Alyx

Alexandra was my only niece. I loved her to pieces, but I think even she knew I was better with the nephews and her brother. I mean, I got to the point where I could play with Fisher-Price toys, Matchbox, Hot Wheels, Thomas the Tank Engine…you get my drift. Alyx was an Madame Alexander doll girl, and I was Little Kiddles, back in the day. Yet, we still loved each other and hello Kitty.

Today, Alyx would be 38 years old.


Here is a picture of us circa 1994. We are standing in my parent’s front yard. This was always my favorite picture of the both of us together. It is bittersweet, as I was in my first cancer during this time and I would lose my sweet Alyx 3 years later to a mid-brain tumor. It was, kind of, the end of our golden age.

My Dad passed away the year after Alyx, and Mom in 2012. I know Alexandra is up there is good company.

I miss them all.

Things I am Learning Now from Zush

It was a dreary morning here at the bay. Remembering my Mom and her dementia, I tend to keep the shades down, as I know that light plays a factor on sundowning.


By noontime today, the sun came out. The sun normally would deter the sundowning , thus the term “sundowning “. The sun didn’t help deter Zush’s vocal cries. I have learned a new trick to help her out. I get her out, and either walk her or just hang in the yard with her. Like being with a human, the action taken seems to make things smooth over. It’s like the one-on-one time makes her more at ease, which, in turn, rubs off on me!

Learning something new every day, thanks to my friend Zush. She always brings love to the day.

Zush and the Deck

My Zusher always was a fresh air type of girl.

She loves cooler weather and walking in the snow. Now, since the canine dementia diagnosis, she seems to crave our back deck. The rain stopped, so she’s been laying out there sleeping. I go and check on her every ten minutes or so, but I figure she’s happy for now.

Keep a good thought for the Zusher as she travels down this road with me.

Thanks.

You Tube

I was born in late 1959. There are many things I missed in the last century. Through the circumstances that have had me home over the past six months, I discovered You Tube.

Remember I was an American Studies major. I know there are old movies and things that you can find. What have I been listening to or watching are reports  on the assassination of  the late president John Kennedy. Evidently, they run American documentaries on British television, such as channel 4 and BBC.

The one I watched today was narrated by George Clooney, and it was the story of how JFK and Walter Cronkite, and how they had age and the service in World War 2. It starts with how CBS went to 30 minute news with Walter meeting with JFK in Hyannis Port 2 months before the assassination. It takes you from the various reporters views, from the shooting through the burial in Arlington National Cemetery.

So with this post, I once again am showing my history background , and I guess it is better than some of the crap on cable. I know some of you may think I have no life, but hey, a little knowledge is a good thing.

Rough Night

Since it’s Saturday night, Jim’s home with me and Moonstruck is playing on the cable.

Meanwhile, sundowning Zush keeps walking around, as if she is trying to tell us,” How many times are you people watching this movie?” I have sung to her a bit and also rubbed her down with the lavender oil, but it seems as if she is having trouble getting tired, as it were. This is kind of weird, as I had her out for three walks today.

They are calling for chances of rain down here for the next four days, and I can’t help but wonder if, like her dear old mom, she feels the change in the barometric pressure. I like to read a page on the internet put out by an organization called Grey Muzzle. It deals with issues with older pups like the Zusher.

It is a daily experience with my girl. You learn there is no such thing as predictability in dementia, be it canine or human.

No matter what, she will always be my girl!

Kasia

Here’s a shot of my littlest girl, Kasia.

I was going to write about Zush and what’s going on, and quite frankly, was feeling a little low, as I tend to feel at this time of the night when she sundowns. All of a sudden, my Kasia comes up to me as I am sitting at my desk typing and puts her front paws on my thigh. This is basically her heads’ up that she wants a belly rub. It is always a little bittersweet in that I remember how I used to sing to Zush when she was younger as I gave her a belly rub.

Kasia, however, is my tear-dryer.She keeps nudging me until she gets 1000% of my attention.Usually, by the time we get through our exchange, things are good.

