Tag Archives: canine cart

Emily’s Garden Arch

We are preparing “Emily’s Garden” Fragrances, Potpourris, Oils, and more Bath and Beauty items. They will be on my website and online store this year. The label looks like this:

The label has Emily walking in her cart and under the Rose arch.

The label has Emily walking in her cart and under the Rose arch.

Emily loved the gardens here and we think of her while walking and working out there. Glenn loved walking her in her cart around the rose and vegetable gardens each day. He took especially good care of her. Even in the snow, he would shovel all the pathways so she could still walk around. It was cute.

I have videos and still pictures of them. One of the photos was taken on Easter in 2014 and under the arch. Glenn loved that one so I have it enlarged and on a canvas photo with 3 others of Emily. I cropped the photo to make the label for Emily’s Garden products. The labels are oil and water resistant and came out well.

Glenn and Emily on Easter in 2014. She loved her walks.

Glenn and Emily on Easter in 2014. She loved her walks.

ALAS! AS Mom would have said, “Nothing lasts forever.” The western cedar arch was recently seen moving in the wind. A check on it showed that it is worse than a year ago.  Glenn took in down the other day. Now Emily’s arch is gone…

Glenn wants it back and misses it after it has been there 18 years. I agree and couldn’t plant the climbing rose bush I got last spring on it. I’ve just ordered an exact copy of the western cedar arch. Some things have to be replaced and others we can leave out when removed. Now, it is even more meaningful to have the rose arch back in.

It will come in about 10 days and will be in Memory of Emily. The rose that I got is in Memory of Mom so that will look good. We have Mom’s clematis from behind her home that she had growing in the climbing rose there. The rose didn’t survive so that was why I got a new one. Now they’ll be growing together again.

There are other memories that we have of Emily in our gardens here. She loved smelling the flowers as I showed her how to do that without tasting them. He favorite places were where she could watch over ‘her kingdom’ and all the other fur kids and keep them in line with a ‘bark, bark’ if needed.

Emily would be right there by Dad at his favorite place under a large, red maple in the back. Sadly, we had to remove that tree due to dangerous large branches. There, too, we had to have a replacement tree so “Dad’s Tree” is now a Japanese red maple. Under that I planted the oriental lilies that he liked.

Emily’s Arch will be put up before her birthday in May. We hope to have that garden fixed up for a photo then. We dearly miss them all. These areas are next to the Memory Garden where Mom’s bench is. Memories give us a smile and sometimes a tear but we are fortunate that we have them.  There’s nothing like a garden to sit in and reflect on the love that we shared.

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Emily is in Heaven Four Months Now

It is now easy some days. I think of her sometimes and cry. But the spans between those times are now greater. For Glenn also there are tears at times. We have many photos to see of Emily and that’s good. Many days that we look at them we can smile.
We’ve young Velvet to make us laugh and keep us company with Ginny and Corky. It’s very peaceful here. Thankfulness fills our hearts for these things. They are all happy and fairly healthy, with the older 2 having their arthritis.
Like with humans, the holidays bring back many memories of loved ones. This Christmas was nice but I had a sadness under it all with Emily gone. That also led to me thinking of my late parents… Times are different now.
So it is, that we move on in life. We can help others with our experiences but they alone have to make the choice at the end of their dog’s life. It’s a very personal decision and only they can do that. For us, we’ve made the right choice by letting God take back the life he gave Emily to Himself. But every person has their own beliefs.
As much as I want to comfort the other corgi owners who have lost theirs or are in the midst of making a choice, I can’t do very much now. I can provide a link to this blog but I cannot post to theirs or get into a big conversation about this yet. It is just too heart-wrenching still.
Glenn and I can talk about it to each other but not too much with other people. The hurt is still too raw and we don’t want to detail the end of her life. Still, it’s a new year and we are going on and will be able to discuss it perhaps later.
We will never forget Emily who latched onto our hearts for so many years.

"Where's Daddy?" Emily waited for Daddy to walk her in the cart. She loved it.

“Where’s Daddy?”
Emily waited for Daddy to walk her in the cart. She loved it.

A River of Tears-Part 3

Note: This is our experience but parts may be very emotionally upsetting to some.
You can see in the last photo on Aug. 20 in Part 2 that Emily looked very aged. She was weakening more and more. She started not wanting her canned prescription food in the days that followed. It was challenging for us to vary it, heat it, and get her to eat some at least. Emily also needed to have closer and more dishes of her Tramadol, too.
A few times she could not walk in her cart but after a couple of doses and food she was better. I could tell she was near to leaving soon. I spent my time with her and near her as much as I could. Emily slept much more now.
The last night we took our naps about 9 pm. She wanted my hand on her head for a massage and kept nudging it. I put my other arm around her, too, and she napped on my elbow. I awoke at 12 m to Emily curled up with her head under her blanket to block out the light. I didn’t want to wake her and got up for my medicine.
When I came back about 4 am, I put my arm on her and Emily’s heart was beating somewhat fast and hard. It felt uncomfortable so I moved away. When I awoke again, it was 7am or so, and I returned to bed shortly. Then I put my hand on her paw as usual and it was stiff.
My beloved girl had gone to heaven. I got up and went to see all of her and I felt relief and peace. It was over. August 27, 2014
Glenn checked on her, too. After breakfast, we brought her in the garden room and put her on her pad. The other 3 dogs came to say goodbye. Corky and Ginny just lost their mother. They now knew what happened which will help them with their grief.

