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A year lived without her: April 28,1997-Sept 22,2011

September 21, 2012 - 3 Responses

Hard to believe a year can have gone bye already. She is still so much apart of our lives. We see things she would love, talk about her and her antics. We go back to  places where she went and we miss her. We miss her in ways we didn’t know we would. She still inspires us, so does that mean that this sweet little tripawd dog was an influence in our lives? Ye,s and that is part of the her  that still lives on in each of us.

I never would have appreciated ‘squirrelavision’, a dog breakfast well eatened, that gardening was a happier term for digging up the yard and that shredding was an art form that only dogs and a garbage can can appreciate.

We went to our cabin in New Mexico and felt her loss so deeply. Remembering her friskiness and  curiosity , and playfulness made the tears flow once more.

What have I learned in this past year without her? That love though temporal here on earth can last beyond time, that though the raw wound has scar tissue over it, underneath is still tender. That I have a new heart for three-legged animals and have a cat to show it. That I still hate cancer and as one of the family lab is going through cancer and surgery I still have a wonderful team of prayer warriors that prays for dogs and rejoices with me over good news and cries with me over bad news. That when I think of Zip, and others like Sammy and Chilidog , Fortis, I am inspired by their toughness and good spirits even when dying and the unconditional love they gave us.

I hug and love on the dogs I have left. I pet others peoples dogs with more love and I give my family and friends more hugs knowing how precious is this gift of life.

To Zip and a life well lived. Missing you border girl.

Last Chapter here but not Forever

September 24, 2011 - 10 Responses

Wonder how different life would be if there was no cancer or suffering. Zip is now enjoying that as a fact right now. As we said good bye here on earth she was tearing across a field to say hello to her future.

There is no way to neatly sum up her life here on earth. As I walk around my house, where she didn’t really live except for several brief spans of time, I see how things are different because of her. I have a few more rugs down which the rest of the older dogs like, I have a chair turned to look out the french doors at the birds and the squirrels that continue to entertain us on the “squirrelavision”. I have water bowls in more than one place, some set higher to accommodate those with sore backs , nonslip skids on the wooden stairs, battery-operated massagers, many more dogs treats and dog treat cookbooks on my shelves, and so many photos of cute expressions and sweet situations.

Whereas these are the tangible and visual things the unseen and heartfelt changes seem so much more real. As strange as this might sound, as a woman of my age and life experiences, this little dog has caused me to feel and think about some things that needed examining in my own life. In some ways she lived out my faith better than I ever have. She was forgiving when I might hold a grudge, she was accepting of those very different from me, though not everyone was her friend and rightfully so, she gave most people the chance. Her acceptance of me, of my struggles and moods was more than I even give my sweet husband. She wasn’t a saint, as no dog is. She had to learn some things the hard way, such as shredded tissues in the garbage can, but even then her actions were not out of meanness but out of fun and boredom. Her loyalty to her companion, my daughter, was unquestioning, even at the end when she wagged her tail and tried to crawl off the table to get to her.

Zip was Rachel’s ‘dog of her heart’. Went to work at the animal shelter everyday, was in charge of morale , went to watch over the horses, check out cows, swim after anything, had an unbelievable knowledge of words and names, did search and rescue, was the vet school demo dog at times, supervised a house full of lab puppies and numerous kittens and dogs at the shelter found their way to her office. Was a Therapy Pet at the local hospital where the favorite thing that was requested of her was her ‘be a lady’ trick and she happily complied.

To have watched her over the last 18 months go through every kind of treatment and chemo and physical rehab with courage and willingness was a true witness of the sweetness of her heart. She loved her life and those who helped her. We were blessed to have everyone around her loving her and weeping over her in her last moments. From her family to the staff at Heart of Texas oncology department, we  said our reluctant good byes for now and sent her off covered with tears of love and our blessings. A lady always knows when to leave and she did it with grace and dignity. Happy trails, pretty lady, our love for you never dies but will last till we see you again.


One Year and Counting!

August 30, 2011 - 10 Responses

What a happy day this is but also a day of remembering the sobering diagnosis then the fear then the decision, life or limb, then the amputation. The days of worry about the surgery, the hours of anguish over scans, chemo side effects,the met to the spleen, that surgery, the weakness the diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy but there were so many days of pure joy! Watching her swim and not in a circle, watching her watch squirrel and mouseavision, seeing her do her tricks, beg [ that was never allowed before!] getting excited when she ate, having her go back to the human hospital and do her therapy pet pals duty, seeing her go to work everyday, watching her be silly and wild, those are what we want to also remember this day. Life is hard but it is a bit sweeter with a dog by your side and this year was a time for us to be by her side to comfort and care. We are truly grateful for these days and pray for many more. We don’t know what tomorrow brings except maybe more questions and worries but also another day with the sweet bordie girl. Thank you Zip for being such a fighter and making all of our life deeper and richer. We love you and Happy Ampuversary!

