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The House of Harmony

December 28th, 2016

Toast!!

Posted by harmony in Uncategorized    

As this busy year comes to a close I find myself here reflecting.

Many of you probably have noticed my absence, but please know it wasn’t intentional. It’s just been so dang crazy these past few months and trying to find time to “talk” to everyone has been a challenge. Add to that my pooter problems; sometimes I could post, sometimes not so much. Don’t even ask me what the problem(s) was ‘cause I still ain’t got it all figured out.

When the email notification policy changed (no verbiage of the comments posted on forums I subscribe to), I pretty much lost my ability to keep up with everything and everybody. I totally understand the change. I can’t even imagine what it’s like to manage the great Tripawds.com.

Any-hoo, all y’all have been on my mind and heart. When I do get online to touch base, I see all the amazing work everyone does to help those in need of support. It’s very much like my first post when I was filled with terror and anxiety over Harmony’s journey. I can’t say I would have made it if it weren’t for all y’all. And as much as I want to be there for the newbies, please accept my apologies for being absent. It truly isn’t intentional.

With all that said, I wanted to share what Tripawds has taught me.

I have a friend who’s fur-baby recently was diagnosed with MCT. When I found out, I immediately gave her the link to Tripawds so she could read up on those experiences with canine cancer. She was devastated upon the news, but after reading the journeys on Tripawds (she never joined) she came back the next day and revealed that it helped her immensely. With some new-found knowledge, she went to her vet armed with a better understanding and not nearly as petrified. Now her fur-baby is on prednisone and doing wonderfully.

Then, just a couple of weeks ago, my niece found out one of her fur-babies had osteo and had to have a rear leg removed. We’ve had an ongoing conversation regarding her concerns for recovery and what to expect. The good news, the leg was all that was involved with cancer and the pup is expected to recover completely. I saw her (the fur-baby) on Christmas Eve and she was the most loveable, sweetest thing; obviously no pain and very happy to get some well-deserved loving. As expected, she’s still having mobility issues, but I predict by New Year she’ll be back to ruling the country acreage they live on.

Sadly, I’ve also had a few friends who’ve lost their fur-babies within the last few months. One had lost her two pups just weeks apart. I think all y’all will agree; unless you’ve lost a pet, it’s difficult to understand what another goes through. Losing our Harmony has allowed me to comfort others.

So, here’s my toast to all you wonderful pawrents of the Tripawd Nation. For all the love, support and friendship you’ve selflessly offered to complete strangers: May your cup always be full of slobber (love) garnished with fur balls (joy). There is a special place at the Bridge for saints such as yourself. St. Frances ain’t got nothing on y’all.

xoxoxo

ps – Harmony came to visit us last week in the form of a three-legged buck. How’s that for a sign!!??

 

ZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzz . . . .

Mel and her Dad taking a nap.

October 18th, 2016

Life Without Harmony

Posted by harmony in Uncategorized    

Such a convoluted, oxy-moron title, but life has gone on with (and without) Harmony.

November 1st (Day of the Dead) will be Harmony’s angelversary. It’s hard to imagine how much can happen in just a two year span, but time waits for no one, especially grieving pawrents.

Although 2 years older now, Melody is still just as adorable as she’s always been. I look into her eyes (yes, the only pup I know that will gaze back with love) and pray that when her time comes that she never has to suffer as Harmony did. She’s very reserve and quiet and won’t present any symptoms unless absolutely necessary. This makes me nervous because I don’t want to know when it’s too late that she’s been hurting in any form-or-fashion. But for now, she seems healthy and content.

Mel chillin' with Dad

Mel chillin’ with Dad

On the other hand, our Meesha, who we adopted a month after losing Harmony, can stub her toe and will come running to us whining as if to get a “make it all better kiss”. It truly is hilarious at times, but I never, ever thought about how different doggie-personalities can be. Meesha is so loving, crazy and loves to do zoomies, whereas she ignites the “border” part in Mel to try and “herd” her.

"Where's my treat?"

“Where’s my treats?”

Meesha enjoying her luvin's.

Meesha enjoying her luvin’s.

