Another Journey...

One thing about being the administrators on my four Facebook pages and an administrator or several others pages are the things you see.  As a rule, I always try to be upbeat and cheerful about all the things that go on.  One thing I won’t tolerate is all the political things that went around last year.  In the grand scheme of things, no-one’s mind was changed, and 50% of the readers were pissed off no matter which side you were on.

Let's just be happy...
It can be very trying when you follow a story that spans over several weeks about dogs.  You get to know them, love them, hurt with them and watch them die at times.  Sometimes I don’t know what button to chose on FB, and I will just do nothing, but I always read them and feel their pain because I have usually been in their shoes.  Some stories get to me more than others because it deals with things close to my heart.  I remember so well when “Buck” got hurt and “Else” lost her leg and now “Pipper” and that is the very short list.  I’ve watched all of the hurt and even sat in my chair and said a prayer. 

 Their journeys are places I have been and will be taking, sometimes sooner than I know or want to.  On the other hand, you have traveled with me on my journeys through some very happy times and some I wish I could forget, but can’t. 

A new journey will be taken during the first week of March.  You have followed me through the birth of Border Collies puppies and the death of our Clancy and the many surgeries we have had with most of our dogs.  Chemotherapy was a wild ride with Abby, and you led me through it.  People, some I had never talked to, much less met, send get-well cards, and a deep friendship was formed over a coat that was made for Abby because someone cared for us and our breed. 

Over the past several months, I have noticed a difference with one of my dogs.  The most significant difference I saw was when I was passing out snacks from my recliner, every dog watched my hand move from one to the other.  One did not, in fact, when it was their turn, I would hold it in front of their face, and they would look past it.  The next day we were at the Vet where she gave us the news and it’s wasn’t good.  Doc is going blind.  He is entirely blind in one eye and 70% blind in his “good” eye. 
On March 5th, Doc and I will travel to Blue Pearl Specialty Animal Hospital in Louisville, KY.  I am familiar with them because of their reputation, and it’s the same place we took Abby for her initial Cancer Screening and work-up with her treatment plan.

The one thing about social media is we all appear pretty smart on this end of a keyboard.  Some people become the expert in whatever topic that is discussed and will demand that their remedy is used.  I learned long ago to avoid dog topics like “When should I get my dog spayed/neutered?” or “What should I feed my dog.”  Everyone suddenly becomes a Veterinarian or nutritionist and will fight to the death with their keyboard to prove their point.  I have a "pat" saying that I use when someone asks about what they think “that bump” is in a photo or medical advice for their dog.  My comment is “Why don’t you check with your Vet, they are the expert, not someone on Facebook.”  I have always noticed that not single Veterinarian has responded to any person on this media or given advice.

My personal perspective is “I am not a dog trainer or expert, I just have a lot of experience with some subjects.”  Many years ago when I was working for a Veterinarian, there was a heated national election, and my side lost.  I was complaining about the results, and Dr. King said, “What will this really do to you or how will it change your life?”  and “nothing” was the answer and he was right.
I really could care less if you’re a Democrat or Republican, a gun rights activist, your lifestyle or if you're religious.   I don’t ask you to take on my lifestyle or beliefs and I won’t judge you for yours nor expect you to take on mine  What I do care about is how we interact with each other with love for our dogs and compassion for the suffering we sometimes carry and how we treat each other. 

Several years ago, a lady reached out to me and sent us a coat when Abby got Cancer because it was winter.  I sent her a message and thanked her for it and said: “you didn’t have to do that.”  I was overwhelmed with her compassion to someone who she didn’t know and lived over 650 miles away.  During some rough times for both of us, we would talk on the phone.  

The very coat, thank you, Karen
Having some major medical issues at the time,  we would try to comfort each other, and at the end of the conversation, she said: “I love you and thank you.” and it was comforting to know that someone really cared about me and it was something we all should say more.  Usually, the people we travel with have one common goal, and with us, it’s the love for our dog.  We all make mistakes and blunders, but we genuinely care for each other and our dogs.  
So on the 5th, we will take Doc Holliday to his upcoming appointment to found out his fate.  Doc has had a pretty rough life with his Heartworm treatment and his first couple of years in Texas but rest assured we will do whatever we can including surgery and I know you will travel with Doc and me because we have a bond.  I care deeply about your dogs, and I love you for your passion and friendship.   Ken