Hole in our Hearts

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Carson left us today, but we believe we will see him again in Heaven.

After prolonged pain with his collapsing trachea which created difficult breathing and constant hacking, along with anxiety and stress, his suffering is over.

The decision was agonizing to make, but necessary. He is a part of us. Oddly, when I first got home from our veterinary’s office, the first thing I did was look for him.  I imagine there will be several habits related to Carson which will take time to lose.

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He was combination of many contrasting things: handsome, playful, independent, fun, stubborn, exasperating,  silky soft, gentle, tolerant, an eating machine, and the list goes on. He had a playful bark that sounded like a larger dog, although he didn’t bark much. He was great around our grand children-even when they were a bit rough with him.

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He was Cheryl’s shadow and she was the best thing that ever happened to him.

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He became my closest buddy, especially after his health deteriorated and I spent more time with him. How could you not love this guy?

Carson's Cert of Adoption

Although we only enjoyed his presence for seven years, it seems like seventeen. The Little White Dog Rescue non-profit organization is one of many terrific groups who help place needy canines with responsible people. For a bit more information about Carson, please go to my post on December 23rd, entitled White Christmas. Thank you.

Gone, but not forgotten. We will always love you, Pupdog (one of his many nicknames).

 

 

 

Paradox ?

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I must admit from the start that this is an unusual post for me. True, I have submitted several posts about Carson over the past two years, but today is different. Obviously, I am (Cheryl is, too) crazy about this canine. At the same time he is a great source of occasional irritation…love him anyway.

The Paradox for which I titled this post may not be so much a paradox, but a simple reality.

We adopted Carson after he was a breeder dog in a puppy mill in Nebraska. There are these wonderful people who keep distressed dogs until they find a new owner. And, there are organizations which give folks like us the opportunity to see such dogs who need a home. In our case it is called Little White Rescue (we were interviewed before acceptance to bringing Carson home). So it should be.

We were told he was about three or so years old, but time has shown us that he was more likely six years old. Today, Carson is close to ten years…not a big deal for most dogs. However, he is 95% deaf, is developing cataracts so he cannot see that well, and has a terrible hacking cough as a result of an attack by a pit bull several years earlier. His trachea is collapsing so he has to take steroids more often than we like.

Now, for what I entitled as a paradox may simply be a matter of the circle of life, so-to-speak. Our two grandchildren are spending the night with us! Elliot is almost three and half years and Audrie seventeen months young. How fun, is right! I might add, exhausting, too. They are pure joy.

So, I walked today with an aging pupdog (as I call him) who may not be around much longer, and will engage with two very special children for the next twenty-four hours or so. The wonderful thing is that Carson has accepted the kiddos while they have learned to like and interact with a mammal of a different species. They really seem to like him. To watch their encounters together is priceless.

Well, there it is…my paradox of sorts (but not really). I simply love them all and want them to remain with us forever. We have had other animals we wish the same for, as well.

I am comforted by the words I read in my Bible which go like this, ” The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them.” Isaiah 11:6.

So, I am encouraged that there shall be a reunion in Heaven with man and his beloved animals. This is not meant to be a theology lesson, but a point of hope for future blessings to abound. Thank you for reading and contemplating that which may be.

Contentment

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Contentment: “A state of happiness or satisfaction”.  As one dictionary defines the word.

 

Please spend a few minutes studying this photograph of Carson, our Westie (West Highland Terrier).

 

What word would you use to describe him at this moment? Actually, it is usually for many moments per day, and they occur quite often!

 

Now, consider if you feel this way occasionally, often, always or never.

 

Is there a change in your life which needs to take place to equal this state of tranquility?

 

I need to study Carson more often. Actually, I would like to be him. Ha!

 

Dawn’s Light

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As the early morning light filtered through the leaves of our red maple tree and illuminated the wall, Carson was wakened from his slumber to greet the morning.

Now for a bit of breakfast followed by squirrel chasing, much sniffing around the trees, and a walk around the perimeter fence to look for intruders, it is time for another nap.

Wouldn’t it be fun to be Carson for a day!

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Carson is a seven-year old West Highland Terrier. Nothing unusual about that. He is a rescue dog from a puppy mill where he was used as a breeder. Not all that uncommon, unfortunately. However, we don’t know how miserable his little life was while caged. He does have several chipped teeth from gnawing on the fencing, and for the first six months we had him, all he could do was pace back and forth in a straight line over an area of twenty feet long even though he had a half acre to roam in. Fast forward to now. He is definitely at ease with us, is king of the entire yard, has taken over most of our pillows and is very comfortable in his own furry skin. In other words, he has adapted well. Carson has been attacked by other dogs on two different occasions-both requiring hospital visits. He blew out his left ACL and had surgery, and later blew out his other ACL, but did not have surgery. He stares outside a lot…mostly looking for squirrels. But who really knows what goes on in that perky head of his ? One thing is certain, he is a tough alpha male with a lot of moxie.The quote should clarify why I talked about him.Carson's View 4-6-12” What lies behind us, and what lies before us, are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. ”    Ralph Waldo Emerson      Carson 10-12-12                                                               

Into the Light

20140329_140215Carson is recovering well from his CCL surgery. It is a slow process, especially since he is feeling his old self and wants to run and jump and rough house…all of which he can’t. I think it is harder on us than him. We have to hold him back and repress that which comes natural to a terrier. When I am with Carson, I talk to him like he can understand me. I say things like, “It’s for your own good buddy”. “It won’t be that much longer before you can do all the things you used to do”. “I know it’s tough, but just a little while longer and the wait will be worth it”. “You can’t damage that knee again or you may not recover next time, and that would be tragic, so we have got to be strong and show restraint”. All the while I am fighting letting go of the leash so he can sprint off or play tug of war. It is hopeless-I am a sucker for the little guy. So is Cheryl. We carry him around like he is a bag of groceries! We know his routines almost as well as he does which endears him to us more than ever. I never thought I would say this, but I think I may miss the 5 am walks in the cold darkness of every morning. What? Am I crazy?! Photograph taken with my Samsung Galaxy 3 cell phone. Post is dedicated to David Patterson…hang in there.

