The Loss of My Best Friend

Today I am bringing myself to actually write about my best friend, Alice, who I lost on Sunday. Alice was my 102 lb. Lab/ Catahoula leopard dog who at 11 1/2 years old left this world.

Alice never wanted anything but to be by me. She loved me unconditionally. She was the best girl. She never left my side when we were hiking or the campsite while camping. When David and I would pick berries or spruce tips she would just lay and watch us, move as we moved and never left my side. We were walking with her through a park one time and this tiny dog came running out of the grass. Scared Alice to death and she went running for camp. Another time we were going to hike the trail to Five Fingers on the Yukon River in Canada. There were steep, long steps down to the trail. Alice got down about half way turned and said that is enough, ran back to the van. Trying to get her across a bridge over the Yukon River in Miles Canyon near Whitehose was really something. David pushed and I pulled. Once across she was fine and we went for a nice walk. Coming back we just thought this is going to be fun. She tricked us though and walked right across.

Alice was such a chicken. People would be afraid of her because she was big. They would hear her deep bark not knowing that she was hiding in the bedroom barking at them. She was a great protector if she could hide behind you. She was afraid of kitchens, bathrooms and floors without carpet. Oh yes, stairs can be scary too. In fact any change can be scary.

Alice helped me through my late husband’s, Baggy, 13 months of illness and his death. When the paramedics were on the way to our home I put her outside. As they worked on Baggy in the living room by the window she quietly watched. When it was time for them to take Baggy away, as they zipped the bag she started to bark and did so until they drove off. She was the one that helped me make it through this.

Alice moved with me from Texas to Washington to Alaska. Then our last move to York, Pennsylvania. She was a great traveler.

She was so good with the twin granddaughters. I used to laugh because every time Dan brought them over she would have to smell them and make sure they were the right ones, I guess. As they grew she would sit patiently until they finished eating so she could clean up their mess. If she did get tired of them she would just get up and go into the bedroom.

When we would get ready to go somewhere and Alice couldn’t go we could tell her, “No, Alice you have to stay.” Then she would mope off to her moping corner in our room. David said she reminded him of Eeyore.

Friday morning I was awakened by the sound of Alice falling against the wall next to my side of the bed. She then slipped down the wall and was laying down. I thought that was weird but she seemed to settle down. I went back to sleep for a while. I got up around 6 and went to start my morning routine, which the first thing was to let Alice out. She always follows me right to the door as soon as we are up. She didn’t follow. A little later she tried to get up and couldn’t. Her whole back end didn’t work.

We looked up vets online and found one that opened at 7:30. I called and they could get her in at 10. The next problem was how to get her in the back of our car. Luckily, we have a Subaru Outback so the backend opens up. But how would we get this 102 lb dog up the hill and into the car. Our son in law, Dan, and his Dad, Jim, came to help. I got her on a sheet and we brought in the girls’ wagon. We go her into the wagon, up the hill and into the car without stressing her out.

The vet couldn’t find anything really bad on the x-rays. Some arthritis but who of us don’t have that in our backs. I am thinking now it was a stroke. The vet says it could be. She says we could try a steroid shot and that if it helped we would be able to tell by Sunday. I agreed to let her have the shot, hoping it will help. We took her back home.

By now she has not been to the bathroom since Thursday night. David and I put a rolled towel under her to hold up her backend. We took her out but she didn’t do anything. She couldn’t pick up her tail and her legs just dragged behind her.

Saturday night wasn’t a good night for Alice. Sunday morning there was no change what so ever. I couldn’t let her suffer any more. I made the decision I had to make. The vet opened at 10. We were there with Alice when they opened. They got us in right away. They were so wonderful to us. Alice left this world knowing how loved she was. We were with her until the end.

I love you, Alice. I will never forget you and all you did for me. I hope you are sitting at Baggy’s side now watching over me.

Thanks for stopping by!