Later, we took Emily to the vet for private cremation. When the pet cemetery returns the cremains, they will have her paw print, too. The vet said that we did the right things. Having her take increased medicine, doses, and her passing away at home is better. (This is a very personal decision for dog owners and each dog and family is different.)

Many vets do this now-increase medicine and number of doses to have a good quality of life to near the end. It was only about the last 3 days that eating and walking were more difficult for Emily. But she still was able to move about on the pad.

Were we “lucky” to be spared the “decision”? No, because we made it our choice not to take her life but to let God take it back to Him. He made her and gave her life. He gave Emily as a precious gift to us for 12 of 15 years.

A river of tears still flows but I’ll see her again in heaven. She’ll be young again and we will be, too.
Run free, my beloved Emily. Auf wiedersehen!

Emily in 2008. This is one of my favorite pictures. She is beautiful and her sable-colored head shines in the light. It was colored sable to the roots unlike Corky's red. His and Ginny's changes to black near the roots.

Emily in 2008. This is one of my favorite pictures. She is beautiful and her sable-colored head shines in the light. It was colored sable to the roots unlike Corky’s red. His and Ginny’s changes to black near the roots.

Grief Began a Year Ago-Part 2

Cont. from Part 1

The cart and experiences I posted here previously. Things were on a plateau once we developed a system. Emily did what she had to but seemed to enjoy the change of pace in getting outside in the cart. She did fairly well until June of this year. At that time, in mid-June, Emily seemed to deteriorate.
I started becoming more and more distraught and cried long hours and days, mostly away from her. I didn’t want to upset her but I think she knew. We took evening naps together and I massaged her head and back. She loved it.

I would take the back of my hand and caress her muzzle from her nose and backwards. She would immediately fall asleep. Emily seemed to tire more and more and wanted to go back to bed earlier. She loved my bed, with the deep mattress and pillow-top, the best. Glenn would put her there at 12m.
By mid-July I was extremely distraught. We talked about the “putting down”. I said that I couldn’t or wouldn’t take her life. Glenn agreed as he wanted her to stay. Since our fax was down, we took Emily with us to talk to our vet but the vet was out. That following Mon. or Tues. was our appt. to discuss Emily’s condition and for me to talk the vet about what I believed.

I told the vet that I wouldn’t and couldn’t take Emily’s life because God gave her that life. It was God who had to take it to Him. It was our job to take care of and do our best for Emily. The vet gave her stronger Rimadayl and found pop-up sores on her abdomen. These were from Emily wanting to be in one position. The antibiotic cleared that up by the beginning of August, and I had to bath or clean her daily, and be sure she kept dry.

This was very difficult as Emily would roll off the pad in the garden room a lot if not comfortable. (We cut a couple of pads from a memory foam, mattress pad that I no longer used. It was covered and then a cut-up rubber sheet, with fleece, used for cribs, was on top.)

It was challenging to keep her position moved all day when not using the cart for potty. Still, I kept reading vet’s articles on the End of Life, etc. online and thinking of the quality-of-life-dilemma. The decisions were not easy. I prayed with Emily each night.

Should I intervene now? I won’t and can’t. God made her and surely He knows if she is suffering. He has everything under control, I thought. So, by mid-August, after my prayers, the answer came as,” Wait patiently for God to act.” Of course, what was I doing trying to hurry this along! We continued Emily’s care and waited.

Cont. in Part 3

Cory and Emily Aug 20,2014. It was Corky's 13th birthday.

Cory and Emily Aug 20,2014. It was Corky’s 13th birthday.

IMG_0433

Grief Began a Year Ago-Part 1

Emily was my Service Dog, Hearing Ear Dog, for many years. It’s a job she loved and dedicated her life to. A former show dog, with a perfect temperament, she was also the Alpha of the pack here. But her job was Service to me.

Many people don’t know that Service Dogs are not pets. The bond is different and deeper; it’s more profound. I had to initially learn to trust her judgment on every sound. She had to be and come with me nearly everywhere. She and I were “In Training” (had a patch on her vest with that) for 2 years.

I knew we were ready after she saved my life in a parking lot, when a car came unseen from my left from around a curve. I looked and stepped out but Emily held back. If I didn’t follow that, I would have been hit from a fast-moving car. I never went ahead after that without looking at her.

