Catching Up


lylah


My recent absence from the blogging world has been related to various events in my life that occupied an inordinate amount of time. I thought I would bring my readers up to date on one of them, so you can forgive my lack of responses to your blog posts and comments.

The first crimp in my style came when I noticed one of my dogs limping. My Lylah has been with me for 6 ½ years now, and although I have had many dogs in my lifetime, she holds a special place in my heart.

Lylah is a pedigree Golden retriever that came into my life over my wife’s concerns. In New Hampshire, we lived on a cross country ski resort, with tons of property that bordered a state forest with about ten thousand acres of woods and a river running through it. The setting could not have been more perfect for raising dogs, so we always shared our lives with five or six at a time.

Over the years, we lost many, and it was never easy. I still think about some of them on a daily basis. Panther loved to hike. Josey, my sweetheart, came to class with me every day when I taught at the university. Baroness was a gorgeous Irish Setter. Austin Louie came from a long line of show dogs. Bertha loved to swim in the river.

Dustin was a fisherman and spent every day with me, especially in the car. He jumped into my jeep as soon as I awoke each morning, just hoping I would get out my fly fishing gear. Dustin was particularly memorable because if I left him in the jeep, he would always hop into the front seat and lean on the horn after 45 minutes. His routine became the standing joke at all the local eating and drinking establishments. On Dustin’s last day, my son woke me up and said the dog wasn’t moving. I got up, came down the stairs, and saw him sprawled out lifeless on the floor. As soon as his eyes met mine, he stood, stumbled, and went to the porch. When I opened the door, he sauntered to the jeep, jumped in, and died.

I know to some people they are only dogs. To me, they are innocent, loyal, loving beings that allow me to share my life with them. Can we say that about every human in our lives? Of all my canine friends, Lylah is the most special.

When my Josey died soon after we moved to Florida, I was actually lonely and could not wait to find another special pooch. Of course, we no longer lived in the woods. As all my dogs in the past were quite large, my wife made me promise that the new addition would be a little lap dog. I looked around at several litters from several breeders and saw Lylah.

Goldens are not exactly lap dogs, but I did meet her 65 pound mother and decided I could sell it to my wife. She knew how badly I longed for another dog, so even though Lylah’s mom was more than twice the 30 pound limit my wife pushed for, she consented. I guess I was so happy that I somehow forgot to tell her that Lylah’s father was 132 pounds. Anyway, we brought her home. In about a month, the dog’s paws were more suited to an elephant, and she grew to a trim 110 pounds in two years.

In any event, Lylah became my favorite. I have probably had fifty dogs in my lifetime and loved them all, but Lylah tops the list. She eats, sleeps, and breathes for me. Recently, we took a long walk down a local hiking trail and I spotted a limp. By the time we got home, she was in obvious pain. I didn’t think much about it at first, but she got progressively worse.

Having had many dogs in the past, I looked for symptoms of distemper and lyme disease, for example, but could not identify her ailment. We took her to the local animal hospital, which was a chore. She wouldn’t move and weighs a ton. Then, she wouldn’t get out of the car. After x-rays, blood tests, and a zillion dollars, it was determined she has severe arthritis. She is on medication and responding very well. We are putting her on a special exercise program, which suits me fine.

In any event, my Lylah is okay and life is nearly back to normal. I’ll never be able to replace her (But, of course, I said the same thing about Josey).

...

Comments

  1. Oh my goodness you have me to tears, and I must confess had to jump down ahead (it was blinding me to read their tales end) I had to make sure that your dear Lylah was okay. I have daily thoughts and memories of my dear hearted best-friends that have gone to doggy heaven too, and right now our life is ever so accommodating to our collie-mix who is 14 years old. Heaven is working hard to bring her home, and it's especially hard for me to deal with these things, even with our other two dogs eagerly helping their sister. Lady's last day in far too near.

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    1. Karen: It is always tough. It is like losing a family member. Nature has blessed us with the animal kingdom, and I respect all animals. Dogs are the best!

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  2. Wiping away my tears, it was great to see your post today too! A most Happy Easter to you and family in however you celebrate it JJ!

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    1. Karen: And a Happy Easter to you. We will be having a family dinner at my daughter's house. Enjoy!

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  3. Each one is different- so you really aren't replacing them... just learning to love a new unique being... My heart always goes out to animals- I guess its because they're so unconditional and don't ask for much and give so much more in return... Glad she's ok as well as you.. I know how hard it can be... It took me 8 years to allow another pet to enter my heart... and I know she isn't a replacement for the Cairn- her personality is different..

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    1. KBF: You are so right. They cannot be replaced. The best we can do is let other pets into our hearts and lives.

