Thursday, January 31, 2013

Reading, Watching, Listening

As I nurse my old guy back to health and help him to navigate the world without the benefit of eyesight, these are the things I'm reading, watching and listening to to comfort my soul.  

Oh Anna.  I can't say enough about how much I love and adore Anna Quindlen.  I have no idea why it's taken so long for me to read her memoir but I'm so happy that it's finally in my hands.  I'm about halfway through and I already know I will go back and reread it many times.  Anna, I bow down.  

Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake

I'm not watching anything, really.  The list of movies I want to see is crazy long but I am never able to go to the movies.  And I don't watch much TV.  So I'd love some suggestions. What are you guys watching?

I recently discovered The Piano Guys via my Mumford & Sons Pandora station.  If you like Adele, you will LOVE this.  I find is so relaxing and, yes, good for my soul.  They put a classical spin on new hits.  I love The Piano Guys ~ do you?  

And, even though it's been overplayed now, I am still madly in love with this song.  It always makes me happy when I hear it.  Sophie often has to ask me to stop singing it.  Oops! 


That's it from here.  Hubbell is doing great!  I will possibly post a new photo later on. His wound looks "scary" (Sophie's choice of word) right now and I have a lot of respect for Hubbell's privacy.  When he's looking dapper again, I'll provide an update.  Thanks for all of your kinds words on my last post ~ brought tears to my eyes.  I'm so happy I have some real dog lovers reading my blog!!!  

Sunday, January 27, 2013


On Tuesday,our Hubbell will undergo surgery to have his right eye removed.  

It was just under a year ago that we learned that he was suffering from a disease called Golden Retriever Uveitis.  One complication of the disease is Glaucoma and Hubbell definitely has this in both eyes.  Since he was diagnosed, we've been treating him with anti-inflammatory medications.  This condition is not treatable, however, and these measures were undertaken to hopefully decrease pressure in his eye and prolong surgery.

Last Wednesday Hubbell awoke and we could tell immediately that something was seriously wrong.  After just a couple of minutes, it was pretty clear that he was totally blind.  Hubbs was scared and frantic.  He didn't want to move from our bedroom and, each time he attempted to walk anywhere, he'd run into furniture or toys.  A visit to the doctor proved that the pressure in his right eye was "off the charts", Hubbs was in some pretty serious pain and it was time for surgery.  The eye specialist did say that he has some limited vision remaining in his left eye but, honestly, I don't see it.  He's slowly adjusting to his new state but he does need a lot of help.  

At first, when the doc said it was time for surgery, I was very emotional and started crying.  I don't know why.  I knew this day would come....I just didn't know exactly when.  It didn't take long for me to realize how silly it is to have an emotional attachment to something causing him so much pain!?!  The surgery will make him so much more comfortable and may even help with the vision in his left eye.  I'm trying not to worry too much about the surgery or his recovery although I'm very curious about how his wound will look and how quickly he will adjust.  For me, I don't care how he me, he will always be the most gorgeous red Golden that ever existed.  And it's hard to be sad when he's had a lifetime of looking like this.......









Oh, how I will miss these gorgeous eyes......

Hubbsie, my whole life I dreamt of having a red Golden Retriever.....and you not only fulfilled that dream but you smoked it.  You are truly the most handsome dog I've ever known.  Thank you for being a dream come true, as well as the purest and most gentle soul I've ever known.  I can't wait to take care of you for the rest of your days!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Happiness is.....

~ This little birdhouse that Sophie painted....

~ Realizing I recently hit my 400th post!! (See 300 & 200)

~ Clara wearing her new handknit cap from my sweet, sweet grandmother!  Mom arrived today for a week-long visit (YAY!) and she brought them down with her.  Thanks to my lovely Grammy and to Mom for being the lucky delivery person! (Still attempting to get a shot of Sophie wearing hers.....)

~ This yummy cinnamon/chocolate chip cake that I made tonight. It may not look great but it sure does taste great!  (Found here.)

~ Getting through the last few chapters of this book.  I'm so glad I've read it.  It's a hard read but important.  Makes me feel so very thankful for every little thing I have in my life.  I wish more people would read this book. 

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity

~ Hubbell.  My favorite old guy.  My anchor.  He had a rough day today.  But I can't stop thanking my lucky stars that he's ours.  It's such a pleasure in my life to take care of him in his old give him everything he needs and to make him feel loved....the way he's always done for me. Senior dogs are the best dogs!


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Spending a Day With Friends

Well, hello there!

It's been a while, no?

Life has been so busy. Sophie was pretty sick at the beginning of last week and we even made a trip to the emergency room Tuesday night after Soph suffered an allergic reaction to an antibiotic.  It was scary and I was so relieved and happy when we got past that.  This long weekend came just in time.  Today the weather was mild and sunny.  After breakfast Alain had the great idea to go to the zoo. It was late but we packed up everyone quickly and drove the hour and a half to get there.


The North Carolina Zoo is an amazing place. The best zoo I've ever been to.  It's the most friendly to animals, attempting to mimic their natural habitats and giving them places to hide and rest if they get stressed out by all the people.  Some visitors complain because they don't get to see all the animals they'd hoped to see.  As for me, I care about the animals infinitely more than my selfish needs to feel entertained. Don't we go to zoos to learn more about the animals?  I'll never like zoos but, as long as they exist, I will feel better about going to one that tries to do what's best for the animals.  And, as you can see from some of our pictures, we saw plenty!!!!

{Chilean Flamingo}

{Blue-Naped Mousebird}

{Scarlet Ibis}

{Eclectus Parrot}

{Western Lowland Gorillas ~ look closely at the female on the left to see one of the baby gorillas hanging out on Momma's arm}

{Nkosi, the Silverback Male ~ he was sitting right in the sun and, of the 20 or so pictures I took, I couldn't manage to get one without that sunny glare ~ still, how gorgeous is he?}

{Acacia, the smallest female in the group and the only one without a baby ~ she shared a moment with Clara who stood right at her level}

{Two of the Momma chimps watch over as their babies play}


{Two of the chimp babies playing & swinging}

{Amazing little baby chimp exploring the world}

{A great view of the baby giraffe}

Three chimpanzee babies, two gorilla babies and one giraffe baby.  Pretty amazing stuff.

And the Aviary there is certainly one of the best I've ever visited. My girls loved it as much as we did and that makes me pretty happy. In the years that I volunteered at this zoo, I usually experienced kids complaining to their parents and asking to see something more exciting!!!  What?

Today just happened to be Clara's very first trip to the zoo.  Silly us.....we were so busy taking photos of the animals that we forgot to take a picture of Clara!

On the way home, Alain asked Sophie if she'd had a fun time at the zoo today, and she replied (I do quote), "AMAZING!".  Our hearts soared. Any parent reading here can understand that!

NC Zoo, we'd missed you!
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