A Month to Remember
Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to be in three different states during the month of July doing three completely different things. It started out in Minnesota attending the North American Barley Researchers Workshop, a wonderful time to drink beer and connect with old colleagues and new ones too. Then it was off to Califonia to support Sarah as she participated in "Dance the Magic", a parade through Disneyland and California Adventure Land. But then the much anticipated heat cycle happened and I was off with Maggie to Illinois! We had a grand adventure travelling to O'Hare International Airport on WestJet, the closest direct flight I could find to Indianola. WestJet treated us great, although Maggie was less than enamoured with being separated from me to go into oversized luggage. But she arrived safely in Illinois and back in Calgary. I was so fortunate to have help along the way with her crate, my luggage, and her.
Our stay with Bill and Marcia Butikas of Blindfaith Retrievers was wonderful. These people invited us into their home and made us feel both welcome and at home. They have a wonderful set-up for their dogs. No pretense inside their home, just welcome. It was a busy place with AD and Bill just having returned from a breeding in Texas. Bill and the boys, Tru and Ten having done a hunt test over the weekend and practicing for another one the next weekend. Several breedings taking place over the week with visitors. And Marcia was keeping it all under control. Wow, it was busy! But their 45 acres in the centre of the corn belt was a treed oasis. Maggie and Bustin did a natural breeding outside under the stars and lit by fireflys. If you were human you could not have asked for a more romantic setting.
Despite all the travel and wonderful events of July 2014, the month was marked by the saddness of having to say goodbye to Koko. Her life spanned fifteen years, two months, and 21 days. It was a good long life. She was so intelligent and beautiful. But injuries and arthritis were taking out her back legs so we had to assist her down and up the stairs. Despite Metacam and Tramadol for pain, she would just stand panting, not wanting to lie down because it hurt so much. It seemed a gust of wind would knock her over and she did not know whether it was worth the effort to get up or just semi-sit where she was. She still loved to eat and go on walks. At the end time, the walks were so short, it took her a long time to get through her bowl of food that she often left, and her tail never went up in joy any more. Knowing we were helping relieve her of pain, did little to relieve our pain in making the decision to let her go. My hope is that she is now enjoying chasing squirrels in the heaven that GOD has made for dogs. Our lives were blessed by having Koko share her years with us.