Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Season

It's been a whole season since my precious Speedo went to the Rainbow Bridge. The first few days after he left I could barely breathe. I don't think I'd ever really experienced a broken heart. He didn't leave softly and I relive those dark moments over and over again, wishing I could have somehow helped him. I guess I did in a way....I held him and sang to him in the wee hours in the dark, telling him it was OK to go if he needed to. It was so unexpected....
A few weeks passed, 1....2....3....and then began the months. Now it's been a whole season since he went away and my heart still aches and I miss him. His tag sits here on my keyboard, his collar with his "rescued" charm dangling from a corner of my monitor and of course his picture on my screensaver. I like to keep him close by since he's always been my muse, my inspiration and the reason I started Silver Hounds and can help so many seniors like him, who became a burden to his person who could not afford his extensive medical care.
He would have been with us only four short years this past February 1. I somehow forgot that if he didn't want me to be sad, so it just slipped my mind. I thought I heard him bark the other day and I can't bear to throw away his special kidney medicine in the 'fridge that kept him healthy right up to the end.
The other dogs don't seem to know he's not here anymore, or maybe he still is and I just can't see him. I couldn't have gotten through that loss without them, nudging me to be happy that THEY are here and alive and SO loving.
My life really has gone to the dogs and I embrace it. I've recently reconnected with some old high school friends on Facebook and I'm sure they all think I'm a little daft that I never followed the rules and had a tribe of kids, and surround myself with dogs instead. Let them think it. I know what I do every day and I'm honored to keep such good company with my little pack of fur who teach me SO much.

Little did I know when I wrote this poem for Speedo two years ago that it would bring me such comfort after his passing. For all the senior dogs now and in the future who have lost their way, I hope a loving human finds you...and teaches you that you can love again.

Old Dog,
for Speedo
A senior dog is always there come sunny days or rain,
Their gentle ways through lazy days are sometimes filled with pain.
With cloudy eyes and toothless smiles they shower you with care,
Grateful, Quiet, Meek and Mild, Peaceful, Kind & Fair.
They teach us all how we should be, not afraid to live and love
For someday soon they'll leave us and we'll know from up above.
Their guidance will embrace us and they'll lead us on you see,
For another senior needs's just how it should be.

Holly Mastromatto 2007

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Good News

Well, seems that little mass was just a benign reaction to the dental infection, so all is well with the "kid". Phew...what a relief. He's acting normal for the most part, still a little sleepy but eating just takes him longer now with the loss of so many teeth.
So, back to modeling for Tino. Honestly, I think he missed it ;)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Poor little Bean

My little heartdog, Valentino is under the weather. The other day he lost 9 teeth and had a bunch of precancerous lesions burned off. They also found a wierd mass under his tongue which they removed and we await biopsy results on Monday....we're hoping it's not hemangiosarcoma, which claimed the life of his daddy about a month ago at 15+. Tino will be 11 in July.
Last night and again this afternoon two of the lesions ruptured and we had a bloody mess that thankfully we got under control with some yunnan baiyao...a Chinese herb that stops bleeding, which he's had issues with before. We suspect he has a slight clotting disorder on top of everything else. My dear pal and rescue partner Tammy the flying nurse walked me through it (thanks Tam...I owe ya one) and saved me a trip to the ER vet at 10pm on a Friday night...and probably $200.

What is it about these little dogs that consumes me? Yesterday I had one of the foster dogs, Jack at the vet just to drop something off and get him weighed. I've had no less than 8 dogs there in the last few months, mine and the fosters, and the receptionist made a comment that really struck a chord. She said, "These dogs all look at you with such love in their eyes." I guess I never really noticed, since I'm looking at all of them the same way....especially the ones that society has tossed away like old shoes. They were great when they were pretty and new but lose the shine, get a few scuffs and it's off to the shelter or worse...just open the door and let them run. That's how Jack was found last May. Fending for himself in the hot AZ desert with his pal Buster. We're still searching for the perfect home for him.
The Jocko Silver Hounds auction did really well last week and I think we have almost his entire vet bill raised! We have the BEST supporters!

Anyway, please say a little doggie prayer for my Bean. Short for Teeny Beanie Bumbaleeny, my Valentino, the famous pink hat model....the one who started my fascination with this precious little breed just about 11 years ago.