dogs, home, life, life goes on, live and learn, nature, neighbors, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, sunrise, technology

Another point of view…

iPhone photography was what lured me into my current photographic journey, and I remain a fan of what the iPhone camera can capture.  Consequently I commonly take iPhone photos along with the photos with my Canon DSLR, but I don’t always remember to look at them later since they are always totally outnumbered.  But once in a while I think to check them out to see what I failed to notice.4-5zoofishLike this Lionfish that posed for me at the zoo.  I knew that the iPhone would be my best chance at a good photo of that very dramatic fish.  And also at the zoo…4-5zoodoorI thought this faux courtyard scene was positively charming…

And in the backyard I routinely capture sunrises since they come to me daily, and when I’m not enjoying the sunrise I can enjoy the honeysuckle growing up on my neighbor’s shed.  4-5sunrise4-5honeysuckle4-5weedy

When I noticed this little weed bravely struggling through the patio pavers it brought to mind the will to live, or the little guy persevering against all odds, or the miracle of life, and then I plucked it…

 4-5ozzie.jpgAnd finally Ozzie, who is always right where he should be at all times.  No need to stop what you are doing to see what he’s up to.  Nope, he causes no trouble, except when he is right behind you and you trip over him.  Such a good boy…

 

backyard visitors, birds, blessings, coping, Cranes, dogs, healing, home, life goes on, nature, photography, sunrise

Tomorrow, tomorrow…

Well, the sun did come up.  The cranes came out.  New visitors sat out on the post on the lake.  Ozzie is moping, but I’m glad he saw, and thoroughly sniffed, Zoe before she left us, because he doesn’t seem to be looking for her.  Zoe raised him, really she did.  Easiest dog to train ever since he’d follow her around and try, not always successfully, to pee wherever she did.  He’s just subdued, he usually makes a total pest out of himself and now he is keeping a low profile.  I don’t know if I’m complaining about that or not.

4-27sunrise4-27sunrise24-27sunrise34-27flag4-26egretonpost4-26egretonpost24-26egretonpost34-25hawk1.jpg4-27moping

dogs, grief, growing old, losing battles, memories, photography, responsibility

Decisions…

The vet tech had an explanation for it.  “It” being the fact that the dog I had brought in, the one that had required me to hoist her back end up off the floor every time she wanted to get up for the last 48 hours, was repeatedly getting herself up off the tile floor at the vet’s office yesterday.  It was because even though there were no other dogs there to witness her struggles, she still could smell them, and no dog wants to let herself be seen as the weakest one in the pack, so the adrenaline rush she was having was serving as a pain reliever.  Or so they said.  I had told myself that the thing I didn’t want to do was to take her in and spend a whole lot of money, knowing what the outcome was really going to be in the not so distant future, and knowing that my Zoe was going to suffer while I fought to justify my decision of what to do.  But in the vet’s office she looked like a different dog from the one I’d had at home.  Needing help getting up was relatively new, and while she had needed me to help her for a day or two recently, she had seemed to recover and I told myself that she had strained something and it was all better.  And the confusion in her face when she couldn’t get herself up was heartbreaking.  But she seemed to be in not so dire of a condition while we were there, so it was pain meds, joint supplements, and see her in two weeks.

Except once I got her home she was trying to not use her right back leg at all.  That she was in distress was obvious.  I brought the water bowl to her and she drank, but she wouldn’t eat.  She cried and wanted to get up, so I’d hoist her up, and then she’d stand there not knowing what she wanted to do next.  I thought about how I’d learned to help my mother, and then my husband, when they couldn’t get out of a chair.  I’d lean in and hug them to me, and use leverage to just lift them up.  It worked perfectly.  Not possible with Zoe, and I was already feeling the strain in my back from lifting her.  

I’m writing this at 4 AM while I listen to Zoe’s breathing.  She is finally asleep.  We have been up for hours, she was crying, it actually sounded like a low growl, and nothing I could do for her except sit with her and pet her seemed to help.  Sweet, easy-going Ozzie was determined to put himself between Zoe and me, so I had to put him in the bedroom before he hurt her, or me.  It was the pleading in her eyes that got to me.  Just like when it’s been raining for hours and the dogs want to go out, and they look at me  wondering why I’m letting it rain when they know that I’m in charge of the world and I could stop it if I wanted to.  Zoe’s eyes tell me that she is pleading with me to make it stop, not the rain, but the pain…4-26onelasttime

backyard visitors, birds, dogs, finding my way, Florida wildlife, home, memories, nature, photography

Missing the boat…

I may have missed the boat as far as seeing the crane family heading off the lake goes, for the sake of catching them close-up (with the big lens) I mean, but later that morning there were some birds out back who needed their photos taken.4-19reflect4-20Greatwhiteegret4-20ibis4-20littleblue

