Monday, November 29, 2010

Ornament Swap . . . Life Is Better

[Christmas ornament with a little white bone, with a Santa hat draped over the right corner. There is a heart-shaped picture frame set into the bone, kind of like how an arrow would be for Valentine's Day, and hanging from the heart is a little Christmas gift with a short message]

My ornament is perfect! A perusal of my blog shows how important my dogs are in my life; I blog about them more than anything. Amanda did a great job.

The ornament reads "Life is just better when I'm with my dog." Really, how perfect? And it was even wrapped in this adorable little snowflake and snowman box. I've got to find the perfect photo of Cami to go in the frame.

Thanks Amanda! I can't wait for the tree. You can head on over to Evelyn's blog to see what everyone got.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Wait- I thought we were going to the Planetarium

Last week we (Tonks, my friend Shawna, and I) went to go see Harry Potter. Due to parking issues and stuff, Shawna and I decided to take the train instead of drive. We were going to the theater at Gateway Mall, with the Planetarium. As we got off the train and were walking towards the theater, we saw that they had put decals over all the signs that had the name of the station- normally it's "Planetarium" but for a little while at least it had become "Platform 9 3/4."
You can't tell in the photo but the decals are huge and also include the castle and grounds. It was fun. And the movie was absolutely fantastic. Best one yet, as are all of them. They all keep getting better than the last.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

I have a lot to be Grateful for . . .

But this week I've just been thinking about Cami. That dog alone is enough reason to celebrate this day of Thanksgiving.

But there is more. Welcome to a small sampling: Cami, Erie, Jacoba, friends, school, study-time, scholarships, a job (or two!), Harry Potter, books, movies, Surivor (haha), comfortable housing, family, warm clothes, a reliable car, computer, CSI, my roommate, The USA, that I have enough for my needs, the Scriptures, Jesus Christ, Church, Christmas is coming!!!, my dogs (did I mention them? :), blankets, . . .

I am a very blessed person.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


My friend Shawna was here visiting this weekend so we could go see Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Harry Potter. I'm very glad that she was here when I had to put Cami down. It helped a lot. Now that she's gone home, Cami's loss feels much more potent. It's hard.

Erie kept trying to play with Shawna's boots. She was obsessed with them; we continually found her chewing on them. Shawna went to put her boots on one time and found this:

[Close up shot of two boots- the deep "cowboy" kind-
on the carpet with a red kong toy in the left boot]

I think that Erie was hoping that if she couldn't actually play with the boots that she could still "kinda" play with them. Good improvising.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Ornament Swap

Evelyn at Hanging by a Silver Lining is currently hosting an ornament swap. Our ornaments were shipped today so why we're all waiting together to see what everyone gets, you should check out her blog, as well as my swap partners blog at Family of Shorts.

They both have entertaining, fun, and sometimes emotional blogs about their respective young families. I'm new to reading MamaShort's blog- just since I became her swap partner- but I'm enjoying it.

Head on over, check them out, and I'll keep you all posted about the results of the swap. Looking forward to it!

A Very Good Friend

May 1999-November 2010
"It goes to show we can never tell the happiness in store when we bring home the dog nobody else wanted . . ."

Shortly after the death of my first dog, Camas, in October of 1999, I was ready for another one. Not finding the "right" dog at the local shelter, my dad and I drove up to a larger city about an hour north and checked our their shelters. I got to the county shelter about 30 minutes before they closed.

I had in mind that I wanted a puppy but due to a parvo outbreak in the area the shelter was refusing to release any puppies. With hardly anytime to look, I imagined that I would not find the right dog for me that day. Just when I had about given up, my dad said "Look at this one, she's part heeler (Camas had been a heeler), and she's the only dog not barking." I looked and I'm convinced I fell in love at first sight. She was very emaciated but calmly sitting further back in her run, looking a little unsure of her surroundings. I was immediately drawn to her apparently sweet demeanor, her pointy ears, and the freckles on her nose. Taking her out and talking to staff, I discovered that she had been picked up as a stray and not recovered by her family and that she was as sweet as she appeared. They thought she was about six months old. I had no time to adopt her that day as they were closing, but I was sure I wanted her, even in that short time (in comparison, it took me three six hour visits to decide which puppy I wanted from Erie's litter).

