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The Box

15 Jan

When I took Blazer for his last to the vet the woman who was filling out the paperwork asked me what sort of container we wanted for the ashes.

I told her we were going to bury the puppy beside the pond, next to Pepper and Brinks, so the plain red plastic box would be fine.

We stopped Monday night to collect him, and because of Covid, we weren’t allowed inside the building. The tech first asked me to read off the numbers from the charge card, and then said she’d come out and get it “because it’s impossible to read those numbers in the dark.”

When she came back out with the card, the receipt and a heavy gift bag I glanced quickly at the paperwork and nearly dropped the bag – and my teeth. Slightly over $300! Well, when we lost Brinks, the cremation alone was $100, and that was back in ’99, so I guess it made sense – and there wasn’t anything to do about it at any rate. Brinks died a natural death, and there surely was a charge for the Doggy Demerol and meds to help Blazer cross the Rainbow Bridge.

Tuesday morning I lifted the box out of the bag and gasped! I have the distinct feeling a large part of that three hundred bucks was the cost of the casket, and we certainly aren’t going to bury this beside the pond! The question, of course, is what are we going to do with it?

Maybe They Need a Woman in Charge

15 Jan

Isn’t it weird that people who live paycheck to paycheck are supposed to have months worth of savings for emergencies, while billion dollar companies are so poorly managed that they are on the brink of bankruptcy after a week of reduced profits?

So Long!

10 Jan

Thanks to Shay at Little Grey Bungalow for this gem!

And don’t bother to write!

Krimpets

4 Jan

My Mum was rather well know (to put it mildly) for being tight, cheap um, thrifty, yes thrifty. Not given to extravagance, to be precise. But every once in a while, maybe three times a year, she’d buy a packet of Butterscotch Krimpets to share. She didn’t have much use for “store-bought” stuff of any kind, and these little cakes, utterly devoid of any redeeming value, were a real divergence from her usual path. There were three in a packet, and she, my sister, and I would each get one piece.

I was in the grocery store yesterday afternoon and saw a display of Krimpets, and decided to buy some for myself. I ate all three of them, and they were just a delicious as I remember. Maybe they tasted so good because I buy them almost as often as Mum did.

A Secret Button?

31 Dec

We only have one bathroom in this house. All things considered, given the age of the place, we should be grateful that it is inside. But there seems to be some sort of alarm button hidden underneath.

The Squire can be in the living room reading a book, upstairs watching TV, or sound asleep, but he seems to sense the second I sit down. Last night, just as I made myself comfortable, I heard the recliner in the TV room creak as he got out of it. He’s been fighting a cold, and sleeping in the guest room for a week. Sunday night I woke up at 2 AM and crept downstairs. He followed me down a few minutes later.

I swear, our next house is going to have two bathrooms. Maybe three.

Aaargh!

The Nicest People. . .

23 Dec

. . .An unsolicited testimonial.

I’ve gotten Blazer’s pain meds from Chewy.com for about a year, and I called on Monday to tell them to discontinue the automatic shipment because the poor pup had died. Tuesday afternoon, I received a lovely floral arrangement from them, with a card expressing their sympathy over his death.

How many other companies would do such a thing?

Facing the Inevitable

22 Dec

We came downstairs Saturday morning to find Blazer panting on the kitchen floor. He hadn’t eaten for the last two days, and then he’d had diarrhea and vomiting. Bless his poor soul, he’d managed to drag himself into the kitchen – the worst of the mess was near the door – but it was a mess and so was he.

While I tried to clean the poor puppy, The Squire called the vet, and made an appointment for 11:30. I had to get The Squire to help me lift Blazer into the car, and I drove up to Fallston while he cleaned the kitchen and ran the carpet scrubber over one place in the dining room.

The vet had folded a velour blanket into quarters and spread it on the floor and I patted Blazer down onto it. They gave him a shot of Doggy Demerol and once he was drifting comfortably they injected the morphine, so he was never in pain or frightened. The technician and I both wept over him, and she asked if I’d like to have a plaster paw print. I joked that this would be the only time they’d be able to fiddle with his feet, so they might as well take advantage of it. She said when we’d last boarded him, I’d asked them to trim his nails, and it had taken four of them to do it. I had warned them that was a two valium job: one for the dog and one for the tech. “We didn’t believe you, until we started the procedure.”

