Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Do You Love Animals and Pets?...come take a look

I've been working so hard on my new web page, Conners Wonderland and although there is still lots to do, I've got a few pages up already. They're the animal and pet pages (although the pet page is still not completed as I need to add more pictures)...but if you love animals as I do, I hope you come to check it out.
Writing a blog is fun and good for the soul, but with the web pages you can put all your information in pages, and others reading them don't get so confused. My blog goes from one thing to the next if you hadn't noticed. A lot like my brain. LOL
I feel good that I got it started. I've been looking to do another one for a long time now, as my old one was probably about 10 to 15 years old, and I had a lot of help from a very good friend of mine Nebbie, on that one.
That one was more about fighting for Fibromyalgia to be recognized when the doctors were still saying, 'it's all in your head'. Seems I do pages when I have a cause to be fighting for in one form or another. LOL The old site is still up...outdated, but there if you'd like to take a peek. It's
Conners Corner and it has more information about me that this one won't. Plus in that amount of time, things I don't have 16 pets anymore...nor a husband and the kids are out on their own...and grandchildren weren’t even thought of (heaven forbid) at that point.
Back then, my net buddies and I had never met in person, but one day I hopped a plane and I went to Nebbie's in Florida. I'd never been to Florida in my life, yet here I was ready to go. The closer it got I began to get scared. I kept watching Cops on tv and they showed all the shootings in the States. In Canada, you basically can go with your doors unlocked, but all of a sudden, I emailed Nebbie and asked her if she packed a gun? You responded with, 'Well of course! I carry one in my garter and the other in my purse!' Now I REALLY was scared to death. I didn't realize she was only joking until I re-emailed her. WHAT A RELIEF!!! *whew*
I stayed there for a whole month, which didn't seem long enough, although I missed my kids and pets terribly, but we chatted almost every night through ICQ, so that felt a lot better.
I also met some of my other email and chat buddies while up there. Susanne only lived about a 15-minute drive from Nebbies and I met her family and her swarm of cats. She was an absolute riot, just like in her emails. My other chat buddy Dave from Georgia came to Florida to meet me. Funny how you can travel that distance and be amongst friends. We had talked together for about 4 or 5 years at least previous, so it wasn't as if I didn't know what I was getting into meeting strangers. We had talked on the phone, sent snail mail and small gifts to each other for years. The only thing we never did was meet in person.
That was in the day I refused to send my pictures to anyone. I had a very bad image of myself at the time, but I was going through a lot to give me that outlook. Funny, but Nebbie recognized me right off as soon as I came into the airport runway lobby.
Even with her never seeing me, she got to know my personality and when this tiny little blond comes off the plane with 2 people on one arm and 3 on the other, she knew that HAD to be her Conners. LOL I was trying to get people on the plane to pretend they were me and during that trip, I got a lot of phone numbers to call while I was in Florida. It was quite the experience and I loved every minute of it.
Well, I better get some more done on my homepage...then I really have to do some chores around here. Who made this mess???

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Dad's Update...and Practical, Magically Bill

