Thursday, October 29, 2009

For Chrissy

Everyday that I work I meet wonderful dogs. Every once in a while there will be one special dog that really connects to my soul. Yesterday that dog was Chrissy.

Chrissy was a mixed breed dog. She weighed around 60 pounds and had a thick hair coat that seemed to want to shed all over. She was fairly tall but not as big as a Lab or German Shepard would be. I called her into the exam room with her "mom". Chrissy had developed an odd gait in her walk and her head was starting to tilt to the left. Her tummy was round and bloated looking. Her gums were slightly on the pale side. Chrissy was 12 years old, which is considered to be old for a dog her size. That is something I never have understood. Smaller dogs seem to live alittle longer than the bigger dogs do. A poodle at 12 will still look very young while a Great Dane is lucky to live to the age of 12.

My doctor came in and did a physical exam. Her abdomen was tight and painful and he agreed that her gums were slightly pale. He recommended x-rays and blood work which revealed a large mass in the abdomen. Not good news.

This is what really got to me with Chrissy. When she was getting her physical exam she was totally trusting of us. She kept looking deep into my eyes like she was reading my mind. She would turn and check on her owner, making sure she was still present. The positioning for the x-rays had to be incredibly uncomfortable, yet she continued to remain calm and focused on my eyes. Then when my doctor presented her owners with an estimate of over a thousand dollars I felt sick. I hate this part of my job where I know money is the answer. Too much and it's almost always a death sentence and given Chrissy's age I knew her owners would hesitate to spend that much and not have a good guarantee that she would survive the surgery or live a few more years. They struggled with the decision well past closing time. This was not something they took lightly or brushed off as many people do by saying, "it's just a dog". They toiled with the prospect of surgery and asked all the right questions and in the end decided to euthanize her. The biggest part of me knew it was mostly a money thing and wished I was rich and could just say here, let me help.

Euthanasia is something I struggle with . Some days I deal with it everyday I work, sometimes several times a day, other days there may be none. It is something I had to do for my own pet a few years back and it really leaves an owner with a whole range of emotions. First your sad, then your angry that you had to make that decision and then you feel guilty. Some owners can not stay and be with their beloved pet during those final moments. Chrissy's parents decided that they could not be there. I hugged her mom and told her that I would stay with her during the procedure. She started to cry and thanked me. I wanted her to know somehow that I loved Chrissy and she would not feel alone nor be alone at the end of her life. I hope she understood all of that in my hug as I could not form the words to speak them aloud.

I hugged Chrissy up and I stroked her head and ears as she drifted off to heaven. I do believe all dogs go to heaven. I told her to say hello to my Buddy, Poochie and Dukie when she got there. I then made an inked paw print of her paw as a keepsake for her owners. The doctor will send a sympathy card and include that memento. I knew Chrissy only briefly and she made me love her in that very short amount of time. I imagine her family will miss her dearly.

Monday, October 26, 2009


Me and a manatee.

I loved watching them swim. So big but so graceful.

The groom shot this video and I thought he did an outstanding job! Enjoy these gentle creatures as we had the pleasure of sharing their waters with them on the Crystal River.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Valentine is ready for Halloween

I really missed my Valentine while I was gone on vacation. I had to get her something special. I found this t-shirt that is so her these days. (In her old age all she really cares about is food) It says, " Hand over the CANDY and no one gets HURT". BTW she wears a 4T. (Little Chubs) Such a cute face though! Wouldn't you have to just give her all your candy!?!

Friday, October 23, 2009

List of Good Times had on Vacation

  • I took over 1200 pictures! Thank God for digital.
  • The sunset on the beach was amazing for the wedding & the birds were just an added plus!
  • I swam 3 hours with manatees on Crystal River in Crystal River, FL~highlight of my trip!
  • I visited 2 state parks
  • On one day I traveled into 4 states!
  • I visited 3 different beaches
  • I took a swamp tour and seen alligators in the wild. Loved it!! The swamp is so pretty!!
  • Learned that people actually swim and water ski in the same water that the gators live!
  • I got to have a lot of girlfriend time with my 2 Robins and my Stacey from Colorado
  • I spent a lot of quality time with my husband. We vacation well together!
  • I seen a huge mermaid mural that I thought was so beautiful on Pier 60 in Clearwater, FL
  • I caught several tiny fish from Lake Pontchtrain while enjoying the sunset, the warmth, & most of all the company in LA.
  • I had a mocha almond freeze which was yummy and an orange antifreeze which was gross and the few sips I had tasted like gasoline! lol
  • I ate well- too well!
  • All our travel went well except I dumped cheese sauce on an unsuspecting victim in the airport! oops!
  • I took a few more pics of the French quarter.
  • In Florida we drove from the state line of Alabama to Pensacola to Destin to Tallahassee then down to I19 to Tampa and then into Clearwater.
  • On arriving back home in Missouri the trees had all turned their fall color! It was really beautiful to see from the air!

