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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Breakfast on the Deck

The days of breakfast on the deck in the morning sunshine have begun. K loves to bask and snooze while I drink my coffee. The hummingbirds arrived about a week ago so the buzz of their wings, along with the singing of chorus frogs, provides the background music for breakfast. I can't imagine a better start to a day.
After our deck breakfast, both halves of the Duo joined me for a mountain bike ride.
It was a warm and sunny morning, with blue skies except for the tell-tale clouds hovering over the mountains. When there are clouds that early, thunder storms are almost always in the cards. It was true today.
We played on Hug Hill. I adore seeing the Duo together.
And, when the dark dogs got hot, we retreated to the shady pine forests.
After I left the Duo at home to snooze, I went for a ride by myself. I felt filled with angst about K. I'm seeing small signs of the advance of her disease, and it gives me a feeling like my stomach is flipping. As I pedaled and thought about it, I suddenly blurted out loud "I'm scared".

Then, I wondered... What exactly am I scared of? I know where K's health is headed, and I know that we'll protect K from suffering. I realized that I'm scared of the uncertainties about how and when her decline will happen. I'm also terrified of the decisions that we'll have to make. Will I have the courage that I need, even when I desperately want to stay together with K?  And, after the ultimate decision, how will I make it through the grief? It's odd that, even when I know that grief is coming, it still hurts like hell when it arrives. Yes, I'm scared.
Somehow, acknowledging that I was scared helped me. Part of why my mountain biking habit is so good for me is that it provides time alone with my thoughts. That often clarifies my feelings... even if they are scary.

I think that my fear is why my back is screaming with pain today. I've managed my spine issues pretty well recently - until today.

Enough of the serious talk...(I promise to be less serious in coming days). Check out the Duo at sunset! Ahhhh.... Time to relax.


  1. Why would anyone mind if you're serious? I think the Duo looks fabulous together today! It looks like K is trying to teach the wild man a few things before she departs.

    You know, I had the same fears when Treat's spinal tumor reared its ugly head. She really fought to stay with us and enjoyed her last weeks with us. However, that last day, she looked at me and I knew she was done with the fight. You'll know when it's time to say that last good bye.

  2. We don't mind at all if your serious! Whatever you need to say you can say to your Blogville family.
    As for being afraid, you've already made several steps to recovery. You can look back on this blog at the years you shared with K, and allowed us to see too. You'll know we'll ALWAYS be here for you, and K will ALWAYS watch over you.
    But I won't lie, it hurts like hell when it happens. When my first heart dog (I feel so blessed to have 2) died, I was blindsided by pain. It hurt so bad to even think of her, and I locked away the grief (but also our beautiful memories) somewhere deep inside me. That is the worse thing you can do, Let it hurt, because if you don't it eats you.
    K is with you now, absorb everything about her, and try not to let your fear taint this precious time.
    Love always,
    Nola and her Mom

  3. Hi Y'all,

    Yes it hurts worse when you know your loved one is suffering. No, I can't, nor can anyone else, know what you, personally, are going through. Yes, we can remember our own pain of deep searing loss and empathize and mourn for you and K.
    We can listen. We can hear. We do.

    BrownDog's Human

  4. The duo really look like they are smiling in their pictures. As all the others have said we don't mind you being serious. Many of us have been through similar situations and you should feel free to lean on us whenever you need to.


  5. Such a way to start the day!

    Stop on by for a visit

  6. Be serious all you want. I know you would be there to listen to any o us.
    I am glad you are getting to enjoy breakfast outside with K. I too love when MOM and I can share the first glimpse of morning light. Sure hope your back getting feeling better.

  7. Serious, yes,it's a serious time, but also a time as you are doing to make each day count! You can look back on these pictures and see K whenever you need to. No, there is nothing harder than watching a dog you love hurt and knowing that that final decision may well have to be yours.We always have had labs but our sons gave us an airedale a number of years ago and we so fell in love with him; at 4years old he developed an uncurable kidney 4&1/2and down from 80# to 50# we had to say good-bye; we knew we were keeping him for us and not for him. I still miss him very much. We are with you in thought and prayer.
    Lucy (Troy, Ohio)

  8. Dear KB, My heart hurts every time I read of your pain; I feel like it is my own-I guess because mine was only one month ago. Please know that you are continually in my thoughts and prayers. It won't stop hurting for a long time, but you've got friends surrounding you all.
    Sending hugs and love your way.

  9. The sentence that grabbed hold of me was "Somehow, acknowledging that I was scared helped me." and how biking helps you clarify your feelings. It's important to have something that does that for you.

    Fear is an emotional I am much too familiar with even though I know that it's just wasting my energy and time. Riding my horse is what clarifies the world for me.

    The sounds of the frogs at this time of year are one of the things that I miss the most from my old place. I want to take a recorder on my walks and capture that delightful noise that makes me smile and laugh when the deep throated somethings join in.

