jesse_the_k: Macro photo of left eye of my mostly black border collie mutt (Default)
Today we euthanized* darling Lucy after 15 years together. I am so grateful for the unconditional love she gave us, her clever clowning which made us laugh, her gentle snores which signaled another day survived. She will live on in our hearts, and in my icons.

Memories in Words )

The described pictures below show Lucy the Australian Cattle Dog of my heart. She's a medium-size bitch, one ear pricked, one ear folded, black spectacles around her eyes. When young she had a black and brown muzzle, with large black, brown, merle red, and merle blue patches.

Memories in Photos )

Give your animals and humans one more hug or kind thought or treat tonight.

*(She wasn't acutely ill, but she was rapidly losing control of her bladder, bowels, and rear legs and she was often in pain.)
jesse_the_k: Lucy the ACD holds a freshly dead bunny in her mouth, possesively, captioned "Down Home Cookin'" (LUCY rabbit)
Last year Lucy caught a mouse, much to my amazement.

On a walk with MyGuy two days ago, she got another. I asked him whether she tried to sneak it into the house again.

"No," he replied, "she's a hunter not a gatherer."

That, my friends, is why we've been together since 1977.

And then she caught another yesterday, and spent a pointless ten minutes burying it in a snow bank. Pointless because as she snored inside with all the sounds of the animal kingdom [from overful lion to bushed capybara], MyGuy unburied it and threw it in the sewer.
jesse_the_k: Lucy the ACD holds a freshly dead bunny in her mouth, possesively, captioned "Down Home Cookin'" (LUCY rabbit)
So my ACD Heeler Lucy girl is aging every day. Turns out the liquid Metacam which helped a lot with her pain also makes her dizzy and stumble. All her systems are less able to cope with rapid movement. Mainly in the house she's a bed potato, with one or two breaks for three minutes of enthusiastic toy play and couch zooming.

Every day Lucy & MyGuy go to the park or the service road by the golf course. MyGuy lifts her up into the car, which she resents, and she wobbles down to explore the world. As one of my neighbors said, she doesn't go for a walk so much as go for a smell. Omnivores are often carnivorous; details in cut )

Old dogs are good companions as I age. I don't know if maybe I've left some book reviews or life plan or half-made jewelry in a corner somewhere. Better go check.
jesse_the_k: ACD Lucy holds two blue racketballs in her mouth, side by side; captioned "I did it!" (LUCY absurd success surprise)
  • The basic, eternal joys of Rhinelander: the clear cold lake ringed with conifers and birches. Eagles and loons and deer and (maybe) a cougar. Excellent, copious simple food. Constant reading except when we're napping or strolling around outdoors. MyGuy takes Lucy out on the rails-to-trails, where she frantically follows new smells. Barb and I (when awake) discuss what's happened the previous year, with commentary informed by our forty-year friendship.

  • Fate sent me a remission to coincide with my vacation! One day I walked in town, swam, and still was able to make dinner. This is more than twice what I'm accustomed to accomplishing, and I was truly thrilled. Just realized there was a direct pain/fatigue tradeoff. Still worth it.

  • Five More Lovely Things )
jesse_the_k: Macro photo of left eye of my mostly black border collie mutt (Default)
  • A wise friend pointed out that recruiting the next WisCon sign person was not my problem, because last year was my last time at doing signs. "Not letting go" for the lose. Thank heavens for wise friends.

  • Lucy (my heeler, her all-seeing eye in icon) met Sorcha ([personal profile] sasha_feather's greyhound) yesterday in the dog park. They sniffed a wee bit then pointedly ignored each other, which has been the start of many a good dog friendship. It was also raining so hard I couldn't see the fence. Perhaps the dogs were looking elsewhere because they were not wearing their best coats.

  • I love my state. Even though our political system is busted right now. Someday soon, I hope, we will take care of people like this No pants, 6th OWI arrest )
  • jesse_the_k: Macro photo of left eye of my mostly black border collie mutt (Default)
    Thanks to our excellent photog, [personal profile] sasha_feather:

    Lucy from above nestled in her oval bed
    My Dog Lucy

    Photo captions welcome in comments!
    jesse_the_k: Macro photo of left eye of my mostly black border collie mutt (JK as 50s "mad"woman)
    The weather was lovely, and we took The Lucy for a 20-minute romp in the dog park. I walked, too.

    After that we were feeling quite lazy, so we went to one of our favorite restaurants:

    The Kennedy Manor Dining Room & Bar

    More geographic & gastronomic details )

    If you had just the opposite sort of day, here's a link for when you just can't take it anymore.
    jesse_the_k: ACD Lucy holds two blue racketballs in her mouth, side by side; captioned "I did it!" (LUCY absurd success surprise)
    Here are some popcorn kernels from the far reaches of my brain.

    Medication changes: the good news is I spontaneously developed a rich, tuneful, vibrato whistle. The bad news was mood crash and hand tremor. Whistle goodbye to that drug.

    MyGuy's eyes continue to improve. Lucy the Wonder Dog's ligament is definitely on the mend, and she seems to have learned some self-restraint. She just spent 10 minutes running circles around the couch, and she reduced her customary speed by 25%.

    Enjoying life with 65% less internet.

