Monday, August 22, 2011

Earning the Kibble

It was back to work (new school year) today, and I started a new job. It was exciting to work with some phenomenal new people, and have lunch with a friend from my previous position. But...I still missed Dan and the pups and the sun on my face. It was truly a joy when I got home to see all those eager faces at the gate, welcoming me back to the pack. At first, they were just barking, but as I called out to them, they recognized me and fifteen barking dogs became fifteen wriggling, wiggling backsides. Ah, how I love them!
Later, after all of the hellos were said, the work clothes shed for worn t-shirt and sweatpants, we were ready for our walkies in the field. Lola the blind min pin led us through the gate and took off running - how nice that she can safely run at full tilt without danger!! Obie and Skylar, the rat terrier brothers, played tag in the crown vetch, hopping and leaping so they could see each other to give chase. RooRoo, the baby, wants to be just like his big brothers, so he was tearing around after them, weaving in and out of the vetch like a professional kangaroo. Then he took off on his own, zooming around and around. His joy was so infectious that Teddy, the old puppy mill chihuahua, began making his own silly loops around the field, backside tucked under, tongue hanging out, and running like a maniac. Tired from their shenanigans, we all walked back to sit in the yard, Twig and Olive playing ball with Dan. Suddenly, our little Pekingnese Truvy started dancing and playing with her unstuffed toy - we call toys Truvy's "babies" - shaking it and prancing around with it. She even started soft-mouthing Dan's hand to get him to play with her - very soft-mouthed, as she only has two teeth! Truvy has really found "hundenruhe" (dogs' peace) this summer. Her itching is under control thanks to some great shampoo, so her hair is growing in thick and lush, and she has become spunky and silly. Her head is no longer tilted, and she can walk in a straight line - a huge improvement from when I first met her and Chris at FluffyButts was getting her rehabilitated after living in a puppy mill for nine years. I went inside to make dinner, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw Grammie Esther's blanket making it's way outside. It was Truvy, being silly and sneaking off with Esther's blanket!!
After dinner, Dan and I sat outside with the dogs, he again playing with Olive, Twig, and Truvy, and I rocking Obie, Roo, and Mimi on the patio swing. As the shadows lengthened and the lowering sun gilded the trees and turned the cut oat straw to spun gold, the evensong of the meadow birds serenaded us.
And now, with crickets chirping in concert with the constant rumble and rattle of snoring pups, our day ends at Hundenruhe Haven. I'll return to work to earn the kibble to start it all over again tomorrow. "Day is done...gone the sun...from the the the sky. All is well...lay thee rest...God is nigh."

Monday, August 15, 2011

Uncle Mort - A Character Leaves Us

Heavy, heavy hearts abound at Hundenruhe Haven tonight. Our dear Uncle Mortie went to the Rainbow Bridge this morning. He was 16 years old. I cannot explain in words the impact his death leaves in our pack. Mortie was the Omega, the bottom of the pack, and often the brunt of the other dogs' pushing. He not only endured it, he met it head-on, with a grumble and a lift of his deformed lip - revealing empty gums. When he was younger, he loved to get "heinie happies" - scritching of his hips and backside. He would march in place with his back legs, rising up onto his front legs in sheer ecstasy.
Uncle Mort came to us with two green, rotting teeth hanging out of his mouth, his jaw rotted away and deformed. After removing the offenders, he blossomed and became a crazy, funny little fellow. He would stand in the middle of the kitchen, barking for no reason. He had petit mal seizures, where he would stand stock still and stare at the wall - so he was put on seizure meds, which helped a lot. As he aged, he needed more and more pain meds to manage his crippled and hunched back and fused hips. But it never got him down - he always participated in the walkies in the field, and followed the pack on all its adventures. Near the end, Dan made sure that Mortie got extra treats like ice cream and graham crackers from the palm of his hand.
Uncle Mort was with us for over five years - a long time for the seniors who come to us - and I can't believe he's gone.
Tonight, as Dan was in the yard reading, a gorgeous butterfly came and hovered around him - then landed on his cheek. Later, a huge swarm of multicolored dragon flies (Jodee's favorite) put on an aerial display. Uncle Mortie is fine and sending messages of love to us - running pain free and waiting for us at the Bridge.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Fun Fundraiser!

I just got back from having a great time with the nice campers at Nature's Villa in Palmyra, WI. My mom lives there year around, and the other folks are there from May to October. I have a fondness for karaoke, and the equipment to run a show, so I went down to do a little karaoke show with them on Saturday night. This was my third time doing this, and we decorated the clubhouse with poster-sized blow-ups of some of the dogs' photos - it looked so cool to see all my past and present furkids up there on the walls!! I'd never mentioned the sanctuary before when we did karaoke (you all know how I hate tooting our horn!), but my mom and some of her friends thought that if people knew about what we did, they would want to help. They were right! I told the nice people who attended about Hundenruhe Haven, and by the end of the night these kind and generous folks had donated enough money to feed and medicate all the dogs for an entire month!! Thank you SO MUCH to the campers at Nature's Villa - I had a blast and I hope you did, too!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Run Free, Miss Crabby Coco Bean!

The lovely neurotic Coco has slipped quietly on her journey to the Rainbow Bridge. We took her in to see Dr. Jeff this Monday to see if she could handle another mammary surgery and dental, and found that her cancer had metastasized to the extent that it was causing her pain. Dr. Jeff couldn't be certain that we could manage her pain, and said that she had only about a month, even with pain management. We helped her along her way, and she was so relaxed and at ease. We miss her loud and irrational protestations of Mimi and Twiggy's occupation of the furniture, her 5:00 am wake-up calls (and then going back to bed once the whole household was up), and the tick-tick-tick of her toenails on the floor. Run free, darling.