Nemo knot

It’s been a whole month since Nemo passed away, and although it feels like a year one moment and like yesterday the next, he is still always on my mind. I dug out the celtic knot sketch I did of him a few months ago and realized the thing I wasn’t happy with on it was his tail.

He had a Great Dane tail with a Lab head. I tweaked the tail and think it’s now looking more like My Dog. I’ll probably keep working on it until I’m happy. What do you think?

Baby album memories

Was taking a brain break from coursework and found this adorable baby picture of My Nemo from eight years ago when he was just five weeks old. He always loved his cold air ducts ❤

How animals grieve

Phoofie has always been odd. He made it a personal mission to clean pack members over the years if they were anywhere receptive or patient about humouring this quirk.

When Nemo was very young, Phoofie attempted to clean the big guy’s face, and whether the fluffster’s rough tongue rubbed wrong on My Dog’s toes, nose, ears or his eyes is anyone’s guess what the offense was. Anytime the cat walked anywhere near his face or feet, Nemo would growl at him, and during the last few months of his increasing canine dementia, even snapped at him. This freaked the poor cat out and he’d retreat under a chair or table a safe distance away while Nemo would put his head back down and let out an occasional low growl as if to say, “I know you’re sitting there looking at me. Don’t even think about it.” But Phoofie never gets insulted.

Since Nemo’s passing, you’d think the last one to care would be the elderly cat who got growled at, run over by 130 lbs. of excited to go out and chase squirrels, or who often got quickly scooped up and off a comfy dog spot when the dog wanted it and a human had to intervene before fur flew. Yet animals grieve for the loss of their family members in their own way.

Phoofie has been sleeping on air conditioning floor vents, especially on The Fave one, and on all of Nemo’s rugs and throws. He was the only one who noticed at all that My Dog was missing. Sparky really hasn’t noticed or acted outside of his weird zone. Maybe I’m overly sensitive to their behavior, but I’m convinced from many years of observing animal interaction inside a family setting: Phoofie is definitely missing My Nemo.

Job opening: Bird Chaser

Nemo took ridding the docks of messy birds pretty seriously. No boater diligently spends hours cleaning his prized boat to get ready for guests and then wants his family to walk down the dock and climb in after traipsing through gobs of bird poop, so Nemo’s job of Bird Chaser at our marina was a pretty important one. With him now gone, who will step up? Who will be the next Bird Chaser? Applications now being accepted. Position open until filled.

Nemo shrine

My Big Black Dog’s box is in its place of honor on my desk. I realized that with his ashes and all the photos around (yes, there are more than just shown here), the only thing my dog shrine is missing is a candle.

Sparky adds to feather collection

Little Black Dog did better with his evening walk this time. We got all the way down to the fuel dock where he found a large black feather…. and then decided the walk was finished and took his feather home. A walk across the parking lot that took Nemo two minutes at a lazy stroll took Sparky a little over six minutes. Thank goodness for video effects speeding up the pooper-doodle’s pace!

Sparky steps up

Well, since Nemo has passed away, it has become apparent that it is necessary for someone to step up and take walks over to the boats and watch the sunset with me at night. So, Sparky has volunteered to step up. We’re taking it slow for him because he’s rather chubby for a small dog. Tonight, we got all the way across the parking lot and into the marina gate when he started slowing down. I took the opportunity to give him a little break and pulled him in the cart all the way to the other side and down the dock to the boat, then back to the starting position. He did manage to walk back across the parking lot and make it back to the house alright. Baby steps, or rather Little Black Dog steps.

Dog hugs couldn’t fix everything

Whenever he did not feel good or was afraid of thunder or a flying insect, Nemo would come running to me for a dog hug. If I didn’t feel well or he sensed I was upset, he came and offered a dog hug.

On Friday, we started out for our usual walk to the boat and got to the end of the driveway when he stopped. I asked him what was the matter, and he told me with his eyes that he suddenly didn’t feel well. So we went back in the house and he drank a bunch of water, then went down the hall and flopped onto the floor by his favourite air vent. His breathing was a bit more than a pant, so being the devoted human, I turned down the A/C for him since it’s his first love.
A few hours later after he made several unsuccessful attempts to get up, I had been down on the floor with him and realized it was more than just heat getting to him. His legs were weak and attempts to stand exhausted him. He clung to me and offered dog kisses as I tried to comfort him.