We both miss that dear puppy but we know we did the right thing. I will go up one day after Christmas to collect his ashes, and come warmer weather we will put him beside the pond with our other dogs.

Goodnight, sweet prince.

Suddenly Winter!

17 Dec

We have been blessed with wonderfully mild weather so far – the temperature on Sunday was in the mid-60s, which is pretty much how it has been lately. Last night, the temperature dropped, and we had what might pass for snow today. We were “promised” anywhere from 4 to 8 inches, depending on where you live, but all we got was about an inch of really sloppy stuff. I’d rather have snow, frankly, because when this mix of snow and rain freezes the entire world will be an ice rink.

I went out about # PM and fed the Outside People, just so I wouldn’t have to slog through the snowfall we expected, but when The Squire got ready to take the recycling bin to the road, he didn’t even make it off the carport. “Not going out in that mess!” Filling the bird feeders in the morning will be, um, interesting, to put it mildly.

Yuck.

And It’s Not The Good Silver, Either

14 Dec

Somehow I ended up with one odd teaspoon. I have never put it on the table because A) it is smaller than “regulation” size, B) it was the only one of its kind, and C) I think Art Deco is ugly.

I use it to scoop dogfood out of the can.

We have been trying to “clean up and clear out” around here, on the offhand chance we are really, truly moving. I am still going through stuff my Mum left behind. She’s been gone almost 10 years, and I am mighty tired of plowing through boxes and bins – but we soldier on. At any rate, I found a mate to said spoon. There is nothing on the back of it, which means it is probably sterling and a demitasse spoon, judging from the size. (Plate has the pattern name on the “neck” of the piece.) It obviously belonged to my grandmother, dear Hyacinth Bucket herself, but it is NOT the good silver.

That’s the Stieff Rose.

The Old Man

11 Dec

I found Blazer on March 26, 2008, coming home from visiting my mum. I spotted a puppy running across a yard, heading for the road. The driver on front of me didn’t even swerve, but hit the poor pooch and sent him sprawling. I immediately stopped my car, scooped up the dog, and took him home with me.

First Day his new home

I didn’t normally go home that way, but it was a little after 5 PM and my usual route would have meant a left turn onto a busy road, so I took a longer way that allowed me to turn right, instead. Spur of the moment decision, but I do believe God looks out for all of His creatures.

Our vet took a look at the newest addition and said he had a “sprained ankle and a black eye” but no microchip. The Squire and I printed this picture and put a flier in every mailbox along the road where I found the dog. In spite of the Squire’s “Only One Dog at a Time” dance, he suggested naming the puppy Blazer, and I knew the dog had his Forever Home.

Blazer Today

But for a biggish dog (he weighs 75 pounds), twelve years is pretty close to Forever. Blazer is getting very old, and is having a lot of physical problems. For one thing, he has become a Genuine Old Fart. Oh, lawsy! Can that boy ever perfume a room. He has a voracious appetite, but you can see his backbone and his pelvic bones, which by itself is a serious concern.

He is losing control of his back legs, and slips on the kitchen floor far too often to make us happy. Last night we could hear him whimpering and moaning on the stairs. When I dashed into the hallway to see what was wrong, he was halfway up the steps, hanging on to one step, literally with his toenails, and unable to move his back legs. Just as I reached down to help him, he lost his grip and tumbled down the stairs. We blocked the steps with a chair, although I wonder if he’ll try to climb them again, even without it. After breakfast, he went out for his morning constitutional, and I could see him stop after every ten or fifteen steps to rest for a moment, before plodding back toward the house. When I opened the door to let him back in, he was standing too close and I accidentally hit him with the storm door, sending him sprawling.

He is taking two kinds of pain meds, but it’s obvious from the way he walks that he is still uncomfortable. At what point do you decide enough is enough? How do you measure the quality of life for a creature that cannot speak, but who looks to you with such trust and faith? We need to have a long, serious talk with the vet. Soon.