Wednesday, September 29, 2021

***The Struggle Is Real***

 Dear Diary,

This is what I told Mom:  As long as I am having good days, let's forget about the saying goodbye thing.  Since she gets a little confused about what is a good day for me, let me be specific. My birthday was not a good day.  I spent it lost in corners and falling into stuff. But the next day was good.  And the one after that was really good. A good day is usually when I seem to regain a small bit of hearing, sight, and mental stability.  Small, very small.  But still.

"I think we can still enjoy some corn on the cob this year," she said as she loaded me into my comfy seat in the back of the Elantra.  She sat there with me and held onto my leash while I jumped to watch out the window and breath in all the smells along the way. Dad drove.  I couldn't wait to sink my teeth into that fresh buttery corn on the cob.  But first, a stop in Wiley Ford WV where we lived when I was a puppy.  We'd walk the towpath there.  

It was a really nice day.

I love love love the walks there.  It's all about new smells for me. And my smeller ain't what it used to be, but it still works.

And speaking of new smells, let me tell ya what happened on the way up the hill to go to our car for home.

I couldn't quite see it, but I heard Mom talking to a stranger.  "I wouldn't put my hand down to her," I heard Mom say.  "She might bite you."

BOL!!!  The woman Mom is delusional.

That was the 'old' Gracie. The much younger version. The new me ...  well...  

I'm a lover, not a fighter.  Ask the girl stranger.  (Her hand tasted like... ummm...  Burger King).  Mom was a little surprised that I licked her hand instead of biting it.  But hey, people dogs change, ya know.

Yesterday wasn't such a hot day. I got almost to the top of the ramp (at 4AM) (When I should have been fast asleep but instead I decided to wander aimlessly through the house and get lost and wake Mom every half hour to send me outside so I could get lost there too) but at the top of the ramp where it meets Mom and Dad's bed, I froze. I freaked. I decided I did not know where I was going - and then I began to fall back down the ramp.  I was trembling. Afraid.  But Mom jumped up from the bed and tried to save me --- only her back went out!!!!!  I thought I was going to have to save her!!!!! The struggle is real, peoples! 

As the story goes, she wasn't much help to me after that, but I did manage to slide down the ramp backward to safety.  She and I went to the living room then to lick our wounds and pace some more.  Well, pacing for me, groaning and moaning in pain for her as she tried to get comfortable in her chair.  What a night!  

But I'm 17 now.  what do you expect from an old a new girl?   Gracie.

Friday, September 24, 2021


Dear Diary,

As I try to think of something witty and funny to write about, my mind comes up blank.  That's not unusual these days - the blank mind.  I am 17 today, ya know!  

Yesterday was my pre-birthday celebration which included a walk on the towpath and chicken nuggets from Chick-fil-A.  I got the best Mom and Dad ever!  Well, I did yesterday, anyway.  Today Mom wiped my butt with an oatmeal wipe so I had to take her from the nice list to the naughty list.  Once a nag, always a nag, I suppose.

Yesterday's walk was wonderful.  Ahhhh the smells!  I can only do half the walk I used to do, or at least that's what the nag Mom is telling me.

As much as yesterday was a good day, today started out not so good.  I was confused and got lost in the yard.  I kept walking in circles.  Around and around and around I went.  Then I couldn't find the house or the door to go inside.  Mom says she was right there leading me in, but I could not see nor hear her.  And when she placed her hand on me, trying to lead me inside, I just became more confused and kept veering to the left.  Left. Left. Left.  Same as my head tilt. I'm a mess, says Mom.  

Okay.  She's not really that much of a nag.  She's trying to help me I believe.  But I'm not really sure I can be helped.  

I did make it over to the office for my morning fortune cookie.  Yes, I got lost on the way.  Around and around and around I go.  

Mom teared up a little, reading my fortune for the day.  I think she and dad are really going to miss me when I go.

She asks me to tell her when I'm tired and don't want to do this anymore.  I promised her I would.  But this is my birthday.  I'm expecting another walk, some good eatin', and a lot of rubdowns.  So I'm not quite ready.  Not today.  




Monday, September 13, 2021

Life Gone To The Dogs

I could say my life has gone to the dogs, but let's face it... it's been that way for almost 17 great years.

My blog started out as Gracie Owns Me, then several years ago I changed it to Growing Old with Gracie and now - well, if I were to rename it now it would probably be Losing Gracie.  

My heart breaks to see her lost in our yard, under a chair, or in a corner.  She tends to pull to the left, the same side as her head-tilt, causing her to run into walls and miss doorway entrances.  

I've piled soft rugs and blankets on even the smallest step landing, to make her walk from the house to outside easier.  Sometimes she'll fall, but it's a soft landing now.  

We'll put her in the car and take her to the towpath for mini-walks until she looks worn out.  She loves her walks, still.  Even if they are only half of what they used to be.  When I heard of the hurricane rains coming our way, I hurriedly purchased a doggie umbrella from Amazon. It came that morning, just in time.

Our lives are dedicated to making her last days as comfortable as possible.

She used to love to go out front and bark at passersby.  Now when I tie her there, she looks bewildered.  Like, where am I and what am I doing here?

She still has her favorite spots to sleep, though sometimes it's hard for her to find them.  

Our entire house is Old-Girl-Gracie-ized.  We have ramps and rugs, pillows, and barriers.  Every time I see a problem, I try to fix it to make it easier on her.  I love when I catch her in a sweet sleep.  I know then, she is not worried or suffering or in pain.  I love when she climbs the ramp at night to join us on the bed, and when she settles there.  Her going down the ramp gives me worry - as she bounces to the left and onto the sides of the ramp, finally making it to the floor.  

She doesn't do well in the car for long drives.  We took her to camp one last time, then we sold the camper and discontinued our contract with the campsite.  When it was time to leave, she refused.  

No.  I'm not going.  I will not go.  I love camp.  You can't make me.

When she is gone, I cannot imagine being there without her.  She has loved it so much!  It would be too painful.  

I've been talking to her a lot.  About how she will probably be leaving us soon, I tell her we'll be okay.  But she will be better than okay.  And that she should watch for us one day to be with her.  Do I think dogs go to heaven?  Absolutely.  I found this on daily scriptures on the Internet: 

And because I love God, I know He will one day bring me and my girl back together again.  

He will bring all of us back together again, all of us who love Him.  

In the meantime, I will take the best care of my girl that I can.  And I will watch closely for her to tell me when she's had enough of this life.  

Shhhh...  I'm trying to catch a nap, can ya keep it down?