Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Donuts and Red Shoes...Embracing Jiggy Day

It's Jiggy Day...and I am eating freshly glazed donuts for breakfast and wearing new red shoes.

Because anything red ALWAYS reminds me of my girl...but especially red shoes!

 My heart generally surges and then constricts on Jocie's birthday...causing joy and pain simultaneously.

I find it incomprehensible that my youngest daughter would be 22 today and even further unfathomable that this is the seventh birthday we have celebrated without her. 

The inability to make new memories is one of the cruel realities about losing someone very close to you. As friends and family age...she remains forever fixed in time. A beautiful rose oblivious to seasonal changes or passage of time.

This beautiful rose will always be 15.

I see so much of Jocie in the world around the antics of her teenage brother choosing Hello Kitty for his senior year backpack.

Or downloading the photos from my find these gems waiting for me! Harassing mom used to be a favorite pastime of Jocie's.

Certainly Jocie would have been on the top of this boulder rockin' the Warrior pose with her siblings.

And she would be completely supportive of this behavior...

as well as this nonsense!

When Jocie was this age she liked sugar, shoes and shopping...

and hated having her hair fixed each and every morning...which completely describes Olivia.

Playing with crazy lovable Kenya always reminds me of Jocie, because she picked her out of that litter of puppies the day we brought her home. Kenya being the most hyper pup...I remember Jocie exclaiming, "See mom, she acts just like one of us!"

Sometimes I wish I could sneak just one new memory out of the past...

one moment I've forgotten.

Something ridiculous that Jocie said...

or even better...a breathtaking mother daughter memory that belongs to just the two of us.

So today my friends I have a wish for you,

or shall I even make it a challenge!

Do something extraordinary...

or even ordinary today,

with someone you love,

doing what you love...

and photograph it, sketch it, journal it,

just document it in some way. Record that memory and tuck it away for safe keeping. Trust will be so happy you did. Happy Jiggy Day to all our friends and family!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

I Love Lucy Pooch

Early one morning, Dean casually mentioned that there was a lady with a puppy coming to our house in a couple of hours.

"No pressure" he said...

"If you're not ready that's ok...only you know when that time will be. 

But she's a goldendoodle like you love, curly and red...

exactly what you were hoping for, just a little sooner than you were expecting."

And just like that we welcomed little Lucy into our home.

We are all completely smitten. It's been said that Lucy has super powers...she can even get Dean to smile! 

Admittedly, I struggled the first few days. Especially that first critical night when Lucy cried and barked for her litter mates all night long. What was I thinking!

However, almost instantly Lucy imprinted on me looking at me as her Mamma. Even Kenya likes the attention Lucy's arrival has brought to the backyard. 

Lucy is adorable...

smart and clever and full of puppy mischief. 

But mostly she's full of love!

Unconditional puppy love!

I have come to the conclusion that Lucy could never replace Izzy, nor do I want her to. There could only ever be one Izzy Pooch. 

But Lucy is an opportunity to open my heart again and bring a new pup into my world...loving and bonding with another pooch all over again!

Lucky lucky me...

and lucky lucky Lucy. Welcome to the The Garlick Press little Lucy pooch!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

My Izzy Pooch

Standing in the veterinary hospital operating room...the various monitors beeped intermittently as my beloved Izzy pooch lay motionless on the warm operating table.

"Sometimes the right dog comes to the right person at the right time" said the vet..."and that's what Izzy was for you."

I raised Izzy from an eight week old pup...intent on having the most well-behaved dog imaginable. She was all that and more! From her first night home until her last...we were nearly inseparable. During the dark dark days following Jocie's death, Izzy was my close companion anchoring me to the world...

keeping me grounded!

I noticed early on, that Izzy would let you do anything to her. Dress her up, pose her...literally anything you wanted. 

I don't imagine she loved it...but merely tolerated it because she loved me.

She became a model for Jiggystick; where among other duties, we had Izzy pose for the label of our Hot Jiggity Dog Shampoo.