She is a God send, that’s for sure!

Me and my BFF

There comes a time on Facebook that you get too many tear-jerking dog stories. My buddy Kathy, and other dog moms know to give me a tear-jerker warning. 

As I am getting a little too close for comfort in this area, I decided to spend time on the floor hanging with my Zush tonight.

Granted the picture I took was a selfie with my IPad, but you know what? 

I will cherish it until I breathe my last.  It was good sharing Momma and Zush time. It will always be the biggest chunk of my heart!

Buddies

Whenever I required a medical procedure, and was required to go into the hospital, I was blessed to have a great support system. When it comes down to brass tacks, though, I was the patient. No one else. Procedures are scary. When you have family you are worrying about, it adds to the weight on you, the patient.


I am writing this post for one of my BFF’s. They know who they are. 

Cancer is scary. It’s good to vent your emotion at this lousy disease. You have to be holding good karma, and hoping for the best. The crappy thing is having to go through it. I wish I were there in person to get you through it, but please know a long distance rope of prayers and best wishes are out there with you!

Live strong!

It’s a Family Affair

Jim’s Mom and sister Kathy came down to spend some time with us.

I know Jim enjoyed having them here, as we are a healthy drive away, and by spending the night, the time is much more relaxed and enjoyable. We went to Mass together and out to eat. Kathy and I had the girls out for a walk. Tonight we had some movie time complete with popcorn. Even my mother-in-law had fun.


She met her friend Joe, who is a buddy of Jimmy’s. They always enjoyed talking about old times. She is 98 and Joe is 94. It is always great to take in their conversations and perspectives on things.

In all, a good weekend.

Alexander Hamilton

Of late, I have been going to bed late due to Zush and her canine dementia and Jim working until 11.

I have caught a lot of CBS late night, and my favorite has been James Corden and the Late, Late Show. He has a popular segment that is called Carpool Karaoke and it made me aware of the Broadway musical, Alexander Hamilton. Yes, I know, to those of you shaking your heads and considering yourselves in the know, I must have been under a rock.

The segment of Carpool Karaoke had to do with this years’ Tony Awards, which Corden was hosting. He had Lin-Manuel Miranda in the car with him and the two of them together woke up my love for broadway tunes. I know my nephew, Gregory, is always texting about rap battle wars, but for those of you who don’t know, the entire play is done in rap, hip-hop and song. When I first heard about this combination, I said, “Huh?”

Little did I know.

I know have the soundtrack on my phone and laptop and the songs are stuck in my head. When I was a kid, the musical “1776” came up and I loved it. I saw the play in Philadelphia and New York and also saw the movie a ton.

Now, retired that I am, I don’t know about my chance of seeing the play, but for now, the soundtrack has me hooked.

Old American Studies majors don’t die…they just find new life on Broadway!

They call the wind, uh….windy……

…although if you listen to the weather channel, they would talk about the knot speed of wind, and when they do that , I always talk back to them and just say W-I-N-D-Y….Being out of the city, home of row houses and tall office buildings, when you are down here at the bay, the wind finds anyway it can to come and get you.

The girls and I are on abbreviated walks because the wind is just so biting.I am sure we’ll make up for it when the weather gets nicer.In the mean time, the three of us spend some time in the yard.

It’s incredible when you are out in the cold, because the sun lures you into thinking that it’s warm out, but it’s not. It’s ok, although. We are glad that everyone isn’t down yet. It’s still our little corner of the world, and Zush still enjoys getting out, Kasia still wants to explore everything, and life is good.

Good Days

There doesn’t seem to be that many of them.

Today was an exemption. My buddies Kathy and Tim, Zosia’s foster parents came down to see us. They also brought Henry and Champ, their two dogs.Below is Champ.


Here is Henry.


Kathy and I go all the way back to grade school together. We lived in the same neighborhood. It is always good to reconnect with a buddy who shares history with you.


