Sixteen and a Half Years Later

I remember the Elsmere skating rink. Do you? When I was a kid, that place was hopin’! Every fundraiser in elementary school, every family fun night, every birthday party… it was there! My 6th birthday was there! The big fluffy dino/creature/thing pulls the birthday girl in the middle of the roller rink to have the birthday song play and to lead the hokie pokie dance.

The following weekend from my birthday party, at the skating rink, my dad drove me to Philly to my aunt and uncle’s house. It was there that I meet the most amazing being that had ever blessed my life. My uncle had rescued her from his place of business, where they, unfortunately tested on animals. I remember sitting on the living room floor and my uncle handing me the tiniest 6 week old Beagle. Her ears were too big for head and her body small enough to be cupped in my 6 year old hands.

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WP_001180My dad had this red station wagon and I remember sitting in the back seat, watching this little fur ball try to bite her way out of the dog carrier. I kept freaking out because I thought she was going to hurt herself. I couldn’t stop staring at her the entire 40 minute drive home. As soon as we walked onto the porch, it hit me… not the door, the name. “Beauty.” Beauty. Could it have been any more perfect?

One winter, while she was still teething she chewed the back of my boots that I had just gotten for Christmas. I was so disappointed! But how can you hold a grudge with a face like that? We would take Beauty for walks and people would stop us and tell us how beautiful she was! One halloween, as my mother took me door to door with the pup, a woman offered to buy her from us! Frank reminded me last night about when he had spent the afternoon at the grill, came in the house with what he called “the perfect WP_003995burger.” He placed it on the table, stepped away, and when he came back, the entire thing was gone. Just a paper plate and a full puppy. Haha! What a stinker!

Maybe its just Beauty, but at night, she would fall asleep with her head near mine and when I woke up in the morning, somehow, her back side was always in my face! Haha! Or my favorite, would be when I had to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and come back to the furriest pillow known to man. And by “fuzziest pillow known to man,” I mean Beauty asleep on my pillow. She really is the BEST cuddle buddy ever!

WP_004447Or how she thought my laundry pile was her new bed! She would pull my clothes, circle and circle on top of them, rake them with her paws and finally settle in. Does your dog snore? The older Beauty gets, the more and louder she snores! But its funny, because, now, I can’t sleep without it. Its like, white noise, but the good kind. Like if I hear it, I know shes okay.

The last few weeks, things have been a little rough around here. The sleepy headed pup has been sleepier, and has not been able to hold anything down. “Beauty with the Booty” has lost a lot of wait, has not barked, and it has not been looking good. Last night, after running an errand with mom, we arrived home to a tired Beauty with some piles of things scattered on the floor. This was it.

?????????Just like the rest of the family, she is a stubborn one. We knew she was trying to hold out, and leave on her own terms. We prayed that she would just fall asleep. It sounds like the most morbid thing to pray for, but I would have rather her just fallen asleep, and go out peacefully. Dad came over to  moms house. For about 2 hours, we laid with Beauty, kissed her, hugged her, cried, and repeatedly told her how much she was loved and how much she meant to us. The last hour was spent with Beauty sleeping on my chest. After I had finally decided on what had to be done, I felt somewhat content.

Why? Why would feel okay about this? About Beauty… not being there… at all.. anymore… Last night, I saw my dad cry for the first time. Even when his mom died, he only teared up in front of me. Have you ever seen your dad cry? Its like watching an earthquake… One of those epic ones from the movies… When the ground splits in two and everything crumbles into the magma abyss.

As we walked into the Veterinary Hospital, I held her in my arms, wrapped in a blanket so she wouldn’t be cold in the 20 degree temperature. The tech greeted me at the door and as I followed, I stopped dead in my tracks and spun 180. “I can’t do it, daddy! I’m not ready!”

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I knew what had to be done. I knew once I saw the reaction of the tech, that this was te right thing to do. “We need to get her back there.” I explained to Beauty that the tech, Dani, was going to take her for a few minutes and that Dani would bring her back to mommy. She came back out with an IV in her paw. The vet explained how everything worked, and I gave her the cue when I was ready. Mom, Dad, and Barry said their goodbyes, gave her hugs and kisses, and then it was up to me.

