I went out to buy a new vehicle. By the end of the week I should be behind the wheel of my brand new Honda Odyssey. You know what they say, “Go big or go home.”

Our sleeping arrangements have changed a bit – I have now joined Jim and Bennett in bed. Bennett starts the evening in his crib but will usually wake himself up coughing at around 1am. At this point he comes into bed with us where he stays until morning. Oh well…I suppose I might miss this when he’s a teenager.

Bennett continues to make progress with his cruising and now spends about half of his time on his feet rather than crawling. Yesterday, he took 5 steps on his own for our physiotherapist. Needless to say I was very proud. Unfortunately as his mobility seems to increase, so does his attitude. My sweet, easygoing boy is developing quite a stubborn streak. He is very sure about what he wants and what he doesn’t want. The only problem is that I don’t always know what that is.

So, that’s all I’ve got for you. I do have a lot to say about a few different subjects but haven’t gotten around to actually writing it out yet. I promise to get back on track soon – or at least I promise to try.

The picture above is of Biscotasi Lake in Northern Ontario. It is taken from a helicopter trip I went on for work a couple years ago.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Mr. December?

Well, I don't think that I would get as many sales but the fact that he is ACTUALLY putting dishes in the dishwasher makes him pretty attractive!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Mr. November

Now, wouldn't you buy this Fireman calendar?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Good Bye Sweet Friend

If you have a dog, you will most likely outlive it; to get a dog is to open yourself to profound joy and, prospectively, to equally profound sadness. Marjorie Garber

There is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day
But when we are certain of sorrow in store
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and sisters I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear. Rudyard Kipling

Unlike some people who have experienced the loss of an animal, I did not believe, not even for a moment that I would never get another. I did know full well that there were just too many animals out there in need of homes for me to take what I have always regarded as the self-indulgent road of saying the heartbreak of the loss of an animal was too much ever to want to go through with it again. To me, such an admission brought up the far more powerful admission that all the wonderful times you had with your animal weren’t worth the unhappiness at the end. Cleveland Armory

I have sometimes thought of the final cause of dogs having such short lives and I am quite satisfied that it is out of compassion for the human race; for if we suffer so much in losing a dog after an acquaintance of ten or twelve years, what would it be if they were to live double that time? Sir Walter Scott

Bowser: April 1, 1997 – November 18, 2008

In memory of Bowser who died peacefully tonight in the arms of his mommy and daddy. He is survived by his parents, grandparents and little brother Bennett as well as many loving aunts. He was a special friend to Katie Jones a beautiful Shepard/collie mix and predeceased by his best friend, Mac an incredible German Shepard.

Bowser lived a full, wonderful life filled with love, fun and long walks. He was well known for his wagging tail, smiling face and incredibly soft golden fur. Some of his favourite pastimes were swimming (sometimes a ditch would do), chasing footballs and playing with sticks. He enjoyed belly rubs and long naps in the sun and would snore quite loudly which never bothered his mommy. Bowser’s favourite treats were Timbits and cheese slices for which he would do pretty much anything. Although known as an incredibly loving dog, he never got over his intense dislike of squirrels, chipmunks and that annoying mailman.

As a young puppy he liked to run through the house holding on to the end of a roll of toilet paper, bring grandma her boots and sneak into her sewing room to steal balls of yarn. He brought mommy to obedience school where he excelled – too bad mommy didn’t. He was also well known for his ability to make people smile, laugh and mend broken hearts.

Bowser will always be remembered with love and someday this never ending stream of tears that come with the memories will be replaced again with smiles and laughter. You were a wonderful dog and an even better friend. Thank you for sharing your life with us. How lucky we have been. Until we meet again my sweet furry friend – I promise to bring lots of fresh Timbits and a brand new squeaky football.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

You're Still Awesome Dude!

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. It has been a rough week and I've been so tired that I've been falling asleep on my new bed (the living room couch) by 9 almost every night. But I thought I would stay up late and post a quick little video from last night. Bennett actually took a couple steps on his own! He's making some great progress but I'm reluctant to get my hopes up. However, I am sure proud of my little guy!

Being a man on the move doesn't come without risk. You can see in the picture below that Bennett's full lips are just a little fuller tonight. A little split lip - the first of many I'm sure.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

You're Awesome Dude!

