Saturday, June 30, 2007

Saturday am

Surprise, surprise, it's raining again. I did get two big projects off the list with one bigger one that needs to be done by Monday. Of course, I've already taken on another new adventure but it doesn't start for another month. Opportunities are finally presenting themselves and I can pick and choose (if I let myself) and I really enjoy some of the projects. Of course, I still need a personal assistant to keep me organized and to proofread for me. :-)

I worked on canning beets and attempting make some jam again. (I'm starting to think I'll just buy the homemade jams at the farmers markets). I went to a nearby town's farmers' market yesterday and the crowd almost made me feel like I was in Manhattan (notice I said almost). There are some Asian farmers who add some interesting things to the mix. However, the Saturday market at the same location is much more civil and enjoyable.

The rain let-up for long enough for me to quickly mow the fenced-in back yard before it started sprinkling again. My wonderful neighbor had earlier mowed most of the rest of it during our small window of opportunity before two more days of rain.

My little dog Shadow went for his check-up yesterday and signs of his decline - he's almost 15 - are increasing. I think Sadie Bess was older when I adopted her but I didn't know the signs I was looking for. After talking to Dr. Peterson yesterday, I am noticing more indications not just of lack of hearing and sight but lack of cognitive processing. Shadow's never been one to play with toys but he didn't react at all to the various "tests" Doc gave him yesterday.

Shadow gets groomed at the vet and he said that he would be glad to check him out whenever I brought him for a haircut and I will gladly pay for that. I want to make sure Shadow is comfortable.

I started mourning a bit yesterday given that the Shadow I've known for over 12 years is slipping away. But I have to remind myself that is part of the life process. I had been thinking the day before that this time next year, there was a good chance Shadow wouldn't be with me anymore. I also plan not to take any long overseas extended trips while he's still around. I've been traveling overseas for the last 7 years at least once a year so a one-year-hiatus won't big of a deal - especially given all the travel I do in the states. Luckily, I have a great dogsitter.

I tried to play with Shadow the other day- getting down on the floor and getting him to run around and he didn't respond as usual. I can now look back and see gradual patterns of him having longer intervals between some of his usual behaviors. He has never been any type of retriever anyway - he would go after things and then look at me like "what am I supposed to do with this?" And he's found a safe spot in the back yard in the mulch under one of the bushes.

However, I also remember that it hasn't been that long since he tried to run away when he was loose at the farm. On the other hand, I need to be even more vigilant about that given his decreasing ability to find his way home. It make sense when he got loose on the ice this winter that he was in pursuit of food (he at least found some animal entrails given his "output" a month later) and wasn't worried about getting home. Even then I knew he couldn't hear me calling him even if he wanted to.

On a personal note, it's another loss because I always thought I would be married with kids before I lost Shadow. However, those two things really are not as connected as my mind made them.

And I have to remind myself that with all of my computer work at home and my taking him on errands and on trips that aren't on planes, he has had a high quality of life - especially compared to a household where the owners are gone 10 hours a day Monday-Friday.

I do hope to ensure that my next dog is amenable to the doggie day care group settings (Shadow was too old when they came about and would have been a victim of the pack mentality rather than part of it). Especially with my trips to Kansas City, there are several options.

This process will be a good life lesson for me. As Mom reminded me, I need to just enjoy him and not worry about when he is going. This morning was a good example - I remember the YEARS he jumped out of bed every morning by 6 or so. Luckily, now, he sleeps in even when I have to get up for a few minutes.

I didn't mean to write about this today but this is a good part of blogging - the thoughts that come out as you are writing.

I'm going to work on big project and then am going out with a friend for dinner. Monday is full of NARA events in Springfield and then Wednesday will be festive with Mom. Dad has taken off out west in the motor home for the week - something he hasn't been able to do in awhile. I think he's looking forward to the time away. He spent all of his working life without an office he had to report to every day from 8 to 5 and even the morning sessions at city hall are wearing on him - not to mention the non-stop cell phone calls. Too many big events are going on.

OK, back to work for me.

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