Wednesday, August 22, 2012

It Is Done

I sat down with the kids over the weekend and we looked at Towzer’s puppy pictures and laughed about the funny things he would do. 

Monday night we brought him home from the vet where he’d been staying since the incident with Blue.  I didn’t want him around our other pets or our petsitters after that.  But we wanted the kids to have a chance to say goodbye and to get some last photos.  The only one I didn’t photograph with Towzer was Elias, who is so young he wouldn’t remember and is also so young and small that we didn’t want to risk him around Towz.  Mostly because he’s so active and moves so erratically and we don’t know what triggered Towzer to attack our kitten.  Perhaps it was the same thing?  Who knows.

Towzer seemed different. I think I was able to see him through fresh eyes and realize, yeah, he’s in pain and it’s obvious and the time is right for him even if just for that reason.  He had always been the most diligent of guard dogs, never relaxing for even a second lest his family come under an attack (from what, I don’t know).  He deserves his rest.

After the kids, Rob and I had a chance to say goodbye Rob and I drove Towz back to the vet while the kids stayed with a sitter.  And now’s he’s at peace.  And so are we.  Sad, but the house is more peaceful without his intensity and hyper-vigilant guarding of his family.  I do still feel badly that Blue paid for our delaying the inevitable with Towz and try to remind myself to be grateful it was not one of the kids.  Part of me thinks I should have known and part of me thinks there’s no way I could have known that Towz was capable of something so awful.  I don’t know the answer.  All we can do is move on and when I feel overwhelmed (often) I pray to The Comforter for peace beyond understanding.

And ultimately, Towzer WAS a good dog.  A good dog whose pain got to be too much and he just didn’t want his family to know.  We will remember him for the innumerable good things and not the one bad. Moving on…



Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Actual Vacation

I thought I should return quickly after the sad post so I can talk a little bit about what we did on vacation that was fun.  We did have a LOT of fun despite the stuff that was yucky. 

Our first full day we head down to a series of trails and take a walk and wade in the river.  Well, most of us wade, two of us ended up dunking themselves. 


Later we head to the pool.  Gabe prefers being under the water.  I’m so impressed with how well he did since it’s been a while since we’ve been in the water.


We had foaties and water wings for the other kids.  Every day they got more confident in the water.  Elias on the other hand was too confident from the start.  He was thoroughly convinced he needed neither floatie nor parent while in the water and was constantly trying to push out of our arms.


One night was went to the park next door but even though it was almost 6 o’clock at night it was still in the 90s and too hot for the kids to play long.


So we went and got ice cream.  I thought it was funny that Gabe chose mint chip, Rob’s favorite, and Zion chose bubblegum, one of my favorites, even though we so rarely go for ice cream that they couldn’t have known. 


Another day we went to a trail that used to be a water pipeline.  Zion grabbed an umbrella out of the van for portable shade, clever girl.


This bridge is actually the water pipeline cut in half so that you walk on the inside of the pipe.  The view is gorgeous.


It’s once again too hot to hike for long so we return to the trail head and play in the river.  Elias jumps right in.


I realized earlier today that I forgot hiking sandals so we had to stop at a sports store.  I ended up getting Vibram FiveFingers.  They look ridiculous and like they’d be more suitable as slippers than shoes for hiking but they were great.  I am terrible unstable on uneven terrain but these made me feel so stable and I was able to go right from the trail to climbing down boulders and then into the water and back to the trail.  Sweet!  (And do you see the fish by my foot, how cute is that.)


Zion and Gabe brought suits and had a great time in the river!


Another day we did a series of events, first mini-golfing where Elias got to golf for the first time ever, then we went to see Ice Age4 (super funny!) and then to the arcade to play games.  And it was very nice for us that all these things were at the same location.  Yay!


Gideon adopts a unique stance for putt-putt.


The kids loved the fountain.  I kept thinking that the little building behind it would make the cutest chicken coop EVER!


How a mommy golfs.


One of the employees took our picture.  Rob is sitting on the rock so he looks tiny and I look like a giant.  LOL


We end the day with a stop at a bakery that make only cookies.  And fantastic cookies they are!  Elias seems to want one of every kind.


That’s not all we did but I’ll save some for later.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The ride

Life is such a roller coaster ride, sometimes up and sometimes down and sometimes up and down and up and down and up and down all at the same time.  It can be overwhelming.  A bit of our ride lately:

- last week the family got to go away on vacation, that should be so very fun and relaxing!

- a couple of days into it we got a call from the house sitter that our big dog had attacked one of our kittens.  Spent half the day back and forth with the vet on the phone.  It was bad.  On top of visible injuries it turned out the poor thing had a broken neck.  I felt terribly guilty for not preventing this as Towzer had been getting a bit grumpy lately due to his arthritis.  Now, however many days later, I still flip flop between guilt for not preventing it and giving myself grace because how could I have really known?  I don’t know but needless to say it really put a damper on our vacation.  Before we left we prayed for God to protect our critters like we always do and I’m not sure why the answer to this prayer was “No.” except that perhaps now we can prevent injury to one of the kids.  If Towzer, who has always been sweet and playful with cats, can do something so sudden and violent with one I doubt he would show restraint with the kids either.  Thank God our kids are safe.

- this is the third vacation out of the last four where one of our kitties has died unexpectedly.  It’s hard not to feel a bit attacked and vulnerable.

- considering what happened to the kitty we definitely cannot trust Towzer any longer and after consulting a behavior specialist (who we had actually had an appointment with on Sept. 5) we have decided to put him down on Monday.

- also right at the start of our vacation we found out we got an offer on the other house.  Should be good news and it is except that meant we were receiving calls and e-mails from our agent and her assistant for days and having to make big decisions and do paperwork. 

- right before vacation Rob got a new job offer.  The official, in writing offer came in at the beginning of the week while we were gone.  We had until Friday to decide whether to take it.

Rob and I have agreed that, while we still managed to DO a lot of fun things with the kids (who are holding up surprisingly well regarding the cat and dog) mentally and emotionally we were put through the ringer.  We need a do-over.

In just a few days’ time we had to decide to euthanize two of our pets, to accept or decline an offer for our house that was considerably lower than the listing price and to accept or decline a new job.  And weren’t we supposed to be vacating our every day lives?

My heart is so bruised and battered right now.  For the kids losing their pets, for me losing my pets, for the pets losing their best friends (which I know sounds so silly to some but Blue was one of a brother/sister pair that we had adopted and the two were inseparable and Towzer was Rosie’s best friend too).

We did decide to accept the offer on the house even and Rob did decide to accept the job.

I tried to focus on the positive all week while secretly I was practically sick with dread over having to come home.  Every day I prayed for God to give us peace and it was very tangible when we came home today to two less pets than when we left.  We still need to get through Monday (Towzer has been boarding at the vet since the incident happened, I didn’t want the house sitter to be at risk either) but I have hope for continuing peace and that is so big if you have ever experienced that, you know.

And can I also say that I’m so emotionally conflicted, like every year, that school is starting soon.  Summer was so fleeting and I LOVE having my kiddos home with no schedule, nothing pressing but a few chores and a lot of fun.  But we moved this summer and we STILL aren’t fully unpacked so there was less fun than I wanted.  Did I mention that I LOVE having my kids home?!  I’m so not one of those moms who counts the hours and minutes from the end of one school year to the start of the next.  If I wasn’t so distractible and a lousy planner and a total procrastinator I’d home school.  LOL

I’ve got one going full time, one going full days half the school week and one going for half days a few days a week.  There will actually be hours of the day where I only have one kid.  *sniff*

I will not look forward, I will not look back, I will look UP.