And then there’s Kingston, a British Golden; 84 lbs. of hair, slobber and stink. I call him Doublestuff most of the time because that’s what it looks like when laying between Mel (62 lbs.) and Meesha (72 lbs.), like a Double Stuff Oreo.

"I know it's cleaner over there, but I want to lay right here in this mud!"

“I know it’s cleaner over there, but I want to lay right here in this mud ’cause I’m white!”

We didn’t adopt him. We’ve been more like foster pawrents. His owner ran into bad times and asked if we would take him until she got back on her feet. That’s been more than 6 months ago and I’m not sure his “mommy” will ever come back for him. It’s sad, but he doesn’t know ‘cause his life is filled with love and promises that he’s a part of our pack. He is just the sweetest thing you’ll ever meet; not a mean bone in his body. Not the brightest thing either, but, like my sister-in-love would say, “At least he’s purdy.” LOL!

Anyway, having 218 lbs. of puppy luv keeps the void that Harmony left, full of hope and laughter.

Harmony has been tugging on my heart especially hard this week. I’m sad, but not in a grieving way. It’s more to do with the realization that all our fur-babies will leave us eventually.

Harmony’s message? Enjoy every fur-ball, lick, look, bark, and growling minute you have with them for tomorrow comes so much quicker for them than it does for us.

Love you guys.

Harmony Watching It Rain

Harmony Watching It Rain

July 7th, 2015

The flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long. – Lao Tzu

Posted by harmony in Uncategorized    

Why do we live on a planet where each life, whether plant or animal, has its own unique life expectancy?

Every day I come to the Tripawd Forums and read about the loss of another fur baby. Rarely do I ever get online and not feel the rage and heartbreak over the premature delivery of another innocent to the Rainbow Bridge.

We would be better humans if we were more dog.

And they are innocents! Never, ever was there a companion with purer love and devotion than the fur-babies who’ve come in-and-out of our lives. Their capacity to love through any emotion we throw at them is unfathomable. To wag their tail or greet us with a “kiss” when they’ve just come out of surgery or chemo is truly love in the purest form. And what about all those sweet rescued souls who lived lives of abuse and neglect? Whether they hobble across the floor or run, the outcome is the same; unrequited devotion.

We should be more dog.

But the truth is, their lives weren’t meant to be as long as ours. Maybe it’s because we were charged in the Garden of Eden to take care of the plants and animals. We can’t do that if our life expectancy is short. There are so many more in need and my heart has plenty of room.

There is a price to be paid for such a love. Harmony gave of it freely as did all the others. I can only hope to live by their example.

Be more dog.

R.I.P. Saint Harmony

R.I.P. Saint Harmony

April 29th, 2015

“He who must not be named.”

Posted by harmony in Uncategorized    

I have to admit that every time I watch one of the Harry Potter movies, I can’t help but correlate cancer with the whole reference of “He who must not be named.”

I’ve seen it time-and-time again where we reference cancer as the “c-word”, as if we’re afraid that by saying the name, we relinquish some part of ourselves to the disease. Maybe deep down we think it equates the same response as saying “Lord Voldemort”, I can see that.

Both are ruthless. Both would torture you and your loved ones before taking your life mercilessly at the end. Both leave devastation in their wake. Lastly, both are hard to defeat, but it can be done.

Our attitude about this disease has to change. Instead of being afraid or dreadful of what lies ahead, we need to get angry; foot-stomping, red-faced, ass-kicking mad.

I’ve personally started an “I HATE CANCER” attitude. Every time someone or something makes me angry, I’m taking my rage out on cancer. I’m done pussy-footing around this scourge.

I feel the cure for cancer is just around the corner. In the meantime, I ain’t giving in to “Lord Voldemort” any more.

Let’s put it in its place. Yell the name in disgust. I’m gonna make a voodoo doll and by George (by the way, who is George?), its name will be CANCER. I’m gonna torture that doll until cancer gives up.

In the name of all our loved ones, both furry and furless, let’s put cancer where it belongs; under our heel as we grind it into extinction. Get mad and take no prisoners. It’s time to get even.

“TAKE THAT YOU PIECE OF CRAP-CANCER!”

