Archive for the ‘Life goes on’ Category

The Passing of Illya — an update on Life Goes On & On

April 27, 2009

As I sit here watching Illya’s life fade, though, he is still hanging in there; I find I have to believe that there’s room in Heaven for our furrfriends; and those that know me personally, will remember this belief from when Bonzo passed last fall.

 At our house we call them furrkids, because they aren’t pets, they are members of our family. Ours, now, are all adopted from rescue organizations, and most recently one here in the DFW area, the North Texas Samoyed Rescue, from which we adopted Illya 8+ years ago (and have taken care of his medical bills through this trial, our eternal thanks to Lynn and all), with his pal, Mikhi (who passed Sept of ’07), and most recently, Natalya, a young lady just over a year old, and still quite a puppy.

I got involved with Samoyeds in the mid-80s, eventually going into show and breeding (once), and have taken in the rescues since my early Sammies passed away, so since around ’95.  All of these guys & gals have become integral to our lives and deeply embedded in our hearts and souls; which is for our good if not theirs.

My wife has never had children of her own, physically, but she is the best mother any one could want or need. She whole-heartily loves my sons, our skinkids, and helped me finish raising my youngest when we were granted custody of him when he was 13. Today, he’d tell you she was one of his best friends those years at home, and to this day he talks to her about things he won’t with me. The main thing about my beloved, Marsha, is she has so much heart and love that anyone or animal that she cares about will know a rich life, myself the most fortunate. Our furrkids are the ones to most benefit (outside of me, of course), in that these really are her kids and if we weren’t restricted on numbers, we’d probably have a hundred. So as we face losing another in such a short time, our 5th in 2 years, we mourn our loss and wish we had more time, but God granted us another month that we didn’t think we had. And we won’t be adding any more to our family until my economic situation vastly improves.

We are bi-animal folks as well, both cats and dogs, and all adopted, as I’ve said. How anyone can say that these kids don’t have individual characters is beyond me and if they do, then they’ve either never grown close to one or have never had one–and their life is sorely empty of that love and pain.

So, do all dogs go to Heaven? My belief is yes, and cats too for those that are dog-biased, and I believe the reason why is the piece of our souls that we give to them in return for the love that we receive from them. In my world, a Heaven bereft of those we’ve nurtured and loved would be an emptier place without them and no Heaven at all. Aren’t we guaranteed by our faith that we’ll see our loved ones again? Then why wouldn’t they be there to jump up, lick our faces and mill around our feet, as we are met by our other loved ones that greet us? More would be the shame if not; they were part of our lives just as our friends and families are and were, if not more so in some unfortunate circumstances.

From our family there is already a group waiting to greet Illya, Mihki, of course; Timber, who he played slobber-baby with; his kitties, Sheba (She-Who-Would-Not-Ignored) and Bonzo (Guard Cat [see picture below] and Honorary Sammie, after spending a whole day in a crate with Vina), ; and new friends for him, Vina and Boris (Marsha’s first dog ever), my early Sammies; and Sassy, one of the sweetest cats I’ve ever known. They’re all there to say, “Howdy!” (they’re all Texans, ya’ know), and to show him around and off to those that await us.

We will miss our beloved Sergeant Major; he was always alert and on guard looking out from his posts and giving out alerts when errant dogs were loose (or being walked for that matter); I even know of one false alert where I swear I caught him snickering when the other two took off into the backyard to see what was up.  If there ever was a fellow that should have been a Marine, it was Illya, from his “high and tight” when he was groomed, to his compact musculature (he’s part Chow, but have never held it against him) and his ferocity when needed, and his mirth when at play — he was one to admire.

Bonzo & Illya On Guard

Bonzo & Illya On Guard

It might be presumptuous of me, especially being a bubblehead squid (Navy submariner, for you landlubbers), but I would say Semper Fi  to my friend and worthy furrson, Illya, until we meet again, play hard and know we love you, and Semper Fi.

Jackie’s Got it Right, How Obama is Changing the U.S.

April 26, 2009

Sorry, folks, for the lack of postings the last few days, and today is just a drive by as I am dealing with decisions on where to live, underpass or car, that sort of thing.

