Friday, September 20, 2013

The Reason For My Time Away

I had to take a bit of time away...

Duchess, our oldest furry family member had to be put down.  I kept hoping she would eventually go on her own.  That her tired body would just put its foot down and say that the time was up, and that it would like to be able to run on the other side.  She just wouldn't hear of it.  She was sticking around to see how this whole life thing turned out for everyone!  Unfortunately, she had a wonderful strong heart that just wanted to keep on ticking.

Last week, after two rough days with her, I realized that our time had come to a close.  I couldn't let her be uncomfortable after 18 years of comforting our family.  We are lucky to have a wonderful Vet, who laid on the floor with Jeff, myself and Duchess as we helped her move on to her next destination.

It was the hardest decision to make. It was even harder coming home without her.  We of course were greeted at the door by the other 3 dogs, who acted confused over the next few days.  Coming home the following day after work, was my full on breaking point.  Duchess was like a small child, and I spent extra time with her every day, whether it was for walks, medicine, or just time.  To come home, take the other 3 out, and realize I didn't have my little slow poke behind me was hard.

The other dogs moped around for a few days, but have mostly come back to their old selves.  Since Bella is our youngest adoptee, her dish was in the most undesired spot in our kitchen.  But it was the last spot available when she came into our home.  After a week, I decided to move her dish to where Duchess' had been.  Bella stares at me every morning like I have lost my mind in trying to get her to eat in the spot that is reserved for Duchess.  Even though her food is in the bowl, she walks over and stands at her old spot and waits.  Guess she realizes no one can replace Duchess or take her spot in our kitchen!

She will be missed more than I can express.  

 Kyle and Duchess 1996
 Kyle and Duchess 2010
Duchess 09/09/2013

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Raising Children VS Raising Dogs

As the owner of 3 Senior Dogs, 18, 13 and 11 (and one other that is only 6 because we had a momentary lapse of common sense) I've come to the realization that raising elderly dogs is like raising children and a little bit more added in.

The only ones who listened to me for years, were the dogs.  I could talk until I turned blue, my son would ignore me.  Now, I can talk and the dogs don't listen.  Duchess is completely deaf now, Gracie we have realized hears if she is looking at you or if you yell at her.  Nico still listens, but he has joined the world of subjective hearing.  He will hear you if you want to give him food or let him out.

You spend the first two years of your childs life picking them up when they fall down.  I'm currently picking Duchess up off of our wood floors more often than not.  Wood floors and an elderly dog don't mix well.  She may as well be walking on ice. 

When your child starts to eat, you spend time mashing everything up so its easy to swallow.  Cutting everything into tiny pieces so they don't choke.  Yep, every morning I'm adding water and canned food to bowls to help with the chewing and swallowing process. 

Remember the days of trying to get your young ones to take medicine?  Well, all I can say is the inventor of  pill pockets could be my best friend!  If you have a dog that needs medicine, these are a must have!  Just don't go with the Duck flavor!  The smell is just awful. 

We enter into the world of having children with the understanding it is a life long process.  Once a parent, always a parent.  They will make you feel love, anger, joy, and other things that you can't even put into words.  Entering into the world of owning dogs comes with the same responsibility, just a little different.

Your dog will do things that make you angry and upset.  Duchess killed a rabbit (well played with it like a toy is more accurate) the first year I was divorced and living alone.  May not sound like much unless you have heard a rabbit in distress.  Not a sound you want to hear, and who is going to get the now dead rabbit off of your porch?  Nico ate a dining room table and chairs, and a hole in our kitchen wall the first year.

But, your dog won't talk back to you.  Your dog won't say No to you.  Nor will it slam the door on you, get mad at you, or never not need you.    All a dog will do is love you and show you gratitude. 

We certainly know our time is limited.  I spend each morning paying close attention to Duchess.  Is she in pain?  Is she comfortable?  Trying to be sure we aren't being selfish and keeping her around.  She still goes out and walks the property every day.  Every now and then, she breaks into a run.  Even if after she looks perplexed as to "why the hell did I just do that?". 

I've enjoyed being a Mother, now a Grandmother.  (Ok, I will admit, writing I'm a Grandmother is a tad jolting!)  And I've enjoyed being a "Mom" to our furry family also.  We have been lucky to have the whole brood, even if I have to buy lint rollers a case at time!