I had to return on Tuesday as the shelter was closed Sunday and Monday. On Tuesday, my entire family went so everyone could meet her. As the parent I lived with, my mom took care of all the adoption paperwork, but my dad actually bought her for me. I had to return again the next day to pick her up after her spay as the shelter wouldn't release dogs to homes in different counties without altering them first. And I brought her home.

And I was never sorry for one single minute.

Cami and I participated in 4H for years. She was excellent, winning many Champion and Reserve Champion ribbons in both obedience and showmanship. Cami was with me for high school and was part of my "project" to earn my State FFA Degree. She was a fantastic companion dog and older "sister" for the guide dog puppies. With her, I learned almost everything I know about dogs, and much of what I know about behavior. She was an excellent teacher, but I do feel so sorry for her that she fell to that role! I loved spending time with her; she was the sweetest dog whose favorite thing was to calmly spend time with you. She was polite beyond belief and loved everyone she met.

When I moved out of my mom's house and then later went on a mission and to school in Hawaii, I hoped that Cami would live long enough for me to graduate so I could spend more time with her. When I graduated last December, she was still doing great as I moved in with my mom.

Last June I took Cami and Jacoba to the vet for annual exams and rabies vaccinations. I had the vet check out some lumps I had found in Cami's neck. The vet aspirated them and tests showed that she had lymphoma. Everyone who knows me knows how much my dogs mean to me. I love that dog very much, but I do not believe in going broke to pay for chemotherapy that may give my dog six more months, and especially not with an 11.5 year old dog. I chose to put her on prednisone and nothing else. Her tumors shrunk, she ate well, loved walks, and playing, and was continuing to enjoy life. When I moved to Utah in August, she came with me and continued to do well.

About two weeks ago, she started slowing down a little bit and not always wanting to eat. Last Friday she became lame on one of her rear legs (we do not know if this was related to the cancer, the prednisone, or something else completely) and didn't want to walk if she could avoid it. Over the next several days, she progressively lost more mobility, didn't want to eat without much encouragement, and just in general wasn't very happy, not even getting up to greet me when I came home. A childhood friend who really wanted to see Cami was arriving for a visit on Thursday so I made the decision to wait to put Cami to sleep until Friday.

Yesterday morning I let her go. I miss her. She was a very good friend to me and a very good dog. I am so grateful I was able to spend the last year with her and be with her as she became too ill to go on. Most people spend thousands of dollars on chemo and hope for six months. I skipped the chemo and still had five months. What a blessing!

The picture at the top of my post is just before I took her to the vet. She doesn't look very happy; she looks tired. It's kind of sad, but helps me to know that I made the right decision. And she still looks cute.

Its hard to lose something you love so much. But for me at least, the best way to move through it is to . . . move. To keep doing things. So yesterday after I got home from the crematorium, I took the red dog for a run and then went to see Harry Potter (tickets had been purchased weeks before; otherwise I might not have). I'm going to be okay because I know that I did everything I could to make sure she knew I loved her. If she didn't know that, then no dog ever did.

"For one moment, our lives met-our souls touched." ~ Oscar Wilde

Saturday, November 13, 2010

New Blog Address

Okay peeps, I want to change the URL on my blog to match the name. How do I do that? Do I create a new blog and then import all the posts from this one? If that is what I do, do I have to reformat the blog or will it import everything?

Or is there another, totally different, way easier method to do so?

EDIT: Coolness. Thanks to Ally I now know the easy way. So I'm changing the URL in a few days to (I hope)

Monday, November 1, 2010

It's Blogging Month

And also November so hopefully we'll see a new background and banner in the next few days!