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My nose was touching hers. I reminded her how she is my best friend, the love of my life, more than I could ever ask for, and how much I love her! I gave her a kiss, as her head laid on my arm. I nodded to the vet and locked eyes with Beauty. I was the last thing she saw. The last thing she heard was, “I love you, baby girl. Always and forever.”

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Her head got heavy. She looked so peaceful. I stayed with her until my parents were able to coax me out of the room.

I’m feeling… I’m not sure…bent over with my head between my knees… angry… devastated… lost… I’m becoming  numb… Mom says I’m like a zombie. I walked in the house, and glanced at Beauty’s corner, like I normally do, only to see she was not there. I took a bite of the pizza crust and then threw it in her bowl, only to remember she would not be there to eat it. This is going to take a lot of getting used to.

Some of my favorite memories of her, like most good memories are with food. I remembered when I was about 10, my mom spilled a box of redhots on the floor, and Beauty vacuumed them up. She then got the nickname “Hoover.” She devoured those Salmon Cakes! Oh and she adored when I would make homemade dog treats! Maybe its because I always used peanut butter in them. Beauty has the same theory of peanut butter as her mommy: anytime, anywhere, on anything! I think its only right that on today, March 1st, National Peanut Butter Lovers Day, that we raise a spoonful of peanut butter to the peanut butter loving pup!

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OIKOS Smoothies Morning

I was sent a recipe for a South Beach Mango Lassi a week or so ago, and with my recent obsession with Indian food, I was more then apt to try it.  Lassies are a traditional yogurt-based drink that you will find on any Indian restaurant menu.

I whipped out a plain OIKOS and told Frank I was making a smoothie, to which he replied, “Will you make me one, too? I just bought yogurt.”

I typically like to add a scoop of protein to my smoothies for staying power, but since I’m out of vanilla, I had to stick with the God gave me.

Frank has been wanting me to make him a Key Lime shake for a while, now and since he had OIKOS Key Lime Greek yogurt, thats what I whipped up. (By the way, if you’ve never had Greek yogurt, this is the stuff to suck you in!)

Key Lime Smoothie/Shake1 5.3oz OIKOS Key Lime Greek yogurt

1 tsp sugar free lime jello mix

ice

1/3 cup milk

water

protein, optional

Combine and blend!

Mango Lassi Smoothie3/4 cup frozen mango

1 5.3oz plain OIKOS Greek yogurt

1 Tbsp granulated Splenda

ice

water

pinch of cardamom

Blend away!

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I planned on taking a walk to the supermarket to pick up some ingredients for some recipes, but as I currently type this post on the pouch, thunder and rain has set in. Change of plans, I guess.

Warning: Gross Alert! 

Before the wind picked up and retiring from the porch, I was typing away, when out of the corner of my eye pounces Bunny. In mid-air, this crazy cat caught a bird! Are you kidding me?

I couldn’t believe it! I was stunned and mortified, and disgusted, and for some awful reason, I could not look away! I called Barry and told him what happened. Only one word found its way out of my mouth, “Ewwwwww.”

“Can you say anything else?” he asked. “Ehhhhhhhhhh.”

I was disturbed. The image is scared in my head as Bunny chomped away at the poor birdie.

Later today…

It really came down today, so I went to the store to pick up the last few things I needed for this weeks recipes! Something was on my mind today, I don’t know exactly what, put something we definitely there. To keep myself busy, I decided to, can you guess, did a little cooking. Stay Tuned!

WP_003251Barry came over after work and I left terrible that I didn’t go to his place tonight. Barry leaves this weekend for army duty and he and I both work this week, so our time is pretty limited together. I was in a funk, with a knotted stomach, and a little dizzy.

After Barry headed home, mom and I ran to Wawa to grab a little gingie (ginger ale), and i finally found it! Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper! I finally got my fix. Knowing I needed something in my tummy, mom and I split a can of Campbell’s Chunky Split Pea & Ham soup.

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With a little salt and pepper, this stuff was delicious! It was probably the best canned split pea I’ve ever had. There were big chunks of potato and carrots, and ham! Not little pieces of ham… big chunks of ham! And it was filling!