 

March 17th, 2015

Legacy

Posted by harmony in Uncategorized    

As the quote at the top of this page implies, we have started a new story with the addition of Meesha, a Lapitor (Lab/Pit). I thought at first it would be difficult, feeling like I had replaced Harmony because she reminds me so much of her, but she brings a new dynamic to our pack.

Meesha is a rescue from a hoarder and came with “baggage”. It’s the baggage that keeps us on our toes and reminds us every pup has their own personality whether by breed, litter number, or environmental factors.

For example, because Meesha spent the first few years of her life in a cage, her canine tips are wore down from biting at her bars. She also has back/hip problems due to that prison being too small for her. When we first read her story online, it was communicated that she was only around 3 years old. At our first meeting I noted her muzzle was grey, much like that of a senior pooch. But the vet says that she’s prematurely grey, to me that only reiterates the abuse she suffered.

Another one of our observations is Meesha wasn’t afforded the things that most dogs do naturally. She doesn’t know how to “mark”. That in itself is actually a good thing, except she will hold her bladder sometimes as long as 24 hours. She will hold #2 as long as 3 days. We were a wee bit successful in trying to recondition her. I thought it kinda funny that we had to reward her for going to the bathroom, LOL. She continues to improve, but can’t be left in the house unattended. We’ve found this conditioning the hardest to break.

AND she will eat/chew everything as if she’s going through a delayed puppy stage. We don’t dare drop a single thing or leave anything laying around for the fear of her eating it. She’s quick. We dropped a paper towel yesterday and it was gone in seconds. Yet she is the most delicate thing when taking food from our fingers. That big ole pit bull mouth will gently nibble a cheerio while Mel (Melody) would take your fingers off!

Her personality is just wonderful and it’s my understanding from her foster mom that it has just recently come out after months of nurturing foster care. She’s quite lovely. With the black of a Labrador and the single coat of a Pit, she is very stunning. And her eyes: I would have to say they’re the most gentle eyes I’ve ever seen on a dog, even Harmony’s.

It’s no coincidence that we all equate our fur-babies as children because they’re like kids who mentally never grow up. It’s as if they’re stuck at the human age of 4. That’s like having a preschooler for many years. With that said, I also recognize that any kind of abuse forever changes the adult human or dog. No matter what kind of abuse it was, the outcome is typically the same. Meesha challenges us every day. There’s always something that changes or pops up as a result of her earlier life.

Even with all of her baggage, I can see balance. She brings a center to our pack that we desperately needed. She shows us love and companionship. She plays with Mel as if they were born attached at the hip. She moans and sighs in approval as she lays her head in our lap.

Meesha brings our home, Harmony.

 

Melody and Meesha

Melody and Meesha

January 12th, 2015

Signs

Posted by harmony in Uncategorized    

I remember when  I was so flustered that everyone else was getting “signs” from their Angels and I wasn’t getting anything. Truth is, I was closed down emotionally and not able to recognize a brick upside the head! LOL! But then it happened and I felt like that part of the movie where Helen Keller (Patty Duke) finally realizes that the water she felt on her hands is also what her teacher was spelling out with her fingers. The signs have always been there, I just wasn’t open yet to recognize them!

And, while we’re on the subject, I figure many of you are noticing a pattern with me when I refer to this movie or that movie. Well, that’s because I’ve been working in the movie industry for 23 years. I kid folks that it’s the closest thing to getting paid for using a TV remote! HA! So when I reference a movie, and I will, please forgive me in advance. Thanks!

With that said, I watched a lot of movies over the weekend and I saw some more signs. But what I realized was that when I opened myself up to see the signs, there was more than one Angel talking. For example, I can’t even remember what the movie was, but as I watched the credits scroll at the end, there it was; one name above the other, “Jasper” and then “Lily”.  Now what are the chances that a) that would occur in the credits and b) that I would actually notice it!? Is it because I’ve had Alison and Jasper Lily on my mind or was it Shelby talking to Alison through me?

And then I re-watched the movie “Epic”. And there he was, an animated tripawd pug named Ozzie that saved the day. They didn’t have to draw him that way. He could have saved the day as a quad. And since I had seen the movie before, the pug was an uneventful character for me. Now after my journey with Harmony and you folks, he means everything to me!! I didn’t have to watch the movie again, but I chose to.