Then I headed to church at 4 PM and thought I could catch the cranes on their return, but they were already on the lake when I went in to pick up the camera.  Again, pretty far away from my vantage point, even with the zoom lens.  Which is probably why I got distracted by the dogs, who were the only other creatures out there at the time.  They went down to the lake to drink, Zoe walking in chest deep, and Ozzie lifting his head with lots of drool dripping down.  And there was a nice breeze, whipping said drool all around.  It was pretty much the most interesting thing going on out there…4-21zoe4-21drool14-21drool2Zoe will be 13 on May 1st and, sadly, her age is starting to show.  I’ve had to haul her to her feet several times recently.  Or maybe I didn’t have to, maybe I just hated seeing her struggling and was afraid she would hurt herself.  She is older than I am now, in dog years of course.  Though I’ve traveled back to my pre-teen years mentally and I’m enjoying it there so much that I’m thinking of staying…

dogs, home, photography, unintended consequences

It was that kind of day…

I know the sunrise happened because it got lighter out, but it never got prettier.  And when I got home it was no better.3-18sunrise2So I decided to make some oatmeal.  I had added a chopped up apple to my steel cut oats one day, and that was good, but the next day I added a ‘halo’ and milk and that was even better.  Orange creamsicle oatmeal!  That’s what I thought I’d do again when I discovered the milk had expired, but in the true waste-not want-not New England tradition I didn’t let that stop me.3-18orangecreamsicleEven the dogs seemed to just go into low gear, not pestering me to go out multiple times all day.  3-18sleepyBut even lazing around for an entire day can get boring, so by the late afternoon the sun was out, and it seemed like we should be outside also.3-18shadowsWalk the dogs and go out for the sunset I told myself.  Maybe even stop at Chili’s and sit at the bar and have some Southwestern Egg Rolls.  We were almost home, just up around the bend when it all went sideways.  I heard a screen door bang, and first one, then a second pit bull charged out of a house and were bearing down on us, sounding like they meant business.  So what did I do?  I dropped Zoe’s leash on purpose, and I now feel guilty about that, like I was offering her up as a sacrifice.  But in reality I knew she wouldn’t escalate the situation.  It was Ozzie’s reaction that I feared was going to make things infinitely worse, so I hung onto him with both hands.  The first dog had gotten to Zoe when the owners were on the scene, screaming at the dogs and adding to the chaos, but the dogs appeared to be listening to them.  I have no idea what Ozzie and Zoe did in response because I couldn’t take my eyes off of those two dogs.  Low to the ground and very muscular, I just knew how strong they looked.  As the owners herded the dogs back home, apologizing all the while, I realized that we three had not moved one muscle during all of this. Even Ozzie.  We had stood there in silence, like statues, the whole while.  Then they both looked at me and what popped into my head was the old Lone Ranger shows where the townsfolk would look at each other and ask, ‘”Who was that masked man?”  We went home and put on pajamas, well, I did, and cracked open a beer, me again, and that was it for us.  It was that kind of day.

coping, death, dogs, life goes on, loneliness, on closer examination, photography

Spinning my wheels…

For a very long time after Charley died I didn’t walk the dogs at all.  I was fearful that I wouldn’t be able to control them if they got upset over anything, and I thought that the net result would be that I would wind up getting hurt.  Neither dog is aggressive so I didn’t fear for anyone else, I just wondered what I’d do if I fell and broke my arm.  But as time has gone on I don’t think as much in terms of the alone-ness, I suppose it’s not the novelty it once was.  So I walk them now, once or twice a day, and I take for granted that they will behave.  We pass this yard on our route every day, and even after I posted a picture of the azaleas I have continued to take pictures because it amazes me every time I pass by.  This one (above) was taken last Friday and I think they were just about at their peak.  Now I see patches of only green where once the light pink flowers were.  I hate to see them go for another year, a reminder of time passing.

3-8whatsthat

Zoe tried to bring this home with her on our walk this morning…

3-8Ozzie

Taking off the closet doors so Ozzie could get under the desk more easily hasn’t done a thing for my leg room…

3-8bayport3-8libraryWhen I’m out with the camera I usually take a few shots with my iPhone also, but I don’t always remember to look at them.  Sometimes they are the best shots of all.

3-8salt

I was completely out of salt the other day, and it hit me that buying salt is one of those milestones that you could measure time by.  How many boxes of salt does a person buy in a lifetime?  I can’t remember the last time I bought some, I’m pretty sure I moved the same box of salt with me a few times.  Thinking about that brought to mind something a friend once told Charley.   He said, “Someday you’ll have a dog that outlives you.”  That thought stopped me in my tracks, even though I didn’t think for a minute that Zoe would be that dog.  For that reason I know that these are my last two dogs, and I’m assuming that I will outlive them.  But is this my last box of salt?