Carson’s Conundrum

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My name is Carson. Carson Doran to be exact. I am a West Highland Terrier, often referred to as a Westie. I am a bit larger than most of my breed, weighing in at a little more than 22 pounds. I am about five and a half years old, but not totally sure of my birthdate. You see, I was a breeder dog in a puppy mill for a while and accurate records are not a certainty. I eventually escaped, was found and then adopted by this most awesome couple in December of 2010. So much for the history lesson. By the way, I hi-jacked this blog site from Michael because I am bored stiff and wanted to complain about my situation (it seems that a lot of people like to complain, too). I have a bit of a problem; a conundrum to be more precise. I find myself very weak, can’t walk on my own very well, and have a bunch of hair shaved off my left hind leg and a couple other places on my body. I even have a bunch of staples over my knee. Odd, but I don’t recall putting those in and I don’t know how to use a razor. As to the weakness and bad limp, I can only assume they are related to the missing hair and staples. Sharp, aren’t I?12-26-13 016Here’s the puzzle: one day about two weeks ago, I was playing in the snow-chasing wind-blown leaves of all things when my body went one way and one leg didn’t. I wasn’t too concerned at the time because I wanted to chase more leaves. I can’t help it; I chase leaves as much as I chase squirrels! It’s crazy, this behavior. I guess it’s the Terrier in me, or so I’ve been told. The next thing I know  my parents started babying me; you know, carrying me up and down stairs and not letting me run. It was weird. Then I went to several doctors. I don’t like doctors or their offices. Then, it happened…the mystery. I awoke in a strange place-in a cage that reminded me of the old days back at the mill. I hurt and noticed the missing hair and then the staples. I thought staples were for paper so I almost freaked out, but was too tired so I just layed there. Good news, the next day my folks picked me up. They were so kind and gentle and treated me like a China Doll or some foo foo pet. I didn’t get it and still don’t, but hey, I’m at home which is what counts. As a matter of record, my folks treat me pretty darn good most of the time, but that’s between us. Okay? I can’t afford them getting big heads, if you know what I mean. Too many big heads these days.2-24-13dSpeaking of home, I like laying on a soft carpet or bed soaking up the sun’s rays. It appears I will be doing this for a while so I better make the most of it cause who knows when this show will end? If you’re interested, I can tell you a little bit about what happened to my leg; actually my left hind knee. My dad told me after I bugged him a lot. It seems I have the same injury as many elite athletes get; a torn ACL, except on dogs it’s called a CCL for Cranial Cruciate Ligament. It appears to be the most common injury among canines, and the most common surgery…duh. There are three ways to fix a totally torn set of ligaments. My folks chose the ‘gold standard’ method called a TPLO which is probably Latin for Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy. It seems that through selective breeding, exceptional dogs like my kind, have knee bones that don’t quite fit together as they should so the knee slips out of socket more easily than it otherwise would, and voila, a rupture. Larger dogs are more prone to this injury, but us active smaller pooches rupture these ligaments because, well, we’re active a lot. Remember the leaves! I can’t help it. Checkout this next photograph.Carson's X-Rays 2-21-14 001This is a photo of an x-ray (radiography, as my doctor calls it) before the surgery. The knee (actually called a stifle in dogs) is just to the left of my…male part that protrudes from my body (I was going to say man part, but that didn’t make sense). I don’t have an after-surgery photo as yet, but this is what you would see: a metal plate, six screws and four pins of some sort attached to the lower bone which has been shaved a bit so this injury won’t occur again. That’s the theory, anyway. Oh, and let’s not forget those staples which itch like mad. I am supposed to take it super easy for six weeks. Aaaahhhh, I don’t think I can manage that. Guess what? That’s exactly what my folks said, too. They have to do all the heavy lifting and make sure I don’t run or jump or chew my staples off. I have to Not be a terrier for a while which is going to be a real challenge. I like being me. Really. Here’s another photo of my body: Caution, it’s x-rated.Carson's X-Rays 2-21-14 004Pretty cool, huh? The actual x-ray reveals my tail bone much more than this picture, but you get the point (ha, I crack myself up!). Well, I won’t be doing anymore of this for a while (see photos below) so I better get off this computer before dad catches me playing blogger. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for Spring. These snows and constant frigid temps are getting old. Not to mention the fact that they can be a dangerous combination. I’m lucky that my folks love me and care for me enough to baby me and pay for this surgery…I overheard them saying something about my college fund being significantly reduced. Can’t be worrying about things I can’t control, so I won’t. Don’t worry. Be happy.12-26-13 008Or this………………………………………………………………………………………………..1-22-14 013