Well, who needs a spleen anyway!

May 29, 2011 - 4 Responses

Such a happy face! Pieces of me are going all over the place. I hope they used enough tape to keep everything in place. Boy, was I glad to get out of that place. Every time I nap, something else is gone. Next time I will sleep with one eye open! My appetite has not kicked back in yet and I have some discomfort but nothing like when I lost my leg. Guess there is another kind of yucky stuff they are going to put in me sometime soon. Hope I don’t get too sick. I really did well on the other one but it didn’t keep working. Oh well, guess I will go take a nap and worry about that another time. Night-night.

How can I be 14 Years Old?

April 27, 2011 - One Response

I was shocked to be reminded this week that I will be 14 this Thursday! Is 14 the new 6 these days? I don’t feel 14, I still can run if I feel like it, went swimming in the pool Sunday for an hour, still learning new tricks and being the delight of my person. I even got to go kayaking the other day. Now is that something an old dog would do? I think someone is not being truthful to me.

I got all my check ups this week, heart,spleen,liver,kidneys,and lungs. All came out looking good and even my blood work was pretty good. Had my 9th chemo today. I am still doing the treadmill thing twice a week and then every two to three weeks I go see Dr. Wall in the Woodlands for extra rehab stuff including the whirlpool which is not my favorite. I get stretches every night and massaged and lots of loving.

Wonder what my person is going to do for my burfday. I hope I get pupcakes and frozen yogurt. Bet I have to share with the other dogs in my family but that’s okay, we will call it a party so we all have to share!Wish you all could come and pawty with me!



Looking Good!

March 3, 2011 - No Responses

It has been 6 months since I parted company with my right rear leg and to say it has been an up and down adventure would be taking puns to a new level but hey, I am doing well so new level here I come! I got my heart echo yesterday and that is doing well, even a bit better than last time, all my insides are so pretty says Dr. Charla Jones and then today before my number 7 chemo, Dr. Raquel Brown and staff did my blood work and my chest radiographs and I am clear of mets and my liver enzymes are down!!!  My entire family and family friends had been praying real hard for this news. I got lots of treats on the ride back to my person’s office and then had frozen yogurt later on to also celebrate!

My back and some leg muscles do give me a twinge at times and some days I am more like a ‘low-rider’ than a sports car but I can live with that. Dr. Rick Wall and Dr. Kathy Van Winkle always remind me that there are hills and valleys to go through and with the amount of movement I have in my tail end, I will have some pain. Well, a girl has to strut her stuff sometimes even if she pays for it later, right girls?

I think the acupuncture and trigger point therapy is really helping me but I could do without the whirlpool. Think I like the treadmill even better than the bubbly bath though I do get to get all the people around me wet also. My person’s mom got so soaked last week that she had to go to the grocery next door and buy a tee shirt to wear home. I did feel a little bad but I also laughed to myself too! I did share her Arby’s afterwords so guess she wasn’t too mad at me. Sandra and Megan help me on the treadmill in Austin and Kari helps me in The Woodlands. I get lots of sweet talking encouragement.

Got to catch up with the feline tripawd the other day at the other place I sometimes stay and boy is that kitten fast. Wonder what he would be like with 4 paws?  He is not very good at soccer but he can certainly climb the curtains well and get into the African Violets.

Well that’s all for now. I hear a chew bone calling my name or it could be the ridgeback snoring again.

Thanks for checking in.


5 and 6

February 7, 2011 - One Response

Five months and celebrating plus 6 chemos under her collar, Zip has a few things to say.

Hey, I didn’t get my frozen yogurt!! Of course it was an almost unheard of day with temperatures ranging from 23 to 18 that day and wind with one gust of 62mph. Maybe there will be a raincheck? I’m feeling good for the most part. Some days I don’t want to eat too much or get up because I hurt but then there are other days where the squirrel population of Austin better watch out! I get some good treats when I leave treadmill place but I blew it the other day and begged when my person picked me up rather than her mom. She figured out I was looking for treats and that wasn’t when I usually get them from her. Bye, bye treats!

I get to go back down and see my friends in The Woodlands next week for more torture by electric needles, treadmill,and finally, the whirlpool. Next time I get to take my good buddy Steel with me and he gets to be checked out and share in my torture a bit. I’m only playing when I say torture, I get some mighty good treats afterwards so it really isn’t too much to put up with plus, they say all sorts of sweet things to me.