Yesterday evening I received an email from out west telling me that Dad was in high spirits and has started on his therapy this week. He's still weak and learning how to use his legs to walk again is painful and tiring. When and if he can finally learn to use his legs again could mean he will be able to leave the hospital and go home. We could still use those prayers that I've received comments and email about, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for them and the consoling messages.
Dad says he doesn't want me to come up there, especially knowing my finances and they will update me with his progress. I was so happy to receive that email and phoned my brother and mom to tell them the improved news.
Well, I must tell you about my brother. He's a very rare, one of a kind guy...and sometimes that is very good...and sometimes that is frustrating as h*ll! *giggle*
Bill is the practical one...usually, but he also like to use his daredevil skills the same as I do. Ever since I can remember, Bill has been my protector and tormenter. He would do ANYTHING for me that is possible and loves me very much. He always tells me I am his 'favorite' sister. Funny, because I'm his ONLY sister! LOL
Bill believes he has all the right answers and if you dare argue with him, he will raise your blood pressure sky high insisting he is right. He always wins the argument, because he leaves you so frustrated inside that you are willing to be at his mercy and let him think you've finally conceived to his ideal.
Why do I call my brother magical? He has confused me so much when I was younger from his teasing that even today, with some things I have to think twice about before I can comment about it. At the Toronto Zoo when we were younger, I would get excited and yell out, A TIGER! Bill would tell me that wasn't a tiger. It's a lion! The next time I yelled out A LION! He's tell me how confused I was and told me it was a tiger! This continued with so many things that I have to think, mane is tiger and no mane is lion, but even then I'm second guessing myself. Gee, thanks Bill!
Now, this didn't quit as we were children, it has and is still continuing even to this day. Quite a few years ago when we were fishing off a pier, Bill yelled out he had a whopper of a fish and to grab the net. I looked and his line as it was reeling out so fast, that I figured it HAD to be a trick! How? I don't know, but only Bill would be capable of it. I wasn't going to allow him to trick me this time and let him know it! He told me to look at his line. 'How could he have the line reel out? Grab the net!' ' No way! I don't know how you're doing it, but I'm not falling for it. Not again!'
Finally my husband, at the time, grabbed the net and I thought, wait until you see there's nothing there, you sucker! Did I have egg on my face when he eventually landed this gigantic carp. Not the nicest fish to catch, but it was the biggest carp that any of the people on the pier had ever seen. Bill asks me bewilderedly why I never believe him and why do I always think he can do these impossible tricks? He just can is all...and he does sometimes.
One thing I must really thank Bill for is all his track and field training that really panned out in public and high school. I came in second of all of Toronto and broke the record in London, that took decades later to finally break. This was due to us living about 15 minutes away from our public school in Toronto. No matter how much Mom tried to rush us along, we just poked away until we could hear the school bell ringing. That meant in 5 minutes the late bell would ring and we'd be sent to the office. Bill would grab my hand and start to run. Sometimes I thought I was flying behind him as I don't remember my feet touching the ground. He never let go though thankfully or I would have gone crashing to the ground. I couldn't breath, but Bill kept running. We were in the huge school ground now and you could see our classes with the pupils and teacher at the windows cheering us on. How he flew me up the steep steps and into the doors, I don't remember. Once inside, I was on my own and with a sudden burst of energy, threw open the classroom door just as the late bell rung. I had made it! This wasn't just once in awhile, it was nearly every day. But, later as I was old enough to go into track, it felt like nothing to leave the rest of the girls behind.
Being short and tiny, you wouldn't think I'd be good at doing hurdles and high jumping, but because of the speed behind me, that gave me the boost the height was lacking. Who would have thought that one day I would thank my brother for his rugged punishment he put me through as I stood proudly holding school trophy's and called up on stage to receive my track and field crests.
When I told Bill about Dad last night, he told me that perhaps him and I could fly to see Dad one day. Being practical, Bill doesn't just say things off the top of his hat. That means, it's very possible that we might go and to go with him would be very exciting. Dad would enjoy that too.
So we will see what happens, but for now, there is no more panic about rushing up there and THAT has put my mind to rest.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Busy doing nothing...but Everything!

One day I just must take a break for doing domestic things, like cleaning the apartment or shopping for some groceries...maybe throw in a load of laundry or five. It's been so hectic doing 'important' things. Every day I go and look out for that poor lost dog I posted about before with Shasta. I put some dog food around the garbage bins where he was searching for last I saw him. Then I made a trail of food that leads to my patio where he will find a large plastic container of food and fresh water each day. I only saw him about once a week, so I figure he searches a different territory each day. Nothing showed up with his discription at the Animal Care Centre and if he was let go on purpose, nobody would leave his tags on, on his collar. Each day I worry about him and hopefully he found his way home...but I wish I knew that for a fact.
Another thing I'm working on is my new homepage,
Conners Wonderland. If I didn't have a clue about html, I'm learning from trial and error. LOL So many idea's in my mind, but getting them into a page...well lets just say, it's going to take time.
Once I get started on it, it doesn't seem like I've been on there all that long, but when I look outside, I noticed I missed the day go by.
Yesterday it rained buckets from the sky. All the dog food I laid out got soggy from the rain, so I had to put out somemore. If he happens to come to my patio, I have Shasta's spare leash on a chair, just where his head would go down for the food and I never walk without a pouch full of food incase I run across him unexpctedly. I can find the anxiety inside me growing. It's all in his hand now and pray that he will come again soon. Like NOW would be ideal! Shasta is always waiting to let me know if she spots him.
I feel like I'm coming down withsomethingThe acid reflux is getting worse and I feel like I'm about to vomit. Sure signs of stress, but no doctor anymore. I will have to try to get to a walkin clinic within the next few days. An early night might help too as I've been trying to figure out html and next thing I know the birds are chirping and when looking through the window, notice its beginning to get light ouside all ready.
Ysterday I got the dishes in the sink ready to wash them, but it didn't happen. It's not all computers and lost dogs taking up my time, but my daughter sometimes need me to come over and watch the kids while her and my son-in-law work at the same times. Baby sitting is fun and I love doing it, but there are days, I really need that push to put my clothes on and get going. I think it's time for me to take care of me.
I haven't hear an reply about my Dad neither. Is he critical? Is he doing a bit better? I have no way of finding out as I email, but get nothing in response. Too many unanswered questions and no way for me to find out. That's the biggest problem of them all. Family and friends ask if I've heard back yet and it's a simple, 'No! Nothing yet.' I need some answers to questions where there probably aren't any...but that would be better to hear that, than nothing at all.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Trying to find him...before it's too late