  10. When the times comes you will have the courage. K will lend you some of hers:)

  11. You will know. And you will both be ready.

    Thank you for sharing your fears and grief. I needed to hear them today.

    Thanks for being so open and honest. I appreciate it.

  12. Yes admitting what many people would call a weakness can stregthen one.

  13. Keep speaking what you are feeling inside KB.
    All of it- the pain of the knowledge and pain of the sorrow,
    the fear- its all real.
    Of course you are feeling it in every breath you take- let it out.
    This roller coaster ride is not good to hide the fears and emotions.
    We all care so much.

  14. You should be what you feel and we are honored you trust us enough to share. And we will share the pain later...and your tears.

    When my godmother who fought vicious breast cancer for 5 years as it spread throughout her body said she was too tired to fight any more we arranged for hospice care in her home where she was among her things and birdssongs through the windows and curtains blowing. The afternoon before she died as we listened to hawaiian music (she has travelled there before it was a state and spent her life enchanted) and she thanked me for giving her this time to be just normal, she said she was done now but that she wanted me to know just how important the interlude was. When she died, I knew peace. And you will know it too.

  15. Your photos constantly amaze me. How beautiful is that last one.

    Much love coming your way from Me, Bert and yes, Little Jamie

  16. You will know. K will send you a sign, and as for the serious stuff, I hope you write what you feel, so we can send you love and support, and as you have shared this time with us, we will share and care with you.From Jean

  17. Believe it or not, we share your fear and your pain. Just as we will mourn her passing when the time comes. Just as we rejoice each and every golden moment that you share your beautiful K with us now.

    It's OK to be serious. It's OK to be whatever the Hell you want to be! This is hard and it's going to get harder. I wish I could wave a magic wand and make K's cancer go away. I would if I could. I'm glad that she has such a loyal, loving 'owner' to guide her on this journey. She knows that she is loved. I'm not sure that there is anything more important than that...

  18. You have the strength and courage to help K and you'll know when the time is right as K will give you a sign. Look upon it as a special gift for her.

    I hope your back pain eases soon.

    Sending love from Eileen and Annie xx

  19. Scared? I imagine you must be terrified of what lays ahead. All I can say is you have handled all of this so bravely and stayed clear headed enough to know you need to enjoy every moment, even the small ones, with your K. You don't take her or the days with her for granted. So if you have to take a moment to be serious and scream at the world, go ahead, get it out, you deserve it. Then go on and enjoy as many more mornings on the deck and days on the trails with K as you can. When the time comes, I have no doubt you will make the right decision for your K.

  20. I, too LOVE seeing the duo in action. I think the fear is just about avoiding knowing that you're going to be sad. Houndstooth is 100% right. She'll tell you when it's time and you'll know because you're that close to each other. In the meantime...enjoy!

  21. Lovely photos again. The last one is great.
    Yes, don´t think negative thoughts, every day with her is gift and she´s seems rather ok. You know what is ahead of you. Its very sad but what shall we do?? I can sometimes think of the day when our will go to Rainbow Bridge and they are still young. But sickness can come quick.
    Hugs from us all!

  22. No need to apologize for anything. Those of us who read your blog every day love you very much and care about you and what you are thinking...what you are going through. It has been three years since my big guy left me and I still cry...and I still think of him...but K will help you every step of the way...your duo will be your strength. Hugs to you!!

  23. Mere words seem so inadequate in trying to give comfort in the face of such loss. Many of us have some inkling of the fear and pain, and that feeling that one is simply going to implode. Even when one has a healthy and young animal, the knowledge that some day he will be old or could get sick is enough to bring terror. It is the price for that enormous love we share with them. There will be a goodbye, but also a soul that will forever be with you, and smiles again later. Hang in there.

    That last photo is so beautiful!

  24. I think one of the many great things about blogging is that you can vent your feelings. Everyone understands and I like knowing that somehow I am not alone going through things. It gives me comfort and I hope you find comfort also. I have lost precious pet pals and I feel your pain. I pray for you and the duo every day. I love the first and last photo the best.

    God bless you

    Anne and Sasha

  25. OMD...dat last foto is just amazin' and breathtakin and beautifuls...and...okays, I'll stop nows.

    Mrs. KB, you knows you can tells us what you feels,how you hurt, and how you is skeered. You don't has to go through dis alone, lean on us in these times.
    You many know what da future holds fur K mentally but emotionally is a whole different ballgame.
    Fur nows, just seize every monet you can.


  26. such a difficult time, and i feel for you....try to have peace now knowing that you will know what to do and when....i know it is so hard to turn off the mind!
    we are all here for you, supporting you.
    keep riding, keep hiking, keep those beautiful pictures coming...

  27. YOU are being normal and human...going through the phases of grief and don't be ashamed of them because as I said it's normal...only so damn hard. The last pic helps with the grief...the love the 2 share and the beauty the 2 share!

  28. All is well, KB - the duo is together, breakfast on that deck sounds so good to me - and I always smile at pics of the duo, especially at sunset.

