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Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

RIP BOPPER

 R.I.P. Bopper 2011-2015
My sweet bopper boy. You were so young. We tried so hard and we loved you so much. But you were in pain and suffering and there was nothing more that could be done. You will be in our hearts forever. Go find Dassi and snuggle.

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Contrasts

This past week has been one full of contrasts; of ups and downs, of highs and lows, of gains and losses.

It has given us both loss and love, grief and joy, sorrow and happiness; a death and a marriage.

After moving him into hospice this past Monday, my father-in-law, Charles Hollander passed away on Thursday June 5th, he was 81 years old. Although we were all well aware that this day was looming, expecting it and experiencing it are two different things.

Charles Hollander

Two days later, on Saturday June 7th, my stepson Steven and his lovely fiancée Eileen got married. It was a beautiful happy occasion.

SteveEileen-Cake

Contrasts

Although I often hide it, I am an emotional person (disclosure) there were tears, some at the most inopportune time (thankful for an empty ladies room). You see, mourning a loss and celebrating a union put me in great conflict and their collision, it turns out, was harder to take than I anticipated it would be.

Dad-1

My father-in-law was a loving and creative man who passed on his curiosity and inventive nature to both of his sons. He didn’t slow down until his body said otherwise. I have fond memories of family gatherings and working craft shows in New Paltz, NY…and pointing out “trac-toors” (winks at mother-in-law and husband). He will remain in my heart, always.

Although this week began on a sad note and was punctuated with the loss of a life, it ended with the beauty of a new life for two, joined at the heart. And it is my heart that both aches for dad and swells with joy for Steven and Eileen.

SteveEileen-Dance2

SteveEileen-Kiss

The newlyweds are now on their honeymoon in Hawaii and I hope they are having a wonderful time.

Despite the sad start to the week, for my husband and I, it ended on a happier note.

Us-Laugh

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Rosh Hashanah falls really early this year beginning the evening of September 4th, right after Labor Day, yikes!

So we’re doing a kind of weird celebration, combining our numerous August birthdays with Rosh Hashanah. This was the only way we could get everyone together in one place anywhere near the holiday. As a result we are having a pre-Rosh Hashanah celebration this coming weekend at my in-laws and then a much smaller gathering on the second night of the holiday at my home.

I think I’ve pretty much got my menu worked out, finally, but in case you’re clamoring for some ideas, here are a few I’ve cooked up (pun intended) over the past years.

Chopped Liver 
ChoppedLiver
Tzimmes  
FruitCooking

Whole Wheat Challah
and
Apple Stuffed Challah Rolls

Maple Challah
Roasted Butternut Squash &
Apple Soup

Butternut Squash Apple Soup
My AWESOME
Not Too Sweet
Honey Cake

Honey Cake

L’shanah tova!

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Funny how things work out, isn’t it? We had no intention of bringing a new basset hound into our lives so soon after losing Dassi. We were content with smothering Irene with lots of love. Yet here we are with a sweet new member of the family: meet 21-month old Kyra!

Kyra Looking Up

A simple call to the breeder to let him know what happened to Dassi and to ask him to put us on a waiting list for a slightly older puppy (8-10 months or so) turned into a rescue/adoption of sorts.

As you can see Kyra has a weight issue. The breeder had originally chosen her, the pick of the litter, to keep for breeding. She however had other ideas: Not. Gonna. Happen…twice. She just wasn’t interested, go figure. So he had her spayed and was going to put her up on his site but then he had a medical emergency of his own which put him out of commission for quite some time. Thankfully he’s doing well. Whether it’s an overeating or thyroid issue is yet to be determined but upon his return Kyra was overweight.

Kyra Hound

I was, at first, a bit annoyed that I was being shown pictures of a dog so soon but then I took one look at her face and it was all over. I cried.

Kyra Girl

Call it fate, say it was meant to be, whatever you want. There was no way we could turn her down. Maybe it was the idea that she needed to be saved, I don’t know but I think my husband and I need this as much as Kyra does. Besides, she’s a red and white like Dassi, her features and body shape (so far as we can tell) are much like Irene’s and her birthday is the same as the first Basset Hound we had, Betsy.

A trifecta!

Sleepy Kyra

I woke up at 3am last Saturday (April 6th); desperate attempts to get two more hours of sleep were miserably thwarted. I lie awake thinking. In truth, this was both a happy day and a sad moment for me. I tried to quell the tears, getting out of bed to hide them from my husband. When I returned he pulled me close, held me tight and said “I miss her too”. More waterworks.

We drove from Long Island out to Centre Hall, PA, checked into the same dog friendly motel we’ve used on each trip, then went up to the breeder a few miles away to pick up Kyra. She’s even more beautiful in person.

Kyra Girl

Although our intent was to spend the night and leave the following day, we realized Kyra’s restlessness would not allow us to get a good night’s sleep. We packed up the van, strapped the dogs into their seats and off we went, caffeine and bad food in tow; we got back home around 11pm that night.

We are on a mission to get Kyra healthy. She’s much too heavy to carry up the stairs and she can’t manage them herself, so for now she and Irene are sleeping downstairs, bonding.