There's been a lost dog that has been coming around in search of food. He's looks a lot like Shasta, only his snout is longer with black markings. He's wearing an orangy pink (weird for a male) collar and wearing dog tags.
I first spotted him on my patio over a week ago, probably smelling around because of Shasta. Some of the neighbours have seen him roaming around, but I figured he found his way home as I hadn't seen him again. That is, until this evening. He's standing up trying to see if he can find anything to eat in the garbage bins, which tells me he is pretty hungry. The bins are about 5 feet tall. I tried calling him, but he seems rather nervous and scared. I would be too if I was in his shoes. If only I could get him close enough to me to be able to read his tags and find out where he lives, but he keeps his distance. My following him and coachig him to me made him nervous. He would stop and look at me as if trying to figure out if he could trust me.
During this venture, we were on a side road now and met a neighbour who was out walking his dog, a small pug. As the other dog watched as I petted the neighbours dog, he started to come closer too. That's when I noticed he was only young. Poor thing. He was only within a foot of me being able to touch his collar, but then he bolted as if he wanted to play with the pug. Ziggy, the pug is totally friendly too and as he went to play, the larger dog backed off as if afraid.
He went back for his search for food and sniffing and leaving his mark as he went along so carefully, obviously trying to find his home.
Since the closest way to him was through Ziggy, I thought if I got Shasta and a big container of dog food and see if we could find him again. Shasta had seen me go after him before as I followed him, so she knew we were out looking for him together. She even tried to follow his scent, but again, he has been all over and I wanted to try to find him before it was way too dark. Unfortunately we didn't, so I put the big plastic container of food out on the patio with hopes he will return for a good meal. Perhaps he will realise I'm trying to help, not harm him.
I feel so sad with him out there all alone in the night and pray he doesn't get hit by a car or no harm comes to him. In the morning I will call the Humane Society and Animal Control and ask if someone has lost a dog that fits his discription.
This couldn't be a worse time for a part pit to be lost and wondering the streets, because of people not understanding about how the ban hasn't been inforced yet. Tonight I pray for a lost dog to keep himself safe. To come back to my patio and find food and water out for him...and most of all, that he will allow me to let him into my apartment to find him his home.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Fights not over...and nobody is giving up!

Anyone that has a pit as a pet can tell you that they are one of the friendliest dogs of all breeds, providing it is raised properly and not taught to be aggressive. Yes! I said 'taught'.
After much investigation, I've met with a lot of pittie owners and a lot of us have the same problem with them. They are overly friendly when friends come over to visit and they will either jump on you and try to lick you to death for the first 15 minutes of them entering. Even some dogs that have passed obedience training with flying colours, forget all that they've been taught when it comes to excitable friendliness. Doesn't sound at all like what Michael Bryant is describing, now does it? If this being their 'worst fault' is no reason for having this wonderful breed put into gradual extinction.
So far, it doesn't look good for us, the owners, breeders, etc., but the fight isn't over. We are waiting for August 29th for Bill 132 to become law. But, that's when the fight really starts.
To give you more details, read the following editorial written in the Toronto Star by Bob Hepburn. Ms. King is fighting for the Staffordshires, but believe me, it's the rest of the pit breed types too.

