TRIPAWDS: Home to 13735 Members and 1214 Blogs.
HOME » NEWS » BLOGS » FORUMS » CHAT » FACEBOOK » TWITTER » RANDOM BLOG

Tripawds Supporter sites have no ads!

Old dog, new tricks

Dakota gets his 3rd chance at age 9

2 years already

December15

Tripawds is a user-supported community. Thank you for your support!

Dear Dakota,

I have dreaded this day all month, and I have dreaded this month all year. December has never been high on my list of faves, and you certainly sealed that opinion when you charged off over the bridge in December. It has now been two years since you raced on without us. (There is a bridge, isn’t there? Please for the love of all that’s holy tell me that there is.)

I miss you.

You got the last laugh, DD. It actually didn’t take me long to realize that, even as dense as I can be. For 10 years you listened to me tell people that you were not the dog of my heart (oh no), you were the pity pup–the one we took home because we couldn’t bear to drive by and leave it in the road. After all, once someone holds you in their lap in a dirty ditch and cries over you, how can they possibly leave you? A pity pup for sure. But a heart dog? No, you’d not ever be my heart dog.

And then you were.

And so you laugh. I’m pretty sure of that. But the gentleman jerk that you were probably only chuckles a tad. You were never one to rub anything in too hard. You were the forgiver, the peacemaker (unless it was a strange dog, of course), the snuggler, the shy and sly willing-to-come-last devotee. You were my satellite, and I was your sun. You put me at your center, a place I knew full well that you put me, but a place I knew I really did not deserve to be.

And all the while, you self-consciously and gently led, and led, and led some more. And I got less stupid.

Buddy boy, let me tell you what I’ve learned: You were the master and I was the grasshopper. Well played, my friend. Well played.

Love,

Your Woman

007


To remove ads from your site and others, upgrade to a Tripawds Supporter blog!

That hole you made

April8

Tripawds is a user-supported community. Thank you for your support!

Dear Dakota,

She’s just not as good at it as you were, buddy. Look at the picture down there, dude. She’s simply not as good at it as you were.

In the first place, she doesn’t look up when we come inside. She’s so submissive, so she looks down and wiggles. You were submissive, too, but you lifted your head to look at us briefly. Little eye contact, of course, but we understood that about you.

And then there’s the tail issue. We could hear your mighty tail thumping all the way up the stairs, beating out a rhythm of welcome. She has no real tail, nothing to make noise with.

Don’t get me wrong–we love her as much as you did and we are taking very good care of her. She’s your baby, after all. But she’s not you. Nobody else is you. And now, 2 days short of 15 months after you hustled out of our lives, I still get tears in my eyes thinking about you, especially about your departure. Anyway, I love you, sweet potato.

If I’d known how much of my heart you would take when you left, would I have let you knit yourself into the fabric of my heart so tightly that your absence would unravel so much? I would. It’s mending, sweet boy.  And it was worth it. All of it and then some. We’d stop the car again. We’d make the long ride home again. We’d take the leg again. You were really never any trouble at all, DD.

Love,

Your Woman

2013-10-03 17.19.25

One year gone

December15

Dear Dakota,

A year ago today we lost you. And we really lost you. It doesn’t seem like a year, even though a lot has happened. But the loss of you is still pretty big. I’ve lost other dogs, D, which you know–but your absence has felt bigger to me. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to decide why that is. I think it’s because of what I felt from the start: You got cheated. You had more years in you and you didn’t get to use them. And I got cheated out of you.

I am still satisfied with your life. You had a wonderful life and I know that. I know absolutely that we took good care of you and that you had a ball. For all but the last year of your life you had 38 acres to explore, and you marked every inch. You had your precious meadow that was your private playground, and you policed it mercilessly, keeping every rabbit, field mouse and vole in line. And when we moved and gave up acres, you gained territory with more rabbits. You had a good life.

You had a Man who rescued you, who didn’t blink over how much lopping off your leg would cost, who said repeatedly that you were family. You had a Boy who intrigued you and provided you with things to wonder about. And you had other dogs to love on. You had Evelyn to love, and she had you to absolutely worship. And you had me.

And I still miss you. I wish you were still here tripping me at the top of the stairs so I could cuss you. You were a pain in the ass in many respects but you were my sidekick and the nicest pain in the ass I’ve ever known.

Love,

Your Woman

Remembering you, 6 months gone

June16

On the sixth month anniversary of your death, I am practicing remembering your life with gratitude. It is a deliberate choice and it’s hard. It is easy to feel anger at those who abused you but harder to think it’s their loss that they didn’t know what you could become. For me, anyway.

Part of my exercise in deliberate gratitude has been to look at many pictures of your life. They do make me smile. I want to share them with everyone here so they can smile, too, and help me remember how lucky we were that you chose us. Thank you, my golden sweet potato. (And how fitting that the pictures I chose are snow pictures. You loved your snow so much!)

