Homecoming.

I’m back! Aside from having to leave Doug unexpectedly in November when I had an emergency hospital stay, or here and there for a quick overnight (both of which he barely noticed I was gone), this was the first time I have left Doug for an extended time.

He did great! I’m honestly not sure he missed me all that much and that is exactly how it should be. I had a glorious week in the Bahamas and he had an awesome week with his Denise.

Some photos from paradise…IMG_3427IMG_3419IMG_3300

I will say, when I came in the door from being gone, Doug’s whole body was wiggling with joy. Everyone should get to experience someone wiggling with delight for them like that!

I also go to experience Doug’s first snow with him!  He loves the snow until he doesn’t love the snow, that usually takes about 4 minutes.  Dude takes after his brothers, none of them likes to be wet!

His first snow paw print…IMG_3458

And his exhaustion post snow romping…IMG_3463IMG_3477

I’m off the rest of this week in preparation for my new work schedule.  I’ll be going into the office more, which is going to be a big change for me and for Doug. I have him set up to have two walks on the days I go in, so all in all I think he’ll be ok.

Today we are getting some house guests and those visitors include a dog!  I’m excited to see how Doug does with another dog in the house.  I got extra bowls out and he didn’t even notice. When I got one of his old crates out, he promptly hopped in it and took a nap.

I love that he is so easy-going. I hope life never disrupts that.

So, I’m back! Doug did great! We are excited to spend some time with house guests (two and four-legged) and next week, we will embark on the next chapter work-wise.

Hope you all are enjoying your week!

xoxo, Tracey & Doug

 

Paradise.

My family takes an annual trip to the Bahamas during March. It’s one of those vacations where relaxation is required by law. Drinks are delivered, to pool, beach, cabana, wherever you are and it is the only place on earth where I am known to nap.

The last two years of this trip, I was dealing with Melvin, and then Jake, dying. I almost didn’t go on the trip with Melvin because his prognosis was so grave. I ended up going because 1. I was leaving him in the best care (seriously, I had about 40 people/vets checking on him hourly, he was too busy to die) 2. The oncologist said the odds of him dying in those few days were extremely unlikely and 3. I cut my part of the trip to 3 days. I went because, if Melvin could be dying suddenly, it was a reminder how short our time on earth can be. I went because the people I take this trip with are equally important to me and you never know when it could be the last trip we all take together.

Wow, that paragraph was depressing.

Leaving Jake last year was difficult, but his prognosis was WAY different. I knew we had time.

Suffice it to say, the last two years in the Bahamas, there was a lot of crying on my part. This year, I will be leaving a healthy Doug.  That has not stopped me from saying to him several times leading up to this trip, If you die, I’ll kill you.

The notes I left when it was just Melvin were long, partly because I’m crazy, but also because I had to outline a ton of ‘what ifs’. What to do if he ate something he shouldn’t have and had a reaction. What to do if his colitis flared up.  What to do if his tick disease flared up.  Etc. Etc. Etc. The notes for Jake were long, partly because crazy doesn’t just go away, and mostly because he had A LOT OF INSTRUCTIONS! Peeing, meatballs, diapers, mobility, ramps, wheelchair, stroller, rashes, MRSP, googly eye drops. The list goes on.

In sitting down to write Doug’s first note, it was fairly short. I looked at it and thought, I must be missing something. The majority of the note is how to get Doug to settle and snuggle, not really instructions for his care. For the first time, I have a dog that wakes up, is a fairly basic dog during the day, goes to bed, repeat. Since the note wasn’t long enough, I padded it with a little extra crazy, just for good measure.

Our dog walker, Denise, is staying here with Doug. She gets Doug. She is so patient with him that sometimes I have to tell her to be a bit more stern with him, like when he is hanging from her scarf with his mouth. I have complete faith that all will be great here, and in the Bahamas, and I’m looking forward to a tear-free getaway.

This year, Melvin and Jake will be with me. They are the beauty I see all around me. They are in every sunset and every sunrise.

Have a great week!

One of my favorite pre-Bahamas-trip memories – when Jakey was mobile and climbed into my suitcase. 6 30a6 30d6 30c

Leaving.

I went on an annual family vacation this past week.  We spent 4 days in the Bahamas, soaking in sun, adult beverages and family time.  Last years trip was impacted by Melvin’s cancer (and that’s ok) but this year I was able to go, and breathe and relax a little.

Leaving Melvin was not always easy, not so much the me leaving him part but the him being left part. From the moment my suitcases would come out for packing, Melvin would get antsy and sad.  He’d cling to me in a ‘no, don’t go, how could you leave me?’ way.  He’d whimper when I’d say good-bye and he’d try to come out the door with me as I left. When I’d return, he’d greet me with whole-body-wiggles and kisses and then give me the cold shoulder for a week. Punishment at its finest.

Jake is different.  When I get the suitcases out, Jake sees them a new bed. When I give him an extra long good-bye hug, he get’s annoyed and tries to break free.  When I give him one last glance, he gives me the ‘are you still here’ look.  And when I come back, it’s as if he didn’t even notice I was gone.  He comes waltzing out as if he just saw me ten minutes ago.

 

Here are some photos of Jake’s time with his sitter and my view in the Bahamas!

‘Are you my new mom now, cause I’m cool with whatever?’IMG_7851

 

If this isn’t a bobble head, I’m not sure what is. IMG_7855

Paradise Island…IMG_7688IMG_7788IMG_7839