Izzy was softness and sweetness 

and BBQ ribs.

She was springtime chicks, long eyelashes,

and banana cream pie.

There is NOTHING quite like the love of a dog. To my knowledge, no other species prefers the companionship of humans to their own.

It isn't that dogs are confused about their identity or what species they belong to...

or that they think we are marvelous.

Dogs just prefer humans over other dogs simply because they love us...

unconditionally love us!

Every single time I walked in the door to home I was greeted excitedly by Izzy...whether I had been gone for five minutes or five days.

Izzy loved to be with our family no matter where we went, including the weekly Saturday ski trips.

 Izzy knew when the ski pants went was one of those days. Arriving at the mountain, she would run and play and sniff while we put on ski boots and got ready for a day of skiing. Upon command, that pup would pile in the car, curl up in a ball, and wait for us to come spend our lunch hour with her. She loved it!

I give all the credit to Dean for finding Izzy. His hectic travel schedules meant nights and mornings spent alone, so I decided I would like a dog to keep me company while he was away on business trips. I guess it was only appropriate that she would sleep on Dean's pillow while he was gone.

Dean discovered her at a local area breeder...goldendoodles (cross between a Standard Poodle and a Golden Retriever) were something new and uncommon 7 1/2 years ago. The pick of the litter...the breeder sat rocking Izzy with giant streaming tears when we arrived to take her home. I distinctly remember how she smelled lightly of fresh baby powder.

I've often wondered if that breeder and his wife had any idea the joy and love this dog would be for me...

or how many hours we would spend together.



starring in movies...

playing with family dogs...

or how much I would adore that black nose nuzzled softly into my waiting hand every single day of her life.

It was the 4th of July weekend when I noticed something not quite right with Izzy...she seemed just a little off. Her BFF Stella was spending the week with us while her family was away. It was nothing really...Izzy just seemed to jump a little more gingerly into the car for the first time in her life...even hesitating slightly.

We hiked to the top of Naomi Peak that day...and now I know just how brave she was and how much she wanted to be with us, despite the pain she must have been experiencing unbeknownst to me.

Concerned, with her lingering fatigue,  days later we visited the vet where Izzy was initially diagnosed with a kidney infection. 

Stubbornly it wouldn't go away, and then day after day she worsened...

and my heart began to tremble.

And on this day...we discovered she not only had an infection, but a rare cancerous tumor on that kidney. My heart sank into my chest and my eyes felt that awful familiar sting as I held Izzy's head during the ultrasound and the vet delivered the horrific news.

The plan was to remove the cancerous kidney in a high-risk surgery as all the other organs looked healthy in the x-rays. Dr P (as she is called) knew how much this dog meant to me and wanted to save her, and believed she could easily live with just one healthy kidney. The next two days Izzy never left my side. I cried and whispered positive thoughts in her fluffy white ears...telling her how much I loved her.

Dean and I took these photos the night before her surgery...fearing and preparing for anything the next morning. You would never guess from these images just how awful this pooch felt. No appetite and unable to hardly move...our hearts were breaking for her pain. And just before going inside, Izzy turned and wagged her tail for the first time in days. An image I'll never forget.

The following morning I kissed her lightly on that black nose top as the vet ushered her down the hallway assuring me she would keep Izzy comfortable and update me on the surgery as soon as she had news.

It wasn't much more than an hour later when the shrill noise from my phone delivered the results we had feared...the tumor had indeed spread up and down her spine...inoperable.

Tears...just so many tears!
And so...Dean and I rushed to her side...whispered I love you's...embraced her in our arms...and let her go...the absolutely only thing left we could do for her...

Never in a million years could I imagine the love I would have for this pup...nor could I ever adequately explain that bond we shared.

When you open your heart and give it to a pooch...she becomes your faithful friend, your untiring defender, your constant companion...your pooch. And to the are her love, her life, her world. Until the last beat of her heart she will be your lovable pooch...faithful and true. I will love you forever my Izzy Pooch!