Friday, July 30, 2010

Goodbye Old Friend

It was time to say goodbye to our old friend. She'd been with us for 15 1/2 years. Here's a brief synopsis of her life. From birth to around age 1 we don't know her history. We first met her when we lived in Sandy, Utah. Lynette and I had gone to the animal clinic with her sick hamster. While we were there we met a buff colored cocker spaniel. She was very skinny but friendly to us. We asked our vet about her and the vet told us that they had a program where they would take dogs that were due to be put down at the animal shelter but were considered adoptable. This practice made a lot of sense to me; after all-the people that go to animal hospitals like animals and that could increase their chances of being adopted.

The little dog (we think she was the runt of her litter) had already won my heart and Lynette's, but as we hadn't had a dog for a few years I wanted to make sure that Michael was okay with adding her to our family. Later that same day (after I learned how to give Vitamin K shots to a hamster) he came down and met the little spaniel. She won him over too. We paid the fees and brought her home. After considerable discussion it was decided to name her Claire Cherie Miller. Her adoption date was February 11 (don't ask me why I remember that) so we decided that we would have her birthday be February 14.

She didn't take a long time to settle down, but did have one bad habit: in her quest for food she would climb the highest mountain (or in our case) the kitchen table to get food. She enjoyed running in our backyard and would wipe out when she tried to corner too quickly. She wasn't a cuddler but did like being near you. We tried to feed her what she was supposed to eat (dry dog food) but sometimes couldn't help ourselves and gave her "people" food too. She loved watermelon!

Through the years she became a part of our family. In fact she's in nearly every Christmas picture and graduation picture. She almost died in 2003 while our son was on his mission in Brazil. Who knew that cocker spaniels were prone to an auto-immune disease. Great doctors, medication and two blood transfusions later she pulled through. Now, blood transfusions might seem excessive to some people, but they did give us nearly seven more years with her.

The past few years have been pretty rough for Claire. She lost most of her vision, her hearing and her sense of smell. She remained physically fit (we think it was the blood from they greyhound)and able to do her favorite things: sleep, eat, sleep and eat in that order. Last year she started exhibiting other behaviors that are considered symptoms of canine senility,but she hung in there, so to speak.

Last year, she nearly passed away the day of Melinda and Landan's wedding. She had some kind of seizure. We knew it was just a matter of time before she would leave us. We had hoped that she would die quietly in her sleep so we wouldn't have to make the decision to have her put down. That was not to be the case.

It was a hard decision, but it was the right decision. With the support of family and our vet, we made the appointment for July 20. We made preparations and I made the long drive to the hospital. There were some other incidents that precipitated the need, but to give Claire some dignity, we won't mention them.

The staff at the pet clinic was wonderfully supportive. She is no longer in pain and I believe that all good dogs do go to heaven.

Claire was a goood dog.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Samuel and Spider

Ty and his Papa have a very good time when they are together. Papa, being Papa, is still very much a kid at heart. One of the games that they play is Samuel and Spider.

Samuel and Spider have been around for a very long time. In fact I remember Samuel and Spider from when OUR children were small. I actually think that Samuel and Spider is a new incarnation of Dee Dee and Gung. Dee Dee and Gung was something that my husband played when he was a small boy. He would have one of his hands be Dee Dee and the other Gung. Dee Dee and Gung would walk up to each other, wrestle, fight, play, etc. Michael's mom told me that she remembers Dee Dee and Gung from car trips and that Michael would use the top of the front seat for battles and so forth. I think Dee Dee and Gung got on her nerves. :)

Anyway, let's fast forward to 2010. Our children are grown and we're enjoying being grandparents. One day earlier this year, Papa introduced Ty to Samuel and Spider. Samuel (either right hand or left hand)likes to walk up to you (think index finger and forefinger) and talk to you. Samuel is friendly. Spider on the other hand (think of walking your hand like a spider) likes to get you and tickle you. Spider sometimes roars, I don't know exactly where that sound effect comes from, but that's part of the game. So Papa taught Ty about Samuel and Spider. Ty will sometimes say, "Not Spider, Samuel!" and laugh with delight.

Of course in the old tradition of be careful what you teach your children (or grandchildren) Ty's hands have now become Spider and/or Samuel. He seems to like being Spider more-complete with a roar and a, "I'm going to get you!" We are all properly scared by his Spider and say, just like he does, "Not Spider, Samuel." He is turning into a big tease just like his Papa.

No picture of this but I can sure picture it in my mind, and when I do I smile.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Wait, there's more about the water!

Ty and family were invited to stop by and swim at Melinda's in-laws last week. I popped by with Laura (Bret's wife who was visiting from Utah) to catch some of the action. This picture is one of Ty "in-between." I say "in-between" because he's in-between jumping in the pool or swimming around in the pool. He much preferred being "in" rather than "in-between." :) He had a grand time.
Being a mom/nana I was a bit nervous the first time I saw him walk to the diving board. But, no worries, he walked to the end of the board, and jumped SPLASH into the water all smiles and laughter and did it again and again and again! I can still hear his delighted laugh in my head.

It was fun to watch!

Saying Goodbye or Good Night

Ty is a smart little guy. He's figured out that when it comes time for him to either go to bed or go home after a visit that Nana and Papa love hugs and kisses. So he'll shower us with even more hugs and kisses than normal when it's time for napping/sleeping or going home. It's the classic "stalling" technique-Give the adults more of what they want and he'll get to stay up or not have to leave for a little bit.
Carynn has a great way of addressing this. She gives Ty two minutes (or three or four) and then says that it's time to leave or go to bed. He still tries delaying at times, but she reminds him that he already had his two minutes.... Smart mom!

Smart boy!


Water Boy

Ty loves the water! Readers may recall my post from winter recounting Ty's words, "I love swimmings!" Well he still loves swimmings! He also loves dirt/sand. So the lake's a great place for him to enjoy the combination of two of his favorite activities-"swimmings" and digging! Here are some great shots taken from some visits Ty and family made to our lake place.

Happy Summer!