cody bear's friends

sad news for goodbear and her family
March 31, 2009, 11:42 pm
Filed under: dogs, family, life | Tags: , , , , ,

hi everyone.

i’m home.  home as in “back home.”  i came here to say good bye to my grandmother.  hard to say this:…. i didn’t get home in time.  she passed away at 10 a.m. while i was en route.

i’m o.k.

as sad as it is, that feeling is mixed with a joy that i had her in my life.  don’t get me wrong:  i heard the news in the airport when my family met me.  and sure, i had a silent movie type melt down. 

but i’m o.k.

would be nice if my dogs were here to snuggle and comfort me.  especially since it’s so flippin’ cold here. how do you people live in this weather?! how did iiiii ever live in this weather?!


her strangest kittiosyncracy to date…
January 26, 2009, 4:25 pm
Filed under: animals, cats, pets | Tags: , , , , , , ,

i have a cat.  many of you didn’t know i have a cat.  i rarely mention her because she doesn’t have the exciting life that the dogs have.  she has no social life, hiding when friends come over. and she sure as hell would never deign to purr for one of them or sit on their lap.  she never even sits on my lap.  she only purrs when she wants me to get out of bed and put food in her empty food bowl.

her name is spree.  she is twelve years old.  and last night she did the weirdest and most fascinating thing.

kittiosyncracymy best friend came over so we could write his wife’s obituary.  it’s something you shouldn’t do alone, if you can help it.  i was supposed to go over there, but cody bear was so sick. (different story)

so d.s sitting at com central. (com central is a cushy blue chair in my living room that is always within arm’s reach of my desktop pc, my lap top, two cell phones, my home phone and at least one digital camera)

all of a sudden, miss kittypants walks out into the living room.  pads by two sleeping dogs and parks it in front of him.  she looks up at him and starts purring.

excuse me?

then miss kittypants jumps up on his lap and starts snuggling and headbutting him and nuzzling him like he’s got herring snacks in his pocket and she hasn’t eaten in weeks.

all i could think was….”she knows!”

now, d. handles his stress and emotions well.  he’s stoic.  he’s calm.

he was just sitting there.  talking.  seemingly fine.  how did she know?

when life throws a random renaissance man your way…but, he’s going the wrong direction…
January 24, 2009, 9:27 pm
Filed under: friends, life, love | Tags: , , , , ,

i am a crier.  and when i cry, i cry hard.  but i am also a laugher.  and i laugh every day, whether i’m with someone or by myself. 

last night i cried with friends.  we said good bye to someone we loved at 11:59.  this morning i went to breakfast with my best friend and we discussed his plan for moving ahead without her.  she’s been sick for over 16 years, the recent years very sick and needing his care. 

we talked about her life, her passing, his future, what the week would look like in regards to funerals, obituary, etc.  then he spent over 100 dollars at the book store, got toilet paper at target, then we headed home.

and saw this….


he was on the opposite side of the street, slowling rolling along.  i couldn’t get my camera in time, plus he was too far away.  and wouldn’t you know it, but d. makes a u-turn and heads back after the intersection so i could get a snap.  but the jester had turned left.  the intersection was full, but d. managed a quick right, then, a couple blocks up, flipped another u-turn as i said, “you’re a blogger at heart.”  right as i leaned out to snap the shot, this funny man smiled and waved.

and d. laughed. loudly.


where’s he going?  perhaps to see the king.  clearly jesting is not an overly lucrative business, as he doesn’t seem to own a car.

but, he’s doing a good job.  i didn’t think i would hear such a great sound today; the sound of laughter.  we’ve decided that, in the near future, we may do something random that might make someone who is going through a tough time have a big laugh.

did you hear me…when i said good bye?
January 21, 2009, 6:02 am
Filed under: friends, life, love | Tags: , , , ,

a serious post, hence, ….the serious cody bear face:

cb-thinking-hardso, yes, i have been a little maudlin lately. and, sure, i’ve been  questioning why we’re here, what’s the point.   sensitive bloggers and online friends  have noted the change in tone at cody bear’s friends. (you know who you are!)

i won’t lie, much of today’s emotion was happy tears: saying good bye to dubya and hello to a president who somehow manages to say things that make me feel like he understands what is pissing me off in the world today.

but the remainder of the tears?

my friend is dying.  she’s been fighting it for years.  it’s not my story to tell, but i must mention a couple things.

she is my friend because she is loving, and thoughtful and has never backed down from showing how deeply she feels.

she is the biggest fan of my dog, cody bear.  she thinks he’s beautiful.  when he runs.   when he’s doing tricks. when he’s resting. and he, in turn, has connected with her from day one.  resting by her side, protectively.  freezing if his paw touches her oxygen line.  backing up safely without yanking her line.  and she, noticing, being so proud of him for his sensitivity.

