Well I have been doing all kind of things around the house to keep busy. We have been having some nice weather, so David and I took advantage of it. David takes very good care of the lawn. We have found one big difference is that it needs to be mowed once a week. In Alaska it was every two weeks to a month depending on the rain. I have been working in the flower bed and trying to put a garden in. It is a lot of fun planting all the different flowers and there are so many more things I can grow in the garden here.
Staying home, social distancing and wearing mask is our new norm but you can work in the yard without worrying about any of the above.
Every nice day David and I are out in the yard doing something. I got the front flower beds taken care of. We even got some flowers because there is this tent in the parking lot near us that is selling plants. I was told they come down every spring from Lancaster.
I got the edging delivered from Aldi’s. I know it isn’t straight but it works.
Living in Alaska in a cabin in the woods you learn about cabin fever and how to protect yourself from it. I know we are supposed to stay in but they are recommending outside activities like hiking or walking. I know that is what always helped me was to get outside and move. Thanks to Harrison we always take him for a walk, well at least for the little over a week we have had him. Of course, I say that as I look at the rain coming down outside. I really don’t want to smell wet dog the rest of the day. We have several times had to wait until the rain stopped to go. Hopefully, we will this time too. Looks pretty gray outside though.
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.
Before we could actually start on our 304 miles the trailer had to be jiggered around inside. It was too heavy in the front, so all the guys unloaded and packed the trailer starting before it got light.
Today is the beginning of our new adventure. After camping out in our house for the last week I decided we needed a couple nights in a real bed. We are moving out of the empty house, deflating our air mattress, folding up our camp chairs and going to a hotel in Eagle River. We can be close to the kids there and can help them with the last of their packing.
It is kind of sad saying goodbye to the house we thought we would spend the rest of our life in. You never know what might change in your life even at our age, 64 and 70. We are lucky that we can actually make this trip and have such loving children that want to take us with them.