Random Acts of "Kindness"

Posts tagged ‘pets’

ELEPHANT

Spring — our son invited me to accompany him to Hawaii. My husband has gone to the island twice before but he DOES NOT LIKE the EIGHT HOUR plane ride. I can truthfully say that it is not something I enjoy, but I do ENJOY HAWAII. We left Robin at home with my husband. She is not happy when the whole family is not home.

My husband took her with him whenever he left the house. She slept with him most nights, right up against his side. He spoiled her as well as himself — cake, doughnuts, ICE CREAM. Whether he had any ice cream or not, Robin received a nightly bowl. He also shared his supper with her.

We were only in Hawaii 5 nights — short trip. About night two, I thought of Robin at home, and realized that a present was in order. We were in Waikiki, plenty of opportunities to shop, BUT no toys for dogs. I had a quest, which made shopping more interesting.

My son and I like to hang out at Waikiki beach, people watch — surfers and bathers — eat pork nachos and share. In other words, take a break from the get up and run. I asked many people if there was a place to buy a toy for a dog. In many of the shops I wandered in, I asked if they had dog toys. I didn’t get good information until someone mentioned Ross. In the park, I noticed a young dog running free. I also noticed a stroller waiting for the dog after he tired himself out. I wandered over, asked as few questions, and heard the name Ross. I saw many dogs in strollers on our walks. I also saw a woman on a motor driven chair with a dog on a leash.

Our son found the store on his morning walk. I did not hesitate, the next trip to the beach, we found Ross. I quickly located the pet department and found a lovely elephant. It is very similar to Robin’s favorite Zebra. Detagged and packed, it was ready for the trip home.

I’m happy to report that we were only home about half an hour before I pulled the elephant out of my suitcase. HAPPY, HAPPY DOG! Racing through the house at top speed for a couple of minutes. It is her favorite toy at the moment.

The last time my husband and I left her, I came home with a toy but she was MAD at us. In fact, ignored the toy for a couple of days. Thankfully this time was different.

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CHALLENGES

Often I can tell what kind of day it is going to be when I first get up. Sometimes the events of the day run very smoothly. My fingers don’t drop everything I touch. I don’t burn myself on the stove. My morning readings are encouraging. If I have to drive, the traffic is light. I find parking places and can get out of the car. Sometimes there are even bargains or sales of items I need.

Then there are the other days. I have trouble finding or putting on my clothes. My knees protest more. I drop too many things or my fingers forget how to work.

This morning I woke to challenges. It had snowed yesterday, we weren’t buried but I knew that I didn’t want to drive to church. Walking was out of the question. Ice? Distance? I planned to increase the distance that I walk each day, but it is still in the planning stage. I went back to bed.

Descending the staircase, my knees protested. Opening the back door, snow covered the stairs. Have broom, will sweep. Some of the stairs were very icy. I was very glad I decided NOT to go to church. Success! Stairs swept, salt poured down and I stayed upright.

I planned to make a pork roast in the slow cooker. Luckily my husband brought the cooker up from the basement and I had the pork roast in the refrigerator upstairs. Planning ahead, I made a low sodium soy sauce from a recipe in a cookbook from our first trip to Hawaii. I hadn’t read through the recipe, it required more steps than I planned, the challenges continued. Oops! Brown the roast — it almost fell on the floor.

I turned on my I-pad only to learn the internet was down. I asked my son for “help”. He said he didn’t have any problems. The internet was on. I was just BLOCKED.

I know I’m not the only one who has these kind of days. When they start like this, I pay more attention and SLOW down! I did. After breakfast which my husband cooked. I laid down to watch a couple of favorite cooking shows. I fell asleep.

I knew I had to write a couple of thought rambles. I had just read a story of the importance of telling your family stories. Although many of our stories have already been written and published, life goes on and so do my experiences.

I ordered new snow boots. They arrived yesterday — BEFORE the SNOW! I put on my boots and the rest of cold weather gear. I got Robin’s leash. She NEVER does her business in the backyard unless it is in the middle of night. I planned to take her for a walk. I was surprised when I noticed that she squatted and took care of business. I guess she didn’t want me to go for a walk!

As I searched for a title for this thought ramble, I opened a couple who shared the title I was thinking of. When I read them, I noticed most were written near the anniversary of the fire which sent my mother and brother home. SURPRISE– the anniversary is this week –FRIDAY!

