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Staying the Course -- June 15, 2020

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Superbob

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Hope the new week will go well for all you Coursers. Loved last week's reports from you all. (A Southern expression, you know -- often "yawl." : )

Been thinking I too often start a week's thread with something gloomy -- often the latest chapter in my slog through the golden years. However, today I want to start with a tribute to my part-Chesapeake Bay Retriever, "Ellie."

Basically, I would weigh 400 pounds, were it not for this dog. After the passing of our Golden "Sadie," who lived to almost 15 and accompanied me on jaunts ranging from the Appalachian Trail to the Carolina beaches, we rescued Ellie from a high-kill shelter. They were going to put her down because, at 7, she was deemed "too old." Well, she's been a member of our family for going on six years now and shows a lot of joy of life. Though she is starting to show her age, she barks me off this infernal computer every day rain or shine and demands that we do our daily walk. Nor will she abide me flopping on the couch and skipping out of a walk.

There is no better personal trainer than an energetic dawg in the household. I am sure that I have been fortunate enough to reach a fairly advanced age in large part because of my walking dogs down through the decades. Ellie helped me bounce back from OHS within the past year as did Sadie 15 years ago.

My only update: Today I made an appointment for late July with a highly skilled, well-respected hernia surgeon on the other side of the state. Probably will have to have a CT-Scan for him to get a good look at the guts poking through my abdominal wall. Maybe it is possible to live with such a condition, but I believe I would rather accept the risks and take a shot at getting it corrected.

After all, Ellie tells me we have lots of walks still out there for us to take.

Cheers,
Superbob
🦸‍♂️
 

skeptic49

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Good to read about Ellie, Superbob. Having a canine companion is great for both your physical and mental health. I lost my beloved mix Bradley when I was hospitalized for OHS in 2015. I was caring for him in his senior years but when I was ill his care became too much for my family. While I have grieved for him since, I did adopt in late 2015 another dog, a small female mix who I named Katie. She is the sweetist girl ever and a great walking companion. Having her helped me to get over losing Bradley. I would be unhappy without a dog. I've always had a doggie companion and Katie is the fourth one that I've had as an adult. Good that you made the decision to get the surgery. Best wishes for a positive outcome.
 

Superbob

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Good to read about Ellie, Superbob. Having a canine companion is great for both your physical and mental health. I lost my beloved mix Bradley when I was hospitalized for OHS in 2015. I was caring for him in his senior years but when I was ill his care became too much for my family. While I have grieved for him since, I did adopt in late 2015 another dog, a small female mix who I named Katie. She is the sweetist girl ever and a great walking companion. Having her helped me to get over losing Bradley. I would be unhappy without a dog. I've always had a doggie companion and Katie is the fourth one that I've had as an adult. Good that you made the decision to get the surgery. Best wishes for a positive outcome.
Glad you got another companionable dog, Katie, after Bradley's passing, Jim. It took me about 5 months after losing Sadie, sweetest dog I've ever had. Ellie has been a hardy successor. She's a little more rough-edged than Sadie. Growls or barks at other dogs on our walks -- probably because of traumatic experiences when she was in shelters. But she is sweet in her own way and does she ever love to walk! Now when I walk her in the morning, she's started lobbying me for another walk at dusk. We did 2-a-days when we first got her (in the winter), but one a day is usually more than enough for me during a South Carolina summer. But maybe I ought to accept her challenge and lose a few more pounds. Am down about 34 from last summer. But no doubt losing a few more would be good, too, esp before a hernia surgery.
 
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LoveMyBraveHeart

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Aw, reading the stories of others enjoying the companionship of an animal lights up my day.

I grew up with dogs (well, many types of animals, really)...we had a rescue lab/shepherd mix that passed when I was very young that was an amazing source of snuggles for us kids, but also protection for us. After losing hi,m we rescued a mastiff/lab mix that was one of the coolest dogs I've ever had the blessing to know. He came from a very sad and abusive situation and it took some time to gain his trust, but he was such a good, loyal friend and protector. We also had a lab that was not the brightest bulb, but definitely encouraged us all to enjoy the outdoors, rain or shine. Another mastiff found his way to our home, and was loved immensely by all that knew him. He was a slow moving guy that looked very tough, but in reality way the biggest wimp! My sister acquired a rotten lab/dobie mix that was an awful puppy, but is now in his golden years and has mellowed into quite the gentleman. Then I got my first dog on my own that is the love of my life and first child. I don't know where Mathias and I would be without him. He has shared so many triumphs and wiped away so many of our tears. He is a giver of laughs and cuddles. He is the most perfect dog for Mathias and I (even in his imperfections and occasional naughtiness) as he has taught us so much just be being himself. I want one of my next accomplishments to be training a Canine Good Citizen dog and starting a volunteer program at the hospital Mathias got his surgery at where either visitors or patients can come see the dog(s) as a little pick me up...something to break up the monotony of a hospital stay. Some day! Nothing makes me happier than seeing someone experience the genuine love from a furry companion. It does the soul so much good.

Hope everyone is staying well!
 

Protimenow

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These 'dog' posts make me sad. I grew up with dogs in my family. So did my wife. We both love dogs.

We've had at least one dog in our lives together since the mid-70s. Our last dog hung around longer than she probably should have - she didn't complain - but it finally became clear that she was ready to go. That was on January 2, 2018.