Bennett has been practicing cruising from one surface to another. He's made a lot of progress just this weekend. He can balance a bit on his own and walk with one of us while holding one hand. I think independent walking is still far away but this gives me hope that it is possible and will happen one day.

Well done Bennett!

Bowser Update: Bowser has been doing better. The vet is hoping that he is still suffering from an allergic reaction and the subsequent medication he had to be on to clear up the infection. He's on Benadryl and wearing a Buster collar for a week. We check in with the vet again on Tuesday. Thank you so much to everyone who commented, called or emailed for your kind words, support and understanding that Bowser is an important part of our family.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Happy Birthday Barbara!!

Well it only seems fitting that if everyone else gets a birthday wish on the blog, Mommy should get one too. So happy Birthday to the Bestest Mommy in the whole world. I can't think of too many others who would give up their spot in bed for a not so comfy couch just to ensure Bennett would have a good sleep before therapies. Here is hoping you had a wonderful day and the offer for a weekend stay at the Homewood Suites is still open.

Happy Birthday Mommy,

Love Jim, Bennett, and Bowser

PS Sorry to all regular blog readers I know this post is not on par with regular Barbara posts

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A Story of Alcohol, Luck, Love and a Girl Named Cheryl

As the title above indicates, this post is going to be about alcohol, luck, love and a girl named Cheryl. Intrigued? I can assure that this story will come together in a way you probably don’t expect. Stay with me if you can.

A few years ago I worked with a girl named Cheryl. She was/is a wonderful woman with a big heart and a great sense of humour. Over the years we shared a lot of good laughs and not just haha laughs but the big, crying, lose your breath, can’t even talk kind of laughs. Some of those laughs came at very dark times in my life. Although she had no idea, I was dealing with the horrible pain that is infertility and I doubt that she ever knew that the girl standing at the photocopier was slowly wasting away from a broken heart. For those laughs alone, I will always be grateful. But I’ve been thinking about other stuff today and it has brought to mind some of the quirky, existential conversations Cheryl and I had when we were supposed to be working.

One day we were talking about the nature of luck and how some people seem to have a lot of it and others seem to have none. We were both lamenting how we both fell into the latter category. However, as usual Cheryl turned it around and gave me another perspective about luck. This was her theory: perhaps her and I were really lucky, just in ways we might not know about. For example, maybe the roof was supposed to fall on top of us that day but it didn’t. That would have to be considered luck she said and maybe these kinds of things happened all the time and in fact we were really lucky but just didn’t know it. It made a lot more sense at the time when she explained it and believe it or not this is not the part of the story that involves alcohol. In any case, I think Cheryl was really stretching with her theory but it did make me think and brought a smile to my face.

Cheryl was a girl with some theories but she also had some questions. One of the most interesting and funny ones involved alcohol. Now let me start by stating that Cheryl is a girl who can hold her liquor like few others and is known to enjoy a few beers every once in awhile. I have warned Jim on many of these occasions to not even try to keep up to Cheryl and like most men he had to learn the hard way. One morning after a particularly fun night Cheryl came up with an interesting question. This is how she explained it (I’m paraphrasing):

“You know, I just don’t understand. I’m a good person. I work hard, I’m kind to others, I’m kind to animals, I pay my bills. I don’t really have any bad habits but every once in a while I like to have fun and have a few drinks. What I don’t understand is why something that makes me feel so good can make me feel so bad the next day.”

Good question Cheryl and one that leads to the next part of the story. It has become apparent over the last few days that we may be getting closer to having to make the decision that every pet owner dreads. The decision that rips your heart out and leaves you sobbing in the shower. Bowser is not doing so well and it’s breaking my heart. Jim and I got him a month after we moved in together. He’s been with us through everything and I have cried many tears into his soft, silky, golden fur.

So, this leads to another question – a variation of Cheryl’s question about alcohol. Why does love, something that feels so good also have to break your heart? Why does love have to come at such a high price? Why can’t we just love and feel good and never have to say good-bye? I didn’t have an answer to Cheryl’s question that day and I’m sure she wouldn’t have an answer for mine today. But I do know that she would understand.

I just may indulge in a glass of Bailey’s tonight, a drink that Cheryl and I shared on a few occasions. I don’t expect it to help much but it might taste pretty good. I’ll be thinking about how lucky I’ve been to have had Bowser to love. And I’ll also be trying to figure out how I might have to say good-bye.