Apr. 16, 2005. 01:00 AM

Fighting to save `a lovely little dog'

Julie King describes herself as "just a 905 soccer mom" who never wanted to become an activist fighting politicians, organizing demonstrations at Queen's Park and lobbying the media.
"Please reconsider and give us a chance, even if it is just 10-15 minutes, to attend one of your upcoming meetings and introduce a breed that may become extinct in Ontario," King said recently in an e-mail to me.
King was writing in protest of the Star's editorials that supported Ontario's coming ban on pit bulls. In particular, she was upset one editorial had specifically mentioned Staffordshire bull terriers, one of the dogs cited in the legislation. King and her family have three Staffordshires.
"An important side issue that was missed by most people, including your editorial board, is that the Staffordshire bull terrier is a lovely little dog that does not belong in any breed ban," she wrote.
Since the pit bull ban issue arose last summer, the Star has been besieged by readers either trying to convince us to change our editorial stand or to reaffirm our support for the Ontario government decision to ban the dogs.
Since our initial editorial, we have declined to meet with advocates on either side of this emotional issue.
But Julie King was different. She wouldn't give up. So I agreed to meet her at the home of neighbours Holly and Tony Marshall, who also have a Staffordshire. I wanted to learn how she became involved in a grassroots campaign to fight the ban and how the campaign is being conducted.
The ban goes into effect Aug. 29, with a 60-day phase-in period. Under the law, owners must have their existing pit bulls spayed or neutered, and leashed and muzzled while in public. It also sets fines of $10,000 for owners of dangerous dogs and allows for jail terms of up to six months.
Ontario Attorney-General Michael Bryant introduced the legislation, the first province-wide measure in Canada, after a series of vicious dog attacks.
One pollster says the ban is supported by up to 90 per cent of voters.
As Maggie, a dog that "drools and snores," slept in Tony Marshall's lap, King tells of how she first learned of the ban when she saw a headline in the Star that read: "Pit Bull Terror."
"I couldn't believe it," she says, "because Staffies are so gentle. There's never been a problem with them in Canada, and yet they wanted to ban my dogs, to make me feel like a criminal when I walked down the street."
Interjects Holly Marshall: "We've had people scream at us for walking our dog. I'm afraid I might lose Maggie just because some neighbour says there is a problem. I've gotten physically sick at times because it makes you feel as if you have an attack dog."
King contacted the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club of Canada and offered to help. Now she spends 30 hours a week trying to save the dogs and to get the entire ban tossed out.
"Who am I? I'm a mom and a small business owner — and I'm facing the entire government and the media. It's like David and Goliath," she says.
She spends her days writing letters to friends and opinion makers. She helped organize a protest last November at Queen's Park where 36 Staffies and their owners met politicians. She sends e-mails to Bryant and has talked to his staff, but never has received a response directly from him.
King has read all the official transcripts and prepared summaries from public hearings held across the province, showing who was for the bill, who was against and what were the main arguments made by experts and government agencies to back their positions.
Passionately, she argues the real problem is irresponsible owners, who should face stiffer fines and penalties for dangerous behaviour by their dogs. She also says there is no such animal as a "pit bull," and that the legislation's weak definition will make enforcement difficult, if not impossible.
But she is losing the fight.
"The government had public relations savvy; we didn't," she says. "We didn't know how to tackle the issues."
Still, she and other Staffordshire owners aren't giving up. With other groups, they have hired prominent lawyer Clayton Ruby to challenge the law on constitutional grounds as soon as it goes into effect Aug. 29.
Until then, Julie King is planning more protests, trying to raise more funds and writing more letters.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Update...I could be going to see DAD!