Emily woke me up by pawing me or pushing me. Sometimes I’d try to ignore her and roll over but she was relentless. We traveled everywhere together and she loved to ride. Our song, at which she’d bark and bark to get in the car or truck:
“Emily go for ridey, ridey, ridey
I’m a traveling girl,
I’m traveling with you.
Emily go for ridey, ridey, ridey…”

She liked the truck better. Vacations with her were the most enjoyable for both of us. She would alert me to hotel doors for food service or the bellman coming. I never again had to leave my door open and sit by it. Restaurants were wonderful as Emily would lie down immovable at my feet despite the overwhelming food smell. Staffers were amazed.

In doctors’ offices, she perfected her own behavior and remained in position, lying down until the exam was over. Church services she loved. On Easter in 2010, I noted at church that she started limping in the rear. A subsequent vet exam, etc. revealed disk disease and arthritis.

At another church service later, I got up and went to the altar rail for communion, leaving her at my front pew. I thought she would be okay to rest her back. Emily got up and started searching for me as she was upset that I was missing. I was only about 15-feet away but that was not the point. I never again committed this error to second-guess her job.

So, you can get an idea of the deep bond we had over years. In August 2013 is when Emily could no longer walk and perform her job. It depressed us both. She still had to be by my side every second but couldn’t walk with me. I have a walker and she had to be in a dog stroller until we got her a cart about Oct. 2013. We could no longer travel and she was somewhat depressed about it. But Emily never complained though she’d get anxious and search for me out of my presence.

Cont. In Part 2

Ginny and Emily in 2013

Ginny and Emily in 2013

Emily and Her 4-Wheeled Cart

Emily has had the 4 wheels on her car this month and likes it. She is doing well walking with the front feet as Glenn pulls it to help her.  This has made a difference to both her and us. Easier for both Glenn and Emily to take walks now, she appears to enjoy being outside 4-5 times a day. The wheels are rather small for rough terrain, such as the lawn areas, but fine for the brick walk.

Glenn put a series of mats over the pea gravel in the parking area to the start of the brick walk in back. He shoveled the snow each time so she had a good walk. Recently, Glenn trimmed and cleared the overhanging herbs from the path ways around the veggie plots. This gave Emily a longer area to walk rather than around the side and front of the house.

Even in the snow, he cleared the veggie pathways, too, just for her. How nice! She goes along at a slow pace and does not put her front legs out and make the cart stop, like using brakes. Emily did that with the 2-wheeled cart and just didn’t like going in that.

Yes it is still bitterly cold out here but Emily wears a coat over the cart when below 20 degrees. We’ve even had wind chills of below zero to -16 so far. The good news is that spring can’t be too far away! Then Emily will be thrilled to walk around the veggie gardens as the veggies start coming up. All the dogs like that and try to eat the veggies so I have to watch them.

Emily’s favorite herb and smell is lavender. I use lavender plants as a border around the gardens. She loves it so much that I ordered a small pillow filled with lavender flowers for her one year for her birthday. She has it on our bed, lays her head on it and sometimes likes to lick it. Lavender is calming to dogs.

Emily's cart with the front wheels.

Emily’s cart with the front wheels.

Emily had a “Dog Day”

IMG_1451Her “Dog Day” was yesterday and she had us concerned.  Emily didn’t eat breakfast or drink water in the morning. She was lethargic and slept. About 1 PM, Glenn tried the ½ tablet of her Rimadyl pain medicine with a few kibble pieces and she did eat that but no water then either.

She did go in the cart for a walk and had normal movements but Emily continued to be this way and at dinner, 4 PM, didn’t eat or drink then.  About 6 PM, the kids get their snack after our dinner, usually fruit or veggie, and Emily had several pieces of apple. Glenn left the plate in front of her and she had eaten that when he returned. A ray of hope!

At first we were concerned and I was upset but Glenn said that about a month ago she also didn’t eat. Well, if I remember, that was only for one meal. I gave it a lot of thought and Sunday the weather here was atrocious. We had a massive rain storm come up from the Gulf of Mexico and heavy rain all day. I couldn’t do anything all day or use my arms. AHA! Emily must have been in severe pain which wore here out like it does to me.

Fortunately (?), I suffer from the same pain as she does so I got it. About 8 PM, we offered her the dry kibble again and Emily ate it all. Then she eat her cookie, peanut butter and the hidden Tramadol pain medicine, too. Finally, we got her to drink some water. After that she perked up more and was normal to the early AM and a third dose of pain medicine.

It really had us a little scared for she didn’t even respond to me touching her in the AM. If I recall, a couple of times before she had suffered this but not to the extent of no water and an all-day thing. Yes, sometimes the regular doses of pain medicine does not help even me in weather like we had yesterday.

By about 7 PM of so the storm moved north of us, which also helped. I just have to remember that when I feel this way, that Emily does, too. We didn’t have to call the vet this morning as all was well with her.

I thank God for answering our prayers and that Emily feels better today.