You know how I feel about Obama (no cutsie wutsie names today). One of the proofs is the aforementioned decision that I’m making, since his Stimulus Plan had no incentives for my typical employer: small business, single owner or electronic/technology-driven manufacturer–nope, nothing.

Jackie Gingrich Cushman has a great article that will take you through a number of points about how Obama is fundamentally changing our country, just as he promised and no one seemed to believe (when I wrote about it last year).

Obama’s New Foundation: Change In What We Believe
Jackie Gingrich Cushman
Sunday, April 26, 2009

President Barack Obama will celebrate his first 100 days in office on April 29.  He has tackled big issues head-on and continued his campaign of well-delivered speeches and late night TV appearances. Delivering on his promise of getting a first dog for the first children, he has captivated the hearts of dog lovers, while evoking the hope and optimism that marked Camelot. 

What’s not to love?  Beautiful, smart wife with incredible arms seen tilling a White House garden in sweater and boots, photogenic children who want to go to their private school when it snows – (who could have – had they been in public school), a president, tall, handsome, cool and collected.

Obama, referred to as “a storybook”by then-Senator Joseph Biden, must realize that Americans like happy endings to their storybooks, especially in times of trouble.  Regardless of what some radio talk-show hosts might say, the culture of America wants individuals to succeed, especially if those individuals are personally appealing, as is Obama.  As one conservative friend told me over dinner, “but they just look so good.” 

The question is – what would be the price if the president were to succeed in getting what he wants?

In his op-ed “Yanks in Crisis,” (New York Times, April 23, 2009), David Brooks (more…)

Life Goes On & On… Part 2, an Update

April 9, 2009

For those that are interested or care, an Update on my Monday Post

I completed my day and a half, 725 mile interview tour to Houston & Austin, and although I won’t know the results until the end of next week, I think that I have a pretty good shot at both opportunities, and probably better with the Austin position. Again, the unfortunate issue is the requirement to move (I’ve always said, I’d rather be beat to death than move, as when you’re done you feel about the same) for either job; the fortunate, if the latter position, then I’ll be living much closer to my father in the Lake Hill Country of Texas. I’m one of those guilty sons that always wanted to spend more time with his father, but because of jobs have never had much opportunity. Now with his advancing age (85) and health issues (treatable– at this point– congestive heart failure) I am well aware that time is running out, so the thought of living within 50 miles (the closest since I was 18) vs. the nearest since, 245 (currently) miles, is a real boon and exciting. I spent Tuesday night with him and my step-mother and they were hopeful that the opportunity will work out.

I will be working the next two days editing the last chapter of my novel (Dragonet: Allah’s Instrument) for submission to my acqauintance for her to pass on her boss for his input next week.

On to Illya, after dropping him off at the vet on Monday morning for the fluid treatment, I went on with a number of errands, but less than 2 hours later they called for me to return and pick him up. They ran his blood tests again and they were much much worse and had decided that the treatment would kill him outright (more or less drown him) and that we could only continue with what meds we were already giving and make him comfortable. That was Monday noon, and he’s still the same, bouncy and alert, but I have noticed he seems to be resting/sleeping more. But, again, when he’s up, there doesn’t seem to be any change. This is slowly killing my wife, she feels that this is happening every couple of months  (it isn’t really that frequent), but then four in less than two years is way too much for a heart such as hers.

Now, as Life DOES go on & on, a friend sends me a reality check on my sadness of the impending loss a beloved pet while she is having to close the “doors” on her 35 year old drug-addicted daughter. They tried an intervention a couple of weeks ago (on her birthday) and this on-going hell for her has come to the tough love (as we called it in the 70s)  requirement. My pain is real, I love this animal, but what is my pain to hers — nothing. I have been fortunate and blessed that of five children (four sons and one step-daughter), they’re all well, healthy and successful. One son was on this same path in high school but God’s providence allowed him to meet a young lady (on the same path as well) and in their meeting and joining they changed their path, part of which was in giving their lives’ to Christ. Now they’ve been married 5 years, have successful careers, are integral to their church’s growth, and have a lovely home and we are hoping they’ll become parents and pass their love on to those children.

