Friday, July 19, 2019

Packing Golden Stuff

It's been slow going, but work continues on cleaning and packing away a lot of dog items to donate to the local shelter.  In case you are wondering...YES, we do plan to have another dog.  But not too soon.  This time we won't be getting a puppy but more likely an adult from the shelter or rescue.  And we will be down-sizing.  We no longer have the fitness and energy to keep up with a large active dog.  I'm not certain what kind of dog I would like, but I am confident that I will be able to look into the dog's eyes and we will know if we are meant to be together.

When we built our house, we made a tiled dog room for our two young Golden Retrievers.  They slept in crates at night and we had a special shower/grooming table built for them.  A large utility sink and lots of shelves completed the room.

Here is the progress thus far:
A box of toys and several beds are on top of the shower.  We will keep the two large beds and there are several more to add to the pile.

More toys, recently scrubbed by my dear husband are ready to be added to the boxes with the others.

The grooming items and supplies will be sorted and donated.  We will keep the towels for the next dog.

This blue tug was always the favorite toy for both dogs.  When Lucy wanted to play she would grab the toy and keep flapping it against Ellie's nose until she grabbed it.  It once had a center piece for stability but that was long gone.  Our daughter bought them a new tug, exactly like this one except that it was red.  They would have nothing to do with it.

Other favorite toys were the puzzle ones containing treats.  It was a lot of fun to watch them.  Invariably Ellie took charge of the puzzle and figured out how to obtain the treats.  Lucy followed right on her neck and snatched the treat almost every time.  Lucy never wanted to "solve" the puzzles herself and after Ellie died, Lucy didn't care for any of them.

Both dogs loved tennis balls but Ellie was the master.  Neither of them understood the word "retriever" and while they loved catching the balls, they rarely brought them back.  They simply dropped them and waited expectantly for the next one.

Tired after a round of playing, they collapsed together in one bed, the tug still lying there.

We had a portrait done when Lucy was about five months old and Ellie was a year and a half.  The photographer took them in the woods for most of the shots.  If you look closely, you can make out the "ghost dogs" in the trees.

We bought our first dog the year we got married and we have had a dog since then, except for brief periods like this one when we were mourning a loss.  Our first dog was a mellow Springer Spaniel who lived for 16 years.  She was followed by another Springer who was much more active and taught us what the breed was really like.  She also lived almost 16 years.  When she died we decided to get a Golden Retriever.  We were on a wait list from the breeder we heard was the best in the state.  I believe it.  We had to fill out several papers and go in for an appointment before we were approved to buy a puppy.  Finally our turn came up and we drove home with little Ellie, my forever heart dog.  She was such a great dog and we were within a year of retirement, so we decided to get another Golden from the same breeder.  That's when we brought home Lucy.  When we moved here to our home in the mountains, Ellie was two and Lucy was one.  They were perfect companions hiking on the mountain trails.  Lucy's death was (and is) still painful and for me, it brought renewed grieving for Ellie as well.  But such is the nature of dog ownership.  And we will have another dog and go through it all again.

Today's quote is from one of my heroes, Jane Goodall:
"You cannot share your life with a dog...or a cat and not know perfectly well that animals have personalities and minds and feelings."

I believe that so strongly that I hesitated to use the word "bought" to describe bringing these wonderful dogs into our lives.



~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

Hello Friend! To start, I'm glad you've gotten a good report from your doctor! You continue to be in my prayers for your good health to continue, and for comfort as well as you mourn the death of your beloved Lucy. The portrait of Lucy and Ellie is truly a treasure; how beautiful!
But it is amazing the "things" that we accumulate with our dogs that we or at least I don't realize until I start to go through it. Some of the toys we have, I can't part with, because of the memories that come with them, others I'm not sure what I was thinking when I bought them. :-) But I am getting ready to go out of town tomorrow, and there's one thing I have no shortage of whatsoever are bowls, I've no idea how I got so many - I should follow your example and donate a few of them.

Take care, and enjoy your weekend!

Vicki Lane said...

Such sweet memories of Lucy and Ellie. And I'm so glad that you plan to get another dog -- I'm sure one is waiting for you. As for the dog room == I am green with envy. WHAT a great idea!

Arkansas Patti said...

