Jul 31, 2010

A sad updated

A never before posted photo. But there is a reason.
The photo posted above is a photo taken not by me but by Kevin. See I was out of town when this photo was taken. It was the day that Augie passed and I was driving home from a Christmas visit with family in CT.

So why would I post this photo now? The reason is that the 2 dogs in the photo are together again. On July 21st Brookie joined the "Old Guard" the Old Guard being Cassie, Weenie and my good ole boy Augie.

There is quite the story behind how Brookie came into my life so please just entertain me here.

Brookie was a hound that was racing in a kennel I worked for at Plainfield. She tended to be a more shy sort of hound. One that if you really didn't pay a lot of attention, you wouldn't even notice her.

Well one day Brookie came into season and there was a male in the next turn out pen over that took interest. Not only did he take interest but he forced his way into the girls pen and had his way with Brookie. 63 days later Brookie was whelping pups in my home.

I honestly did not plan on keeping Brookie. I committed to the fact that I would pet out her pups and her. But when it came time to do that we just couldn't part with Brookie. It was that day, she became My Girl, my Brooka Wooka Woo girl.

It has been 11 years and 7 months that I was blessed to share with this girl before she had to make her journey without me. That does not factor in the amount of time I shared with her in kennel life. Yes, that's a lot of time to share with a dog.

Brookie had outlived every animal I had ever owned on my own. She has seen so many dogs come and go into my home, that I honestly believe she couldn't bring herself to give me that same heartache she saw me go threw so many times before.

My old gal was so strong, so willing to please. I saw so much of myself in Brookie and I think that makes it so much harder.
GOD SPEED Brookie. The Old Guard is gone from my life, but there is no way they are ever out of my heart or gone from my thoughts.

Hug those hounds people, enjoy each and every thing. No matter if it's that trash can raid or the pee on the floor. The waking you up in the middle of the night to go out or the early morning wake up call to be fed. They are only here for a short time. Live, Laugh and Love like there is no tomorrow, because some day there will come the day that there is no tomorrow.

Jul 10, 2010

It's a good day

Yes, once again I'm writing about my old gal Brookie and the ageing process.
At 13 1/2 I'm blessed for each and every day with this special old gal.
While we have good days and not so good days I have yet to feel as if we have had a bad day.
Today was a very good day. It didn't start out great as we had a pretty nasty thunderstorm roll through and Brookie is not a fan of storms. She will normally hide out in one of the bathrooms and normally in a closet that I have set up for her during storms. The floor is lined with dog beds so she has a comfy place to rest while the storms roll through.
As Brookie has aged she has gotten pickier on what she wants to eat. I basically have 2 shelves in our fridge set aside for Brookie's food. The list is quite expansive and consisting of, but not limited to, steaks, pork, ham, bacon, liver of several varieties, hamburger, cooked and raw, eggs,chicken, turkey and several brands and flavors of canned dog food. Outside of the fridge is 4 different kinds of dry.
Food is normally delivered to Brookie and offered up. It's always a guessing game of what Brookie wants for lunch and dinner.
Tonight was very different though. She marched herself right into the kitchen, like old times, and demanded to be fed.
Tonight it was roast chicken. I pulled apart about 3/4 of the chicken and Brookie ate like a champ.
After she finished up her food and went out to do her biz it was "rub a rub a time"
What this is, is sort of catlike. Where Brookie rubs back and forth on the couch.
Yes, I had tears in my eyes. It's the small things that as they age they don't tend to do as often that can move you to tears.
As of right now, the old lady is resting on a dog bed chowing down on her favorite treat. Pigs ears.
Indeed a very good day!

Jun 15, 2010

Pigs ears anyone??