UPDATE: I just might be able to go see Dad after all. I've done a whole lot of research and phone calls. The plane fare is too outrages, as well as the trains. All the prices have skyrocketed. When I checked with the Grayhound Bus Depot, the first price they came me made me think this was going to be impossible too.
I'm too old and more sensible than I was in my youth when I thought nothing about sticking out the old thumb and making my way across Canada and back...Several times. Oh, the horror stories I could tell you as well as the great times too. But I survived near death experiences and met some wonderful people too. But now I'm off track. *sigh*
There is Advanced Purchase Fares and although you can't go for specific days, they have a 7 day rate and a 14 day rate (going during a week day rather than the weekend) and that, with a little savings and pinching my money, I could afford.
So now I wait for a reply email from Calgary to tell me if it's a go or not. How I would just love to surprise Dad and him not even know that I'm coming, when suddenly I pop into his hospital room, but that probably could cause his heart to go, so best no big surprises.
It's going to be a 3 day trip there and 3 day back. Luckily I'm tiny and can curl up in the tiniest seat and fall asleep or it would be such a hard trip. They make pit stops along the way, so you can go into the washrooms and freshen up a little a get a bite to eat.
I'm going to miss being away from Shasta and worried to death about BrandyCat, being as old and frail as he is now, but wanting to see Dad out weighs my other fears. If he is no longer able to travel, this may well be the very last time I see him. I need this time with him!
He's still in the hospital and it looks like he will be in there a very long time since they can't operate on his heart and trying out therapy for his back and legs. At least he will recognize me or that would have been devastating, but that was only because they needed to keep him so drugged up.
Have you ever felt excited yet leary at the same time? The last time I saw him he was so active and on the go. Now he is weak, sick and can't stand up. Will I be able to hold in the tears? I'll blame in on allergies like I always do. I laugh at the weirdest times too. I think it's something I learnt through all the years of abuse. I got confused with what face to put on for what given situation. That's why now it's so good to be who I am all the time... (almost most. LOL) but I still try to hide fear and usually I do that by laughing or cracking jokes.
A thought just popped into my head and it told me not to look ahead to worry, but wait until the time comes and it will be alright. So that's what I'm going to do and already feel the calmness coming back to me.
Dad could be a little upset with me knowing my financial situation (BROKE! LOL) and not wanting me to come because of that. But, I'm very strong willed and once I get something in my mind, it's pretty hard to change it by any logic as I have the 'logic of Conners' on my side and can make my logic sound very reasonable. Either that, or I've confused people to pieces. *giggle*
Well I better give Ruby a tank cleaning (yes, I got him out of the bowl for those that have read my earlier posts) I'll keep you updated with Dad.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Preparing for Bill 132 to Pass with Appropriate Muzzle

Although it seems that August 31st is still far away before the muzzling of pit bulls in Ontario becomes law, it's a good idea to plan ahead.
Muzzles come in a variety of shapes and styles. The latest ones that I have noticed is a nylon muzzle that goes around the snout of the dog, attached with a nylon strap that attaches behind the dogs head. Although they are not as noticeable and lack the menacing look of some of the other muzzles, your pet can slip them off too easily and uncomfortably hot during the summer months. You should be looking for a muzzle that is sturdy, yet comfortable and well ventalated for your dog in all types of weather. The muzzle you select for one dog, may not be of benefit to another, depending on the temperament of the dog. An example being; an aggressive dog towards other dogs would need a more secure muzzle than a dog that is sociable towards people, children, other animals, wild birds and critters like squirrels, rabbits, etc. included.
The cage muzzle, although looking very menacing, has minimal contact to the dog. It allows the dog to breath normally, plenty of air circulation, sturdy and lightweight. The down side is if you have a very sociable dog, it probably would keep people far from your dog. There are plenty of leather muzzles too. You have to check them out as some are not as sturdy as others and some, the dogs can remove themselves with their paws. Also depending on the dog, some can get chewed on and broken easily.
Most dogs do not like anything around their snouts and need to slowly be weaned on them with tons of praise given until the dog accepts it graciously. I found that getting Shasta used to a halti first really helps. She now gets excited when she see I'm getting her halti, as she knows that we are going outside for a walk or a bike ride. I give her the 'sit' command and she doesn't turn her head away from the halti like she used to at first, as she can see it to be a reward rather than an obstruction. Patience, praise and reward are key factors to how your dog will respond and accept them.
I plan on making Shasta her muzzle. I'm going to use comfortably soft, yet strong leather in a soft colour that goes with her fawn colouring...either a soft peach or a soft mint colour. It will be secured with gold plain round studs. Somewhat like the shape of a halti, but with an extra secure strap further down the snout. Then for added security so she isn't able to pull it off when not mobile, an additional strap that is secured from the lowest strap on the bridge of the snout, to the higher one and then up the face between the eyes secured to the strap that buckles up around her neck. I plan on using gold buckles that I can loosen or tighten depending on what we plan on doing. Obviously if she is running along side of me on the bike, I need to give her easier breathing room, yet more secure when I leave her outside a mall when I leave her alone in public. Also, she loves her flowers that I bought that were suppose to be used as hair elastics, but I cut off the elastics and use a strong carpet tape to stick it to one side of her ear. She loves it! So I plan on clipping one on her muzzle so she doesn't look intimidating. Then I can alternate them depending on our moods. LOL
While I'd rather not have to use a muzzle on her at all, once the bill becomes law, we will abide by the law. To me, it's far better to abide than lose her because I don't agree with the law. Not losing her is far more important to me, than taking chances and I love her far too much for that.