Monday, August 19, 2013

First Day of School

Today is the first day of school in the county that I live.

Today is the first day of school that I didn't have a child attending in 13 years.

This was Kyle on his first day of kindergarten...

It seems like an eternity ago. 

This was two weeks ago...

It has been a long road for all of us.  School was not always an easy road for Kyle.  Or me for that matter.  Or anyone else in our family that stood behind Kyle constantly telling him that he could do it.  I wish someone had pulled me aside 13 years ago and said "You will have to fight for your child.  You will have to push your child.  You will have to push those around him to help him.  But in the end, you will have pushed him to the finish line."  If someone had said that to me, maybe I wouldn't have spent the last two years hyperventilating!
The person who gave the keynote speech spoke of running a marathon.  And how important it is to realize that the graduates finished.  Maybe not first, or on time, but that they held on and finished.  I felt like they were speaking directly to Kyle.  It was nice to hear validation for Kyle to have finished.  Maybe not on time, but that didn't matter.  No one will ever ask him did he graduate in June or August! 


 Congratulations to the class of 2013.  No matter when you graduated!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Hard to Believe

Hard to believe it has been 16 months since my last post.  We had a lot of personal things going on over the last year.  I found it hard to write.  So, I didn't.  But things change, time moves forward and you realize that you need to start again.  I've attempted many times to blog again, only to think where do I start now after being off for a year? I'm going to just post daily a few things that have occurred the past year, guess I will start with the most important:

We became Grandparents this year. 

Riley Elizabeth was born on March 13, 2013.  Here are a few pictures of the last few months.

If you look at the last picture you will notice my living room has become a playground.  You forget how much stuff a little person actually uses!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

I'm Really Behind!

We have had quite a few busy weeks here in the Gambler household.  Birthdays, relatives visiting, craft shows just to name a few.  I will be posting about all of these over the next few days as I organize pictures to post. 

These posts will NOT be in chronological order.  I'm a fly by the seat of my pants kind of girl!  Actually, I will be posting depending on which photos are available as I'm sitting at the computer at 4 a.m. and  only willing to post photos that are currently in the computer since I don't want to turn on a light.

My Dad was down visiting for a week, so we grabbed my cousins daughter from college close by, and along with Kyle spent a day at Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens

A great time was had by all.  Kyle and Tory rode every roller coaster at least once, and ALWAYS in the front row.  First up was Cheetah Hunt:

I was thankful for Tory's bright blue shirt.  It made them easy to pick out when the went by.

And away they go.  The Cheetah Hunt actually is so long that the entire ride is over 3 minutes long.  In roller coaster time, that is a long one!

This was Sheikra.  Lets pause for a moment.  What you can't tell with this photo is that the ride takes you up 200ft, then as it comes over to plunge you at a 90 degree angle, it stops.  Yes, stops and hangs you there.  So I actually had no problem taking this picture, as they posed for it!

At this point, my Dad and I bid them goodbye and went off on our own.  We caught up with them 4 hours later, to hear all about the rides and the fact that they had never stopped to eat.  If you eat, you cannot ride, so they waited until they knew we would be leaving before settling down to grab a bite.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Lather Lovely is here! Finally!

It is finally up and running.  Lather Lovely has a website that is actually working.  It isn't complete yet, but it is there.  It only took me 3 years!  Please check it out at

We are headed to Clermont, Fl this weekend to participate Lakeridge Winery's Winefest.  Of course, the weather has been fantastic, now this weekend it is supposed to rain.  Go figure.  At least we did buy a new tent last month, which should keep us dry.  Our old tent had started to show some wear, and for certain shows, they require you to have a white tent.  Mine was beige. 

I will update the blog through the weekend with pictures of the Winefest!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

He Is Back, For Now....

Nico was returned to us yesterday morning.  He had traveled quite the distance and by the looks of him had been up all night running.  Our posters were up about 5 minutes when we received the first call that someone had him.

We brought him home where we bathed him (that ought to teach him to run away again, he hates getting a bath!), fed him and let him lay on the big dog cushion to sleep.  We had to keep all the other animals away from him as he came home really cranky.

As in, bare your teeth at everyone, kind of cranky.

Today he is up and back to his old self.  The dog pen has been repaired, again, and hopefully we will not be posting another lost dog post.

In other animal news, our darling Duchess just turned 17.  She is like the energizer bunny!