Archive for the ‘Life Happens’ Category


 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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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.



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.


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.



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.


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Okay so it’s half over and your point?

We had a wee bit of snow.

I finished a few knits…

then “froggie came a courtin'”. 😦

Now I’m thinking about a major blog overhaul.

Stay tuned.

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Hey there 2013 I see it’s about time for you to go. I have to be honest with you, you’ve left me with some mixed emotions about whether to remember you fondly or with contempt. You really didn’t start off too well now did you…you know what I’m talking about.

Thinking back, you’ve been both good and bad, been relaxing and a crazy stress pit; we lost a furry family member way too soon and gained a furry family member; you brought on some new challenges and some failures learning experiences.

Although ’13 (You don’t mind if I call you that do you? no matter) I will say I did get in some quality knitting and yummy baking during your tenure. And my husband and I had a really great staycation over the summer. We bought bikes and rode most mornings, weather permitting, during those months. A new breakfast/lunch place opened in our neighborhood and we haven’t missed a weekend breakfast there yet.

We also had a very nice and long overdue vacation in New Hampshire this past fall. But then you went and changed on me…and if you don’t mind me saying so, not for the better.

Despite it all ’13 I would have said you were a relatively balanced year but then you had to go and mess with me for three months. Is this your way of flexing your 13ness? Wasn’t it enough you tormented us at the start of your rein? You had to go and make me personally miserable at the end too? Thanks a lot.

You wrenched my back in the MOST STUPID way: walking from my car to the office. And don’t think I missed the irony in that either now. Without even giving me some breathing room-I mean that both literally and figuratively-you strike out at me with a ridiculous childhood disease: whooping cough (it’s on the rise people!). Seriously ’13? What did I ever do to you? I will say this bit of mischief did provide fodder for my husband’s funny bone: he offered to buy me a coloring book and crayons. I’m sure you got a big chuckle out of that one too.

Then just when I thought things were back to normal, BANG! You had to go and saddle me with an allergic reaction to the dang antibiotic I took to rid myself of said cough. And now the knees.

So thanks for all of that ’13, you’ve been real.

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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


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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