Couch Potatoes

Bonding

I am going to chronicle Kyra’s weight loss progress on my blog approximately once a month, or when we can get her to the vet for a “weigh-in”. With that said, her starting weight is 83.7 pounds, yikes! We figure she should be around the same weight as Irene (or maybe a wee bit bigger) about 55 pounds.

Update: After one week of finicky eating, she’s lost 2.7 pounds!

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January 12, 2007 – March 6, 2013

Oh Miss Dassi, you put up a good fight. Through it all you were such a trooper. You never complained about the pills or doctor visits. You looked up at daddy and I with those beautiful trusting brown eyes that said, “I know, don’t worry, I love you”.

Through it all you wagged your tail and kissed us with total abandon.

We did everything we could for you baby girl, mommy and daddy tried.

But cancer sucks.

When we rushed you to the emergency room last night we knew.

Even in your last hours you managed to melt the hearts of the hospital staff. You touched so many lives Dassi, everyone who met you fell in love with you. Such a beautiful soul.

Daddy and I are struggling with your loss but we know that you are now at peace. Oh Dassi you have etched a permanent place in my heart; you have left paw prints on my heart.

Go find Betsy and Trinket sweet girl, they’re waiting for you.

I love you Dassi Doo, my baby girl. Rest in peace.

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Under Chair

Dassi got thru the surgery like a trooper. I stayed home with her for two days because she needed to be watched. The pain meds make her loopy and wobbly. At least she timed it well, the second day we had a blizzard!

But she has not been without several ups and downs. You’ve been keeping us on our toes ever since we first brought you home.

ComingHome

We cam home from work on the following Monday to find blood on her neck. Somehow this resourceful houndie contorted her body so she could get her little tree trunk hind leg into the e-collar and scratch at the itchy incision site.
Dassi-eCollar

We cleaned her up, put on an antibiotic and I cut up an old t-shirt to make bandages. We wrapped her neck and used a different kind of collar called “Bite-Not” that looks something like a human neck brace. I’m not sure which collar she disliked more…I’d say it was a tie.

Dassi was so happy when she had the staples removed and didn’t have to wear that stupid collar anymore. She seemed to be back to herself.

Ah but that wasn’t all. About a week later she began to mope, she felt warm, she was running a fever. She became listless so we rushed her to the emergency room early in the morning and there she stayed overnight. She apparently had an infection, probably from opening the wound.

They took very good care of her and when we picked her up the next day we learned that she’d won the hearts of everyone there. I’ll bet she batted those beautiful irresistible brown eyes of hers at everyone who came to care for her.

She came home with more meds and edema in her neck. We put warm compresses on the swelling throughout the day and it started to subside. Dassi looked like Dassi again.

She saw the doctor that weekend and we got a good report, whew. But then about a week later she’s in distress again. Breathing heavy, not wanting to eat…not again.

Although neither of us said it then, both my husband and I did the same thing, we assumed the worst. Off to the doctor again. He believes she’s having gastric problems from the meds and put her on Pepcid AC. Who knew?

This last episode was today.

You can imagine as a result I’ve been a wee bit preoccupied lately so my apologies for having gone missing. I’m hoping Dassi will get settled and our lives will follow. Thanks to all who’ve been asking about her, I can’t tell you how much your kind words and concern have meant to me. ((HUGS))

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Sweet Dassi

My sweet baby girl Dassi.  She’ll kiss your face till you laugh so hard you can barely breathe, she’ll curl up in your lap and take a snooze, and she’ll cuddle with you when you’re not feeling well.  She’s way smarter than any other dog I’ve ever known.  She’s tuned in in a way that is really quite remarkable.
 
She’s full of spit and vinegar.  Opinionated, demanding.  She actually stamps her feet when she wants your attention and she’s not getting it.  She has many “words” and uses them strategically to get what she wants. There’s not a bad bone in her body.
 
She knows her commands (and even listens on occasion, especially when there is food involved) and  can do some tricks: sit, stay, come, speak, roll over, find-it; put a cookie in front of her, tell her to leave it and she does until you release her.
 
Dassi and Irene Cuddling

She complains when she knows you are about to clean her ears but endures it.  She runs to sit on top of her mommy (in bed) when her daddy is ready to put her in her crate for the night.  Mommy let me stay.
 
Dassi is a sweet, affectionate bundle of happiness, joy and love. She wags her tail so intensely her entire tush wiggles along with it; sometimes her tail wags in circles. She looks right up at you with all the love and trust in the world. I love her to pieces.

Dassi Loves Pillows
She is 6 years old and she has cancer.
 
We thought she was out of the woods.  We’d been here before, a bit over a year ago.
 
She’s been through so much in her life.  And through it all she’s been a trooper.
 
Now she needs surgery again to remove a tumor from her neck.  The surgery is tomorrow.  My husband is taking her and I will stay home with her the following day or two.  Neither of us will sleep tonight.  Nor will we sleep tomorrow night.  Despite the pain meds she will be hurting.  And that rips my heart out.

I love you Dassi, be strong my baby and fight!

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