my best friend’s wife.  he has never left her side and has cared for her without looking away to a life without i.v. lines and years in hospital.

the doctor.  who never lost her ability to diagnose ailments even years after being unable to practice medicine because of her illness.

a friend who understood what is important to me, and never ever questioned how whacky those things are.  who welcomed those whacky notions.

a gift to everyone who knew her.

and now we just wait.  i watch as her family is torn between wanting her to stay and understanding her right to slide away from a life of pain and struggle.

and everytime my phone rings, my nose starts running and my feet go numb before i even know who it is.

remembering the dog of my heart today
August 29, 2008, 3:59 pm
Filed under: animals, dogs, life, love, mutts, pets | Tags: , , , , , , ,

my loki.

a border chow. the worst thing ever was her dieing. her being sick. the best thing ever was knowing her.

here’s where i am: i’ve gone from crying every day four years ago to thinking of her daily and crying horribly on the big days. her birthday. her adoption day. her day of passing. that’s today, 2004. so four years without a dog who loved me more than anyone else ever has. without someone i loved more than i’ve ever done.

my fun and lovable border chow, loki

what was she like? she was black with silky fur. and she seemed to read my mind. intuit everything i was thinking. she was the smartest and most beautiful dog i’ve ever known.

she was perfect and familiar. she was home and she was inspiration. she was beautiful and comforting. freakishly smart and somewhat magnetic.  she is responsible for many of my friends deciding to get a dog.

always smiling and seeming to understand what i was saying

she imparted more than just hunger and gratitude. she recognized challenges. wagged when she met the challenges. she knew fear, and empathized with the fearful. she solved problems. sought the ill and went out of her way to comfort them. she found those people fearful of dogs and weasled her way into their hearts.

with her kitty, spree. they were great friends

and she way my dog. and i will never understand why i was so lucky to have her as my baby loki. why i got to share those years with the most special dog.

a week before loki died, we thought she was headed for a full recovery

fortunately i have cody bear and pickles, who somehow knew to be extra cute, extra fun and extra well behaved today!

i wish they had known her.

i love you loki!

toothmarks and all

This is the story of a ball. A bouncy one, the size of tennis ball, designed to look like a soccer ball. It is also a window into two generations of my dogs: Loki, my border chow who died early but fit a few lifetimes worth of joy into her years, and Pickles, my new border collie puppy.

Loki loved playing soccer. A few days a week we would go to the park and she and I would tear it up with her futball. My mother had purchased a mini-super bouncy soccer ball for her one year. Yes, Loki and I played fetch with it, but whenever we went to visit Mom we took the ball with us and the two of them would get up early to play. Mom would kick the ball all morning while Loki fetched it or stomped on it and kicked it back with her paws. Over the years the ball got pretty nasty. Tooth marks, paint missing….skungie. Mom would buy her new balls, but she only wanted that crusty old spitty toothmarked ball.

When Loki got sick she stopped playing. The mini soccer ball was left in the yard while I spent my time keeping her still. It was difficult because she wanted to play, she was getting better, but I had to keep her rested. Months after he diagnosis, and after a severe feeling of recovery, Loki passed away one Sunday. Her indoor toys were put in an area of the living room not packed away. Of her four favorite toys, two were outdoor toys, one stayed in the backyard as a sort of memorial, but the mini soccer ball was forgotten. The ball stopped seeing action in June of ‘04. In late August of ’04 it had lost its dog.

4 years of hot summer sun and harsh monsoon muds passed, covering the ball. It sat under a tree while 4 years of leaves and bark covered it. It lay buried under the crazy, running paws of my Cody Bear at least 4 inches under ground.

Two weeks ago I adopted Pickles. The first couple days she lived with us she was too scared of Cody Bear to leave my side, but soon she started to explore the yard. Every day I would catch her staring at the ground beneath a tree. She would start to dig and I would say stop. She would walk away in search of a beetle. Again and again I found her staring at the patch of dirt. I would walk up to her and look, “what is she seeing?” Nothing.

pickles and the old soccer ball

pickles and the old soccer ball

Today I sat out back eating my lunch and Pickles was staring at her patch of dirt. She started digging but I did not stop her. Soon she produced the ball. She carried it to her secluded part of the yard. She ignored all other toys all afternoon. I eventually took the ball from her, half petrified and misshapen.

How did she know it was there? It certainly couldn’t still smell after all this time. Why did Cody Bear never know it was there?

