Thursday, May 12, 2011

Goodbye, Secret Love

Since New Year's Eve 2009, Rex and I have had three lovely collie dogs in our lives. These are really not dogs we adopted in the same sense of our current pet dogs Susie, Archie and Jesse, or our other past pet dogs chronicled in the Furballs section of It was more like we became their caretakers when their original "mom" became terminally ill and their original "dad" could no longer care for them. This was not my idea, as we already had three dogs and had only adopted Susie three weeks before. But apparently, according to my husband, these folks could find no one else to take all three collies. (I found, and still find, this hard to believe. There are rescue organizations that would have be glad to have them. I think it was just that Rex wanted them. It was easy to see why; all three were so sweet and docile, and very beautiful.)

Though I didn't like the idea, and it has been strange to generally not be able to tell people about these lovely dogs (since technically, we are only supposed to have four dogs in this county), I grew fond of the collies, and they have literally been no trouble. All they ask is to have food and water brought to them each day, and to be together. I understood why their former "mom and dad" asked that they not be separated. The only issue has been that Zane, the lone male, who I believe was about 5-1/2 when he and his mates (Bella and Terra, age 4) came to stay in our yard, had an occasional seizure which seemed to be some form of canine epilepsy. He would be on his side for about 15-20 minutes and then would gradually get up and seem to be fine again.

Though all three collies are very pretty, Zane definitely had the classic Lassie look. He was the only one of the three who occasionally came inside. He spent the least time in the large doghouse Rex built, so he would often get wet in the frequent rain, and we would let him in for a few minutes and dry him off (just a few minutes, since he and the girls were never housebroken, as they had always lived outdoors). He seemed to be having seizures less often than he used to and seemed fine. At the age of not quite 7, he seemed to be in the prime of his doggie life, and we naturally assumed to have him and his sisters for several more years. But tonight, Rex saw Zane laying in the same position in the rain for quite some time. He went to check on Zane but he didn't respond. So Rex carried him inside on a board, dried him off and covered him. He never did stir from that position and died sometime tonight. This is so sad and unexpected; sort of like when our Gus suddenly died of a stroke at not quite age 7. We wonder if that's what happened to Zane. It's not the same devastation as when Gus, my indoor buddy, died. Zane lived outside and I didn't have that same bonding with him. But I wish I could have known Zane better. He was a wonderful dog and we will miss him very much. I think it will be harder on Rex since he spent more time with the collies than I did. Rex just had his appendix out three days ago, and though he is healing quickly and should be able to return to work soon, I know he was not planning to have to build a doggie coffin later today.

It's so hard sometimes for me to understand and accept many of the things God allows to happen -- and to not happen. I don't know why he took Zane and Gus at a relatively young age when they should have had several more happy years. Even more so for several of the human friends who passed on last year -- Sandi Lee, Al Haymaker, Mike Peterson. Then there was my having to miss Dianne's dad Hal's memorial service on Good Friday, after I rearranged my work schedule all week so that I could be there to support my friend and pay respect to her dear dad. Instead, I was hit with the mother of all migraines and was too sick to go anywhere that day. It really hurt me to miss Hal's service, and especially because, as I wrote in my last blog entry, I'd resolved to sacrifice and cut back on foods I craved and FINALLY lose the weight. I felt as though I was being punished for doing the right thing. As a result, I AGAIN gave up on this lofty goal and AGAIN resolved it will never happen, instead indulging in those foods I crave. I figured, if God isn't going to bless my efforts and instead shoot me down with a major migraine, then why deny myself? It will be quite some time, if ever, before I again muster the resolve to lose the weight. It's hard to have that resolve when God won't help me, as He knows I can't do it alone. I had decided it was too much with my work and church schedule to rejoin TOPS, but I know how to lose the weight on my own. I've done it before. I just don't feel inclined to keep trying when my efforts keep getting shot down.

I'm still attending the contemporary church I described last time and still struggling with how contemporary the services are compared to what I'd grown used to the past few years. But the place is so alive and vibrant, that I can only hope the love of God shown by the people there rubs off on me. Though it's not what I thought I was looking for in a church, it's what I need at this time, and who knows, maybe for the long haul!