But, how do I express my pain for my friend when I haven’t had to make that choice with a child? Our children are our love personified and when they hurt we hurt, but when the seem to want to hurt, how do we take that away? Can we heal them or must we let nature take it’s course? We can only do so much for them and then it’s up to them. My friend has fought this addiction for her child and I’m sure she feels she has failed, but she hasn’t, she’s loved, supported and sacrificed to save her and the child doesn’t want saving. The problem is the child has not fought the addiction — the child has failed, not the mother. So, as I sit here worried for my wife and the pain to come for our loss of a loved furrkid, my pain is nowhere in the same realm that my friend is experiencing at this same moment.

I pray that God will intervene and save this child as he intervened and saved mine, but the child has to allow that option — she has to recognize the rescue when it shows itself–it is solely up to her. My friend should and will, I’m sure, continue to pray, as I will for her strength, and continue the love for her daughter she shows by closing the doors.

UPDATE (138 PM cdt): From my friend:

After a couple nights in her car, [Xxx] managed to get into a rehab. First she has to go to a detox facility, then to the rehab. This will be her third time in rehab. Maybe the third time will be the charm?

It does seem that tough love works, as does God’s will; perhaps He has gotten her attention. kb

Life goes on and on

April 6, 2009

To those folks that actually come here (the blog) regularly, I apologize for the lack of material the last and this coming week–life requires attention and mine has.

The continuing search for employment has resulted with (very fortunately) two interviews this week; one in Houston tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon and the second in Austin on Wednesday morning, which allows me a few hours tomorrow night to spend with my father north of Austin where I’ll spend the night.  These are the only serious interest that I’ve garnered since I began this recent search in January. The obvious result if either opportunities shake out is we’ll be moving from the DFW area where we’ve lived (for all but 2 years) since the early 80s and where three of four sons (and families)  live, but such is need over want when looking for work.

Another opportunity has graced my time the last week as well, an offer to get my recent fiction (a sample here on my My Novels Page) in front of someone that has ties to publishing. So, I have been working to clean up and edit three representative chapters from the novel to submit for review and input, if nothing else, but hopefully to be passed on to an agent or editor. Of course, y’all know that I’d prefer this avenue to employment–writing for a living–but, I will wait until I hear if my work is worthy, and I receive a big-ass check before I quit looking for substantive employment.

Finally, our beloved 10 year old SamChow (Samoyed Chow mix), Illya, has been diagnosed with complete kidney failure. He isn’t much changed from when he was younger, so no noticeable indications of the illness, we just happened to find out through blood testing only because of my concern for some lost weight and the vet noticing his gums seemed pale–btw, there is no standard for blood testing for dogs or cats unless there are obvious indicators. Needless to say, this is terrible news as we have lost  four furrkids in less than two years. Regardless of that and how dear Illya is to us, facing another passing is just heart-wrenching. We have been running back and forth to the vet for meds and special food, in fact I have to take him in for a 48 hour fluids therapy this morning–drop him off today and pick him up on my return from my interview trip Wednesday afternoon. We hope that all our efforts can give him a comfortable life for a little while longer, again he shows no outward evidenceof his dibilitating disease, but when it comes down to it, we will not let him suffer.

All in all, fortune seems to be smiling on me momentarily and I intend to take advantage as best I can, but life goes on and other less fortunate issues come along to ensure we don’t forget that life is tenuous at best. One must take everything one step and day at a time and weather what storms that come, but enjoy the sunshine that lightens our lives.

With that said, I don’t understand the thought process of these arrogant murders, that we’ve been bombarded with the last few weeks, that walk into a Civic Center, Assisted Living Home, neighbor’s or relatives’ homes, etc. and start blowing away people just because their life sucks at the moment. Nor, of course, do I understand the Islamofascist suicide bomber or terrorist intent on killing and maiming en masspeople just going about their business because their god has promised 72 virgins or a heroic death. To my way of thinking, there is no differnece between the two groups–they have NO regard to the living and only care about how they are treated and thought of afterward–Arrogant Assholes all!