Monthly Archives: April 2009

Just when I thought it might get easier…

…it didn’t.

Last night we had to say farewell to our beloved greyhound, Gracie.

Some of you might remember my ramblings about her chronic tummy troubles. This winter she started having some troubles again, and once again we began the usual bland-diet-meds-look-for-a-new-food routine that usually got her back on track. But this time it was not to be.

She had been rapidly losing weight this past month. We thought we’d figured it all out with a venison-potato combination, but last Thursday she ate her last real meal and Friday night we had her in the emergency room. We brought her home Saturday morning with the diagnosis of “probably cancer” and were told if she didn’t eat we’d need to be making a decision. The worst words you can ever hear about a pet…

We made a last ditch effort over the weekend, offering all her favorite foods of which she’d nibble a bit here and there but on Monday morning we knew she was ready to go. The boys and I said our goodbyes and the Skeptic took her in to the vet. The Skeptic and Little Man went out to the family farm tonight to bury her. She was nearly twelve years old, old for  greyhound.

Gracie was a rescue hound, adopted after she was retired from racing. She obviously had a pretty traumatic life up until we got her and it took years for her to come out of her shell. But she did and we had so many good times with her. Long walks, romps around the farm, running around the backyard, scratches behind the ears. She was a shy, sweet, patient and loving dog with just a bit of “yes I know I’m beautiful” in her. People always stopped to comment on her when we went for walks. Gracious, she was.

We will miss her terribly and I’m really having a tough time with this latest blow. The Skeptic and I were saying last night how 2009 has not been good to us yet. We’re having high hopes that as Spring gets going that hopefully things will be looking up again soon.

Here’s Gracie napping with her friend Bailey (who now resides with my parents). As usual, she has her “would you please stop taking pictures of me” face on. She was a tough one to photograph. Either she was too speedy or annoyed so it was hard to catch her happy face.Gracie

If you are ever considering a dog, please consider a retired racer. They truly are lovely, sweet dogs. We adopted her from GPA-MN. I’m hoping that once the boys are older we can foster some hounds and hopefully have one join our family again. Until then we’ll have the memories of our sweet, sweet girl who is very dearly missed.

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Thank you

I just want to pop in to say how much I appreciate all of your kind words about the death of my father-in-law. Thank you for taking the time. I’m sorry for not being able to respond but they do mean a great deal.

I’ve been feeling like I’m just holding it all together with a thread these days, but that thread is getting a bit thicker and I’m hoping that somewhat soon things will feel a bit more normal. As normal as they can be, at least.

I’ll probably get a new post up here soon. I’m feeling the need to start writing again. I’ve got a huge backlog of stuff to show off and things I want to share, so well see….

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Departure

We lost my father-in-law last week.

He had been battling cancer for a very, very long time. Nearly five years in fact, years longer than anyone ever expected him to do so. He was living with his cancer for so long that we all expected him to just keep on going. But last Christmas he was tired, very tired and the cancer was spreading. We started to think that there might be an end to it soon but not this soon. We thought there was still time for maple syrup making, taking the boys out for walks in the fields, maybe some making of this and some fixing of that. We have been caught off guard by his death and the last week has been so, so hard.

My father-in-law was the ultimate, and I do mean ultimate DIYer. Although I chuckle at that as I write it because he would probably give me a bit of a scowl or a smirk at that one and say, “DIYer? Hmfp…” But he was, and I was endlessly impressed with his ability to make and fix anything. I was saying to the Skeptic that he makes the DIYer’s on Make look like kindergartners (no offense, Little Man). It didn’t matter if it was setting up his own dark room, buying a grader to smooth out the driveway on the farm, or installing solar panels on the camper, he did it. He fixed anything that was broken, and if he couldn’t get that part he made it himself. And the research he did….right down to his own cancer, he  researched everything inside and out and was one of the most knowledgeable people I’ve known. The book of knowledge that left with him is immense.

He leaves behind him a farm full of WIP’s. Projects we are so sad to see he was never able to get to, but should have been able to because 68 is too young to go. One of the last big projects he was working on, back when he was first diagnosed, was fixing up an airplane and building his own runway out in the back field. But chemo takes a lot out of a person, especially when it goes on for years. And so the airplane sits in the shed and we miss him terribly.

This has taken a lot out of us. All the Skeptic and I can keep saying is that we feel like we’ve been hit by a large and fast moving truck. Overwhelmed would be putting it mildly. So I’m taking a blogging break for awhile. Just a few weeks or so and I’ll be back with the birthday updates, including the bear and the roundhouse and whatever I manage to scramble together for Little Man this week, as well as my annual contest.  I just need some room to breathe here, and writing about socks and vests just doesn’t feel right.

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