I got a good report from my cardiologist and my blood work was okay though my BUN could be lower and one of my liver enzymes could be lower, everything was about what it was last month. I’m happy so I don’t worry.

I guess that is all for now but someone remind my folks about the frozen yogurt okay?

Good News Wednesday!

January 6, 2011 - One Response

Jan.5, 2011

My people are so happy tonight! My lungs are clear and so are all my other parts that got tickled with that stick thing! I would rather have that than when they take blood with that really sharp stick.  I’d rather give my bone to Mia than get that thing stuck in me. I go down o The Woodlands tomorrow for lots of things but it will be so much fun to bark and scare all the cattle we see. That’s my job on these trips, I am to make all the cows go backwards so that the car is protected.

Thought I would show you a photo of the newest tripawd critter in our family, even if it is a cat, or rather a kitten. Kind of cute for a feline.

Happy New Tripawd Day!

January 5, 2011 - No Responses

Zip got to meet the latest members of the family today and one of them is a tripawd kitten. He had his leg removed because of an injury about 7 days ago. He was going up for adoption when he was spotted and Zip’s person and she made certain he got checked out by her parents. Instead of going home with one new kitten we now have 2! Photos will be coming soon.

Zip goes for chemo number 5 tomorrow. She seems a bit weak but she has not been going to the Woodlands the last couple of weeks for her therapy. Don’t know if she will have lungs done tomorrow or just blood and chemo. She is going for more therapy on Thursday. When she got weak in the back end last time it was because some muscles were really tightening up and having spasms. After a couple of needling sessions and lasers she got pretty good. Of course the imagination goes for a field trip anytime there is a hint of something wrong but that is one of the beauties of journaling you can look back and see similar situations.

Now a word from Zip: I got to meet the kittens,  they are okay if you like that kind of animal. My heart does go out to the little tripawd, only 4 months of having a front leg and long leg. Maybe it’s better this way, he’ll learn to manage then it will seem normal to him. I am getting more accustomed to it but goodness, hard to scratch that one ear!

Talk to you after chemo/therapy.

Three days till #4 chemo

December 6, 2010 - 2 Responses

Dec. 5

I had this blog written and then my paw hit something and it all ran away! I am really barked about that!

Okay, what I was saying is that the last week  has been pretty good. I got to go to see Dr. Charla Jones and her very cool tech Aaron and have movies made while I waited of all my insides. I hope they noticed my really empty tummy, need more treats! Everything looked good except my BUN was high, if they would give me a hotdog it would help to hold it down. I don’t know why they don’t see they connection, instead they have cut my heart medicine in half but now because of the next one being even higher, I am off of it. Now I take only 24 pills a day instead of 25. Speaking of pills, something very fishy is going on. I can’t smell which treat has the pills in them anymore and the treats are cold on the inside. You don’t think they are putting them in the refrigerator so I can’t smell them in my treats do you? Hmmmm…

I went down to see Dr. Wall on Thursday and while I was in the parking lot there were these 5 cocky birds and I just couldn’t help myself. I RAN at them and chased them away. My owner was amazed and laughing at me. It’s no big deal, I have been saving myself for the right time and those cocky killdeers needed a border collie reminder of who is on top of the food chain!

Dr. Wall found three places on my back that have  been hurting and  really helped them! I go back on Friday and have more whirlpool, dry needling, laser and cow barking! That’s the best part! I think I overheard them saying that I might go on their water treadmill kind of like I do here in Austin. I hope not because I do that again tomorrow and it is so boring, nothing to see but the inside of a room. Maybe that handsome great dane will be there again tomorrow. Speaking of big dogs, I did something that really scared my person. I was in a down[yes, I broke it but she forgave me] when this mastiff came strolling by. I charged him and barked right up at him, he was nice and just wagged his tail and wanted to be friendly. Cool, huh? Rachel didn’t know I could move that fast but I have been doing more things like the preamp days  because this is my best week, the one before chemo. I can’t have it every three weeks because my WBC goes too low, so I do it once a month but that’s fine as much as I like going to see all my friends at the specialty place, I really don’t like going at all!

Well, I’m ready to call this day done except for my last out for the day so I’ll talk with you all again after my chemo on Wednesday. I have a human friend who is 6 and she is having chemo too. I write to her but I can’t go see her even though I am a hospital therapy dog. She’s having a bone marrow transplant on the 8th so send some prayers up for her,okay?