It's been awhile, almost 3 years in fact, since I've visited this space.
A lot has changed. When I decided that I wanted to try to make the time to blog again I considered creating a new blog, because my life looks almost nothing like it did when I started this blog however many years ago, but I couldn't. No, life is different, but it's still a joy!
In a nutshell, since I last posted we've had two more children, bringing us to three, all boys! We have Blake, who will be 5 in March. We have Cole who will be 3 in February. And now, we have Elias, who is almost 10 months.
We had to make the decision to send River to a new home after having her for 2.5 years and spending thousands of dollars on her mysterious health problem which caused chronic pain. We pushed on and discovered it was chronic pancreatitis, not a spinal issue. With a small house, a big dog who grew up in very poor conditions and could jump any gate, and three little kids, we were unsuccessful in keeping her from getting ahold of food that would cause her pancreas to become inflamed and make her ill. She started spending too much time in her crate and it just wasn't fair to her. Similar to the decision we made regarding Teddy, we made for her. We could not risk her life by keeping her here. So, she now lives in Arizona with Emily's (of Ellis and Gelly!) parents and has a fantastic, safe, life. While we miss her we know, unequivocally, that we made the absolute correct decision for her.
Since this started as a dog blog, I'll do dog updates. We said our final goodbye to Teddy Bear on October 26, 2015. We didn't get to see him in his new home except from a distance, his new mom "D" knew he couldn't have handled getting to see me and then say goodbye, but I got regular updates and pictures and "D" has become a good friend who comes to our home to be with our animals when we have to leave home. Anyway, the congestive heart failure he had ravaged his body and eventually, he had a stroke or aneurysm, or something, that caused him to suddenly lose function of his back end. He was alive, but he was gone, the light had gone out. We visited with him at "D"s house the day before he was to be euthanized and it took him a long long time to give the tiniest hint that he knew who I was. We spent an hour or two with him, sitting in the back of our van, cuddling and enticing him to eat some lunch meat. He did relax enough to release his bladder, which had become rare, and he gave me a kiss and a smile and almost looked like himself, but we knew it was time. The next day I met "D" and a couple of her dear friends at the vet and we cuddled on the bumper of my van until it was time to go inside. I tried to give him an ice cream cone and he refused. He didn't notice the cars driving by or that we were talking to him. I carried him inside and cuddled him in the waiting room. Once we got in "the" room I stood beside him and he put his head on my shoulder and stuck to me as the anesthetic took effect. He kept his head on my shoulder until he couldn't anymore, then I helped him lay down. "D" told him how much he was loved and kissed on his perfect face, but I couldn't. I'd failed him. If any dog had ever deserved to have one home their entire life, it was him, and *I* had failed. He was so so loved, and I still miss him every day.
We have two dogs currently, Eclipse and Kira, of course. Kira just turned 13 and she's perfectly healthy. She does have a number of fatty tumors but none have changed or grown and don't bother her. She's active and loud, and has selective deafness and fading eyesight but you'd never know she was 13 by watching her! Eclipse is 8 and as crazy as ever!
Of course their impulse control has deteriorated since there is so much opportunity for their lack of control to be reinforced, but we still love them and they'll live out their lives with our boys and us.
Sorry for the down post upon my return!
I'll post soon about these crazy boys of mine and maybe what our daily lives and struggles look like.