Tag Archives: dog

Under the catalpa

treat-he-asks

Jack last week

Jack died on Monday.  After a month of being pretty chipper with a good appetite, he really declined on Sunday.  He could hardly walk.  We knew it was time. The prednisone prescribed for the lymphoma really gave us another entire month with him.  He came on two trips with us (Wellfleet and the White Mountains) — trips that we would have hired a dog sitter for and left him home, had he been well. Those were wonderful trips, with so much quiet time together.

last-supperOn Monday, after I cooked up about a pound and a half of bacon, I brought him to the vet. Actually, I scheduled a home visit first but when I heard the price ($500), decided we would do the best we could to make one last trip to the vet tolerable. And, they were wonderful. I brought a big bag of bacon – which meant no muzzle was required. He growled and snapped once, but then put his head in my lap and let himself be ministered to.  It went so fast. I think he was gone before the needle was even retracted.  After awhile, we bundled him in his blanket and some pink shot silk that I had brought along and brought him home.  We buried him under the catalpa.

canopy

emptyEven though we used this quilt in the car for the ride to the vet, I put it back. It helps me somehow, for it to be there, even though he isn’t.

Jack was born in Puerto Rico and abandoned at the age of two. He was left tied to a fence for a couple of weeks. Someone took pity on him and brought him food now and then until a shelter on the North Shore rescued him and we were lucky enough to find him. He weighed 17 pounds and was a nervous wreck.

jack-17-pounds It took me a while to understand that he was terrified of cameras.  Eventually, I think because I invested in a decent camera and learned to use a manual setting where no flash was required, he got over that.  And, I’m not sure he ever figured out that phones have cameras (I’ve barely figured it out).  But because of that, we have very few pictures of his ‘middle years’ with us.

jack-early-daysHe wouldn’t let anyone touch him for a long while, and then only on the top of the head for a long time after that. Finally, his haunches were allowed.  I loved the fact that he eventually let me rub his belly.  At first, too, he made no sounds at all. For a couple of months, we actually thought he might be mute. But he came along.

april-2006 He was a hefty 32 pounds for most of the last several years. He groaned when my husband gave him the special neck scratch. And he was so devoted to me. Followed me from couch to chair to bathroom and back again. In fact, I didn’t close the downstairs bathroom pocket door all the way, because he wanted to be able to poke his head in. Whenever I left the house, his primary occupation was waiting for my return.

morningThis past Christmas.

is-that-a-cameraAt a time he was still afraid of cameras.

morning-sun-on-Jack

relaxingWe are missing him.

heart exclaiming

Three days ago, the ‘exclaiming’ heart (below, right) seemed to me a little bit cartoonish, funny, just this side of ironic. . . reminding me of Lynda Barry‘s work somehow (if even a little).

heart-exclaiming

heart exclaiming

Today, it looks stunned. Vulnerable. And we are, with news that Jack has lymphoma. Either Stage III or IV. There is so much to say about it, and him, but I am at the tail end of a day that featured one thing after another, just about every hour and a half (most of it good) and the pull toward either my book (DeLillo’s “Libra”) or ‘the crap out zone’ (TV and a snack) is too strong.

I’ll leave you with two images — the first of one of the amazing catalpa trees towering in our yard. This time of year, the orchid-like blossoms tumble down the roof of our garage and litter the walk and plants below. Until they turn start to stink in rotting piles of brown, I feel like royalty… walking the petal-strewn path!

Catalpa blooming

Catalpa blooming

And, one of the places I like to sit and read.

one place I like to read

perfect height off the floor!

crossing over

in-between

After a two week break from computer screens, I am not unlike Jack, above, pausing at the edge, wondering how to re-enter.

Happy New Year, all!

I look forward to another year of sharing ideas, inspiration, techniques, and support on the worldwide web!
yew-illuminated

chair

I have spent a lot of time quilting and knitting by the fire over the last two weeks.

coming-going

This was how we saw C. for the most part – on his way out – to job or friends.

eleven-varieties

I baked 12 varieties this year.  This is the third year in a row that I vowed I wouldn’t.

goofball

hydrangea-snow

ledge

morning

rusty-linen-silk

streetlight-yonder

table-by-the-fire

wind-chimes

three-huts

christmas-eve

where-are-my-slippersEvery two-footed member of our family got slippers for Christmas.  I seriously think Jack is wondering why he didn’t get any.  It’s not the cookies he’s wondering about — it’s the missing set of slippers!

Red/green felt house

A felt house finished over the weekend.  I’ll admit I liked it better as a flat thing.
Rather than stuff the satin loops through the bead, I slipped waxed linen through the bead and tied it around.
And here’s a rare photo of Jack relaxed (rare, because the camera makes him nervous):
My 59 second tutorial on making the felt houses can be found in a link in this post.