There is no question, Brookie LOVES pigs ears. It's the one thing that no matter what I know she will eat.
So I figured I would post a photo essay of Brookie and her pigs ears.
First photo was the mention of the word. Yes, Brookie and everyone else understand the words Pigs Ears. Second Photo is me opening the bag, which at this point Brookie is starting to get very excited.
Third photos is Brookie giving Dave the stink eye as he thinks he's going to get the first ear. Not a chance, Brookie always gets the first treat, pigs ear, bone whatever.
And last photo is Brookie chowing down.
As I have said in a past blog post, the hounds know that Brookie is the Princess in the house. So while they may think about pestering each other for the pigs ears, Brookie they give her a wide berth as she doesn't think twice about letting them know to leave her alone.
While Brookie continues to age and there are days that her age really shows. With a bit of a limp when she first gets up, or sleeping so soundly, the rush to the back door as she just can't "hold" it as long and the urge to go just seems to hit her. When it comes to the pigs ears you would think she was a 2 yr old pup. She knows the sound of the bag and I swear that she has some sort of physic powers knowing I'm headed out to the garage to get her one.
Each and every day I get to share with this old gal is a Blessing for sure.
She's the oldest hound I have ever had and she has shared the most amount of years with me then any other hound.
Brookie for sure is a very special girl.

May 25, 2010

Score one for Brookie

Sometimes us humans just think we are so smart. I'm always grounded by my hounds. I really thought I had "pulled a fast one" with Brookie the other day. Silly human that I am.
So while I grilled some hamburgers for Brookie and had her eat a bit later then normal thinking my chances to be able to sleep threw the whole night were an amazing plan. You guessed it. Brookie had other plans.
Once again at 1:30am and again at around 3:30am my old gal wants "something" Sometimes it could just be a cookie or piece of beef jerky, sometimes it could be a whole meal for her and then sometimes she just wants me up while she goes out to do her business. I am always shocked that I actually wake up.
Me, a person who was able to sleep as Hurricane Katrina was slamming our coast was able to sleep during that storm is awoke by a old dog standing by her bedside and panting. Really??
Something else I find amazing is that my other hounds do not seem to see Brookie as the old gal. They respect her as they always have even though it's quite obvious that she is weaker in her old age. They know that when it's hang out on the front porch time that Brookie always gets to go out that door first. It's just amazing to me that while I hear so many talk about the shifting roles in their homes as hounds get older and yet in my crew the lines are set and continue on that way until a hound passes.
And for a funny just to show that while Brookie may be getting up there in age, this old gals still has it.
We were all sitting on the front porch this evening while I cooked up Brookies dinner., Kevin came home.
All the hounds will rush the gate to get a peek then rush into the house to greet Kevin at the garage door. Brookie being a bit slower in her older years takes a bit more time to get from the porch to the door. In the time of her making her way from one place to the other, the rest of the crew was charging back out to the porch to see what was taking Kevin so long.
Someone must have bumped Brookie and let me tell you. That old gal laid into them like no ones business :D Young dogs scattered with their tails tucked to come sulk by my side. While there stood Brookie. Proud as ever to keep those young whipper snappers in line.
Ya my old gal Brookie, she still has it :D

May 23, 2010

My old lady, Brookie

When you see the title of "It's all about them" it really is not joke.
For those of you who have had older hounds you will easily be able to relate. For those of you who don't have older hounds yet, well just wait ;-)

Brookie is my oldest gal and she knows how to work her momma. At 13 1/2 basically whatever Brookie wants, when ever Brookie wants is how things go around this home.

Last night for example. Normal feeding time for the hounds is around 4pm or so. Very rarely will Brookie join the crew at feeding time. She has set her own schedule that the humans just have to deal with. So at around Midnight Brookie wanted something. Yes, something what that may be well the humans better figure it out. Again at around 1:00am she pesters Kevin for something. Then again at around 3:30am she stands by my bed and just pants. I'm far from a light sleeper but I guess just like a mom with young children you learn to wake up to certain sounds. For me it's Brookie panting while standing next to my bed. Then it's not a matter of just grabbing some dry food and slapping it down. Oh no way that would be much to easy. It's the guessing game, the rotate of the foods to find out exactly what one Brookie wants to eat. We actually have a shelf and a half just for Brookie's food in our fridge.

