and more…

Monthly Archives: February 2009

I feel overwhelmed by sadness about the news of Mac, so much so that my own feelings are bewildering to me.

My brain hurts, my heart hurts. It’s really touched a nerve in me and triggered a deluge of emotions. I keep swallowing but the lump in my throat isn’t going away.

Lord have mercy. God have mercy.


Here is one of the last pictures Bonnie sent of the super-cute, sporty, fun, comical Mac, who loved life as much as any little dog could.

This dog could make us laugh. We love you Mac!

This dog could make us laugh. We love you Mac!

In the last day or two he was not able to urinate and was in discomfort. Bonnie took him to the vet several times. He had a culture done to check for a UTI. The vet gave him a shot of antibiotics as well as steroids, but he did not seem to improve much.

The next day (today) she took him in for an ultrasound which showed a mass that could have been the cause of the blockage, but also could have been a tumor. I know that they had to keep him at the vet’s, which Bonnie wasn’t happy about, but they told her he would be more comfortable. Before further medical intervention could be made, Mac crossed over the Rainbow Bridge.

It is a shock to the system to lose a loved one unexpectedly. I feel so sad myself, but when I think of him bathing in the birdbath and taking in the Florida sun, the corners of my mouth lift up a little.

I am very sad for Bonnie. She is a fun-loving, compassionate person who was Mac’s adoring mom. They had a great thing together and I know that with time the grief will be replaced by a plethora of wonderful memories.

Bonnie says she has tons of pictures of Mac, so when she’s ready I will be ready too to give him the fabulous photo-send-off he deserves.

Bonnie – I’m thinking of you and your family now and sending my condolences. I didn’t get a chance to check all my facts about the last days, but will make corrections as needed.


Nicole just let me know that TJ’s pathology lab came back for the growth that was removed from his paw.

Just so that you know the biopsy results were good. These are her words: “YAY ~ YAY ~ YAY ~ YAY”.

The growth that was removed was determined to be a Benign Histocytoma Tumor, which shouldn’t grow back.

Nicole took these pictures this morning, She finally figured out a way to bandage his foot securely. In the past three days he was able to the gauze cast off and lick his paw, but “not today though…mommy did it good…”

No more yucky growth, but about this cast...

No more yucky growth, but about this cast...

Doggy paw cast perfected

Doggy paw cast perfected

I postponed my departure in January to wait for Daisy, then we had the family health crisis, I am now finally wrapping up my stay in Michigan.

My husband more or less called to say he didn’t think I was coming back because I’ve been gone since September and my return date kept getting pushed forward.

I was grief-stricken to find that he was going to give up on us. I am now packing everything up to drive back to Colorado on Thursday, at least that’s the plan. I have a friend going with me who might need another day or two, but as long as I’m back by Monday night, things should be ok.

Here’s a photo taken of us about five years ago when I wasn’t out of town so much. I can’t believe it’s been so long. I’m so sorry.

We were together and happy once

We were together and happy once

I wish my family were closer or that my husband’s job and lifestyle weren’t so geographically dependent, but these are just wishes. The reality is that 1200 miles exist between the two spheres of my life and I’m the only one in a position to be a vagabond. The things most important to me have to fit in a suitcase or if I’m driving, my car.

There is a sense of freedom, but it’s also hard to be a part of either community. It’s not easy or ideal to be a floater leading a double life, even if it’s legitimate.

So much coming and going, saying goodbye and hello and goodbye again. For someone who yearns for stability and grounding, I certainly uproot and replant myself a lot.

Even if I carry a lot of “flower food” with me and make sure I get enough water and sun, it doesn’t lessen the repercussions of being absent.

The search has mostly been for either a Maltese or a Yorkie. At the moment we are looking at Yorkies again. The girls are young but eager to be careful, responsible and gentle. They have spent time handling a friend’s Maltese and did well with my five pound Yorkie Halle.

Their search has encompassed reading, researching on the Web, talking with dog owners and friends, and discussing the breeds and the care and the commitment needed to have a dog.

In the last week I have looked over the websites of various brokers, pet stores and private breeder networks that Tatiana has sent me. I hated to disappoint her and the girls, but had to dissuade them from purchasing from any of those avenues.

After getting all kinds of great feedback on the puppy search from DLD members and passing it on to Tatiana, I looked up the local AKC member clubs in Florida for both Malts and Yorkies, gave her the links and contacted some breeders to see if they had any hearty (older) puppies available for adoption.

One of the women I contacted, Peggy Horner, shows and breeds beautiful Yorkies in Michigan. I just remembered that she winters in Florida, so I called and emailed her on the girls’ behalf. I was interested in purchasing a puppy from her before I found Halle, though I still love to look at the picture of the puppy I had my sights on, who ended up with a doting retired couple:

The Northern Lites pup that got away

The Northern Lites pup that got away

You can see her “Show” case of Yorkies on the Northern Lites site. The site has a lot of useful information about the breed, the standard, health issues and other information one would need when thinking of purchasing a Yorkie. As expected of a reputable breeder, Northern Lites can provide excellent references.

Peg sent me a links to two videos tonight of a Missouri puppy mill rescue done by the Humane Society. They’re pretty bad, but important to see if you’ve ever wondered what a puppy mill is like. She was very upset by these videos for good reason! I’m posting one of them below:

The Humane Society of Missouri Animal Cruelty Task Force rescues more than 90 Yorkshire Terriers from a substandard puppy mill in Greene County:

If you scroll down a bit you can see the two other posts on TJ. He had a growth on the top of his paw that was just surgically removed and is now home wearing the dreaded cone and recovering.

Here’s the email Nicole just sent me:

    Hi Ming…We got home last night.  He [just] had surgery 4 hours before, so he was so tired, as I was too –  we fell asleep on the couch. He was restless at first, as his paws hurt and couldn’t get comfortable, so I cradled him like a baby, so he didn’t have to put pressure on his paw, he was out like a light within minutes of his new position….

    The Dr. said the biopsy results will be in within 4 to 5 days. He’s being positive, and doesn’t think it is a mass cell tumor at this point, but we still have to wait to find out!

    [TJ’s] stitches come out in 10-14 days.  Yes, his paw hair should grow back.  He is on Baytril again, but no pain meds.  He seems to be doing ok today, although he wants to lick his paw.  I have the cone on him.  But in a couple of days, I will wrap it with gauze.  The Dr. said I can put a carter baby sock on him, so I may try that as well.


Tucked in and watching from the window, his favorite spot

Tucked in and watching from the window, his favorite spot

Bumper is going to be my Dad’s official heart disease service animal! She is great at calming him down and will be carrying all of his emergency medication. She’s almost nine years old and has already spent the first of half her life being a faithful and attentive companion dog to both of my parents. Now she will go into service for the other half.

She is a sharp, compassionate dog who understands commands in English, Cantonese and Mandarin, can travel quietly for hours, even days at a time, and already accompanies my dad everywhere as it is. She used to to answer the phone by pushing on a large orange button, and has used speed dial with speaker phone on my parents’ old giant-button phone.

Of course she can “talk” on the phone and has demonstrated repeatedly that she understands its use as a communication device.

Although I don’t have pictures of Bumper at the hospital with my parents, she was there every other day, alternating with Halle.

Here is a picture my dad’s beloved Bumper, the 7.5 pound Miniature Pinscher:

Bumper the Brainiac

Bumper the Brainiac

I had to include a photo of Bumper as a puppy because she was so crazy-cute:

Yes - Bumper is a real dog

Yes - Bumper is a real dog