Shasta Cove Dogs
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Abbey!

I have been spending a lot of time with Abbey - more so than usual as I am not sure how much longer she will be with us. She has been quite ill this last year - diagnosed in the Spring with Cushings Disease, various bouts of pancreatitis which have worn her down, an adrenal tumor found this summer, and - as if all that were not enough! - she has been going blind these past 6 months. Her Cushings Disease is managed well at the moment - tho it is, of course, a chronic and terminal disease, her adrenal tumor is untreatable - too risky at her age & health, and her blindness is now complete. And in this moment - (which, Abbey knows better than I, is all we have) - she is actually, almost, perky. She accompanied the other pups and me out when we went to play - she did not play, but she referee'd and then lay in the sun and kept a careful eye on us all.

I often think how we live under the watchful gaze of the Mountain - it is visible from every room of our home and every part of our property - and I can feel it's beauty and strength guiding us through all our days......I have the same feeling about Abbey - we live under her careful watch. She is our Alpha Girl and she has guided us well. I wonder if part of the reason she is still here is her wondering who will take over as Queen.....and how will we be without her (almost always) gentle guidance? Hmmmmm......I can't imagine Sally or Emma rising to the occasion, tho they both want to be boss - and can be quite bossy! - they definetely don't have the responsible, knowledgeable nature, and big picture vision, it takes to care for the pack. They are princesses, the both of them, and well suited to that. It is interesting, even in Abbey's decline, the respect she is shown, still, by all the others - she is treated with dignity and her 'word' is still law. Her physical self may be diminishing, but her spirit absolutely has not. That is what I feel when I am with her....I can feel the young Abbey right there with the old girl.

Now that Abbey is completely blind, etiher Todd or I have been getting up in the middle of the night with her - she needs our guiding hand to get herself outside and down the deck stairs when she has to go. As I am going to bed and setting my alarm clock for a few hours later I am often tired and overwhelmed with it all. Later, as Abbey and I go out, I find myself feeling such gratitude at being able to care for her. To return in kind the gentle, careful loving she has given us over the years. While I wait for Abbey, I gaze up to the sky and see the stars, I listen to the night's silence, and, as I put my hand on Abbey to help her find her way - I feel completely peaceful and I know I am exactly where I want to be. it is a wonderful feeling.

In the last year of my Dad's life, when I was often overwhelmed and fearful, exhausted and sad, I would find - through being with him - the same feeling and I would rejoice in the life I have chosen.



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There are love dogs no one knows the name of.  Give your life to be one of them. - Rumi