Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Memories of Mojo 08.29.2012

Yesterday was a rough day. Thankfully today is a little bit better. I had more energy so I have been staying busy most of the day.

As I was moving the lawn earlier today I was thinking of the fact that Dr. K often referred to Mojo as a gentle giant. He really was - at least with people. He wasn't so great with other dogs but he loved people and was just a big softie.

Before we moved to Nashville we lived in Monterey, TN and at one point I wanted to do some volunteer work. I went to the local Care and Rehabilitation Facility (Standing Stone) and asked if I could bring Mojo in once a week to say hi to the residents. They loved the idea and did not require any kind of special training or certification.

If you knew Mojo you know that he was a very EXCITED dog. I wouldn't call him hyper, but as I mentioned in other posts, he was just thrilled with everything, more so than any other dog I know. He also had a very long tail and when that tail was wagging, which it often was, there was a chance something would get knocked over. It also hurt like crazy if he hit you in the leg with it. And of course seeing people was exciting for Mojo. So I was a little concerned the first time I took him to Standing Stone but he did GREAT. He really was a gentle giant. As soon as I walked in he was very calm and quiet. We would walk from room to room to greet people and he would just walk up to them, put his head in their laps, lick their hands, and love on them. I was so proud of him and people loved him.

There was one older woman who did not like getting out of bed. When I brought Mojo in she always asked me if he could sleep on her bed. She was so cute. Anyway, I let him put his front paws on the side of her bed and she would sit up and hug him. Then she would tell me that those are the best hugs ever. I so agree with her. I miss those hugs so much.

Follow-Up Appointment #2 with Dr. D August 2012

Last year I started chiropractic care to "fix" a slight curvature of my spine (scoliosis), lack of c-curve in my neck (as in NONE), and my head being too far forward. A week ago I went over my before and after x-rays with my chiropractor who recommended another year or weekly adjustments and doing exercises at home. I wasn't sure what to do and decided to discuss it with Dr. D and since we were talking anyhow (and they charge for a minimum of 15 minutes) I asked a few other questions.

I know that some doctors think chiropractic care is too harsh but Dr. D said she is in favor of it, "if the chiropractor is good". I got the impression she was saying that my situation really hasn't changed all that much (based on before and after x-rays) considering I was in treatment for a year. She said that it might be a good idea to get a second opinion. I have to agree, I was a little disappointed myself that things hadn't changed more.

Last week, during the last 5 minutes of a coffee enema, I started having some pain in my pelvic area. It was all over -  intestines, ovaries, etc. After about 20 minutes it went away and it wasn't very bad either. However, at 1:30 that night I woke up and the pain was back and it was horrible. I walked downstairs very slowly because every step hurt and took a Percocet. Waited about 45 minutes then went back to bed still in pain. The next morning it was better but it took a full 3 days for it to go away completely. I asked her if I could have damaged something and she said she did not think so. Her take on it is that I may have disrupted some scar tissue and/or adhesions and that would be a good thing.

One thought I had had with the pain was that I might be retracing the pain from my hysterectomy. I know that during the healing process you can sometimes experience pain from old illnesses. I decided to ask her about the theory that we retrace all old illnesses and that we do so in reverse order they occurred. I always thought that theory was kind of hokey and I am glad she she seems to think this does not happen. She said what does happen is that we break through and work through old layers of fungi, bacteria, viruses, etc. but that we try to stay ahead of that by taking a lot of binders. Sometimes we may not be taking enough binders and as we break through a layer we might experience the symptoms of that virus or bacteria for example, but she does not believe the retrace every illness and in reverse order they occurred.

During a previous conversation she had said that she has no problem with me eating nuts and seeds, except peanuts and cashews. This time I asked her if the reason for that is that those are not really nuts. She said yes and also because they are high in fungi. I asked if fermented cashews would be ok and she said it should be but to bring some with me and she would test me for it.

I mentioned that I seem to be getting dry mouth from Ignatia 30C (the homeopathic remedy she recommended for grief) and she said that is an odd reaction. Her recommendation was to dissolve it in water and sip it slowly. I like that idea because those little pellets taste really sweet to me.

Last but not least I asked if there is any kind of gum that is ok to chew. I am still dealing with bad breath and I hate, hate, hate it. When I am around people, like at church, I feel so self-conscious that I end up chewing sugar-free gum (with aspartame). She said not to do that but that I can have any gum sweetened with Xylitol like Spry for example. Incidentally that is the brand I was going to ask her about. She said that they actually encourage people to chew gum with Xylitol because Xylitol rebalances flora in the mouth and also helps to prevent cavities.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Memories of Mojo 08.28.2012

It has been hard to write about Mojo. I think about him every single day, but sometimes it just hurts so much that he is gone, and to write about stuff he did. The house feels empty and quiet without him...almost lifeless. If you are wondering about our other dog Pepper, she is just not as energetic as Mojo was. One, she is about 13 years old so she sleeps a lot more now. Two, while she is cute and can be cuddly, she is just very different from Mojo.