I always try to "fix" this problem by making up special meals in hopes that I can get Brookie to eat at more normal times. Tonight I managed to pull this trick off. Lets see if we all sleep threw the night.

I grilled up steaks and made up a special grilled Hamburger specially for Brookie, now lovingly known as "The Princess" I had already offered up Brookie some chicken liver, beef liver, raw hamburger, 3 kinds of canned food, 2 kinds of dry. It was a last ditch effort. Score one for the human. She ate with gusto. WOOOOOT

Lets see if I get the 3am wake up call. But if old gal wakes me up at 3am no way I'm going out to grill her up a burger ;-)

Honestly I wouldn't change a thing. I have been blessed to have Brookie with me as long as I have (11 years). If I found I needed to feed her lobster and steaks for the rest of her days I would gladly do so.

May 20, 2010

In memory of a special friends hound

While Quilty is not one of my own hounds she stole the hearts of many and I feel it's only right to remember her as if she was one of my own.
Quilty is a hound who was found wandering and was taken in by the adoption center at B'ham. Quilty as you can see was no spring chicken but GOOD GAWD no one had better ever have told her that because she had a spirit like no other hound.

A good friend of mine was visiting the B'ham adoption kennel where Queen Quilty was staying and as things would turn out, this old gal would soon join the amazing family of Heather and Ken and their pack of hounds.
When Quilty joined their family she was extremely under weight and as I said, old, 13 I believe. After a vet visit it was found that Quilty was diabetic and was placed on insulin shots 2x a day.

Quilty shared in Heather and Ken's life for just about a year and when I tell you this old gal had demands it's no joke. I still laugh about the days chatting with Heather and hearing this old raspy bark in the background. Learning that was Quilty and she was demanding something that only she knew and Heather and Ken had to figure out.

Quilty was a tenacious girl no question and for that reason I remember her with many smiles on my face. Everyone says that this dog or that dog was a once in a lifetime hound. And yes, each and everyone is. But Quilty reached far beyond her family. While she lived with Heather and Ken she was "owned" by many.
So farewell Queen Quilty. You touched so many hearts and placed many smiles on my face.

May 16, 2010

Busy weekend with a super outcome

First off, NO, I did not add a new hound to my pack :)
Above is a few photos I took last night of our house guest. She's leaving out today but let me tell you, this girl is so sweet and well behaved and oh yeah, she grins and smiles and chatters too (swoon)
So who is this mystery gal? Well her name is Grace and she was a run away. She escaped from her owner on Tue and was just found Sat. So she had been on the run for 4 days!!
I'm surprised and amazed at how good of shape she is in. A few grease marks and a little cut on the side of one pad but other then that she's in good shape.
The owner of Grace and another hound was in the process of returning these girls. He was taking them to the vet to get check ups before turning them over and Grace bolted from him walking into the vets office and on the run she went.
GPA-LA/MS just found out about this on Friday night and the troops were rallied yesterday. Flyers handed out and friends talking to friends. And this is how Grace ended up being found.
A HUGE thanks to Kay for chatting with her friends about a loose hound. A friend of a friend found Grace in their back yard. Wet, cold, shivering and scared of course. (We have been having pretty nasty weather and my heart was breaking for this poor girl out in this weather.)
A call was placed to Kay and well here we are with a hound safe and sound.
I picked up Grace last night and carried her home until Judy could come today to pick her up. Grace I think is just happy to be warm, dry, full belly and a comfy place to rest her head.
I do have to say, I love my crew of hounds. After about 5 minutes of a new hound in the house they couldn't care less. Everyone just jives.
No muzzles, no crates, nope none of that here. Just a total understanding that each and every hound that steps into this home needs to get along with everyone else. Seems to work.
All of this could have ended very very badly for Grace. But due to the Grace of God. She is safe.
Don't ya just love happy endings?