Goodness, you really built your home around your dogs.That dog room is perfect. So nice of you to donate the toys and beds to a shelter. They are always in need.
Adopting an older dog is a good idea. Sometimes it helps to check with a groomer who will know if a pet's owner has recently passed and the dog really needs the type of home you provide. Happy hunting and who ever you decide on will be one lucky dog.

The Bug said...

What a bittersweet task for you both. I'm glad you're planning to get another dog - you guys are so GOOD at being dog parents! And that quote is the truth!

Nance said...

Grief is truly a process. That you already know you will open your heart to another dog is a healing step along the way.

I'm very much like you: I just know which pet is meant to come home with me. My boys are the same. That intuition has provided us with perfect companions for years. I know it will bring you the same again.

Anonymous said...

I love seeing how much entertainment and joy you gave to your much-loved Ellie and Lucy, and how much they enriched your lives. I can't wait to see which very lucky dog gets to come home with you and live surrounded by your love.

Goldendaze-Ginnie said...

It really took me back to see the wonderful pictures of Lucy and Ellie playing together. I loved that you shared them with us and then,after Ellie was gone,how you took us on daily journeys with Lucy. So keep the camera handy. We'll still be here when the time comes to choose again. !

Busy Bee Suz said...

Reading about your two special girls made my eyes well up; they are family and we mourn.
I need to clean out/sanitize toys for donation too-Callie has no desire for any toys.
I’m glad you’ll be adopting another dog; I honestly think older dogs are the bomb! 😉

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Your donations will surely make find good homes with other pet owners. Lucy and Ellie had such fun together and the portrait was so beautiful and rather eerie with the ghost dogs in the background. We will all look forward to sharing in the happiness of selecting a new pet when the time is right.

Tara said...

your girls were so wonderful, and what a great home and life you made for them. I love that you are donating all your doggie stuff -- they will be put to good use! I walk our Golden on occasion when my husband is not up to it, and she really is a handful even though she's been through training (more like, WE'VE been through it). She, at six, needs a lot of exercise and we've stuck her in an apartment of all places. We do get her to a dog park where she can run free and play with other dogs (Goldens are her favorite of course). It is so much easier on my body to walk our 6 lbs chihuahua (Lucy!) I appreciate small dogs now, unlike my younger years. I'm confident you will eventually find the perfect dog for your current life. And yes, older dogs badly need homes. Personally, I couldn't go through puppy training again -- I'm just too old and tired!!

I wholeheartedly agree with Ms. Goodall. Absolutely. We live around a fair number of Chinese people, and they do not seem to share our love for dogs. They are downright afraid of them and flee when they see us coming. Ah, well.

KB said...

Blogger keeps eating my comment. Lucy and Ellie were an era of your life - a wonderful one. It is so tough to march onward when an era ends, but you are a strong and tough lady - and so you are moving forward. Your house is so perfectly set up for those Goldens... but I love your idea of a smaller and older dog in the future. In the meantime, all of the gear that you are donating will make a big difference for someone.

Sending lots of warm thoughts to you. I love the Jane Goodall quote - she is right about this. What an amazing woman.

NCmountainwoman said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone.

Kim - Have a wonderful and relaxing vacation. I can think of no one more deserving.

Vicki - Yes, the dog room is wonderful. But like a swimming pool it can enhance the sale of the house for dog owners, or be a bother to others.

Patti - Our minds think alike. We have already contacted our groomer, our dog walker, and our cleaning service to keep us in mind. All of them know us well and would likely choose the right fit.

Bug - Thanks for the nice words.

Nance - Somehow, I do feel that I will know which dog is right. I hope my instincts are as good as yours.

Robin - It is amazing how quickly we are already looking. When other dogs have died, we took much longer. Perhaps it is my reprieve from cancer, or perhaps our aging.

Ginnie - I look forward to having a new dog to photograph.

Suz - Interesting how different dogs have different toys. Ellie loved and played with all sorts of toys but Lucy had little interest beyond tennis balls and a tug.

Beatrice - It has been a chore but definitely worth it in scrubbing all the toys and beds, knowing they will bring a measure of comfort to the shelter dogs.

Tara - I would definitely agree that there is no dog to compare to a Golden. But there are a lot of smaller dogs that I am sure we will come to love.

KB - Thanks. As we washed and clean all the toys and beds, I kept thinking how much the shelter dogs will appreciate having them.

Lowcarb team member said...

Lovely memories of Lucy and Ellie... always with you.
I think it's good that you plan to get another dog when the timing is right.

All the best Jan