My Dad...I'm Worried!

I just got an email from my Dad’s lady companion that he is not doing well. He’s back in the hospital 16 days now and was so medicated that he didn’t recognize anyone or where he was. He has come out of that now, but the found that he has a very bad heart and won’t guarantee he will live through it if they operate. He’s also very weak with his legs and back and they will try therapy to see if that can be improved.
The problem is he lives in Calgary, which is 2000 miles away. I’m going to check out the bus prices to see how much that would cost and hopefully I can get there to see him, but it would take a long time to save up that kind of money regardless. I haven’t seen him for about 15 years now because of the distance, although we kept touch through emails and phone calls. It’s still not the same though and I’m worried about him. I want to be there for him. I want to be there for her too.
Ruth is a very sweet lady with a big open heart and through the years I have become much more closer to her, although I’ve never met her in person. I’m glad she is there for Dad. If only I could be too. Ruth lost one of her son’s almost a year ago come the 26th and of course she is very stressed. I want with my heart of hearts to be there for them both, but 2000 miles is virtually impossible for me to get to.
I’ve been shedding tears today racking my brain with answers and solutions. Nothing is coming, but maybe tomorrow I will find out more. I’m so thankful to Ruth that she keeps me informed. I was always the protected one and nobody would tell me anything until things were finally all right again. I wrote Ruth and asked her to be upfront with me and she has been that. It may not be news I’d like to hear, but it’s things like this I need to know and I appreciate that she kept my wishes.
I’ll keep this post updated when I find out more.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Pit Bull Hater Not Censored

Well, I guess we can't all agree and that's just fine with me. After all, that's what makes life interesting and not robotic.
When I looked in my guest book today, there is a message I certainly didn't expect. Not in the way it was written anyway. It took me back a little at first, but as I thought about it, as adamant as I am against 'bill 132', I'm sure there are people just as unwavering for the bill.
This person seems to think I will erase his/her post from my guest book, but I think it's entitled its spot there. After all, there are no obscenities and no worse than what I say when I post about Michael Bryant. (BTW Pit Bull Hater, you spelt Bryant wrong, but I sure you were pretty angry at the time and I won't hold that against you. My spelling isn't the greatest neither.) *giggle* So not only am I not going to delete your message, I thought I'd actually post about it to show I am not against freedom of speech. Thanks for visiting and viewing my blog.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Michael Bryant's Cult Followers

Michael Bryant is back in the news again. Why doesn't he just make like the birds and flock off? *sigh* Seems like other Provinces and even parts of the States are looking to follow his lead as to the Pt Bull Ban, bill 132. I just don't get it? Why not a Dangerous Dog Act rather than a specific breed ban? I guess I'll never understand and would only be repeating myself over and over again trying to make any logic out of it. The newest story is in the Toronto Sun, so you can take a look for yourself. *conners flings up her hands in frustration*

Monday, April 04, 2005

Love is Shasta...and... Shasta is Love...

