Sunday, January 01, 2012

Looking back and forward

2011 was not a kind year to our pack.  I'm not sorry to see it end! 
We lost six dogs and two cats.  Most of those deaths were unexpected; three of them took place over the most traumatic 19 hours of my life; something I hope to never come close to experiencing ever again! 

While we mourn and miss  Founder, Bandit, Mac, Ozzy, Earle, Kayleigh, Puff and Sophia, the year wasn't all bad either.
Heyoka got his throat problems fixed in April.  He's a different dog; he's like a puppy again. It's so much easier to be happy and active when you can breathe! It's a huge delight to watch him run, play and live up to his name, which means Clown! 
Our ridiculously timid dog, Delta, had a huge breakthrough late in the year.  His sudden attack bravery and trust deserves a post of it's own!  I'll do that soon! After almost a decade together, it's nice to see him still making some progress!
Chum's diagnosis was changed from fatal to chronic.  He doesn't have liver cancer; he has a form of steriod responsive hepatitis.  We are currently finishing a long weaning program for all his medications, except a low dose of prednisone.  He remains the same noisy, nutty goof he's always been.

The year wasn't all bad for the humans here either....I had surgery on my wrist and after almost 3 years of chronic pain have a pain-free fully functional joint again.  I got to spend some time down south with my family; attended my niece's wedding; toured my sister and her family around Haines, Alaska; spent two whole weeks with my niece, Naomi. 

In November, I had PRK surgery to free myself from glasses and contacts.  For the first two weeks, I thought I'd make a very expensive and painful mistake, but now I am seeing clearly and loving it!

Stuart's drilling business seems to be taking off. It takes him away from home for long periods, but he's always happy when he's way too busy!  It appears he has finally figured out what he wants to be when he grows up...if he grows up! :)

We expect that we will lose several more pack members in 2012.  There are two 15 year old dogs in our pack, several more well over 12 and everyone but Tehya is over 10!  The cats are also aging, although with fewer obvious health issues. 

While the new year will most certainly have it's heartaches, we have happy plans too!  We're heading to Honduras in February for a far too short break from the dark and cold.  I can't wait to snorkel and swim without fear of losing a contact!  In September I turn 40 and that too will hopefully be celebrated with a short trip somewhere.  I suggested Santa Clara, Cuba; Stuart said Newfoundland! It's my birthday so I think I should win that debate!

We're hoping to return to Costa Rica at the end of 2012...Christmas on a beach next year maybe!  Depending on dogsitters...every trip of more than 12 hours for us depends on a dogsitter!

In May my family will welcome a new human addition too.  My sister is expecting another baby. I can't wait to meet the new little one.  I do love being an Auntie!

Bring it on, 2012.  If 2011 didn't break us, you won't either!

Happy New Year!


dogsled_stacie said...

Wow, what a rough year for you for sure. Good to see that it had some upsides though - like Chum! I didn't know his diagnosis was changed, so yay!!!

Hope 2012 is MUCH easier on you and your pack. Happy New Year from our kennel to yours!! :)

Sarah said...

Hi - I have been reading your blog for quite a while now - never posted. I live way down in Virginia - right outside D.C. I always read your blog as an escape as I thought the way you lived was awesome! I hope you are able to both support your aging dogs and have a positive 2012.

My husband and I have fostered about 30 dogs over the past 4 years (nothing compared to what you do) - we get to have the happy times - they are adopted and we "sometimes" get updates. I can't imagine seeing them all the way through to the rainbow bridge. Just wanted to let you know that I love your blog and wish you the best....

Sarah and (my foster failure) Elwood