EARLY MORNING CHALLENGE

Early Saturday morning, I opened the curtains to gaze at the icy sidewalks, still frozen from Thursday’s sleet, rain, snowy mix and saw a rabbit sitting in front of our house. He was not bothered by the ice — making his way down the frozen path, stopping now and then to listen.

Usually I’m greeted by a cardinal’s song when I open the door in the morning. I was surprised to see a rabbit.

Moment’s later, I was glad that I had a quiet start to the day. Entering the kitchen, Lexie,  our senior resident Pug’s eyes were open, I would have to put on my coat and take her out. Usually she is asleep and I let her sleep until the morning warms up. She needs a bit of assistance since she is no longer able to walk up and down the stairs. She can’t walk on the frozen terrain either.

My normal practice is to put on my coat and quickly lift her from her pillow. Thankfully this morning I had a hard time getting my arms around her. I moved her pillow instead. That is when I noticed her back leg resting on the radiator grates. On closer inspection, I discovered her toenail was inside the grating, wrapped around to come out a few openings away. Taking off my coat, I gently maneuvered the nail, finally setting her leg free. I don’t know if I asked for help before starting, but I definitely said “Thank You” when Lexie was free.

Although Lexie was able to walk, she still couldn’t navigate on the ice. Warmer temperatures are predicted for Sunday along with icy rain in the morning. The frozen pond in the backyard might become a lake.

I’M READY FOR SPRING!

ONE PLUS ONE = FOUR?

(Celebrating the life of our Chocolate Lab Mabel, who passed over July 16, 2011)

                 I think I pay attention to the various messages that come my way since I know I have friends in high places who “help me” with my life. Sometimes it is the words of a friend or an article in the newspaper or book, a segment on television, or a song on the radio that gives me needed information.  And sometimes one plus one doesn’t equal two.

Last Saturday, July 16,  we sent a friend home. Mabel  is a chocolate Lab. She was twelve years old. She suffered from many of the ailments that are common to the elderly: arthritis, cataracts and hip problems. She survived breast cancer but had trouble walking up the stairs and her breathing had become labored.  The heat of the summer, the eighties, had become hard for her. She had to rest after her walks before climbing the stairs. Then the weather service predicted five days in the 90’s. It didn’t seem fair to let her suffer through the heat.

Our family was without a dog for two weeks when Mabel came to join us as a six week old puppy.  The house was too quiet without Cuyler. He was a very expressive dog, but timid. We had decided to let him be king of the house when we sent his mate home. We weren’t prepared for the energy of a puppy. And Mabel had plenty of energy. One of her favorite games was to let me chase her as she ran with a favorite toy around the dining room table into the front of the house and back again. She thought she was a lap dog and didn’t realize that she out grew the lap. We shared her with Sue, our youngest daughter.

Mabel was very smart but she flunked obedience school. She knew what we wanted her to do but she didn’t see a reason to do it. And I sent her to time out in the kitchen. She had her own pillow to sit on and think about what she did wrong. She spent a lot of time on that pillow.

When Sue got married we continued to share Mabel. Some weeks she lived with us, others were spent with Sue and her husband. When Sue got pregnant, and was unable to clean up after Mabel, she stayed with us most of the time.

Mabel loved Christmas. She knew there was a present for her under the tree and waited patiently for us to give it to her, then unwrapped it all by herself.

She loved car rides, playmates, water games, ice cream and going camping. Our grandchildren sat on her. She wasn’t bothered by thunder until a blast went off above her head. From then on thunder and fireworks were not her friends. She climbed the stairs and lay on the floor by my husband’s side of the bed whenever it was noisy.

We didn’t think she would ever calm down. When she was three years old she started to show some sense. Then this winter we realized she was having trouble with her hip.

I was hoping she would spend the summer and fall with us but the hot weather changed our plans. After a picnic in the park, Sue and her husband took her to the vet in their SUV.

ONE: Friday, July 15th, the heat had arrived when I received word that Marion, a friend at our campground, had passed. It was a surprise but I knew she had heart problems.

TWO: Saturday, July 16, Sue’s husband is a doctor and he commented that Mabel’s heavy breathing was an indication of heart problems.

THREE: Wednesday, July 20, the morning news concentrated on the heat, precautions to take and the warning that the excessive heat caused a person’s heart to work 30% more.

