V.J.’s Weekly Challenge–4/2/19 Farewells

Ola, the Wonder Dog, left us this week. She hadn’t been herself , activity-wise for a while, but her essence never changed.

“Ola” (the African definition, not “hello” in Spanish), was rescued as a precious puppy, by my sister and her husband more than 10 years ago. Soon after they brought her home, they left on an amazing trip abroad for several weeks. So James and I got to be Ola’s Foster Parents while they were gone.

We seriously bonded with her during that time. I mean, look at this face! Who wouldn’t??

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Ola, about 10 weeks old…see the Angel on her chest?

John and Lenore had wanted a young dog while their elderly one, Lily, the Three Legged Miracle, was still able to teach a new dog the lay of the land.

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My Grandson fell in love with Lily

Lily

This family lives on a glorious piece of land on San Juan Island. The property includes lots of acreage, a large pond with a variety of water fowl, a Bamboo Farm, and arguably some of the most beautiful and prolific vegetable and flower gardens in the Northwest.

And they live in what James and I  lovingly call the Hobbit House. Built by John, using lots of found and custom designed materials, it is so fairy tale-like, you are transported to another world.

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Ola, surveying her kingdom…

I write about this place, our second home, often. Here’s one example:

https://chosenperspectives.com/2017/03/28/it-is-easy-being-green-32817/

When they chose Ola as a puppy, they wanted another smallish dog that would not overwhelm Lily, and they predicted Ola was another small, lab mix’ just like Lily. 

Being very familiar with Rottweilers and Pit bulls, I took one look at Ola’s sweet face, and said “Uh oh.”

Not many months later, Ola had grown into a HUGE, beautiful, regal dog, over 100 pounds. But she still seemed guided by that angel on her chest.

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Lily immediate adopted young Ola, and trained her to be a “stick right close to your Humans” dog.

No fences in the Hippie Valley part of San Juan Island. Dogs (and deer) are free to roam and except for the occasional “play date” with a neighbor Dog, both Lily and Ola were right there, watching over the homestead, 24/7.

Lily left us not long after Ola joined the family but the two of them had some really good times together before she died. She taught Ola how to play Tug O War with ropes and sticks when Ola was still very young.

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And she trained Ola to leave the cats alone (probably for her own safety!)

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Ola became such a big part of our house-sitting experience all these years. For several weeks at a time, she became “our” dog again. No matter how much time passed between our babysitting jobs, she would greet us with 100 pounds of enthusiasm!

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Ola having a “play Date” with Brenna

 

She hung out with us where ever we went,

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and stayed close to us at home.

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Yep, she was our dog…..But only until her real parents came home!

 

 

Ola was always within feet (or calling distance) of John and Lenore during their daily routines.

 

 

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Following Lenore to the Garden
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Waiting patiently

 

Ola was one of the sweetest, most gentle dogs I’ve ever met. I will miss her so much. I can only imagine how long it will take her family to get used to the huge empty space she leaves behind.

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Good Dog, Ola. Good Dog…

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Farewell.

 

 

 

V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #42: farewell

October Photo a Day Challenge

https://citysonnet.wordpress.com/2018/10/01/october-photo-a-day-challenge/

Ooh, ohh, I just found another photo challenge although I am having a hard time keeping all these new challenges straight.

Here are the topics I missed so far:

  1. Welcome October
  2.  Layers
  3. Start with O
  4. Numbers
  5. Birds
  6. Inspired by poem
  7. Dog

Wonder how many of these I can catch up on…hmmm.

1.) Welcome October

I both love and feel sad when I see the last few apples for the year. This season, from our Apple Cider pressing parties, we had about 50 gallons!

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2.) Layers

One winter we took my grandsons down to Hood Canal during the Holidays. It was well below freezing but there was no snow. There was a house decorated with layers and layers of water sprayed on the trees which then froze.

3.) Start with O.

What can I say. I always start with “OH!” when the Blue Angels fly over my house!

4.) Numbers

You’d think I would be slowed in my Cobalt Collecting obsession by the numbers of pieces I have….but NO!

5.) Birds

My favorite thing to photograph…well, one of my favorites.

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6.) Inspired by poem

(complete blank here…)

7.) Dog

Our friend Marc’s sweet Akita, Razor, and our dog “nephew” (my sister’s dog) Ola, who is even sweeter!

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Well, that wore me out but now I am caught up…except for that poetry thingy.

Bark (again?)

Can I reblog my own stuff to my own site? Or is that called something else? Repost? Repeat? Remember? Re-d0? Revisit?

Anyway, here’s a post I did, apparently in advance, for Travel Theme: Bark!!

https://chosenperspectives.wordpress.com/2016/12/19/bark/

 

Let’s see if this works………….feedback/suggestions welcome in Comments!!

(Maybe it’s better to copy and paste my earlier post so my reader doesn’t have to click on still another link? Karuna? Marilyn? Anyone?)

 

Here’s what inspired me…

Travel theme: Bark

  • Create your own post and title it Travel theme: Bark
  • Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
  • Watch out for the next travel theme which will come out next weekend
  • Don’t forget to subscribe to keep up to date on the latest weekly travel themes. Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or RSS.

 

 

BARK!!

No, not as in Dog-Speak but TREE BARK.