Yesterday I went to BluePearl to pick up the clay paw print Dr. K and N. took after they put him to sleep. 
N. came out to give it to me and also had a card for us. I didn't open the card until I got in the car because as I suspected I started to cry as soon as I took it out of the envelope. (Actually, I started to cry as soon as I walked out of BluePearl.) The front of the card has a picture of a guy in a truck driving away on a dirt road. On the passenger side is a dog sticking his head out the window and above that it says, "In Heaven, the car windows are always rolled down." Both Dr. K and N. wrote something really beautiful for me and Bob and I just sat there and cried. Dr. K said in the card that Mojo made any bad day at BluePearl better and any good day amazing. N. said that she loved having him there and that Mojo would just follow her around and was great company.

Mojo did love riding with his head sticking out the window. I know all dogs do, but it just seemed like Mojo thought everything was extra exciting. Honestly, I have never seen a dog get so excited about simple things over and over and over. I talked about this with two of the receptionists at BluePearl yesterday and one of them said in her email she mentioned that Mojo loved without limits. He really did. And any time I brought him in for his treatments they would get SO excited about him being there. The two women who were there on a regular basis always came around the reception desk to hug him and kiss him. Then they would tell me that it would make their day when they would see Mojo's name on the list of patients that day.

It has been 14 days now and I still can't believe he is gone! I do fairly well as long as I stay busy and as soon as I stop and sit, even if it's to watch a show or a movie, I start to feel that horrible pain and break down and cry. For the most part, I have fun, happy memories, but every so often I see the images of his last night and that hurts even more. I know we should live in the moment and enjoy every minute, but part of me wishes we were past the 1-year mark already because then the pain wouldn't be quite as bad.

Some random pictures.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Memories of Mojo 08.23.2012

When we still lived in Austin, and were able to leave the dogs in the backyard while we were out, DH built a really nice dog house for them. It was so nice I told DH the city of Austin might require a building permit if they were to see it. He put shingles on the roof that were left over from our house's roof, it was huge, and Mojo's entrance was bigger than Pepper's entrance.

Of course we wanted them to have something soft to sleep on in there so we bought dog beds for them. Knowing Mojo, and his slightly destructive nature, we put the dog beds in our bedroom for a week first. The dogs slept on them every night and used them during the day as well. We figured (incorrectly) if he got used to sleeping on them he would not tear them up. 

So after a week we put the dog beds in the dog house, left the dogs in the backyard, and watched them for a while from the window. Everything was good, the dogs were playing, and every so often would go into the dog house. We went about our business and about 5 minutes later, or 10 minutes at the most, went back to check on them and it looked like it had snowed in the back yard. He had torn up both dog beds and the white stuffing was spread all over the yard! From then on the dogs had straw in their dog house.

I also have this huge teddy bear that Bob got me shortly after we had gotten married. It's one of those that's about 3 feet tall and it used to sit on our bed. One day I came in the bedroom to find the teddy bear on its face and his tail was missing. I didn't even have to check which dog had a guilty face. That was clearly Mojo's work! 

I think I may have posted the pictures below already in another post but can't remember. This is what Mojo did to my car seat when I left him in the car one day for 20 minutes, and the face he made when I got in the car and asked him what he had done.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Memories of Mojo 08.21.2012

Today has been a rough day. I started prepping a batch of Kimchi after DH went to work then let it "marinade" while I mowed the back yard (I mowed the front yesterday). Cleaned the lawn mower when I was done then cleaned the trash can after Waste Management picked up the trash. When I came back inside I put the Kimchi in my Fido jars and then decided to sit in the sun for a bit. That's when reality hit me!

I sat out there and cried. Thought about calling someone but figured there was no point. I mean, what is anybody really going to say to me that would make this better?? The hard part is that I spend so much time at home. I feel like I need to get out of the house but there are only so many times I can go to Target, the grocery store, or to the park and it's not like going to the park is painless without him there. I feel like I should get a job but don't feel well enough yet to work outside the house. It's just a miserable situation all the way around.

But on to a happier story....Mojo needed a lot of attention. Dogs in general like attention and like you to pet them, but Mojo just liked it a little bit more than any other dog I have ever had or met. Therefore he didn't like being alone and I think that's why there was a chance he would tear something up in the house while we were gone if we didn't crate him.