    It's great to be back. I have missed all the blogs I like to follow and may never find the time to go back and read what I've missed over the past week but have some good inspiration for my own blog in some of the photos I took! I'll be sharing those along the way.

Happy Fall ya 'all!!! xxoo

Sunday, October 11, 2009


I wish I could get more sleep. I feel tired most of the time and I have always hated those dark circles that belong to my face. Valentine has been whining at my bedside since around 4:30 am CTS. I get up, let her out, and she still whines. She just wants me UP for no good reason. I am up now, blogging, while the little brat sleeps at my feet! I know someday I'll miss her little whines but today I would just like some more zzzzz's.

I am going on a trip! My husband & I will fly out this Wednesday to go to New Orleans to stay a couple of nights with my friend Robin and her husband. We hope to do a little fishing and just laugh a lot! (maybe sleep too!) Then on Friday we are renting a car and driving the coast line to Florida where on Sunday, a good friend of mine that I work with, is getting married on the beach there. She asked me to go and take her wedding pictures and she is paying our hotel rooms for doing it. I have done several weddings but they are not my favorite shoot. I always worry that I might screw up and not get that all important picture, like the kiss or something. This will be my first beach wedding so I hope the sunset is perfect, there is just a slight breeze, and that my photos will turn out great and my friend will be happy! We will all be swimming with the manatees on Monday together so I also hope that my underwater camera functions as it should so I can get some amazing photos of us with those giant, gentle, beast. We will be back in Missouri on Tuesday. Then I will have some photos to blog about!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

It's not a baby blog, it's not a baby blog, it's not a...

I got off early this afternoon and was rushing home to 1st let my little Valentine outside to potty, then 2nd I was going to get busy and get some creative artwork done. I've been making notes and drawing ideas and collecting, collecting collecting so I'm ready for some just "me" time to create like crazy! Then my phone rings and my daughter asks if I'm coming over today and if so would I sit with Colton for a while so she can run some errands. hmmm? Baby vs. Art Art lost.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Chicken Festival

Today my sister & I traveled to "our" 2nd annual chicken festival. I call it a festival she calls it a chicken swap but it's like nothing I have ever experienced and not for the squeamish. ;) They actually have them 3 times a year but fall seems to be our best time to go.

It's in a very small town in Missouri and there are tons of chickens, birds, rabbits, mice, reptiles, dogs, cats, goats, etc. They are all for sale. Lots of puppy mill puppies I would say which is very, very sad. Plus lots of junk (and I mean junk for the most part, although if my hubby would of went he would probably say otherwise since there seems to be a lot of tools and such). There is also a TON of people and some of them are pretty entertaining. I went last year because my sis was chicken shopping. This year we just went because we had fun last year. I bought some skeleton keys again this year from a nice man. Sometimes I just "feel" the good in people. He is one of those people. To look at him, he may seem scary...he was a bit unkempt, missing some teeth, wild hair but very gentle in spirit. I promised him I would be back next fall to buy more keys from him so he is going to be on the lookout for the small, interesting one's I like. That is sweet to me because he was very sincere.

We also travel through another tiny town that has an amazing store-it's very expensive but has the most creative pottery. It's an Italian artist that married a Mexican Potter and they produce some beautiful work together. I fell in love with these birds (which is just one of many sculptures they create) Last year I bought this one:

this year I bought this one! Isn't he adorable?!

We stopped at a couple of garage sales along the way. This sale had a barn that was falling apart and when we were walking back to the car I notice the falling boards made a perfect cross if you looked at it from the right direction. I grabbed my camera and LOVE this picture!
The sky is NOT photo-shopped at all! This is just how pretty it was today!