The wonderful friends I house and dog sit for live in such a lovely area. I spend a lot of my dog-walking time making my buddy Doogan sit and wait while I snap photos with my little old phone (Samsung Galaxy S4). But at this time of year I was just sure there wouldn’t be a single thing to capture…No flowers, no green, gray skies, etc.

I should have known better. I guess I wasn’t connecting with my Dad as much as I usually do when out in Nature. He would remind me that there is beauty in every single square inch of the world. You just have to look for it.

But Doogan pointed out what I was missing…by peeing on it!

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What amazing variety, and it started me on a whole train of deep philosophical thought about beauty and skin and outer covering and image and, and, and…

Thanks Doogan!  BARK!

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ChosenPerspective on Edge for WPC

 

Edge

I take a lot of “perspective” photos but the word this week brought up a completely different image for me.

Most animal people have that one special relationship, that stays with them forever…a “heart pet”…sort of an animal “soulmate”.

For many years, mine was an animal I won at a Saturday afternoon matinee. It was close to Easter and there was a drawing for a baby bunny, a tiny chick and a duckling. My ticket stub was the winning number for my very own DUCK!! I raised that duck in my bedroom, even “house broke” her. I was nine years old and simply didn’t know that was impossible to do.

Many animal friends later, I had a huge, beautiful purebred German Shepherd named Joy. Another heart animal for me….She lived until she was sixteen years old!

I’ve written about that amazing dog many times.

Here’s an example about Joy.

https://chosenperspectives.wordpress.com/2016/06/24/5706/

But then we come to Zorro.

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I have never been so in sync, so bonded, so in love with an animal before. He is 16 years old now himself and has his own long story. I treasure every single day with him. I am very clingy with the Big Z right now, but Zorro is not the focus of this week’s post so back to the theme for the week.

“Edge” is the name of my daughter’s most beloved cat. Edge only very recently left, after too short an illness for my daughter to prepare herself at all. A quick trip to the Vet, lots of tests and boom, he was gone. This loss completely broke her heart.

I have often thought that sometimes the loss of a pet can hit us even harder than when a human loved one dies, in part because we can love our pets from such an innocent, child-like place in our hearts.

And really, what human in our adult lives can love us as unconditionally as our heart- animals do?

Edge’s sudden departure and my daughter’s devastation are why poor Zorro is getting smothered these days. I know when I lose Zorro, I will undoubtedly be a nine year old, inconsolable child for quite a long while.

Below is my daughter’s story about her sweet “Edge”. She took this picture.

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I met Edge on Valentines Day in 2003 at the animal shelter.  He’d been abandoned at 6 months old and all 4 paws were severely frostbitten as it was -20º outside here in Minnesota.  It was love at first sight. I didn’t claim him as much as he claimed me. He had gigantic, long white whiskers and his face had odd splatters of white, making him look like he’d been in a paint fight. I named him The Edge on the way home in the car after the U2 guitarist. Some of my favorite things about him – when I’d come home from work and open the front door, he’d be on the stairs waiting but would act startled and then hop sideways with his hackles up back up the stairs.  It made me laugh every time.  He also would flop on my head whenever possible, whether I was sleeping, doing yoga, reading, he didn’t care.  If my head was accessible, he was on it. From the time I got him, he made a loud, rattling noise when he breathed, like a 90 year old man, which had limited charm when he camped on my head.   When Sarah would come over to visit, I’d let Edge out the door and he would run down the corridor meowing to greet her. He knew how to open the medicine chest in the bathroom and if he felt ignored, he’d open it and knock everything off the shelves and into the sink. He was such a good companion, loved to be picked up and hang out with me on the patio.  This is one of my favorite photo’s from my patio a few years back. I love how crazy his whiskers are, how happy he looks and how much we enjoyed hanging out in the sunshine together.

Partners from ChosenPerspectives

Partners

Partners

JOY and Bandit

 Joy and Bandit.

Joy, a purebred German Shepherd, rescued from a materialistic breeder, and Bandit, a Mother’s Day gift from my son. These two were so close I think when Joy died at the ripe old age of 16, Bandit, only 11, was lost without her and he passed just a few weeks later.

Their deaths were such a powerful thing in my life. Their passings would have been huge for me anyway as I loved these two beyond reason. But they died in the middle of the longest stretch of losses I have ever experienced.

During that 17 month period we lost 11 people in or very close to our family, in unrelated deaths…one after another after another.

We absolutely could not catch our breaths! No breaks. Just constant grief! And so many funerals.

And then our other cat, Surprise, was run over by our housemate in our own garage. “Surprise”, the miracle cat, named because she was the runt of her litter and born almost 2 hours after the others. We were constantly surprised that she survived. Surprise was 26 years old!

When I tell you the dates of this stretch, I will accept any empathy (or sympathy) you have to offer as I still reel from these memories at times and will appreciate any support.

July, 2000 through December 2001.

911 happened right in the middle of all of this loss, and though I did not personally know anyone who died that day, in my raw emotional condition I took that tragedy deep into my heart and soul. In my private therapy practice I had 15 clients who did lose friends because they worked for companies whose home offices were in one of the Towers. They had each been there before. We all grieved together for a very long time.

The direction of this post has taken me by surprise…no place for me to put my usual humor or well intentioned sarcasm.

But hey, this is what the word “Partners” brought up for me. And since, so far these topics have been so stimulating and thought provoking, tomorrow, I’m sure, will likely be a different story….loaded with irony, provocation and my brand of humor.

Thanks for reading.