labrador retriever

Nurse Gidget and Kylie the Patient

Nurse Gidget and Kylie the Patient

Just got home from the vet clinic with Kylie, and Gidget has stepped up to the task of playing nurse. Kylie had a small mass on the hock of her foot that was bleeding on and off that started mid-week last week.

While the “inner tube” collar helped to keep her from licking the spot – it didn’t heal over either and continued to periodically bleed. So off she went to the vet early this morning to have it removed.

Now 14-days of carrying her “pillow”  with her around her neck. Though she tolerates it well.

And she’s got a great nurse helping her who will no doubt provide lots of love and support.

While at the vet last week, the technician commented that quote we often here, “gettin’ old ain’t for sissies.”  Kylie, at 11 1/2 years old now is definitely a senior. But this is the beautiful thing about dogs and how most seem to tolerate getting old so much better than we humans.

We do our part to keep them as comfortable as possible as they begin to slow down and I think too, so important to honor their journey as it is meant to be.  

My dear dogs, always teaching me something, and another reminder today to enjoy the journey.

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The Wisdom of Eleven

The Wisdom of Eleven
Today. Kylie’s 11th Birthday.

Winding up and down country roads through Tennessee we found our way to you eleven years ago December 2005. And this day, today, you were born into this world.

Eleven – a number that stands side-by-side as one, creating a strong foundation. Or when one needs to lean into the other one – that is you, my dear girl- a grounding and steady bedrock you have been, and continue to be.

That first time holding you, a big, soft, cuddly ball of fur that you were, my heart tumbled a free fall that enveloped me with a joy that I wanted to hold onto forever.

And JOY you have continued to be. Truly, one of the most selfless dogs I’ve ever known. Your work has been in keeping a calm and steady rhythm within these four walls we call home to what is important.

You, our daily reminder that life is meant to be captured in the simple moments and that when life throws us a curve ball that going with the flow will helps us find our way back to the center sooner, rather than later.

Eleven – it shows in the gray mask around your face – but your heart, forever young and ever expanding – that unending love that vibrates outward from you each and every moment that has been one of my greatest teachers of what living is all about.

Happy Birthday, sweet girl. I love you so much.

Eight weeks old
First Winter
Graduating from puppy class
Who loves her papa?
Frisbee anyone?
Six years old

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Nineteen days before we leave on vacation – in our van camper named Second Chance. But who’s counting?  Me, oh yes – I am counting as I’m really looking forward to time away. It’s been three years since our last vacation.

Last night as I crawled into bed to read for a while, Kylie was curled up next to John. It’s their nightly routine. I read for a while in the living room, but then love to read a chapter or two and snuggle with Kylie, John, and Gidget for a bit before I drift off to sleep.

Normally Kylie sleeps in her kennel in the kitchen overnight because she snores quite loud. But lately she has been lucky because John has been letting her stay in bed all night. Well, that is unless I tell her to “go kennel” when she wakes me in the middle of the night with her snores.

But John says she is “practicing.” Meaning, by sleeping in bed she is practicing for sleeping in the van. It’s kind of hard to not smile at his “logic.” And it’s really hard to ask Kylie to leave the bed when she is all snuggled in as she was last night.

So often lately, when I see her sleeping, I see her in a different way – my sweet girl who is getting older – sleeping deeper. It’s hard sometimes to think about her time with us as so much more limited now than when she was a pup. She will be eleven on the 24th of this month.

But with this, it brings a deeper appreciation and love for the dog that has truly been one of the best dogs we’ve ever had. Don’t get me wrong, all my dogs have been wonderful and you know how I love those dachshunds – but Kylie has been an angel here on earth in a dogs body for us. Always going with the flow, never making much fuss, content to just be, and there to comfort us in her own special way when needed.

We’ve truly been blessed with a great dog in Kylie. So “practice if she must” – we will in turn go with the flow for her.

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