It has begun…

This morning began great! I got up and decided to have homemade biscuits for breakfast and then was looking forward to having “coffee” with Kris afterwards.  I always look forward to our calls.

We had a nice chat about his work, about my work and about my move out there.  That is when I started to get sad.  Thinking about all the stuff still needing to be done and needing to be packed before I move, is overwhelming sometimes.   I am prepared for it and have a plan but talking about it still is overwhelming.  Then of course comes the goodbye, which is always hard.  I would rather spend the day “connected” to him like that than do any yard work or packing or whatever, but stuff has to get done.

So I started to cry a little….  and then he started to cry a little… it’s a hard thing for the both of us and I really miss him.  But good bye we said and did.

Then I cleaned up the dog pen and “mowed” up the leaves in it.  My sister and her husband have generously paid for Habitat for Humanity to come to my house tomorrow and rake the rest of my yard for me.  This is especially good and awesome because today my riding mower seized and no longer runs.  So I couldn’t even mow the leaves into smaller piles first, to then rake them up, even if I wanted to. If there are more leaves after tomorrow that fall, then I will be raking them all by hand. Not a fun proposition.

After that and doing some other tidying up, such as taking the numbers down off the fence in the agility field and then moving equipment from the small field to the big field, I took the dogs to Leonard Springs Nature Park for a walk. It was still nice out and I figure we won’t have many  more of those left this year so we took advantage of it. I’m glad we did because both pups are sound asleep right now.  🙂

Once we got back, I showered and then began packing stuff.  I started in the hallway and took down all the pictures and ribbons hanging up in the hallway, as well as some ribbons in my dressing room.  I then collected other pictures and such from around the house to fill out the box I was putting them in. Turns out Kris’ Star Wars picture won’t fit in the box, nor will the wolf picture from the living room, so those will have to find another box later. But a lot of other pictures are now packed up.  I then tackled Kris’ closet.  I cleared out the top of his closet and packed it all into a box.

After that I made dinner and now I’m blogging.  Enjoying a beer and going to watch House from Netflix.

The other thing that has begun is the transition and move of the club.  What club? The Flying Paws Agility Club.  I began the club in 2007 to try to create a group of like-minded individuals and their dogs to hang out, learn from each other and become friends.  What it became was me teaching folks and running the whole thing despite asking for help all the time.  It wasn’t until this year when I told the club I was planning to move to Oregon, that people began to step up and take over stuff.

Sure I may not have pushed hard enough to get people to help or step up. I may have made things worse for myself by always picking up the slack whenever it was needed, but I did ask for help all the time.  Frequently even.

So now there is a new president and a new group taking over the club. The equipment and fencing will be moved to storage for the winter time and I will probably never see those items again.  I am sad for that.  I will miss seeing the dogwalk and aframe in my backyard.  I will miss teaching all the wonderful people and their dogs that I have met over the years.  I will miss being active in a sport I enjoy very much.

So it has begun….

  • the move of the club away from my control
  • the packing of my life’s posessions in preparation to move across the country
  • the planning and scheduling of where, how and when I will make the trek across this great nation.

Odds and Ends

So I realize it’s been a while since I’ve blogged, but sometimes life just gets in the way.  Two months is kind of a long time though.

One major thing that occurred over the last couple of weeks is that my grandfather passed away. He was 92.  He lived a long life, saw a lot of things and has left a legacy in his children, grand children and great grand children..  All 50+ of them.   It was rather sudden, I mean, he was old, very thin and weak and I think we all knew it was close to his time, but he was doing ok for his age.  He had a heart attack on a Sunday evening and was gone the next morning.  Kris and Kat flew in and mom and dad drove in from IN.  Lots of cousins also flew in from the various locations and my aunt and uncle had to fly back from Italy.  He was a great man and will be sorely missed.

About a month ago now, Kota developed some lameness in his right hind leg.  At first, after a difficult workout, he would be lame for an evening but seem all better the next day. Then one Sunday, after open practice, he became lame and would not put weight on his leg.  He’d been fine after practice and I even watched him rough housing with Tasha later on.  But that evening he wouldn’t put weight on it unless he had to. He would hold it up going up and down steps. It was bad for the little guy. Worse thing was that it was still that way on Monday.  On Monday I made an appointment at the vet for him because he was still significantly lame.  The vet took xrays of his hips and rear right leg and the only thing showing up was a slight separation of his pelvis from the sacrum on the right side.  <sigh>  He has since been on no agility and no long walks restrictions.

That was the 27th of September, the day after my grandfather passed away. Kris flew in the 28th, the viewing was the 30th and the funeral was the 1st.  Kris got a stomach virus on Sunday the 3rd and flew back to Oregon the 5th and then on the 7th I headed to Pittsburgh, PA with my co-workers for our 41st annual conference.  Ugh what a whorlwind two weeks it’s been!!!

Today Kota seems much better. I still notice that when he is just standing still, he shifts more weight to his left hind leg, so I know he’s not 100% yet.  He doesn’t limp or hold his leg up anymore though. I took him and Tasha for walks at Karst Farm Park yesterday and today and so far he still seems good.

What this all boils down to is that I think I need to seriously retire the little guy from agility.  There is no reason to stress his hips and joints anymore, but this is such a sad thing for me to decide.  After him I have no more agility dogs.  Tasha has clearly told me that it’s not that much fun for her and no matter what I’ve tried, I can not transfer any value to agility for her.  She does it because I ask, not because she thinks its fun.