But there’s more, hold on to your britches ’cause I received an email from a very good friend who was telling me about a bar/grill that he was going to see with thoughts of purchasing it. He sent me a picture of the frontage, “Harmony’s Bar”.

Got chill bumps?

My point is this, signs are everywhere. We choose, sometimes subconsciously, to see them or not. I’m no expert, but I think it’s a matter of freeing our hearts and minds of the emotional baggage we picked up during our perspective journeys.

We can’t put more tea in a cup that’s already full. Yeah, I got that from a movie too. WOOT!

pam

Ozzie the Tripug

Ozzie the Tripug

 

January 6th, 2015

Harmony’s Goodbye

Posted by harmony in Uncategorized    

I don’t know if anyone remembers, but when Harmony had her one-and-only chemo treatment, the hub-a-dub was out of town. I was terrified I couldn’t get her there without injuring her. So, my friend, who used to be a vet-tech, took the day off work and spent the day with Harmony and I to help out. What a God send!

Any-hoo, when Harmony was done with her chemo we picked her up and got her the most glorious cheeseburger, EVER. My friend loved watching her in the back seat so much that she took a photo of her leaning, looking out the window, happy as could be after having all that nasty fluid drawn and eating the most delicious cheeseburger in the world.

Harmony departed this plane just 2 very short days later. After a few weeks, my friend said, “Let me know when you’re ready to see the picture I took in the car.” In all my grief, I had forgotten that she took that photo. But on the other hand, I knew I wasn’t ready to see it yet either.

Last week, I felt I was ready and asked her to forward it to me. What a great picture. Its quality isn’t very good, but I immediately knew what I was seeing.

Harmony’s posture and the way she is looking back at the lens; I see her saying, “I’m not long for this world.” And there’s a glare at the top of her head as if the Pearly Gates are starting to crack open, preparing for her arrival. She’s looking back at me, “I love you, but you have to let me go, it’s time. Don’t worry, I’ll wait for you.”

I’ve read or heard somewhere that some cultures have odd practices when it comes to photography. Some believe that when a photograph is snapped, it takes a piece of your soul. Others don’t believe in taking pictures (e.g., landscapes, inanimate objects, etc.) without a person being in the frame. In Harmony’s case, she had an agenda. She was sending me a message; delayed-delivery until the time was right. Right, because now I can see because grief isn’t blinding me. Right, because my support system, Melody and now Meesha, keep my attention where it should be; here, in the present, being more dog. Right, because my heart has started a new chapter.

She’s waiting for me and that makes me so very happy.

Good bye, see you later!

Good bye, see you later!

 

December 16th, 2014

Love Rollercoaster

Posted by harmony in Uncategorized    
The eyes of perfect love.

The eyes of perfect love.

 

I’ve heard folks call the Tripawd ups and downs as an “emotional rollercoaster”. I totally get the relevance, however, I LOVE rollercoasters and typically the lows are just as much fun as the highs. With that said, there’s not enough money to get me back in line for this ride.

However, just like the Grinch’s heart, the power of love can do amazing things, including the purchase of a ticket for another “ride”.

The rollercoaster pulls at every dimension of our being. From sleep deprivation to financial duress, no matter how prepared we are, the rollercoaster is ruthless and breathtaking. But that’s why we bought the ticket to begin with, right? Added to the “thrills”, if by chance a disease (such as cancer) is included in the Tripawd ride, all of a sudden it  takes a nasty turn from just ups-and-downs to cork-screw feats that keep us wondering which end is up.

Analogies aside, the highs and lows of dealing with pre and post maintenance for our Tripawd’s journey is not for the faint-of-heart.

I remember the first emotion I felt when we received the news Harmony had cancer and would lose her leg; dis-belief, “You’ve got to be kidding. She’s vibrant, active and in great health. How could she have this ugly disease?”

As time progressed, then came the rest . . .

Anger (emotionally charged frustration) –  “That’s so unfair! @#*%&*($ !!!!

Reflection – “How could this be? We were so careful. We did everything possible to keep her healthy and happy. How did we let this happen?

Guilt  . . .see “reflection”.