    Sorry about your back - I too have been suffering physical ailments like I never have before. They say that grief and worry does a number on your body. I never paid much attention to it. Now I understand. I hope your back pain receedes and your worries about K fade just a little. She always seems to have boundless energy in your photos - but I understand that you see the changes in her day to day. I took Indy out for an adventure walk on Wednesday to celebrate my son's birthday. Jonathan would want us to roam together (off leash) and enjoy the day. And so we did. We even saw a blue heron soaring out of nowhere and it landed on our pier by the water - and I swear it stayed watching us for 20 minutes or so. I believe it was a sign from my son that he is watching us from heaven :):)

    Have a wonderful weekend :)

    ~Diane and Indy Bones~

  29. Fantastic photographs and beauties doggies. I am greeting

  30. I understand as when my dog was diagnosed with an aggressive cancerous tumor on her soft palate and tonsil - I had to watch and be ready to know when it was her time. It was hard - I knew she wouldn't "tell me" when it was time. That's one of those things that we as pet owners must decide. When we see the dog is suffering or no longer getting any joy out of life and simple tasks are just too difficult. For her - she was still spunky at times and enjoyed our routine, but the tumor was beginning to compromise her breathing and I had to make the decision to have her euthanized then so she wouldn't suffer any more. It was extremely painful for me - but I prayed it through and the Lord helped me through my grief. I knew she wasn't in pain anymore and I would just have to get through the process of learning to live without her. It took nearly a year before I was even ready to consider adopting another dog. She'll always be special to me and I don't regret a single minute I had with her.

    I know you will do the right thing for K - you obviously have a strong bond and deep love for her. Just keep cherishing the time you have left.

  31. We are honored as your friends that you speak of your heart's sorrow and your fear. That is the core of the struggle of grief, and it does actually, physically hurt as nothing else in the world does. I love the words of the wonderful Patricia McConnell, when speaking of her precious Luke: 'I once wrote, about my soul mate dog, Luke: “I imagine Luke’s death to be as if someone took all the oxygen out of the air and expected me to live without it.”' I found her words so eloquent and so true. There is no cure, except to live in the moment, to love them wholly and to cry as you need.

    Lucky, lucky K to have someone who loves her so.


  32. We would love to share breakfast on the deck here too, but it is so windy today Mom would probably get blown away. We are expecting t-storms tonight too.

    No worries about being serious. All here are you friends and are so happy that you can share your deepest feelings here. It is good to be able to release all those emotions. When the day arrives, it will be very hard, but we will all be here to support you.

    Take care.

  33. It's ok to be scared, it's ok to grieve. It's ok to say it all out loud, which sometimes makes it terribly real too. :(

    We all hold you in love and in good thoughts, and are honored to share part of your journey with you and K.

    Breakfast on the deck with dogs sounds awesome. :)

  34. I don't know what to say. I feel for you and send you good thoughts.

    But that last picture took by breath away....


  35. I don't think anyone minds you documenting the stages; your posts likely will help others in the future as they go through similar stages. Opening up with such intense feelings also garners a community of electronic support. Those sunset pictures truly are spectacular. Hugs to you...

  36. Of course you are scared! Any animal parent would be! We have no doubt you will be able to make the right decision at the right time. And you will handle it the same way you handle other issues, whether that is biking, hiking or writing. You will be okay, even though it doesn't seem like you will be. Hugs to all of you!

  37. Hi KB, don't worry. When K lets you know its time, and she will, you will be amazed by your own courage and you will show her just how very much you love her. Oh if only you were close enough for a hug. Extra love, Carol.

  38. Our dogs are quite healthy and relatively young and yet I share your grief when I think of how our pack (humans and canines) would manage if something horrid happened. And knowing it can happen gives me plenty of worry. And knowing that someday it will happen gives me even more worry. I only hope I can face it as courageously as you have.

  39. It will hurt BUT you will let go knowing you tried - she tried - we tried -

    You will listen to her -

    And she'll let you know -

    But 'til then, KHOFFEE PAWTY ON THE DEKHK!

  40. The other commenters pretty much covered the field. Only by being capable of great suffering are we capable of great joy. It's a hard price to pay, but we all choose to pay it when we allow ourselves to love. The love makes life worth living, and the pain of loss bearable. We're all here to help as much as we can by surrounding you with our love. That's what friends do.

    Jed & Abby

  41. I've read your last two posts and see myself in what you've written. I can tell you that it's scary no matter how many times you go through it. Each time, I have that same uncertainty and fear, and that fear returned when I was told the news this week about Sam. But like they do, and you have been doing, stay focused on each day and each moment and try to let what's ahead consume you. Somewhere deep on 'our' souls we find that courage and strength to let them go and continue without them and each day afterwards that we remember them, is a tribute to what they meant to us.

  42. Absolutely beautiful photos, especially the last one.

    And although I'm late, I'm still sending you a giant hug.


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