Loki with balls in the background

Loki with ball in the background

mindy update
June 12, 2008, 4:22 pm
Filed under: animals, dogs, family, friends, life, love, pet loss, pets, photography | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

hi everyone.  i hadn’t even finished typing “update” before i started crying.  i hate so much to inform you that mindy has passed away.  so many of you have kept her in your thoughts and prayers and have offered encouraging words to her family, and for that i know they appreciate it.

she was diagnosed with severe kidney damage due to the chicken strips from costco (which are still on the shelves even though they have harmed many dogs already) over a month ago.  initially she was very sick, but she responded well to her holistic treatments, was eating, playing, instigating doggie trouble.  i was caught off guard yesterday.  i thought she was going to make it.

her family cherished her these past few weeks and her remaining time was actually joyous and full of love and expensive dog treats!  and as r says, every day with her was a blessing.

i took this picture several weeks ago,…the day after the e.r. doctors told r and a that she only had a couple days to live and should be euthanized.  But within days of her holistic treatments she improved.  r and a could just tell she was a fighter and wanted to be here, to stay with her family.

there is nothing like losing a dog.  i hate that two people i love are going through this mess of feelings.  if it weren’t for our mutual love of dogs, i never would have met these two fun, brilliant and loving people.  and i am so honored to be their friend, and honored that they let me participate in their family activities these past few months.

mindy’s pack consisted of r and a, hoju, kodos, barnie and maggie.  oh…and blinky, the family chinchilla.  blinky was mindy’s little buddy. she spent hours each day laying down outside his cage with her face right next to him.  on her last day here, the day she lost her vision, she stared intently into blinky’s cage….even though she couldn’t see him.  she wanted to stay with her chinchilla.

one of her favorite activities was waking up and and instigating a growly, howly, barky alarm clock….really early in the morning.

….and she knew she was loved.

if you’ve ever loved a dog….
May 7, 2008, 2:42 pm
Filed under: animals, dogs, family, friends, life, love, pet loss, pets, photography | Tags: , , , , , , ,

oh my gosh! i went to my friends after work and shot pictures of mindy and her family for hours!  i have hundreds of pictures of them!

r & a are amazing. they love their dogs so much.  and you can see how much they love each other in their pictures, too.

please continue to keep them all in your thoughts.  it is a really hard time for them right now, you see, the doctors determined that the ongoing treatment was what was keeping mindy alive.  they sent her home to be with her family for a couple days, but they will have to take her back when she starts failing.  oh god that is so hard to type.

it is better she spend time with her family now, so r & a cleared their schedules and are staying home with their family for the week.

it took hours to go through all the photos.  late into the night.  cody bear finally gave up on me, until i turned around in my chair to look at him…

remember his not-so-super super power?  the one where he senses someone is looking at him and exposes his belly for rubbing?  his senses are becoming even more heightened now!

remembering loki…
May 2, 2008, 5:26 pm
Filed under: animals, blogs, dogs, family, life, love, pet loss, pets | Tags: , , , , , , ,

yesterday i did a post about 5 things in my bag, 5 of my favorite things in my bedroom, 5 things i’ve always wanted to do, etc.

under the 5 favorite things in my bedroom, i mentioned this….

which lavenderbay inquired about. it deserves its own post because it is about loss, and love and healing.

when my dog loki died in 2004 my friend susan showed up with a card with a $100 bill in it. i thought it was strange to get cash in a sympathy card, but she explained: that 100 dollars was to use to tribute my dog in some way, whether it was a grave stone, a pet urn, whatever i wanted to do to memorialize this dog that i loved so much.

so, i held on to the money for weeks, wondering what to do. everything just seemed so cliche, so unimportant, so…unloki. then i remembered my friend jill does stained glass panels. we talked and here’s what we decided:

the colors in the panel are all colors of the bandanas she wore the most and she just looked SO CUTE in them. we decided to have a crystal hanging, to catch the light, so that every now and then a sunbeam would flash and i could remember my girl.

then the dog biscuit cookie cutter. she would sit so patiently while the baking and mixing was happening, but as the first pan exited the oven, she knew a cookie was in her future.

there are two charms hanging together, a raspberry and a strawberry. once when loki didn’t know i was looking, i saw her through the window. she was sniffing all the strawberries in the backyard. i had called my dad that morning and said the strawberries were coming along fine, by that afternoon the first one would be perfectly ripe! after work, i watched her sniff each berry, return to the ripe one, look around to make sure no one saw, gently plucked it off the stem with her teeth, look around, eat it, then slink in through the doggie door as if nothing had ever happened. that was when i learned she loved berries. particularly raspberries, they were her favorite treat.

the soccer ball charm. a few days a week we would go to the soccer fields by my house. no one was ever there, 6 soccer fields! and she and i would play soccer. a couple times i put her in goal and she blocked shots. so cute. she LOVED soccer balls. kicking them with her feet, carrying soft ones in her mouth. that was one of the most fun activities i have ever had in my life. ever.

