Archive for the ‘Gratitude’ Category

Wild & Free Forever   2 comments

Sunrise (whose blog nickname has been Goldeneyes) passed into the realm of “wild and free forever” yesterday about noon.

Related imageAt 14, it was not unexpected. She’d had a cancerous tumor removed in February and we knew it could come back. But she wasn’t bowing to age. She still jumped over the back of the couch and was always ready to go for a ride. She could still run pretty fast and swim like the water dog she was. Her molten gold eyes were always smiling and she absolutely loved her people dearly.

In earlier years she had tried to catch a beaver — and almost had it landed when her companion dog, the black-hearted pirate Friday, let go. And this after she taught her elder how to swim. Disgraceful! She enjoyed catch-and-release — the neighbors’ chickens would get out, she’d catch them and bring them to us uninjured. She never quite understood why we took them back. She wasn’t afraid of heights like most dogs so she would cross a log bridge rather than swim a swift current. She was at once very smart and a total goof, domesticated by the belly rub. She was the only Lab I’ve ever met who would be trusted with a full bag of dog food. She’d eat just what she needed to not starve to death and leave the rest for later. She once ate mushrooms while we were on a camping trip and freaked out in the tent (thought Brad was an ogre, we think). Once released, she ran off down the trail and attacked the Davidson Ditch, a metal aquaduct. I’m thinking she thought it was a giant metal snake. She wasn’t particularly brave – kind of scared of the woods and if someone was yelling around her, she’d hide, but she’d do things that you could tell terrified her just because she wanted to be with us. Back when she was still a young puppy and hadn’t convinced Brad to like her yet, she stole his shoes once — picked them up from the Arctic entry way and carried them to her favorite cozy spot, put them side by side, but didn’t chew them up. He thought he was losing his mind until he found them. They were friends after that. She was extremely empathetic, could sense our emotions, and was always ready to listen and love us. She was a great companion, a loving friend, a tireless hiker, a sweet soul and she went out on her own terms.

Image result for image of female yellow field labTuesday night, she seemed tired and she declined going “wild and free” – a holiday evening tradition when she was allowed to race the streets in pure abandon. This is what comes from a Lab being raised by a husky – a water dog who enjoys running. She spent the night watching us sleep. Every time I opened my eyes, she was there with a loving grin on her face. In the morning, when I let her go out to pee, she had trouble coming up the stairs, like it exhausted her. But she was still smiling. We agreed she probably needed to go to the vet today, that the cancer was probably back and she was in pain. We were torn on whether to euthanize her or get her pain meds so she’d enjoy her last few days. Brad went by the bedroom around 11:30 and told her “you’re going to get to go wild-and-free forever soon.” A half hour later, we found her on her bed, on her side, eyes open with one ear furled under her as if she’d sprang to her feet planning to go wild-and-free and simply fell over dead.

That’s a great way to go for a fine athlete who loved to run and it even seems that she was smiling as she did it. And it being Independence Day — well, what a great day to enter the realm of “wild-and-free-forever.”

Image result for image of female yellow field labWe’re going to miss her, but we know she’s somewhere pleasant, maybe hanging out with our other dogs Cana and Friday or the cat Angel that she loved dearly but could never convince to be friends. It would be wonderful if the mini-lion would now lay down with the Labrador.

Where ever it is, I’m sure there’s water for her and Cana (a water Lab) to enjoy and for Friday (a husky) to complain about. And I’m sure she’s smiling because that is who Sunrise is and will always be.

Posted July 5, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in Gratitude, Uncategorized

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Laughter Wipes Away the Sad   2 comments

The Gratitude blog hop continues. If you want to join us —

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Today, I am grateful for the ability to laugh at some of the most ridiculous things. Brad is a comedian who can take the most mundane boring subject and turn it into a laughfest.

Yesterday, he was telling me how he wants to purchase a used parachute to use as a winter shelter while caribou hunting. It was just a standard conversation like we have every evening. He wants to buy a little woodstove like you use in a tent.

He started talking about this nice survival scenario (which is not entirely unknown here in the frozen north) and then he move on to envisioning waking up in the middle of the night to the parachute and the Jeep being on fire, trying to drive out of the parachute, and … SUDDENLY, we had herds of flaming caribou running across the tundra with long scarves of parachute fabric flying out from their antlers, Fish & Game officers asking my husband how this had happened, and front page headlines read “The 40 Mile Caribou Herd Renamed the ‘Flaming Reindeer’ Herd Following Freak Accident.”

My son and I were laughing so hard we couldn’t breathe.

There have been times in our lives when nothing seemed to be going right, but somehow Brad has always found a way to make me laugh.

I worked for community mental health for 15 years, mostly in administration. It’s a hard profession, working with the chronically mentally ill. You can get accused of things you never would have thought of doing anytime in your life. Clients you really care about can do horrible things, including committing suicide when you thought they were doing well .. or stabbing your coworker to death. It pays to have emotional skin like a rhino.

I never learned the knack for turning hard situations into laughfests. Turning tragedy into comedy is a Brad skill that I lack the irreverence for. I might not have grown up in a dysfunctional enough home.

But I did learn how to make people laugh about other stuff so that the hard part of our job laid a little lighter on their shoulders. I am the Segue Quip Queen.

Our receptionist had just kept a potential suicide on the line for over a half hour while the State Troopers hurried to take him to the hospital. We were all trying to calm her down in the aftermath. (Trust me — major adrenaline situation).

A visiting psychiatrist entered the reception area and asked where our mail basket was.

“Outgoing mail is right there,” said the receptionist.

“Outgoing mail. I wonder if there’s such a thing as introverted mail.” Dr. Griffin was trying to lighten the mood. It wasn’t much of a joke, but it was all the material I needed.

“Sure there is. It just sits in a corner, peaceful and quiet, but you never know when it’s going to go postal.”

They all doubled-taked, then I watched the meaning of the joke hit them. Mouths began to twitch and then the entire group of five people, including myself, doubled over with laughter for about a minute

Humor is where you find it. I can find humor in almost anything.

The agency was getting a new phone system and there was discussion by the management committee of getting a voice mail routing system. I was in a group of case managers who weren’t sure this was such a great idea.

“Can you imagine our clients trying to figure out voice mail?” one of them asked.

“Dial 1 for reception, 2 for case management … 3 if you need these options repeated …”

Light laughter ensued and then someone else quipped “dial 4 if you’re homicidal, dial 5 if you’re suicidal … what should 6 be?

It was my turn to contribute.

“And if you’re paranoid schizophrenic, just hang up because we already know who you are and what you want. Some mind-reading social worker will get back with you soon.”

The case management supervisor just sort of sprayed half the table with coffee. He also successfully used that line to convince the management team that voice mail routing was a bad idea at a community mental health center.

Laughter is the best medicine. Sometimes laughter is all you have. You can hang around feeling down in the dumps about how crappy life is treating you or you can laugh about some element of the crappiness and discover that, lo and behold, is it less crappy than you thought it was.

I am grateful that God gave me a thoroughly warped sense of humor to deal with a thoroughly warped universe and put some equally warped people around me to share my bentness with.

Posted November 12, 2015 by aurorawatcherak in Gratitude

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Stay Tuned for Thankful Thursday   Leave a comment

www.oyegraphics.comOur ongoing effort to make gratitude go viral continues.

Posted November 11, 2015 by aurorawatcherak in Gratitude

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