Pictures from the Park

Just some fun pictures from when we went to the dog park last weekend. I love the park after a fresh snow, when the sky is perfectly blue. I love that color of blue.

Only Tatum and Jet went. I’m still not taking Levi. I don’t know, his park days may be over… we’ll see. But every day he seems a little bit worse. His poor old body just can’t repair itself anymore. Makes me very, very sad.

Tatum and Jet
Blue Skies
Tatum and Jet

Why not take Muffit or Chase? Well, Chase isn’t dog friendly at all. He’s actually pretty dog aggressive. And Muffit goes hiking with my husband so much, that I don’t take him out myself. He’s my husband’s hiking companion. 🙂

Tatum and Jet at the Park – No Levi

Jet and Tatum
First of all, Merry Christmas. I hope everyone had a great weekend.

I’ve been taking it easy the last weeks, which is nice, no dog sports. Well, I did do some Cyber Rally-O with Jet that was pretty fun. I’ll have to post about that next time. Otherwise, I’ve been spending time with family and friends and taking the dogs to the park, going on some walks, and taking it easy. Been really nice. I wish I could have more time like this to just live. Oh I’ve been working, too, but that goes without saying. And in only another week, I’ll be able to say “I can retire next year…” oh that’ll be nice. I can retire in 2013, so I’m looking forward to that!

I haven’t been taking Levi to the park, though, just Jet and Tatum. I miss taking Levi. He still isn’t back to normal quite yet. I’ve been taking him on walks around the block, a mile or so, to work him back up to the park. But I think maybe next weekend he’ll be coming with again. His back still hurts. Maybe he needs a discectomy to help his back, but maybe not. He’s been getting a little better every day. And he’s being rather obnoxious at home which is a sign the’s feeling good. So that’s a good thing. I am realizing approaching EOL, which we say with software… (End Of Life), but as long as he’s happy and doing well, I’m happy with him too. He’s not going to keel over dead tomorrow or anything.

January will bring another agility trial. Maybe Jet and I can pick up another Double Q. We haven’t done agility in a couple months, now, but that’s okay. I think we will both remember how.

Understanding Tatum

Tatum At Dog Camp
When I got Tatum from Houston Collie Rescue back in 2007, I knew she was special. Though when I say special, I don’t mean she was exceptionally smart (though she is very smart) or would go far in dog sports, or would excel in anything I was going to do with her. No.. not in that way. Because she came from rescue, a hoarder with 70 collies running amok in her back yard. So right from the get-go Tatum had issues, and I also knew that in a way, they made her special.

She’s special because she is very timid when I take her outside, but she recovers really fast when she’s at home. She bosses the boys around, but what girl doesn’t? She growls at the other dogs if they get too close to her on the bed or on the couch. She’s a bit full of herself sometimes, and at other times she likes to be on her own.

Tatum is hard to quantify, really. She loves to do agility training, though at trials she’s not so sure. She doesn’t like people all that much, but she likes us okay, and will nip at us in her herding collie way to get us to play. And the louder we squeal, the more she likes it. I couldn’t place her in a home where, if she nipped, they would punish her or think she was doing a bad thing. Her nipping is for play, and she needs people who understand that, even it hurts!

She needs someone who understands her growling, too. It’s not aggression at all, it’s just that ‘stop touching me’ thing that even human kids do. She’s very picky with food, but she loves Tuna! She needed someone to build up her confidence and help her to accept people as good things, and as part of her life.

She’s not a dog that could be put in just any old home and be expected to adapt. She needed to understand people rules, in a good way, to build her confidence and help her live a happy life.

Some dogs are special and need special homes. When I met Tatum, I fell in love with her. I was afraid no one else would really understand her. And so we kept her. And we understand her. And we just adore her to pieces.

Pretty Tatum

My Family

My Family
Lately I have been having a really hard time dealing with the loss of Lucy. She was the hardest for me, even more so than Angel last year. Or Littles just last week. I realize that I have a really hard time dealing with death. Not that anyone has an easy time of it… for one thing, though, my dogs are my kids. They mean as much to me as any human I know. My core belief system is that I am an animal. I am a human animal, and my dogs are canine animals. I am no better than them. Maybe human belief systems follow that humans are ‘better,’ somehow, than other animals. I do not believe this. I am more of the belief that I am the same as the earth. I live on the earth and I am as a tree or a rock or a bush. Or a deer or a rabbit or a dog. Maybe this is more like the American Indian belief system. Or the pagan belief system. Which I prefer to follow for myself.

So when a dog does, a part of me dies. Even though at the same time a part of the dog lives on inside of me. Still, I feel empty and hollow and I don’t know how to deal with it. Since I don’t really have an after-life belief system, either, I’m not sure where they go, though I do have my ideas.

Anyway, where I’m going with this is that all my life I’ve really avoided getting close to people. I’ve had trust issues with people. Haven’t really trusted those who were trustworthy in the past, instead I’ve trusted those who were not trustworthy. Though I think that I’ve changed in that regard now, it’s still hard for me to get close to fellow humans. It’s always been easier for me to get close to dogs. And so the main support network I have in my life is that of my very short-lived dogs.

And so when they leave me, I’m pretty crushed. Though now I’m at a place in my life where I can finally trust people more, get close to people more, which is a good thing. And most of my life I’ve really denied the thought that I need people, and dogs, to rely on as close friends and family.

And I’m so worried about Levi. He’ll be 12 in just about a month. And sometimes I think that my entire world of sanity is balanced on his life. Which is way too much to ask any creature to endure, I know. 🙂 Even though he gets extra attention now, which he really loves.

So I guess where I’m getting to with this is that today I had some sore of revelation. That it’s natural to love these creatures in our lives. And it’s so sad when they have to leave us. It’s just a natural part of life and it’s okay to love completely. I’ve avoided loving completely, because it means that when the object of your love is gone, then live is just about over and being crushed and miserable sets in. But it’s okay to have both, isn’t it? To love completely and still go on living. It’s natural and normal. Guess it took me a long time to realize this. But I have always loved my dogs completely, without reservation, unconditionally, just as they love me. They are so much easier than humans. So very much easier to love and live with.

I’ve been sick the last few days and feeling pretty rotten. I know it’s a combination of having too many losses, stress, catching some nasty cold, and also this underlying virus that I think I carry with me all the time. It all adds up, dangit. But today, or at least right now, I can look at our little graveyard of ashes in our cabinet that I have set up, and find a little bit more peace. At least for a while.

So I have to get back to the normal aspects of life. Missing those I’ve lost. Settling into a new life with the ones who are still alive. Maybe I’m a nut, I dunno. Maybe I just need a Steripen Adventurer Opti water filter to keep myself healthy… oh, and I joined Weight Watchers, to drop these awful pounds I’ve put on in the last couple of years. Still gotta take care of myself, eat healthy, and love completely the family I have with me still. And try to come to realize it’s okay to love completely, as well as lose completely. And still be okay.

Last Day At Camp

Wow… where did the time go! I was planning on posting every day, but didn’t end up having time. I do have pictures loaded from every day on my Picasa Web Album. To see all my pictures from the whole week, you can visit my Picasa Web Album. There will be more from this afternoon too.

Anyway, here are some highlights.

I’ve been posting more on Facebook, so you can friend me there if you want to see more. 🙂