Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Little dog you are loved

We have had to face an unwelcome truth this week: our little dog is failing.

Mufasa joined our family in December 1997. He was a 2.3 pound ball of fluff. My husband did not want a dog, but I really, really did. I talked CJE into letting me bring him home with me on a trial run one weekend. He never left. The tiny ball of fluff grew, not much, but some. I think the most he has ever weighed was 6½ pounds. CJE has often called him a “dog-lit,” because he is like a dog, only smaller. He became a sweet, mostly well-mannered little dog. Small enough to be a lap dog, he is altogether cuddly and adorable.
He has been part of our family and a great little dog. He’s quiet and he doesn’t shed. Those have been two huge factors in his favor over the years. He has been attached to me for 14 years. I made a pillow to fit the corner of my serger table and when I am sewing he sleeps right there under my elbow. When I am in my office he sleeps in the wing-backed chair behind me. At night he sleeps in his basket on the floor by my side of the bed. Unless he gets cold. Then he begs to get up on the bed, and slips under the comforter, not the sheet, just the comforter, between CJE and I. If I am in my recliner, he is too. If I get up he follows me. When he can’t find me in the house, he panics and runs from room to room until he locates me.

Last fall he bit our son, Liam. He didn’t mean to and he wasn’t being vicious. Liam startled him, and as Mufasa can’t see or hear anymore, he just lashed out. We have worked with Liam over the winter to not scare the dog, to be nice to the dog, to put a hand on the dog first so he knows you are there and that problem, while not going away, has gotten better.

Unfortunately my sweet little dog has become rather defiant about not going outside to potty. He doesn’t have much fur and hates the cold and wet. So this winter, rather than go outside to potty, he has been sneaking around all over the house to do it. We have had a pet door for several years and he knows how to get himself in and out, he just refuses to do it. This past week has been worse than ever as he has done it twice now right in front of me. I have to be constantly on alert. If he jumps down off my lap I have to watch him like a hawk to make sure he goes outside. I have to leash him to the bed at night so he will wake me if he tries to go anywhere. If I am leaving the house for even 2 minutes I have to kennel him.

I have spent much of the past several days in tears. This is not what I want, and perhaps if I had enough money to throw at the problem, it would go away. However, I feel that would be a lot like putting a Band-aid on a bullet wound. He is 14 years old, the issues are going to keep coming.

The poor little thing can no longer see or hear. This gives him no opportunity to obey. What I want or need him to do no longer matters. I have no way of getting across to him these desires.

As he has indeed been my constant companion for 14 years, this is not a decision I have come to lightly. We will all be devastated and miss him terribly. I feel just horrible about it, but in the end his quality of life has become the determining factor. He now lives in an almost constant and complete state of confusion. He doesn’t understand why he can no longer be loose in the house to come and go as he pleases and because we cannot get anything across to him, he no longer obeys and then subsequently is in trouble.

It has become a matter of trust.

CJE and I have agreed I will spend this coming weekend with my dog. I will give Mufasa a bath and walk him and assure him that he is loved.

CJE says: “Are you sure?”

Well, I both am and I’m not. I’m not simply because I just don’t want to do this at all. I am because I really want my memories of Mufasa to be happy ones. I don’t want the sweet memories of what a great little dog he has been completely colored over by the problems he is having and creating now.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

"String too short to use"

10) A good friend sent me a book to read. I read it. I didn’t care for it and have reasons why I didn’t. I do appreciate her sending the book. Do I give her my honest opinion about the book? Or do I just send it back with no comment?

9) We are in the process of mucking out and putting half of our belongings into storage. I know it is true for most everyone, but still it surprises me the accumulation of stuff we have. We are donating piles and piles to a local thrift store, but still there is a lot for storage.

8) Made a cute little round purse in my sewingroom recently. It is a pattern I want to use for one of my five this year. I found the pattern to be a bit tricky as by the time you get to the final seams that attach the front and back to the sides the overall thickness is considerable. I am now studying the pattern to determine if there is a better way to finish the purse and avoid this unwieldy thickness.

7) January is finally over. January is always a crazy-busy month for me and this year was no exception. I actually think it was crazier than ever before, or maybe my memory is failing. Between having almost a whole week of snow days and trying to keep up with my four-year old, I have reached the end of January both mentally and physically exhausted. And, unfortunately, no real recovery time in sight. Damn.

6) I hope my faithful readers, if I have any, haven’t completely given up on me. I know it has been a long time since I have written anything. I read several blogs that are shared. First one person writes and then another, so the blog has new postings every day but no one person has to be on top of the ball each and every day. Hummm. Something to think about, although I don’t share all that well.

5) They tell me the groundhog will come out tomorrow and have a look around. I wouldn’t mind a shorter winter this year, so can we get that message to ol’ Pace Picante Phil?

4) My son is rapidly outgrowing his toddler bed. This breaks my heart as his Granddad, my dad, made it for him. Dad died 3½ years ago and Liam only remembers him because we show him pictures and talk to him about his Granddad. We are putting the bed in storage, but I wish we didn’t have to. He is growing so very fast.

3) Just going to give a little nibble about the new quilt I started. Naturally it is for Liam’s soon to be new twin bed. This quilt is a step out of my coordinated-color comfort zone. It is quite unique and I am having loads of fun with it. I have started a blog entry to tell more about it and post some pictures. Stay tuned. Aren’t I a tease?

2) I am doing the pay-it-forward on facebook again this year. I had so much fun with it last year, I just had to do it again. I only have one person from last year that managed to get on again this year, so I have an almost  whole new crop of friends to make something homemade for. I have ideas and two projects cut out already. Yea!

1) If you could have known someone as a child that you now know, who would it be?