Saturday, January 08, 2011

Oh Henry!

If you know me personally you know I have dogs. I love dogs. I talk about dogs endlessly if you let me. I have had all kinds of dogs, kept several for weeks and even months so they could eventualy go home. I have even had the misfortune of losing a few over the years.

So it should come as no shock to you when I tell you how hopelessly distraught I was last Saturday evening when we couldn't find one of our beloved dogs. Even worse, it was Henry, our BLIND Australian Shepherd. We each thought the other had made sure he was inside. In the chaos of making dinner and putting 3 boys in bed we never noticed he wasn't asleep on the floor.

Now before you think "how could you miss a big 60lb dog?" you must first know Henry. He is a quiet, intelligent, sweet guy who rarely makes noise unless there is reason. We have had him since he was 4 months old, he started going blind at 2 and at 5 is now 100% blind. It was a genetic disorder that not even his breeder could prevent. He adjusted so well we didn't really know there was problem until his eyes began changing physically, not contracting with light, etc. He still played, occasionally bumping while turning a corner, missing steps, but never complaining always adjusting. He would walk easily through a house that constantly changed with toddlers and infants walking about moving toys and Mom who likes to rearrange. When we finally figured it out he was about 80% blind, only seeing shapes and shadows we think.

Now I have not known any other blind dogs but I have read a bit online. I have yet to see/read about one that acts like Henry. I don't know if it is because we didn't know he was going blind or that I require him to still do things like a sighted dog. My husband was very upset by the news he was mostly blind. I reminded him that the only difference between the day we found out and the day before was our knowledge that he was blind. Henry didn't label himself and I was determined our attitude toward him didn't change his sense of being a dog. I guess it worked because he is fearless. He still tries to herd and can nip you if you give him enough time and noise. And little boys usually do.

SO, Saturday night I was a mess. After checking every inch of the house, front yard, and back yard where a 60lb Australian Sheperd could fit I started knocking on the neighbor's doors. He never goes too far but he had been in the front yard (still confused how he got left out there) for 2 1/2 hours alone, in the rain. After about 15 minutes I couldn't stop the tears. He is blind and smart but he won't whine or bark for me. He will just sit down and wait until I find him if he gets stuck. Or someone picked him up. He didn't have on tags because the noise confuses him inside the house. It was dark and it was impossible to see him. Praying for God to return your dog seems silly, even to me, but I did anyway.

All our neighbors came out to help us look. It was late and raining. I couldn't believe they would do that. I finally decided to drive around. I knew he wouldn't behave like a normal dog. He would stay against something feeling/smelling his way foward. So I decided to drive as if he had gone down the hill (which he never does without one of us) and followed a scent along the curb/fence line. It felt impossible.

I turned the corner and there he was! Sniffing a mailbox. I know kind of quick huh?

He had gone the way I thought and I can only thank God for this small blessing. If it were not for the rain more people would have been out. Someone would have picked him up and never brought him back. Even with the blindness he is a wonderful pet.

If you have ever met Henry you would know why he is such a great dog. He is very well behaved and very sweet. To lose him was unthinkable to me but it reminded me in a small way how quickly things can change. How wonderful things can be one minute and horrible the next. I am thankful it was a temporary sense of loss and joyful that things were right back to normal. I am also thankful for the reminder how temporary the things we cling to tightly can be, even dogs.

Friday, January 07, 2011


is one of those days. It is day 3 of feeling "off" with an upset stomach and headache that won't stop. My To-Do list is growing which increases my stress and my headache. Still I can't get moving because the stomach won't cooperate.

So I declare it Computer Free Friday! I started this last month but forgot during the holidays. Now I remember why I started it. I loved my sanity more than I love the easy access of the computer distractions.

May your Friday be sane and peaceful.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

New and shiny......

is what the new year looked like to me only 5 days ago.

I love new and shiny. It is why I shop. It is why newborns are precious no matter what they do. New and shiny hold potential and a promise of future joy.

This morning was not new and shiny. It ached in my shoulders where that massage that felt great 2 days ago is now sore. It creaked in my neck where I slept funny and mocked me when I woke up 15 minutes before my 5am alarm.

Still, all those creaks and aches brought me closer to my knees as I prayed this morning. 4 days out of 365 is all I had of my own strength to do good and rise early. I wonder why it took me 4 days to realize that. I have only actually been up early for 2 days, the first two I slept in.

Is that not just like us to make more of what we did than what it actually was?

So for the rest of 2011 I pray will be spent daily on my knees every morning, praying for strentgh to get up again the next day. Because I know by evening I will have thought of another way to take credit for that which I did not do.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

I will try to be brave....

and follow where I pray the Lord is leading me. He leads me out of my head, out to the land of people. I hesitate because when out there before I was knocked about, so much that I retreated. I still have bruises but I am compelled by what I can only assume is the Holy Spirit because I know it is not me.

I have moments of full out yelling "NO" inside my head but I still go. From experience I have learned you will eventually do what God wants you to do. The yelling doesn't change anything. *See Jonah and the Big Fish*

Part of moving forward is posting on this blog. I have some other things to work on but today it is just this blog. Tomorrow I am going to let my husband be right all day long, even when he isn't.

May you do something brave today too.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Our New Chef

My oldest son always asks to help in the kitchen. He has since he was very small, always on the countertops watching, wanting to stir, wash dishes, etc. Now he is 8 and I thought maybe it was time to let him make his own dinner, with assistance.

He got this book at Christmas with a gift card from Nana.

He chose lasagna for his first meal. While pouring in the sauce he said it looked like a particle cannon. Perhaps he should cut back on the Command & Conquer before he cooks unsupervised.

This was the result and it was delicious. Since my husband can only reheat or follow really specific directions totaling no more than 3 steps I look forward to another cook in the house. DH will appreciate the help as well. I think the stovetop scares him.

On a side note, I think I need prettier dishes if I am going to take pictures for the blog.

Hello 2011!

I love January. I love that a new year has begun. It has so much potential, so much can still be done.

After 35 years of new years I have learned to keep perspective despite my affinity for new things.

This year I KNOW something will go wrong. I KNOW I will not keep on track with my goals or desires. God's plan is always different, always better, and always unexpected to me. So I am expecting the unexpected if that is possible. I am preparing for things to go completely into left field, have a picnic, and take nap.

So knowing all that, I am still excited for things to happen.

I am about to start my 2nd child in homeschooling. He might start violin. My oldest is doing 2nd grade with 5 subjects and hopefully will add Latin in the summer.

All this excites me. I questioned my desire before but homeschooling actually excites me especially the older they get. I love knowing this much about my boys. How they learn, how they think, how they understand the world is amazing. I love it.

I also started a new business. It scares and excites me at the same time. This will be such an intersting year.
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