Monday, January 12, 2009

Day 2 continued

We got home from the vet and everyone was in a zombie-like state. I can't remember what dinner was but it was nutrionally lacking I'm sure. Cereal or something.

Delanie didn't want anything. Her stomach was hurting. I chalked it up to the emotional trauma she had just experienced. We just sat on the couch mindlessly watching SpongeBob. At least there was something normal going on.

Dawson was very upset. He was on our bed face down as Shanna made a few calls to share the news. He definitely took it the hardest. He finally sacked out on his temporary bed (the futon) clinging to Casey's collar.

Delanie managed to pick at some cereal and then we made her bed on the couch. Soon after she was throwing up. I wish it had been nerves but it wasn't. She had the stomach bug. We got her back on the couch with the trashcan beside her. Once she was settled I got into bed and knew nothing else. Fortunately Shanna was there because Delanie ended being up most of the night. Not much sleep for the girls.

With Delanie's first episode Shanna and I looked at each other and no words were necessary. It was perfect non verbal communication.

"What else....?"

Day 2 - 2009 continues its downward spiral

Monday morning we wake to the hum of fans and dehumidifiers running in the back of the house. Delanie is sleeping on the couch, Dillon and Dawson are on the futon in the gameroom and as usual, Dakota is in the middle of Shanna and me. He started the night on the other couch. It doesn't matter where he starts. He'll wake up sometime during the night and make his way to our room. Hey, at least he makes it there on his own.

I was unable to coax our dog Casey into the house Sunday night with grilled chicken. That was unusual. But there a lot of commotion in the house and she really isn't all there anymore. Almost 15 in dog years can take it toll. Can't see much, can't hear much, can't really do much. I assumed the serene setting of the backyard was preferable to the chaos that had been inside. So I picked her up - all 85 pounds, and hauled her in.

For the most part, Monday went as expected. I stayed around the house for a couple hours and continued rearranging toys, furniture and the like. I made it out to the office around 11 and had a pretty normal afternoon.

At a few minutes after 5 the phone rang. It was Shanna and there was something wrong with Casey. She had fallen a couple of times. I could tell from Shanna's voice that this was different than the falls she would take while trying to navigate the wood floors. Something was very wrong.

The vet is near my office - almost 45 minutes from the house. Our dear friend from church, Cynthia, works there and has always been a tremendous help with Casey so I've never minded the distance. Shanna called and they said they would wait for us to get there.

I met Shanna and the three older kids at the vet's office. Fortunately mom had Dakota. He wouldn't have understood what was going on and why everyone was crying. We took Casey in and spoke at length with Cynthia and the vet. As always, they were wonderful. They were willing to do whatever we wanted. After lots of discussion and lots of tears it was finally decided that her quality of life was not going to improve and we should put her down. Shanna and the kids said their goodbyes and left. I stayed behind for a few minutes to handle the details.

It's hard to believe she lived as long as she did. Keep in mind she made it through four kids. They all pulled her tail and ears and tried to ride her like a horse. They all came running through the house laughing and screaming and interrupted her nap. She took it all in stride. Not one time did she ever snap or growl or show the slightest discontent.

She was a great dog and a great companion to us all and she will be missed.

Friday, January 9, 2009

How many days until 2010?

I've been off the blog for a while - I know. It seems like I've been chasing my tail for the past few months. The time off during the holidays was greatly anticipated and appreciated. It was good to spend time with family and unwind for a few days.

I even took the day AFTER New Year's which was hard. Three and a half days off Christmas week and the office was calling. But I fought off the urge to just 'drop in for a couple of hours' and stayed home January 2 as well. It was a true Four Day Weekend and quite honestly there was very little accomplished which was also refreshing.

Then Sunday night came. Dakota was sick Sunday so Shanna and I swapped going to church. She stayed home Sunday morning and I stayed home Sunday night. He and I were catching some quality 'Sponge Bob' time on the couch. I figured I'd throw some laundry in so I could say I did something during my four days off. Later on I headed back to throw the clothes in the dryer and hmm, that's strange, the washer is still running. It shouldn't be running. And there shouldn't be water standing in the hallway....and Dillon's room...and Dawson & Dakota's closet.

That's right, something deep inside the machine gave way and water was pouring out from the bottom. Panic set in, call mom, call Shanna, tell them to get here ASAP.

Our good friend, Tony Burnett, was over in minutes with his shop vac and we moved furniture, sucked up water and threw stuff out the window. Then the pros finally arrived about 10:30 to put on the finishing touches and set out their fans and dryers. By that time I had been at the laundromat for over an hour re-washing the clean clothes that had been in Dillon's floor as well as everything else that could no longer be washed in the broken machine. 7 commercial loads of clothes, towels and the comforters that were inconveniently stored under Dillon's bed. 3 and a half hours in the laundromat and $30 bucks worth of quarters.

That was Day 1 of the countdown to 2010.