The only bad thing is when you separate, you wish you still lived closer! Kathy got to see in person how Zush was. We walked all the pups around the neighborhood.

A good day indeed!

Kicking Back

We are resting comfortably tonight. I have come to realize that all I need to do is sit by her bed when she is sundowning and I can rub her head and ears and she tends to relax. Thanks to my buddy Juls, I now know how to massage Zush, and have actually added peppermint for her arthritic hips, with a lavender oil around her head and now she is sleeping at my feet calmly.

I have come to find other blogs with dogs in similar situations. It really is comforting to know we aren’t the only folks walking our golden girl through this issue. We get through each day thankful that we had another day together. 

If at First You Don’t Succeed…

Our night last night was rough. We are trying to figure out how to make her comfortable.

Tonight, I am going to try to stay up with my girl, and hopefully things will go a little better. I feel bad, because Jim tends to be up more than I am. He needs some sleep, so hopefully it’ll work out for the both of us. The weather is supposed to be wintery tomorrow. I hope things will have a little more improvement. Prayers and good karma for the Zush will be greatly appreciated.

Not Knowing is the Worst

The Vet has said Zush has canine dementia. I think I have said it in the blog before. The vet would like to take a more of a homeopathic treatment option, which, unfortunately, doesn’t get here until tomorrow from Amazon.


Here’s a shot of Zosia going up the handicapped ramp. She is mobile, she’s eating and drinking. Hell, if you have the right thing in front of her, she’ll eat your fingers off if someone is holding food.


She is mobile but very vocal, and if I go next to her and sit with her, she quiets down a wee bit.


I know the cataracts are scary, and verbally all I can do is massage her with lavender to take some of the stress from her. When what the vet order arrives, I am sure I’ll learn it all new again.

The trick is to hold each second in my heart for eternity.

I love you Zush with the last “nth” of my being.

Disgust

So I should be happy: the x-rays show no impingement in my knees. However, down here, they only know how to treat with one thing…physical therapy.

Really? I’ll be stuck with therapists who really don’t give a rat’s ass about you, except to process your encounter sheet for payment from insurance. It is the times like this that I wish I were back in the city, where the therapists actually care about you.

I am going to call insurance tomorrow and see what lousy spot I have to go to for therapy. They never send you anyplace convenient for you. I guess if I am ever blessed to get to Medicare, then I can go see whoever I want to.

They wonder why patients get depressed. Walk a mile in my shoes, doc, and you’ll see my pain.

Catching Up…

Thanks to a friend of mine on Facebook, I have been trying to catch up with a religious friend of mine, who saw me through some bad times with my first cancer.


With thanks to Maryanne, a buddy of mine, she forwarded me this photo of my pal Brother Jim. I understand he is in Pittsburgh these days and not up to par. We met on the morning of my  cancer surgery and became fast friends.

So now it’s time to become Columbo and say a prayer that I can reestablish our friendship.

I’ll keep you posted.

Oh to be in Antarctica…

… if it would get rid of this hack of mine.

I know my nephew, Matt, among others, are strong advocates of needing cold weather to freeze out the germs. I agree with this, on the whole. Since we have had minimal cold weather, here is my current ” boyfriend “.


You, no doubt, recognize the cough medicine bottle. I try to take it at night, since it has codiene in it. The prescription says take every four hours as needed. I have been off of dairy, drinking tea, lemonade and water, and yet the hacking persists. I usually have a cinnamon head candy in my mouth to try to quiet the cough. They just don’t warn you about a million hot showers and anelgesic balm for aching muscles from coughing. Personally, I’ ll wait for tomorrow and try coconut rum and pineapple juice.

Who Needs a Bath?

Not us, say Zusher, Kasia and me.

Why, you may ask? Well, you know all phone apps that telll you when it’s going to rain? 

THEY LIE!** joking*


Here’s Zusher’s favorite pastime, walking in puddles.


Here’s Kasia drying off after getting soaked.

Well, now we gals are all in and dry, and even I am dried off. Time for dinner for all the girls!