While my mother was on the phone with the emergency vet, Eenie Meenie My Nemo, The Chosen One, looked at me with panic-stricken eyes, panting more pronounced, hair suddenly standing up on his back, and mouth open as I desperately clung to him and cooed every comfort word he knew. It was our last dog hug.

Nemo passed away in my hands as I stroked his head and velvet ears and realized his breathing stopped. I’m still choked up and crying about losing my dog child. He had just had a physical and removal of a lump on his lip three weeks ago. The vet indicated he had no signs of heart or blood trouble, yet the symptoms he exhibited in his last few hours were those of dog heart failure.

My Nemo was born almost into my hands after I rescued his pregnant mama, chose to stay with me when at four weeks he discovered the Holy A/C Vent, spent his life as My Dog, and left this world embraced by me and the coldest air vent in the house – his two favourite things.

For most of his life, he outweighed me. That’s how big a chunk out of myself is missing right now. Although I hugged and cuddled him continuously until his last breath, this was the first time that a dog hug didn’t cure all. That is a paradigm shift in my world and will take a long, long time to heal. Because the one thing that would make me feel better is the one thing I’ll never get again: a dog hug from Nemo.

Not my turn – phew!

Look who is hiding behind the back seat. My mother took Sparky in for his turn at the vet, so me and my cowardly lion are waiting in the shade, as far from the clinic’s door as he can get.

Chair is occupied

“Oh, I’m sorry. Did you want to sit here?” #Phoofie

Old dog, new trick

Sparky got to go for a cart ride at Home Depot while we were waiting for Nemo to come out of surgery the other day. He seemed to enjoy it.

Surgery

My dog child had to undergo a surgery to remove an aggressive growth of unknown cause off of his lip this week. Thankfully, it’s gone now but that was a really long, stressful six hours for me. His dog smile is beautiful again 😃

Sewing day

Making our own sun shades for the screen room today. My mother is concentrating probably most on not getting stuck with a pin 😜

What’s in a name?

I know that I haven’t been very active online in the past two years since going through chemo. It wiped me out and getting back up and to my memory of “normal” has been a long haul. Talk about the cure being worse than the disease.

In the meantime, I have been the victim of a few attempts of identity theft, all of which, thankfully, have been thwarted. Seriously. My name and my business name are obviously so incredibly in demand that people will stoop to new lows to try and claim to be me. You’d think I’d won the PowerBall or something. Smh. Good thing I am well connected with some awesome lawyer friends in a few states and the treasury department.

In the meantime, I do have some pictures I want to post of Nemo helping me at work, because, after all, isn’t that what everyone really wants to see more of anyway: my Big Black Dog?

Bird poop

Humans don’t appreciate how interesting bird poop can be.

Doodle sketches

I did some drawings to go on the back of the activity/word search pages we put out each weekend at the church. The original idea was that there would be a coloring page for any kids who come, but also a difficult enough word search that the adults would enjoy it as well. These are a few of the church doodles.

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Post Hurricane Irma

It was our first hurricane to live through in Florida and it was stressful, to say the least. Nemo and the gang also felt the stress. Thankfully, we sustained no damage to the house or boat, but we lost a lot of pieces of trees. Since some lost a whole lot more, we have nothing to complain about. Power came back up within a few days and after a week, we needed some relax time. Since he’s not overly fond of being actually ON the boat, he’s very happy to chill at a dock party.

Humans think they’re so smart

Was looking at those “memories” from five years ago today on Facebook and this photo popped up: “Apparently, laying large pillows across the sofa to keep the dogs off of it didn’t work.”

Awwwww factor

Been awfully busy lately and haven’t had time to post in ages. But we just had to share this absolutely precious photo of Cousin Shadow and her new baby sis, Brookee. ❤ ❤ ❤ Serious puppy love ❤

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