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  4. I have had success with glucosamine and condroiten.

    Love those goldens. I'll bet she leans against you demanding to be scratched and petted. Beautiful dogs, beautiful dispositions.

    Love the story of your dog and the jeep.. brought tears to my eyes as well.

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    1. joeh: Yes, the vet gave us glucosamine and pain pills. She has responded very well. And yes, she leans on me constantly and would be happy if she did nothing but receive my pets all day long.

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  5. What a wonderful story. I only had one dog in my life. It's hard when they leave us. So glad to hear Lylah if OK - you are lucky to have her and she is lucky to have you.

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    1. helen: Thank you so much. I am indeed lucky.

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  6. I totally understand the suffering associated to the disease or the loss of a dog. It's good to know that Lylah is well. I lost Spring, my Golden Retriever, two and a half years ago and it was a devastating experience to me. It took me a long time to recover.

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    1. Julia: Thank you so much. The only way I ever get over it is to take on another friend. Hopefully, Lylah will be with me for many more years.

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  7. Great to have you back JJ, I missed your posts. And what a beautiful and touching one!
    I also love dogs, but as I live in an apartment in a large city, it is not easy to have one and it is not fair for the dog to be in a flat (a kind of a nice prison) during most part of the day.
    Have a happy Easter time!
    Warm regards form Portugal

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    1. Fanático_Um: Thank you so much for your kindness and friendship. Have a very Happy Easter, and same to all your opera friends in Portugal!

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  8. So happy that Lylah is okay. I feel you..my sweet Daisy passed away in October and we miss her terribly. I wish both of you well. :)

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    1. ayala: Thank you for your kind words. Dogs are wonderful beings. They are gifts of Nature.

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  9. ayala: Thank you for your kind words. Dogs are wonderful beings. They are gifts of Nature.

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  10. I confess that you made me cry with this one. I was so worried after you went through the passing of Dustin (that was when the waterworks really kicked in) that this was going to end badly for the lovely Lylah. I am so relieved that THIS story has a happy ending. I am with you in that every pet I have had has been like a sweet friend. So loyal and loving. It just breaks my heart when they go...

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    1. Robin: I must admit it is not easy losing pets, and since I had lost so many over time, I anticipated the worst, which is not the norm for me. Lylah is wonderful and I am thrilled she is up and around. She is enjoyng a very Happy Easter - and same to you!

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  11. Dogs are beautiful, loyal beings and they really are just one of the family. They just give so much. I am so pleased JJ that your Lylah is going to be alright. It's so worrying when our pets get sick, I know. I don't have a dog at the moment but we do have a cat. We love our cat very much and the thought of losing him someday is heart wrenching. He has helped my children through some difficult times, in particular my middle born son, whom refers to Kira as is furry little brother. Take care & again I'm so happy Lylah is okay.

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    1. Katherine: Thank you so much. She is a gift.

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  12. Your friends are always special, no matter on how many feet they walk!!!!

    If something were to happen to our cat Simon, I don't know how I would get through the day. He is my best tiny friend, hanging out with me, asking for scratches, enjoying the back patio quietly with me. He watches me as I work in my art studio. Sometimes, he even leads me to my art studio.

    I understand about how you feel about all your friends. Lylah is very lucky to have the both of you.

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    1. A-M: You are so right. They are gifts from Nature.

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  13. Lylah is very lucky to have both of you.

    I totally understand how you feel. When something happens to Simon our cat, I know I will sink into depression. He's my best tiny friend!!! In the mean time, I try to enjoy him!

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    1. A-M: We are so lucky to have her. She is a special friend.

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  14. Oh Man... Dustin sounds as if he was one Hell of a family member. Bless his heart...

    ~shoes~

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  15. Aw JJ you know how I feel about my dogs. I am glad to hear that Lylah will be okay. Give her a scratch behind the ear for me.~Ames

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  16. Dustin sounds like he was quite a loyal, and caring dog. How touching that he waited for you. It's so nice that you provided a loving home for so many dogs. I'm also glad that beautiful Lylah is on the road to recovery.

    Julie

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  17. Oh JJ, you had me so worried for you and your Lylah. I can tell how much you love her, as you write quite often of your adventures with her.
    I'm so glad that now is not the time for her to be facing anything more serious than arthritis. Although painful, at least that is manageable.
    So many of our wonderful dogs come to us in the most unexpected ways and they add so much to our lives. Their love is just immeasurable.
    I find myself so proud and happy to have our new little 6 month old addition to the family that I often see those looks of 'oh boy, crazy little dog loving woman' go across peoples faces and I just end up feeling sorry for them who will never understand the true love of a dog.

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