My wife and I (okay, maybe mostly me) decided that it wouldn't be fair to get another dog, because we don't think it would be fair to the dog if we were to die -- my kids are thousands of miles away, and probably wouldn't come down to take the dog. We wouldn't want it in a shelter, where it may not find a new owner. Perhaps this is selfish - selfish on the dog's behalf.

Maybe I'll have to rethink this. We REALLY miss having a dog in the house.
 

skeptic49

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Maybe I'll have to rethink this. We REALLY miss having a dog in the house.
So many poor dogs need a home even if it might not be forever. It might do both you and the dog great good to spend whatever time you have together. We got Katie dog knowing that she might outlive us. But the love back and fourth each day is so special, and so wonderful. Take it one day at a time and treasure every moment together.
 

Superbob

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These 'dog' posts make me sad. I grew up with dogs in my family. So did my wife. We both love dogs.

We've had at least one dog in our lives together since the mid-70s. Our last dog hung around longer than she probably should have - she didn't complain - but it finally became clear that she was ready to go. That was on January 2, 2018.

My wife and I (okay, maybe mostly me) decided that it wouldn't be fair to get another dog, because we don't think it would be fair to the dog if we were to die -- my kids are thousands of miles away, and probably wouldn't come down to take the dog. We wouldn't want it in a shelter, where it may not find a new owner. Perhaps this is selfish - selfish on the dog's behalf.

Maybe I'll have to rethink this. We REALLY miss having a dog in the house.
I had the same sort of misgivings when my long-time companion Sadie passed away. After all, I'm getting up there in years and have had multiple heart surgeries. I didn't think it would be right to get a puppy with a possible 15-year lifespan. However, finding that I did not have the willpower to take a long walk every day without having a dog to get me going, I finally decided to adopt a senior one from the shelter -- reasoning that we two old dawgs would just age together. Should I die first, I am fortunate in having dog-loving kids and grandkids I'm sure would take good care of Ellie in whatever time she had left. So your thought process is rational and considerate, but you might check the canine rescues for a senior dog that might be a good fit in your household. The look on a older dog's face upon realizing it is being liberated from the shelter and going into the care of a caring person is really quite uplifting.
 

sylviayasgur

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Love reading all these dog-lover posts. We've always had golden retrievers. Then, in 2002 we added a second dog, a mini poodle. Then, 8 years later, we added a third, a cavalier. my daughters each have dogs (cave-poo and cocker). They all got along. Then, at 14 we lost our golden. At 15 we lost our poodle, and last year we lost our cavalier. This is the first year we have been without dogs, ever. I cannot count how many times i have cried, missing them. yes, a new dog certainly helps getting over the loss. Joey and I have decided to take a (very painful) break for now as there is so much going on in our lives (daughter getting married in LA, aging mom_ just lost my dad). so we try to borrow and baby sit our four legged grandkids. There is nothing like having a dog though. please keep me reading!!!
 

LoveMyBraveHeart

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These 'dog' posts make me sad. I grew up with dogs in my family. So did my wife. We both love dogs.

We've had at least one dog in our lives together since the mid-70s. Our last dog hung around longer than she probably should have - she didn't complain - but it finally became clear that she was ready to go. That was on January 2, 2018.

My wife and I (okay, maybe mostly me) decided that it wouldn't be fair to get another dog, because we don't think it would be fair to the dog if we were to die -- my kids are thousands of miles away, and probably wouldn't come down to take the dog. We wouldn't want it in a shelter, where it may not find a new owner. Perhaps this is selfish - selfish on the dog's behalf.

Maybe I'll have to rethink this. We REALLY miss having a dog in the house.
Many rescues actually allow you to "will" your pet to them should you pass before they do. The rescue I worked for frequently got in animals that were previously adopted from them, back, because an owner passed and their survivors wouldn't or couldn't care for the animal. We always took the animal in and gave it some patience as it adjusted to a shelter life and did our best to find a home that was able to provide what it was used to and accommodate any needs. Sometimes the animals were sad and you could tell they were lonely, but rescue workers are very good at making them happier and spending time with them building their trust. You might revisit getting another dog...the right one is out there for you, and as long as you give it the love he or she needs, they are happy. Dogs live in their moment and aren't thinking of "what if my human dies before I do?"...they are present, experiencing your experiences, celebrating your triumphs and giving you encouragement when things aren't perfect. Animal companionship is so good for your mental and physical health. If you still can't justify adopting a dog, try volunteering for a rescue. They are always looking for new volunteers, whether to walk the dogs, socialize them, foster them, or even drive them from shelter to shelter. You can get your fix that way, too. :)
 

Protimenow

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fI wasn't aware of 'willing' your dog. That's interesting.

My wife certainly needs her 'canine fix' as much as, or more than, I do. We probably prefer to have a rescue dog, in order to, well, rescue it. First, though, I really have to make the house canine compatible (in other words, cleaning it up quite a bit).

Thanks for the encouragement.
 

Superbob

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We have a rescue dog that joined our family 3 years ago. She lives to run and walk, so we get out almost every day. Attached is an image of a good dog.
Now that is a good dog, Martin! -- how do I know? Can just tell by how peacefully curled up and blissful look on sweet face. I've often marveled at how fast dogs can drop into a deep deep sleep. Wish I had that superpower. Sometimes takes me hours.
 
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