329948_2297186184934_244618695_o

 

339909_2297183504867_478056733_o

 

378749_2579984454714_884220706_n

 

 

The night before you became a tripawd, asleep with me in our hotel room. You trusted me completely, and I thank you for that.

The night before you became a tripawd, asleep with me in our hotel room. You trusted me completely, and I thank you for that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can we have an ampuversary without you?

February10

Tomorrow is the 2-year milepost on our journey. I have been thinking about it for easily a month, knowing I wanted to write about it here but not really knowing how. I trusted that the words would arrive when the day did, but they really haven’t. I’m kind of at a loss.

Two years on this journey is a very big deal. When you started, you were in fantastic company: Bellona, Lucky, Rio and Bud were in the same week with you. We’ve not seen Bellona or Lucky here for a very long time so we don’t know how they’re doing or if they also crossed the bridge. Rio went ahead of you just before her first year ampuversary. You went 2 months before your second. Bud is here, though. He is holding down the fort and making all the February Furball Family proud. His being here makes it a happy time.

Dakota, I want to let you know the things that have happened in the last couple of months since you left. Evelyn is settling down but she is still confused at night. She is sleeping in her crate in the bedroom. We leave the crate door open and she usually stays there, but not always. She does a fair amount of pacing and searching for unknown things and then goes back to sleep.

The grandpuppy is now on her hands and knees, threatening to crawl. She does a combat crawl at 90 miles per hour and zeroes in on poor Evelyn sometimes. You would have hated this and run for your bed.

We have not had much snow, so you would also not have enjoyed the weather. I’m sorry your last winter with us couldn’t have been filled with the deep stuff you so enjoyed.

Your Boy is still the same, doing his boy thing and growing. Your Man has asked me when I think I might want to take your ashes to the mountains and scatter them around your old hopping grounds. He seemed surprised when I told him I’m not sure I’ll ever want to do that. I wish I knew what you wanted me to do with them, D.

I used to think that when people cry for a loss, they are crying for themselves because of how much they miss the one who’s gone. I’m not so sure I’m right about that, though. I miss you, D, very much–but I’m still very angry that you were cheated out of so much. I am incredibly pissed that you died so young. I realize you were almost 11, but we’ve never lost a dog so young. We were counting on several more years, more time to give to you as a gift. I’m sorry you were cheated. I’m sorry so many here have been cheated. If I could change the rules, I would.

On a happier note, your hated harness is going to a dog in Texas. I hope that’s far enough away for you to feel comfortable. I know you detested the damn thing.

Happy two years, Dakota. I wish you were here to experience it.

portrait

Read the rest of this entry »

« Older Entries
June 2017
S M T W T F S
« Dec    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930  

What came before

Dakota is our Golden Retriever mix, and he was likely born in February 2002. His full name is South Dakota Watson, and we found him on Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota in August 2002. The area we discovered him had no homes, no structures, no bodies of water, no shelter. He had his permanent teeth but was still a puppy, so we assumed 6 months was a reasonable age guesstimate. He weighed 12 pounds, which was grossly underweight. Two weeks later, he weighed 23 pounds. He was too weak to eat much so we fed him 6 times a day. Sometimes he would just collapse at his food dish and fall down, and I would have to feed him by hand.

I wish Dakota could write this page because he is the only one who knows the beginning. From his birth until the day we found him, we have no idea what he endured. Well, that’s not entirely true. We know some of it, and other bits we can infer from his behavior. For instance, we know for a fact that Dakota was suffering from malnutrition, sarcoptic mange, assorted internal parasites, flea anemia, dehydration and dental enamel hypoplasia (pitting and staining of the teeth commonly resulting from distemper as a puppy before the teeth emerge). We can infer that Dakota had distemper from the hypoplasia. We can infer that he was deliberately dumped. And we can infer that a man in a baseball cap wearing sunglasses hit him with some kind of stick and chased him off with a hose. Dakota has problems with all of those things.

Dakota has every reason in the world to hate people, but he doesn’t. He’s very mistrustful of strangers, but he is beyond loyal to his family. Once he meets someone and gets the ok from us, he opens his heart to them, too. He is very attached to me, probably because he was isolated (due to the mange) for the first 11 weeks we had him. He had nice digs set up for him in our house, but he could only look at our other 2 dogs and not touch them. I was the one providing all his care during that time, as we found out the hard way that mange can be transfered to humans. To protect our young son, no one but me played with Dakota during those 11 weeks.

Because we feel pretty sure that Dakota survived distemper, and he survived being abandoned, surviving cancer should be no biggie for him.

We know Dakota’s cancer is not an osteosarcoma, and his chest films were clear, one month apart. We are very optimistic about his long-term prognosis in light of those facts. Hopefully we have several more years with him and he will grow old with us, just as he should.

Right after we got home with Dakota, all 12 pounds of him.

Eyes swollen shut, ragged ears, and just as calm as could be.