So the last time we went out of town, which was the first weekend in August, Dr. K at Bluepearl said they would board Mojo for us. They normally don't board dogs but when I mentioned that my biggest concern with boarding Mojo is his fear of thunderstorms (and being alone at night during a thunderstorm), she said she would call it a "medical board" and he could stay with them. Bluepearl is an emergency and specialty clinic and they are open 24 hours so someone would be there with him at all times. On a side note, how awesome is Dr. K???

We dropped him off Sunday, I called Monday to see how he was doing and N. (Dr. K's assistant) said he didn't like being in his run and they put him in an exam room. When we got back that Wednesday to pick him up Dr. K gave us the full story. Apparently "didn't like being in his run" meant he tore up the wire mesh fencing of his run. The runs are towards the back and there aren't any people back there for the most part. So they did put him in an exam room, kept the door to the back open, and blocked him with a baby gate. Dr. K said being able to see and hear people seemed like all he needed and he was fine. That's my boy!

One of the nurses told Dr. K every time that she and N. were in the area Mojo would make these little whining noises. I think I know which noises she was talking about and I guess it's because he recognized their voices.

And thinking back to how everyone loved Mojo so much....Dr. K also said she came down one day to check on him and he wasn't in his "suite" as they called it. So she went looking for him and realized the surgical team had come to get him so they could play with him.

He also loved his "big" sister and apparently she is a good pillow. :)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Memories of Mojo 08.20.2012

My little boy loved to swim and I mean he LOVED it. In Austin we had a little pool in the front yard that he swam in just about every day. It was 3 feet deep on one end, and about 4 feet deep on the other end. The pool wasn't very big, only about 10' X 20' but big enough for him to have fun in.

We would make him sit at the edge of the pool, throw in his toy (a rubber "tire"), wait for it to sink to the bottom, then release him to get it. While it was sinking to the ground he was barely sitting...his butt was slightly raised off the ground because he couldn't wait to go after his toy. Once we released him he would jump in head first, dive to the bottom, and come back up with his toy. Then he would come out and want to do it all again. He never long as we kept going he kept going.

On occasion he missed his toy for some reason and would come up for air without it. He would then swim circles around it, sticking his head in the water every so often, and eventually he would "make like a duck" and dive down head first with his butt and tail wiggling in the air, and he would get his toy. He was determined!

We usually let him stay outside for a bit after swimming so he could dry off and occasionally we would go back inside while both dogs were out there. It was a very small, enclosed area since it was in the front yard. One day we heard water splashing so we went to one of the bedrooms to look out through the window and there was Mojo, jumping into the pool on the deep end, swimming to the stairs to get out on the other end, then doing it again and again. It was the cutest thing the way he just entertained himself.

We also took pictures of him with an underwater camera diving for his toy. As soon as we go through our old pictures I will scan and post them as well. We were going to do that this weekend but it just seemed to painful.

As much as he loved to swim, he hated walking in the rain, getting a bath, and being hosed off. I even got the impression that he didn't like getting his paws wet after it had rained. But as soon as you said "swimming", he got all excited and was ready to go.

First time in the ocean.

Just sniffin' after a good, long swim in the ocean.

Looking for dolphins?

Swimming in the ocean.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Memories of Mojo 08.19.2012

I believe I mentioned in one of my other posts that Mojo weighed around 55 lbs when we first got him. He grew quickly and at his heaviest, he was around 110 lbs. However, for the most part he hovered right around 100 lbs and that was a good weight for him.

Like a lot of big dogs Mojo thought he was a lapdog. From the beginning he tried to climb onto my lap or onto DH's lap, especially during a thunderstorm. He also somehow managed to squeeze into the smallest places. 

In addition, he loved sneaking onto furniture. I started leaving "stuff" on my futon just so he wouldn't lie on it and get it all dirty. I also caught him on the guest bedroom bed on a few occasions. And last but not least, he always enjoyed  good pile of dirty laundry on the floor or anywhere really.

On DH's lap/futon.


Scared during fireworks.

On the futon next to my friend Shannon and her sweet son Cash.

On hotel beds during our trip to NC last year.

Wrapped up in and covered by sheets that I was about to wash.

We didn't really allow the dogs on the bed except for occasionally when I was going to wash the sheets anyhow, or on any of our furniture really. However, we had a 2-paw rule and Mojo took full advantage of it.

Wrapped up in my Scooby Doo towel.

And I couldn't resist posting one of his big paws that I loved so much as well as his big, fuzzy face and nose. I would give anything to be able to rub that cute face of his right now.