I am Doris in N CA. Over time, this has become the "serious" blog.
Since the suicide of my son, I have become involved in suicide awareness and, yes, that creeps into the blog on a fairly regular basis.
Today, we had to make the very hard decision to let go of our oldest dog. Maggie aka Devil Dog, Ms Destructo, came into our lives a few weeks after our first dog, Waldi, a beagle who lived to be 17, passed away of old age. We missed him so much that we adopted Maggie. She was hell on wheels. When she wasn't climbing 6 ft fences to visit neighbors, she would dig under them to escape. She dug up all the gopher tunnels on one side of the yard making it extremely dangerous to walk there. She was the one who taught Henry how to climb trees just so he could get away from her. All his Tshirt had holes along the bottom of the hem. I met dog catchers in 2 states thanks to her adventurous spirit. She was so tough (to live with) that I actually considered giving her back. Instead we adopted Charlie who did his best to put her in her place. There were fights, over food, over toys, just for the heck of it. She was tough and it took years for her to mellow out. Even though she was part lab, she did not like water. The above picture shows one of the few times she ventured into the water (and I doubt it was entirely willingly). The inflatable boat was another story. She happily spent time in there drifting around the pool. She mellowed out a bit in recent years. After always loving food and being able to eat as much as she wanted without gaining an ounce (something most women would love to be able to do), she lost interest in recent months. No matter what I gave her or how much I coaxed, she just didn't care. So, we took her to the vet this morning to discuss our options. There really weren't any. We stayed with her to the very end, held her and talked to her and asked her to say "hi" to Henry for us. They'll be together again now. We'll miss you, Maggie.