So I’ve decided that during Kota’s additional week of rest, that Tasha will be my running dog. We ran once around the path at Karst Farm Park today and then went back to the van for Kota for a long cool down walk.  The weather has cooled off quite a bit so leaving him in the van with windows cracked worked out just fine.

I need to seriously lose some weight.  My hips have grown in size such that two pairs of my pants from last winter do not fit well anymore.  I can’t keep growing and just buying new pants. I don’t want to carry the extra weight because it’s bad for my knees and my back.  So that is why I’m going to try to run more often. Tomorrow I intend to do the same thing, take the dogs to Karst and run first, then cool down walk with both.  I just need to quit eating all the sweets!!!!!

Today I cleaned up two coffee items from my counter to get ready to pack. The coffee grinder and the espresso machine. Once they dry out thoroughly I will pack them up for the big move. I have not used either of them in over a month, so I can survive another two months without them. Especially since it will make my counter look less cluttered for showings. I also swept out the brew side of the garage today. It needed it pretty badly.  Next weekend I figure I will need to clean up some leaves and then at some point I need to patch some holes in the walls in the house.  I’ve still got time though, so one thing at a time right?

So I mulched the front flower bed today as well and then gave Kota a bath. The poor little guy has been so itchy but it’s not fleas (I checked!) so it must be just dry skin. I used some shampoo from the vet’s office so hopefully that helps him out some. It’s been so dry here I’m not surprised that he would have dry skin and be itchy.

I took a bath after that and let me tell you that baths are so overrated in normal sized tubs.  I don’t fit well, I can’t put enough water in to cover my body and it’s just not worth it.  <sigh> If I ever get a chance to build or remodel a bathroom, I’m putting in a garden tub with jets. 😀

I have a feeling that I’m going to need a very large truck to move all our stuff.  🙁  I just can’t seem to get rid of enough stuff.

A Perfect Weekend

I took Kota and Tasha to a CPE trial this weekend hosted by K9 Athletes in Indianapolis.  I had Kota entered in 5 runs and Tasha in 4. Kota was entered in Standard both days but he only needed one more Q in Level 3 for his title, so I scratched him on Sunday because it would not have counted for anything and ya know, he’s 11.  😉  So both dogs ran 4 runs each and both dogs earned 4 Q’s each.  I was very proud of my “kids” this weekend.  Kota barked his fool head off the whole weekend and I must apologize to the 3 K’s for his loud, obnoxious self.  (That’s Kerry, Karen and Kathy!)

But it was a very sad day for me too. I was getting ready to leave and realized I may never see some of these folks again. So I turned around to say goodbye to a few people and began to get very sad.  While we didn’t talk all the time or hang out all the time, these were my agility “friends” and it was probably the last time I’ll see them.  I’m not entered in any more trials here in Indiana and my plan is to move over Christmas break, so I have no reason to see them all again. I couldn’t help but get sad and even began to cry when saying goodbye to Karen Sollars.

She and I had bonked heads so hard one day during warm ups for our runs, that she ended up with a huge bump on her forehead and I had a quite a lump over my temple.  We were both warming up our dogs, looking at them and not watching where we were going. Her forehead connected quite forcefully with the side of my head and I think we both hit the floor, though neither of us landed on our dogs, which was very good and neither of us blacked out, which was also good.

So I found her out as I was leaving because we parked our crates near the back door together this weekend and we chatted more than normal.  I became a blubbering idiot of course and then it was hard to keep my composure as I drove home too.  Tears do not make for driving well!

So for all my agility friends and acquaintances that I know in Indiana, thank you all for your friendship and well-wishes for runs and for K9 Athletes and Pawsitive Partners for some great agility trials! I wish you all many more clean, fast runs in agility with your canine partners!!


So tonight I watched Marley and Me. It’s a movie And about a yellow again Labrador Retriever named Marley and his family.  In the end, Marley dies.  It’s how they all end, Old Yeller, Where the Red Fern Grows, etc.  The dog dies. I know this. It’s life. Well life just sucks. No Another Kota is not dead, but he is old. He shows me that he is old in new ways every day.  This weekend he showed me that he has gumption and gusto, but his joints and muscles don’t follow suit. He gets sore from agility. I thought we were in good shape, but apparently not.

I struggle with too much and just enough with him. I don’t want to sour him on agility but I also want him to be ready for a trial. That is a hard balance when your best friend is 11, going on 77.  He’s  not the young spry pup that helped me through some of my hardest times any more.

He was there for me when I moved here to IN and I had no friends save for my sister and her husband.  He was there for me through my lonely times when I thought for sure I would never have as much fun as when I was in college. (I mean, do any of us? but I was a 20-something just out of college!!)  He was there when my first “pet” was put to sleep. I had only had Niko for a year and she died of Felv, Feline Leukemia. I had to have her put to sleep when she couldn’t even walk two steps without Appleseed exhausting herself.

I don’t want to For see that happen to Kota.  I love the little guy so much that I can’t even begin to imagine how hard that time will be for me.  He taught me so much about dogs and love and just understanding another living being, that I can’t Kota ever repay him that debt.

And I have mis-treated him. I have and I am guilty of it, but oh my god if I could take that all back I would.  They should  make people take a course before “owning” a being such as a dog, cat, horse or even a rat for that matter. Anything a human plans to interact with, should come with a course.  And it should be on interspecies communication, not dominance.  I don’t dominate him, we share an understanding and we communicate.  Sometimes it’s displeasure, but most of the time it’s love. Unconditional love.  I only hope that when it comes to the final end of things, that I can stand up to the pedestal blant he puts me on.