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New Life

I know I have been slow about writing but things are moving along very well here. David and I have gotten our Pennsylvania drivers license. We are waiting on a new title from Alaska to register our car because ours must be in Edmonton, Canada. We both got a local number and registered to vote. I guess we are becoming real Pennsylvanians. I guess that is what you call someone from PA.

Thanksgiving wasn’t our norm. We ordered our dinner from Cracker Barrel. It was ok but not what we were used too.

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A Week of Good-Byes

David has lived in Alaska all his life and in Anchorage since 1961, so there were a lot of good byes that had to be said.

It started Tuesday, we had dinner with David’s brothers and their wives. It was a lot of fun. I love to listen to the brothers talking about growing up. Lot of hugs and promises to come see us we said bye.

On Saturday was his last concert with Anchorage Concert Chorus.

http://www.anchorageconcertchorus.org/

David has sung bass for the chorus 27 years. The last concert was the best one I have heard I believe. After some of us went out for a drink and food. We did not get home until 1. It was so nice to get to say good-bye to them.

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Saying Good-Bye to Sterling

In 1980 we moved to Sterling, Alaska with 3 children ages 5, 2 and 3 months. We had two more children after we moved there. Sterling is always going to be my home because I spent more time there than anywhere else in the world. Our children were raised there when it was really very small and rural. Life was good there.

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I’m Back!

I know I have been gone for quite awhile but it was due to surgery on my right hand. Do you know how hard it is to type with the pecking style? I was taught on an huge electric typewriter with no letters on the keys, so this causes problems for me when I can only type with a finger. This means I have to look at the keys because I am not sure where the letters are when I have to do it that way. Anyway I got my cast off and am supposed to start working my hand and wrist. What better way to do that than to blog!

Well if I haven’t said anything we are moving to York, Pennsylvania with my daughter, Heather, and her family. Heather got a great job down there and is taking us with them because we help with the twins or is it because they sold our house? Either way we get to go.

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LightBox

I had been wanting to try doing some photography with a lightbox. I got one back in at the end of February for my birthday. The last few days I keep telling myself to set it up. I finally did today.

Here are some photos I took with just things I found around the house.

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Japanese Infusion

The students studying Japanese at UAA, University of Alaska Anchorage, had an afternoon of Japanese food, green tea, Pikachu, Tai Chai and other activities to try or watch.

Being that my husband, David’s, Dad spent the first 11 years of his life in Japan because his parents were missionaries there., so David has always been interested in Japanese things. They even started a food co-op which the last we heard was still going.

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VW Family Reunion

Every year the Arctic Air-Cooled VW club holds a reunion, which means if you have a Volkswagen you can bring it and show it off. This happens on the Saturday before Father’s Day. I got involved because my son in law, Dan Montgomery, is involved with the club. He has had a love for VW’s all his life. He even inherited his Dad’s 1967 Bug which he drove to Alaska when he moved here. Which if you saw the Bug you would wonder how he made it up the Alaska Highway. It has won the VW in the worst shape many times.

Anyway back to the Family Reunion. It is a lot of fun. They give out prizes every hour. Yes, they have something to do with Volkswagens. I do believe that the Diamond Center usually donates some kind of gift card for the big drawing.

The event is free but they do like everyone to vote on the VW’s. There were four divisions to vote on, The best Volkswagen, best Audi, best Porsche and the best beater.

Why you ask are Audi and Porsche at a Volkswagen Family Reunion? Well I asked too and this is what I found.

Volkswagen Group sells cars under the brand Volkswagen, Audi, and Porshe. So, all these brands are owned by the same parent company. Volkswagen started in 1937. They had a majority share in Audi by 1966, bringing Audi under the control of the Volkswagen group.

So I guess they are all Volkswagens.

I am sure you can find a vehicle that interests you enough to vote on it but I warn you it is hard to chose.

Even the young are having fun.

If you would like to know about the club you can check them out here:

http://arcticaircooledvws.com/

If you are ever in Anchorage, Alaska the Saturday before Father’s Day you should stop by Diamond Center to take a look at all the interesting Volkswagens.

Thanks for stopping by!