Monday, August 16, 2010

Blogging Hiatus

An explanation is in order for the hiatus in blogging.

I could explain that I am of French extraction and tout le monde knows that the French go on Holiday for the entire month of August.

But I've already mentioned that John had a knee replacement.

So. I have been exercising whatever aptitude I might have in the area of home nursing. The pups have made their adjustment to strange appliances and machines. And I have more respect than I can express for people who take care of infirm loved ones over protracted periods of time.

John is on the mend. But blogging will continue to be light for the month of August.

P.S. The other Big Event on August 6 was an expedition to the skilled nursing facility where John was receiving physical therapy before coming home. With the help of my friend, Zoe, Bingley and Magic paid a visit to John. They were well behaved, but I don't think anyone mistook them for trained therapy dogs. Thanks to Zoe for making the trip possible.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Happy Day!

I have been waiting for August 6, 2010 for some time. Just how long is hard for me to pinpoint. Let me explain.

Penny, my first dog, and Mame, Champers and Britches, John's and my first three dogs were pedigreed. Pure-bred dogs whose births were planned, who were well cared for while still in utero. Penny lived to within a month of her 16th birthday. Mame lived beyond her 16th birthday. Champers died "young" just shy of his 13th birthday as a result of an vicious attack 18 months earlier. Britches lived beyond her 16th birthday.

I had this crazy notion that a dog's normal life expectancy was 16 years.

Then we started to adopt rescues.

Our first rescue, Daphne, a Wheaten/Whippet--or, perhaps, Greyhound--was 3 when we adopted her. I expected to have her for 13 years. A few months after her 7th birthday, she hopped up on the love seat in the living room for an afternoon nap. Forty minutes later, John and I called her for a walk. She didn't move. She was already in rigor. I was still in shock over her loss when we adopted our next rescue.

Zephyr was 4 1/2 when we brought her home--a very large, dark brindle retired racing Greyhound. When she was restored to health, she tipped the scales at 97 pounds. She was a dignified, courageous dog. I figured that Zephyr would grow old with me. But she had the bad fortune to get osteo sarcoma--and died exactly one month before she would have turned 7.

Our next rescue was Portia, for whom this blog is named. Her life was cut short by a vicious attack. She had just celebrated her 4th birthday.

Now we have Bingley and Magic. We will never know Magic's exact age for certain. We have declared her birthday to be July 15, 2004, which makes her 6.

Bingley's birthday is tattooed in his ear. September 5, 2003. He will be 7 years old on September 5 of this year. Today, he is one day older than Zephyr was when she died. I have been waiting for this day. Perhaps, I will finally have a dog who will grow old with me.

I live in hope.

August 11 will be another important day for Bingley. It will be the 5th anniversary of his very first race. He won it. Poor baby wasn't even two years old.

We will celebrate today in a unique way. More on that later.

Happy Day, Bingley and Magic!

But, in many ways, every day with a rescued dog is a Happy Day.

Monday, August 2, 2010

With A Little Help....

Blogging has taken a week's hiatus because John had his left knee replaced last Tuesday. The good news is that he had a skilled surgeon who operates in a hospital that has a surgical floor dedicated to orthopedic and neurological patients. However, the hospital is at least 25 miles from our house. To get there, one must travel Interstate 5. Del Mar Racetrack is now running. It too, is accessed from Interstate 5, between our house and Scripps Memorial Hospital. I spent quantity, if not quality time on the freeway going back and forth to the hospital.

When planning for this past week, John and I quickly realized that we needed help with Bingley and Magic. Once more, we have reason to thank our lucky stars for Windsong.

A week ago, I delivered my treasured canine companions to the care of Mike, Michelle, and Jessica, knowing that they not only would have their basic needs attended to in a safe place, but that they would be given love and attention--and the treat that they enjoy above all others--the chance to run, run, run in a large fenced in space.

I have just brought Bingley and Magic home, freshly groomed and happy. Bingley has appropriated the preferred location on the love seat across the room from where I type. Magic has stretched out in the doorway, catching the soft cross draft from open windows.

Once again, I cannot recommend Windsong highly enough. Good friends of Friends of Portia recently boarded FOUR Miniature Dachshunds at Windsong for ten days. These are people who spent years without a real getaway vacation because they could not face putting their dogs in a regular kennel. Having Windsong for their dogs has changed all that.

It's wonderful to have Windsong there for travel and vacations. But, it is even more important to have them for stressful situations. Like major surgery!

John's surgery was a success. He's learning to use his spiffy new titanium knee. And I could be with him during this past week's events without worrying about Bingley and Magic.

I am very, very grateful.