Life was put on hold for a while. Would I work? Could I work? Would there be energy for anything besides just making it through each day? The Maroon Bells were waiting, but I was climbing a different sort of mountain that demanded not only my full dedication and concentration, but that of my loved ones around me as well. The "stuff" of life was trimmed, from my hair (shoulder length cropped to 1" long) to our routines to our budgets. All to prepare for the climb of our life. Cancer. Her2+ breast cancer....And chemo.
Amazing how pervasive the Big C's noxious cousin, Chemo, is. All thoughts and actions were sieved like we were panning for gold. And gold is what time and good health truly are. When you think either will be curtailed by so much as a minute, they become even more precious. Fortunately for me, the chemo risks outweighed the benefits and it was "suggested" that I hold off on the toxic therapy. Suggestion taken -- with all my heart!!! Honey, I snatched that suggestion and raced back to life and planning and vacations and work and love and everything else that had been put on hold for the last months.
Funny how you always think you won't put your life on hold for something, especially something negative. I'll plow right through that stumbling block. The proverbial steamroller, right?? But most of us aren't in a position to drop everything, live life to the fullest, see those top 10 destinations of the world, do those things you'd do if you have 6 months to live. Who came up with that advertisement, anyway??? For most of us, it's more like, "How am I going to pay the mortgage if I have to take FMLA?" or "I hope my job lasts long enough to get the deductible paid," or "God, let me please just get through this and I'll be a good girl for the rest of my life."
In the end, we somehow find the happy middle ground and take care of the daily grind while gaining a deeper appreciation for everyday life and the ones we love. Life is good. And life indeed goes on. And we indeed move on. And the daily grind begins...over and over again. But this time around, it's a little less of an industrial boulder grinder and more of a coffee grinder. (Heh heh, remember the coffee grinder scene in City Slickers?? I'm telling you, sometime it's the little things that effect the big things.)
Thus, the need to add one more to our pack. The story goes that Sonoma had been thrown out of a car onto the highway. Bruised and battered, she dragged herself to nearby woods, and was finally picked up and taken to a vet who saw to her wounds. The Weimaraner Rescue of North Texas was contacted; they picked her up; nursed back to health; fostered her; we saw her photo posted on the website; and the rest is history. Well, a complicated history. After all, we already have Princess Leia, a "special girl," as everyone likes to call her. Long story short, the princess had been abused and was very fearful of people. The first time we met her at the WRNT, she bit J on the face as he reached down to pet her. That was a reaction, a fear bite. Me she nipped twice during that first meeting, and both times it appeared as though she meditated whether or not to do it and, yep, she went for it. J and I recognized that she was just scared and reasoned that if she growled at and bit people, she'd scare them away and they wouldn't hurt her.
Little did she know that J and I would go home, do all the research we could about fear-biting animals only to return and approach her in a more appropriate way. The rest is history. We brought her home in August and, although we had some drum-roll moments, she is the best dog either of us has ever had. We LOVE our Leia. She's not perfect; she doesn't like or want to be around most people, especially when they try to pet her head; she doesn't want to have anything to do with other dogs -- but she is a love hound when she's with us. Incredibly intelligent, she knows all her toys by name; she loves to play hide and seek; she will sit and wait for an hour if she thinks you will throw her a ball; she will play fetch (but she won't "give") till she nearly collapses. We LOVE our Leia.
And she has been a true princess as we have included Sonoma in our pack -- gracious, patient, hospitable. Only occasionally has she given Sonoma the "don't you dare sniff my hiney one more freaking time" glare or nip. She's not perfect, but she's trying so hard to be accommodating. And Sonoma's learning that life with Leia could be good -- she just needs to give her some space. After all, royalty had its needs and privileges.
And so, in just a few short months, we've gone from a couple, to a trio, to "the four of us." Because life is good and life goes on....
Here's Princess Leia
And here are our girls....
P.S. If you're ready to add a furry friend to your pack, please please please consider a rescue animal. Check your local area for rescue organizations -- the reward is incredible.