jill surprised me with the mirror. when she gave it to me she said that the most important thing to loki….what made loki her special self…was me. the bottom corner has little places to put little memory notes….

but i never used them because that cat of mine always batted them out.

in the top left is a picture of her, … me her paw. she always had her paw on me. she was my border chow. my girl. the dog of my heart. she seemed to understand everything i said. she looked in my eyes and with a look that said, “i love you and i understand you”. and to this day, even though she’s a dog and it may seem weird, i believe she was my best friend ever, my soul mate, and that she and i have been together since the beginning of time….some how.

so, lavenderbay, thanks for asking. i’m crying, but thanks for asking….

dogs of our hearts
November 2, 2007, 5:56 am
Filed under: animals, dog, dogs, life, mutts, pet loss, pets | Tags: , , , , , , ,


there are several stupid emails circulating about what we have learned from our dogs. “always wag, spin around 3 times before laying down”, lots of bullshit really. (so, here is where you realize this is my first non-cheery post. you can tell because….i will actually capitalize.)

the poop bag:

I have learned so many things from my dogs, and while I blog mostly about Cody Bear, my current dog, tonight I am going to tell you what I learned from Loki, the dog of my heart, first. Then, I will give you the life lesson Cody and I both worked on tonight. So here goes:


Granted, the cliches are true: I did learn unconditional love from the sweet, perfect, black as night, border-chow. I did. But tonight, I want you to know that one of THE MOST IMPORTANT LOKI LESSONS came upon her passing. Before Loki died, I had friends I loved, coworkers I cared for or endured, and volunteers I respected and liked. Also, acquaintances that intrigued me, dog park folk who “got me” and, how ever associated….family.


In the weeks that followed her death, way to early and way shocking, the huge population of characters in my life shifted: some blurred a bit, while others (some unexpected) came forward as dog lovers or people that truly, undeniably and with grave emotion…. understood my grief.

They understood it, and whether I had known them two decades or two days, those people emerged as loving, compassionate and enlightened souls to me. MC, who I respected but I didn’t yet know well, opened her heart to me immeasurably. My sister changed her entire life schedule to be with me any moment of the day. D,L, & H were there to fill any sorrowful moments for any length of time. My “BFF” searched out the perfect squishy stuffed dog for me to squeeze and cry on during the icky moments. Long lost friends K & J heard the news and searched me out and offered…anything they could. Countless others showed love, compassion, understanding and warmth as a result of Loki’s passing. Others….showed little understanding and little warmth, and that, too is a lesson.


Even two years later, a friend who had never felt the pain but had been there every second she could while I went through the grief, said something to me that hit my heart and knocked me over. CSC, who wasn’t sure she understood what I felt when Loki died, waded through it with me. She rushed to the animal hospital, hugged me then and hugged me daily afterwards. When Claye died, (a dear friend of Loki’s) she told me she never understood what I felt until then. That admission still hits me. I’m still learning. I may forever find hearts that understand.


So… her last lesson was a lesson of humanity.


Every thing I learned from that perfect dog, the dog of my heart, was deep; a nurturing and strong sort of lesson plan.

Then came Cody Bear….

Having learned as much, but oh so different, I continue my journey with this crazy little bear. Patience: that’s been an important and ongoing lesson. Forgiveness: I still miss some of those shoes, and pants, and reading materials…but it is time to let the healing begin. Tranquility: like the dog’s freaky belly, you have to make time for peace to heal your soul.

Today’s lesson….

The bare bones of it is that 1. he is bad at agility. 2. I am bad at agility……

3. …..WE BOTH LOVE IT. We had a BLAST.


So maybe tonight’s lesson is: do something for the sake of doing, to have fun, not to prove anything, not to be the best. Make asses of yourself, smile, wag. Do your best, but do it because you want to have FUN. And….share it with someone furry that you love.

So… Ruben and Anna,

It hurts so much, but you get to learn from it. And mostly, from now on, you get to love Rosie AND the rest of your furry family even more. You get to love them more because in addition to being your kids, they’re your teachers. And they love you forever. The real forever…the forever that really lasts forever.

To sum it up….

While it sucks. (it just sucks so much) Losing a dog is the worst and weirdest thing that can happen. Maybe it is the worst because its weird. Who knows. But here’s one of the coolest lessons, what a friend (J) had said: “You’re so lucky to have loved someone SO much that you hurt so much that they’re gone.”

Do you get that? Like: how horribly unsatisfying to go through life and not have someone, a dog, to love enough and to share so much joy with that it actually ….Sucks this immeasurably, wretchedly and inconsolably much.