I was scheduled to have lunch with an 85-year-old friend, who had problems with her heart.  Dorothy wanted to go out but I was concerned for her safety and managed to persuade her to have lunch delivered and we would eat in the comfort of her home. When I drove home from her house the outside temperature of our car was 104.

I kept telling myself that sending Mabel home was for the best.  And I really believe it but I miss our girl.

Friday, July 22, my husband and I had breakfast at our neighborhood restaurant before running some errands. He keeps his feeling to himself but mentioned that he misses Mabel too.

Our last errand took us to Costco. I was happy to see that their gas station had opened and I walked over to investigate. When I approached the pumps, I recognized our neighbor, Ava. As she pumped gas, I told her about our decision to send Mabel home. She had seen us out for morning walks and was aware of her labored breathing. Ava is a doctor and mentioned that Mabel could have had a heart attack when we were walking her.

One plus one = four, this time I got the message.

Sometimes There Is No Answer

It started off as a normal day. I opened Queen Of Angels to Cure For Inconveniences and I laughed. Each morning I open both the Bible and Queen of Angels randomly and read the chapter for the day. When I read the meditation “If I am a true believer, I accept my path in this life. …. Each inconvenience is an opportunity to trust God’s divine Love and Providence in my life,” I laughed again.

I won’t bore you with the details of why this particular chapter was so appropriate except to list two examples. Flying home from Florida on Tuesday,  we learned our departing flight was delayed, causing us to miss our connection. New travel plans meant leaving at 2:00PM  for the airport instead of five.    (Oh, you’re not packed!) Luggage in an open bed of a truck, the sky opened up and our luggage got a bath.

On the home front, Tidbit, our pug had developed diabetes. The disease caused a pressure in her left eye. The vet suggested the eye be removed. The operation was Tuesday. Our son picked us up at the airport with a recovering pug that was now blind and could not be left alone.

I thought my Floridian daughter would appreciate the meditation. She did and asked that I email it to her. As I typed the message, I heard a faint tinkling of something. Investigating I found two tiny pink earrings laying on the buffet behind me. Pink is the color of LOVE!

An hour later, our phone rang. “This is a voice from your past,” my cousin Bob said. I had not talked to him in a few months, he is dealing with challenging health issues. Last July, he had a knee replaced.  A month later it developed an infection — four operations later he is still dealing with the problem. He credits his mother for his optimism and attitude. She was always positive, “We Can DO IT!” He is always positive, we can do it.

In March, he thought he would get a new knee but the doctor discovered another infection, so he is still wearing a pick line and waiting for the infection to go away.  Therefore, he is not able to be very active. While watching the History channel on a story about egg candeling, he remembered when he lived at 1900 N. Keeler. A man in the garage behind the building candeled eggs for a business. Bob shared the story with his wife that night.

The next morning, on his bedside table, he found a Juvenile Library card from 1957, issued in his name with the address of 1900 N. Keeler. He has no idea where it came from. It wasn’t a momento that he kept for years. The card wasn’t torn or damaged, just a little wrinkled around the edges.

THANKS MOM!

He shared the story with me because he knew I would understand. And he is correct, I do!

Good friends


Just a little “help from my friends.” I was searching for a photo of roses to include in a thought ramble. This was the first photo on the disk and the ONLY one that was not taken at the Botanic Garden. I don’t think Mabel was too happy to be a pillow.

Last year we had to send a good friend home. Both my husband and I, along with friends, miss Mabel. She had overcome challenges — breast cancer and other difficulties, but the combination of old age, arthritis and difficulty breathing coupled with a week of 90 degree temperatures was too much for her system to handle. Sue and her husband  treated her to a picnic in the park before taking her to the vets. My mind told me it was for the best. My heart didn’t agree! I knew she was on the other side with friends. Years ago I was given a gift when Shanae, our yellow lab passed. She suffered from Alzheimer’s and other issues. When screaming in the middle of the night resulted in a trip to the emergency vet and a trip home,  I saw her spirit run through the house.

l had a hard time with Mabel’s passing — until a neighbor — a doctor by profession, who knew the trouble Mabel had breathing, remarked that she could have had a heart attack when I was walking her. What would I have done? How bad would I have felt?

Memorial day is for all who have passed — our brave service personal and all who are close to our hearts.

Tidbit — now she has her own issues. Diabetes is not only for two footed people.

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