Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Loving them is so easy - Losing them is so hard

“Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”
                                                                                                           - Dr. Seuss

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Last Chapter

This will likely be my last post - and, at some point soon I will try to figure out how to delete the blog - if that's possible. I started this blog back in 2009 to help me organize my thoughts on training, try to put things in perspective, and track our progress. At that time we were starting our quest for the UD (Utility Dog) title. We achieved that goal as well as the ultimate goal of earning the UDX title. Since that was the main focus of our blog, there hasn't been much to post about in Jackson's 'retirement.'

It was a great journey and I am really appreciative of the comments and support we received from our blogger friends. And, I will continue to follow the many blogs I discovered when I started blogging.

Jackson was my first attempt to train for competitive obedience. We were both learning as we went - through trial and many errors! What I learned was - the best thing about obedience is the relationship you forge with your dog. That's  also what makes this time so terribly difficult. Jackson has been diagnosed with osteosarcoma (bone cancer). It came on suddenly a few weeks ago and there is no cure. After consultation with experts at the vet school we decided that the best course of action for Jackson would be pain management. Osteosarcoma can be treated agressively with amputation and chemo/radiation, which may buy you some time. However, because of Jackson's age and size, this is not an option we would choose.

He is currently on Rimadyl, Tramadol and Gabapentin for pain management. He's eating, drinking and resting comfortably, however, he has trouble at times moving around. So.... we spend our days doing what he enjoys most - laying on the front porch keeping an eye on the neighborhood : )

Hug your dogs and don't worry too much about qualifying and earning titles because when the last chapter is written, they really don't matter that much.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Blog has been hijacked by the gardener today

Can't believe it's been five months since we blogged! I guess that's what retirement does to you :) Since Jackson has retired from the obedience ring, there's not been a lot to blog about. However, he is doing fine. We had two school demos this week with others from the obedience club. Jackson is always a hit with the kids - not because of his talents - but because of his size. I'm always a little surprised at the comments we frequently get like, "Wow, I've never seen a dog that big before!"

We are back in Iowa and now spending a lot of time relaxing on the front porch - checking out the goings on in the neighborhood. I love front porches and don't understand why so many people close in their front porches - ahh, but I digress :) Jackson and Jolee love the front porch too, so much so, that they would storm the door when they thought we were going out. Ah-ha, an opportunity for training. With a handful of treats, it didn't take long until they would stand patiently at the open front door while I put the ex-pen across the bottom of the steps. When the release word - 'okay' - comes, they can then charge out the door.

Jackson at his 'look-out' post

Now, a word about the title - 'hijacked by the gardener today'. Since I have trouble remembering from year to year what plantings did well and what didn't, I decided recently that I needed to take some pictures and start a gardening journal that I can refer to next spring when it's time to plant. We have a small, very shady yard so it's a challenge to find things that do well - except hostas - so I try to experiment with various flowers.

Since I had all these photos of plantings, I thought I would post a few on Jackson's blog. I don't think gardens are ever finished products - they're always works in progress. So, if anyone has suggestions for plantings, please don't hesitate to comment.

the front view

front yard view from porch

front yard view from the sidewalk

Not one to let space go to waste - I planted the parking strip in front. Actually
it has more to do with reducing the amount of yard that needs to be mowed.

the backyard - wishing I had a wooded view in the background instead of
neighbors' garages but, oh well - that's life in the city: )

One of my favorite places to relax in the side yard.

Evidently, the squirrel's too!

Back to blogging about Jackson next time!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hiking in the desert

We took a hike in the desert recently and snapped a couple pictures. A friend also snapped a picture of me snapping pictures. The last picture is of a coyote we saw when we were hiking. Coyotes are very common around here. (The one pictured was not very close - the zoom lens makes it appear we are close-up and personal : )