Good Dog, Tucker!

My terrier Tucker never lets me leave his sight, unless he’s crated.

He senses my moods. He feels every ache. And he shares any pain.

My senior boy truly looks out for me.

And today he was extra busy.

I have the flu (in spite of the flu shot), and have been home recovering.

Tucker was so happy to have me around today, but looked very concerned when I attempted to go out and shovel the 12 inches of heavy new snow in the driveway.

He once again stole my warmest old muffler in an effort to prevent me from going outside.

But being stubborn I, of course, went out anyway.

Luckily, I didn’t last long.

Tucker had started barking at me outside the window and wouldn’t quit until I did.

Some days that dog sure is a whole lot smarter than me.

Actually maybe most days.

The Cat who came for Christmas

“A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows.” – St. Francis of Assisi –

Even one sunbeam is a gift from above in mid January and I was particularly grateful they were present early yesterday morning.

Mr. Bojangles, my hospice cat, was warmed by those same sunbeams as he took his last little breath.

My heart was warmed some as well.

It seems Mr. Bojangles decided to leave on his own terms.

He passed away peacefully while the car was warming up so I could drive him to our vet.

However, Mr. Bojangles earlier days had been anything but cozy, and were laced with many shadows. He had originally come to the shelter as part of an animal cruelty case.

Yet his days in my home appeared to be happy ones for him. He fit right in with the household and immediately claimed his special spot on a desk near a window.

It was just perfect for catching a sunbeam or two, as well as a quick catnap.

Mr. Bojangles passed exactly one month after he came to us from the shelter.

Though his time here was brief, I will always remember the sunny days we spent together and smile.

And I am at peace knowing the shadows in his life are finally gone forever.

Beauty blooms in January

“Beauty is so quietly woven through our ordinary days that we hardly notice it. Everywhere there is tenderness, care and kindness there is beauty.”

-John O’Donohue
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Perhaps it was a little crazy to take on a hospice cat over the holidays, or was it?

I was asking that potentially depressing question to a friend earlier this week since my husband passed away in hospice right after Christmas a few years ago.

On this gloomy bitter cold Sunday I’ve been watching Mr. Bojangles curl up on a cozy cat bed right beside me.

And I’ve actually been finding myself smiling.

Mr. Bojangles is holding his head up high, but not quite as high as he did when he first joined me.

Still he does so with grace.

Sure the fellow’s estimated to have only 2-5 months left at this point, but who really knows when our time is up anyway.

Three days ago Mr. Bojangles had stopped eating and didn’t seem to be drinking water. Yet by the next evening, I discovered he was back in the game.

However, it’s clear his appetite isn’t what it once was no matter the type of food given.

I’ve also noticed Mr. Bojangles is moving a bit slower, still every step he takes is deliberate. Though I no longer find him climbing the stairs to join the dogs up in the kitchen for breakfast.

Instead he prefers I join him in his private room and hold him as he tenderly takes in every flake of his tuna meals.

It seems Mr. Bojangles likes this extra one on one time.

I do know that I love providing him the extra attention he deserves along with some extra warm blankets.

Mid January can be especially cruel here in the upper midwest and this week has been no different.

Sub zero temperatures, icy roads with 20 car pile ups, and what looked like the loss of my hospice cat 3 days ago was beginning to play havoc with my soul.

Yet as I smell my beef stew now simmering in the crock pot while watching fresh snowflakes dance out the window to the sounds of that hospice cat still purring softly, I know it still is a beautiful world.

Yes, even in January.

Red, white, and very blue

Poor little Junie B’s been trying to keep a stiff upper lip with our daily below zero temps.

But after two weeks of the stuff, she finally put her paw down this morning.

She barked something about not coming out of the covers until we’re waving the red, white, and blue next July.

“But Junie B., I just heard the weather folks say we could actually see temps in the 20s tomorrow.”

“And that’s ABOVE zero!”

Skeptical as always, my girl let out a tiny growl as she settled back in for another long winter’s nap.

I wasn’t surprised in the least.

After all, Junie B.’s quite the little firecracker.