Denial –  “Her ultra-sound came out clean, they’re just wrong.”

Sadness –  “I’m so sorry sweet girl, I promised I would never let anything happen to you and I’ve let you down.”

Guilt  . . . see “sadness”.

Despair –  “God, punish me. Please, please, I’m begging you, spare this innocent creature.”

Joy –  “Oh look at my sweet girl! Yay . . . we have poop!”

Relief –  “Thank goodness her blood work came back clean.”

Desperation (not to be confused with Despair) – “I’ll do whatever it takes to keep her from suffering.”

Regret –  “If only I had started you on chemo when the doctor first hinted about it.”

Guilt . . . see “regret”.

Surprise – “What do you mean it’s spread?”

Frustration (the lighter side of Anger) – “Please, please, please eat this for mommy.”

And these are just the prevalent emotions. There are so many more that could fill this page.

The transitions are seamless and just when we think we’ve gotten  to the very last emotional ping, they start all over again.

My epiphany was this wasn’t an emotional rollercoaster as it was a love rollercoaster. Harmony was our love, our heart. It wasn’t emotions that kept us going day-after-day, night-after-sleepless night. It was love in its rawest form; a selfless love that, oddly enough, we learned from our fur-babies, Grace is what Calvert’s mommy called it.

How could it have been anything else other than love that brought us from the pit of despair when Harmony passed in our arms?

I’d say the debt we owe could only be filled with the same reflected love and dedication they gave us; Polly, Ty, Shelby, Harmony, Calvert, Rox, Maggie, Jerry, Moose, Leland, Chuck, Lexie, Snoop, Calamity Jane, Billy, Franklin, Grady, Sasha, Shooter, Brendol, Dakota, Happy Hannah, Jake, Libby, Rosie, Sassy and many, many more who’ve gone on to the Rainbow Bridge.

Harmony’s love rollercoaster came into the station on November the 1st. Although the ride stopped being as scary, it’s taking a while for it to slow its momentum. The day it does will be the day that only joy remains.

Merry Christmas everyone. Love and joy to you and all those you love and cherish.

December 4th, 2014

Never Enough

Posted by harmony in Uncategorized    

STOP before you go through all those pictures on your phone and think, I need to clean off some of these pictures.

You can never, ever have too many pictures/videos of your loved ones. This absolutely includes your beloved fur-babies. If you do, the day will come where you beat yourself up for not having more than just one video of your fur-love.

This is the only video we have of our sweet Harmony. Being a Lab, she always had problems with her ears, so the hub-a-dub had a schedule where he would administer drops. No one would believe us that she actually enjoyed this particular exercise, so I recorded it.

Just a few months later  she left us. Now I watch this video over-and-over again. It’s like watching a favorite movie, knowing every line, every scene, yet you can’t tear your eyes (or heart) away.

Right this minute, stop and take a picture or a video of your loves. I promise, your heart will thank you later.

Never enough pictures, never enough love, never enough time.

 

November 26th, 2014

Thankful Thoughts

Posted by harmony in Uncategorized    

It was the weekend before Harmony got sick.

The hub-a-dub and I work at the same place and we commute daily together.

On the way to work we talk about how well we slept, what our schedule entails for the day and commenting on the things we see during our country commute.

Our drive home usually consists of our reflections of how the day went. This particular Friday we were quiet. I looked over at the hub-a-dub and asked, “Whatcha thinkin’?”

I KNOW! I KNOW! It is a cliché, but I still asked him anyway. But he surprised me with his response. He said, “I was just thinking about how perfect things are right now. I sit on the couch to watch TV, you’re by my side and I’ve got a dog on each foot. I don’t need anything else in my world.” Oh my gosh, he just melted my heart.

But ya know, I’m a good ole southern gal and we have many sayings and superstitions, one of which is “Don’t jinx things.”

It was just 3 weeks from that statement when our Harmony got her wings, never-ever saw that one coming.

With that said, there’s a lot I have to be thankful for . . .  but I ain’t sayin’ it!!!

I’ll just give one big ole “THANK YOU” and wake each morning with a grateful heart.

 

Happy Thanksgiving y'all!!!!

Happy Thanksgiving y’all!!!!

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