    Heading north for a week, see you in a while!
    jesse_the_k: Ronon wonders why he's sharing a galaxy with you (sga Ronon asks why?)
    I've been reading SGA for two years now, and I guess that means I'm "in the fandom."

    Oh, the places it takes me!

    Places I didn't even know existed. Like this sweet, funny, punny, ethical, sexy, thought-provoking story called "Kidentity" from an anonymous kink meme. Contains underage sex: Rodney's current personality & cognition is handwaved into the body of a 12-year-old.

    Since it's anon, I don't know who to thank. Anon claims to be new to SGA fandom; augurs well. If, like me, you didn't know that what you really needed was an anon kink_meme, visit this Delicious node to browse for more.

    Or not.

    And in gloomy news: In order to keep Lucy from leaping up to maintain her customary broadcast re: neighborhood doings, we've closed all the blinds at her eye level. Also makes for darkness in the house. I'm glum. She's really glum. We do a potty run on a leash; otherwise she doesn't even lift her head when we come into the room. I don't know if she's emanating depression or I'm reading it, or both. Can't wait until we can start letting her be a dog again.
    jesse_the_k: Lucy the ACD snuggles up against the edge of her cozy dog bed, nose under her leg (LUCY snuggles)
    Thanks to sophy, a primary care physician meditates on treating people with chronic illnesses in a letter addressed to us. Looking back on 25 years of good-to-awful interactions with doctors, I peg him "wise."

    It's been an unlucky week at our house. Lovely Lucy was walking uncomfortably. She didn't show pain when we pushed & poked her legs. Then we had success with subtracting pain with an ice pack (instead of adding pain with our fingers). Isolated to one leg, we shuffled off to the vet. It's not a ruptured cranial cruciate ligament, but a probable tear. So 5 days of as little movement as possible. First day she was in pain from the vet exam, and basically a stuffed doggy. Second day beginning to be bored. Today she's been nosing me a lot. I was the big meanie who had to take away the squeaky toys she loves to squeeze as she zooms around the couch. Dreading tomorrow.

    OTOH, MyGuy is going out to see if he can hit a bucket o' balls; first physical exertion since the surgery.

    Monday is the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which triggers a stew of emotions. More on Monday, I hope.

    Lovely lunch with [personal profile] sasha_feather. I'd looked forward to Salade Ni├žoise, but the power went out and so did we.
    jesse_the_k: Text reads: "I'm great in bed ... I can sleep for days" (sleep for days)
    Around the corner from me, Craig Schreiner, photog for the Wisconsin State Journal, captured this scene.

    More than a foot of snow coats oaks, box alders, and other shrubbery, bent under the weight. A letter carrier sorts mail as he travels towards us on the unshoveled sidewalk, with a 40-foot oak broken off resting on the ground behind him.

    Earlier I took my standard walk around the block, verrrrrry slowly. But that was 30 degrees and 25 mph ago.

    It's MyGuy's 58th birthday, and he got to play in the snow all day! Sidewalks, patio for the dog, off the roof (we've had ice dams and geez-o-pete they are horrible). Will probably finish watching Stargate Atlantis unless Lucy's buddy, carrier Chris, makes it through with a Netflix.

    We're so lucky!
    jesse_the_k: Macro photo of left eye of my mostly black border collie mutt (gopher hunter)
    So, thanks to [ profile] kalmn's experience, I just got a Furminator shedding rake. Cattledogs have particularly dense coats, and, like huskies, they "blow" their winter coats in spring with more output than the average cottonwood copse.

    Because my hands and arms get tired easy, I've been frustrated using the standard stainless-steel loop shedding rake, as shown on the right. That 113 g edition was the most manageable version. Due to its length, however, I ended up having to put a lot of pressure on the handle to hold it against Lucy's fur, especially on her sides.

    The Furminator, on the left, is a heaver 130 g; it's solid metal. It's also beautifully balanced. I need use absolutely no pressure to get impressive amounts of hair out of the hound. So if you're wondering, "would it be worth the high cost?" ($45 w/ tax) those are some datapoints. (And no I'm not getting paid to write about this product; I wish!)

    I know y'all are dying for the before and after pix, but my abilities mesh best with comb a little every day, so I won't be posting the Great Mountain of Goat Hair Formerly Know as Lucy glamour shot.

    jesse_the_k: Macro photo of left eye of my mostly black border collie mutt (Default)
    ... there's always my fandom to keep me smiling.

    So maybe this is OK. It's a lovely summer day, my AirPort extends to the recliner on the back patio, Lucy is reclining in the sun with her paws crossed, MyGuy is rebuilding a table saw, and the robin has stopped beating her head against the window.

    Thanks for the kind words...
    jesse_the_k: Macro photo of left eye of my mostly black border collie mutt (Default)
    Given that everyone and their sister has already created an LJ account ... I figured I could too.

    No beading today; brief walk in the dog park.

    Lucy handled being mobbed by a snarling pack of over 60-pound-lablikes, giving as good as she got and then letting them go.

    What a difference from a year ago, when she would have howled in terror, and flossed on all of them.


    jesse_the_k: Macro photo of left eye of my mostly black border collie mutt (Default)
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