Shasta Love Posted by Hello
This is my Shasta and as you can see, she has a very loving, happy personality. The first pic is her giving me a few loving licks. I'm trying to get her to cut back on the licking, but I'm not quite sure how to do that, as I certainly can't scold her for being so loving. She is cutting back as I side track her by rubbing her belly instead. Ohhhh...and does she ever love that!
The 2nd picture is her when her little cousin, (but not related LOL) Lucy comes to visit. She's all smiles and the only time she will leave Lucy, is when the puppy takes a nap. Shasta wouldn't let any harm come to the baby and even let's her drink out of her water bowl and food dishes.
The 3rd picture is Lucy nibbling at Shasta's jowls. Shasta lays down to her level and encourages her, as she loves anything that makes Lucy happy. It's as if she's letting my girlfriend know, you can talk with Mommy and I'll watch the baby for you.
As you can see, Shasta is a very large part of my life. We do practically everything together. When I go bike riding, she runs beside me. When I go for walks, Shasta comes with me. Most times when I go visiting, Shasta is welcome or even asked to come.
Before her, I had a collie X that the kids named Bunny. She was a wonderful part of our family and with me even afterwards when I lived on my own. Once Bunny passed away at age 20 (human years), I didn't think I'd ever get another dog and with Bunny, a part of me died inside.
It wasn't until Shasta came into my life that that void was filled and my whole life changed for the good. I did things with Shasta that I wasn't able to do with Bunny, as Bunny was too old and her arthritis prevented her from walking very far. Her limit was to the back yard and back into the house so slowly. She was losing her eye sight, her bladder and her bowels. Then she started to lose her balance and I knew she was coming close to her end. I stayed home close to her, afraid to leave in case she needed me. I didn't realize it at the time, but I limited my life to take care of Bunny in her final years. We had grown older together and her health started going down at about the same time mine did. I wanted to make her final days as dignified and loved as much as possible, but I refused to believe it was her final time. Maybe it was selfish on my part, but I wanted so much to believe that she would get better. It happened before, so I was hoping again, only this time age was against her.
A good friend, Dave had a long talk with me showing me that what I wanted and what Bunny needed weren't in agreement. The more I listened and cried, the more I realized just how unfair I was being to her. That same night, she stopped eating and nothing I gave her would she even sniff. She would turn her head away. Bunny and I had a very special night together and I knew come morning what I would finally have to do. It was as if Bunny understood and I saw a calm happiness in her, as if she was comforting me.
The next day came and I made arrangements and I've never seen Bunny so excited. My family and friends came to say their farewells. Mostly I don't remember, as my whole being was on Bunny and although I knew it was the right decision, I was heart broken with her gone. I vowed I would never let that part of me be torn apart again. NEVER... Never... never...
But then after a few years, Shasta came into my life. I told myself all the reasons I wouldn't take her. I was only going to take her to train and socialize her properly. My friends saw what was going on and they kept telling me I would keep her, but I kept denying it. I loved her yes, but I was able to let go, is what I told everybody. They just laughed and asked who I was kidding. The thought of giving her up became painful to me. Again I cried and cried. That's when I knew that Shasta and I had bonded so deeply that she was going to stay with me forever.
She taught me how to live again and got me out of the house socializing once more. At one time I could barely walk to the store and now I can walk and ride for miles. First baby steps, and now I'm more alive than I have been since the accident. My frame of mind is better now than it ever was. My health issues are under my control and Shasta and I live for the moment enjoying the simplest things in life as well as the big.
Have I left myself vulnerable again? Perhaps, but that's the way of life. I'm thankful for the many years with Bunny and now I'm thankful for the love and joy Shasta brings to me. I don't need to think about the what if's. I look at the present and treasure all that I have. To think, it took a puppy named Shasta to give me back my life again.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Terri Schiavo Case...Treated like 3-Ring Circus

If I ever become in such a state that I can not function on my own and only feeding and breathing tubes are keeping me alive, I would not want to live like that…if that is even called living. There! I made it PUBLIC!
What happened in the Terri Schiavo Case was not about Terri at all. Instead, it was a battle of morality, the court system, the media, the public, and a family divided. In other words, it was a 3-ring circus. Who was Terri? She was a person, who got changed into a statistic. We all viewed Terri on our TV’s of her in 2002, but that wasn’t the whole Terri. We didn’t get to know her other than through those short clips.
I don’t have answers as to what is right or wrong in someone’s life, that I have no idea of who they are. But, I don’t think it right for the loved ones to be constantly hounded by the press, the protest groups, and the public. Terri’s family and her husband battling on opposite sides were stressful enough for them. The decision that was made did not of come easily to her husband. He did what he felt Terri wanted, and to abide by her wishes had to be one of the most difficult decisions he could have made. Click
here to read more on what the decision was based from.
In Canada, we have a ‘living will’ and in case you are not able to make that decision for yourself, you choose a benefactor to make that decision for you. You pick someone that you trust to make that decision you’ve chosen to have it carried out, rather than someone you think may not be strong enough when the time comes.
As for the Schiavo family, my condolences go out to you on the loss of your wife and daughter and the rest of those close to Terri. May her peace bring you comfort. My you be able to heal the deep wounds between each other of the choices that were made and remember that those choices were made out of love for Terri.