Requiem for a Runt

Requiem for a Runt

He was the runt of the litter.  But wow, was he ever cute.  Really cute.  Ginger bonded with him immediately and he with her.  Mission accomplished.

Almost 14 years ago, as Ginger faced yet another in a string of  knee surgeries, we knew it was going to be a long, mostly immobile recovery.  A puppy made sense.  What better way to ease the tedious, healing hours?   We named him Ozzie Osbourne.  Although he was cute, he was also part weird.  Born on Hallowe’en and being part weird seemed to justify the name.

A LANGUAGE OF HIS OWN

About nine years ago, shortly after he turned five, a disc popped through his spinal column and his back legs and hips quit working.  The vet said that the surgery to correct the situation was incredibly expensive and even if it was successful, there was only a fifty percent chance he’d ever walk again.  We refused to accept that.  So did Ozzie.  We found a new vet and after six weeks of total rest and mega doses of some very effective natural health products, he fought his way back to almost perfect health.  The only thing he couldn’t do was jump.  That’s a bit of an issue when your mission in life is to be a lap dog.  So he created a language all his own and there was never a doubt as to what he wanted.  For some reason, he scratched on the hall closet door when he was hungry, nowhere near the kitchen.  When he needed to go outside he’d walk halfway to the door and look back with an expression that said “Hey, aren’t you getting this?”.  And when he wanted to cuddle, he would look you straight in the eye and nod his head up and down.  He taught us his language, we didn’t teach him.

YES, A LAP DOG

Truth be known, Ozzie spent most of his life curled up on Ginger’s lap.  Oh, he played hard and created mischief particularly when other dogs were around but he knew why he’d decided to live with us.  Lap dog.  First, foremost and always.  Even earlier this year as he was in substantial discomfort himself, he remained Ginger’s leg warmer as she recovered from yet another knee surgery (see the pic at top of post).

Over this past year he fought his way through declining mobility, a genetic neurological condition and twitches and seizures that made his daily life challenging. We watched carefully as the inconveniences turned to pain.  Significant, non-curable pain.

SAYING GOODBYE

Yesterday, the time came to say goodbye.  He passed away in our arms.  I held him and stroked his forehead because that was our thing.  But when the time to leave us became imminent he spent his last moments being cuddled by the woman he had pledged his heart to.  He slipped away peacefully and painlessly in her arms.

Ozzie taught us many things during his years as head of our family.  He proved that with effort, patience and motivation any challenge can be eliminated.  He taught us that there’s always time for fun and a quick game of ‘chase me around the house’.

Most importantly, he taught us that there is always room on the couch and no matter how busy you are, there is always, always time for a cuddle.

The house is so quiet today.  Rest easy little big man.

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me, they are the role model for being alive.” (Gilda Radner )

Why Your Resolutions Will Fail

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Before I delve into a totally upside down look at New Year’s Resolutions, I do want to say Happy New Year to you.  You personally.  Thank you for reading my blog and putting up with my musings for yet another year.  I’ve been writing blog articles for almost 9 years and some of you have been with me since the very first post. Please know how much you are appreciated.

This blog was designed as a ‘safe haven’ in the wonderful world of blogdom. I don’t post sales pitches, recruitment articles or those annoying and distracting banner ads on my blog. I don’t blog for money. I do this because I need to write. I write because it makes me feel good, fulfills at least part of my creative side and feeds my soul. My goal is always to find the positive messages that we so desperately need in today’s world. And sometimes I just write because something funny happened on the way home.

YOUR NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS WILL FAIL

Pretty cheeky headline. I honestly don’t know most of my readers well enough to be positive that you will fail. So I’m going to identify the reasons that I believe most will and you can tell me (in the handy comments section below) which of these is your personal challenge. And please, if you are one of the blessed few that sets New Year’s Resolutions and achieves them, leave a comment about how you overcame the obstacles.

Fellow blogger Ramit Sethi notes: “In an interesting quirk of human behavior, we would rather continue doing something that doesn’t work than try something new that COULD work — but also could fail.…… Think back to your resolutions from last January. Did you follow through? Do you even remember what they were? Yet how many of us were tempted to make more resolutions this year?”

THE BIG THREE

Resolutions need to be SPECIFIC. If your resolution contains words like ‘should’, ‘could’ or ‘might’ you might as well just give up right now and avoid the frustration of the ultimate collapse of your goal. “I should start saving some money” is interpreted by your brain as being unimportant because the word ‘should’ really means “I’m probably not going to do this”.  Instead, try something very specific like “I will lose 15 pounds by March 01, 2016”. That’s just step one.

Resolutions must be REALISTIC. Despite your best bravado, a goal like “I want to go to the gym 5 times a week” is doomed to failure because the word ‘want’ is a failure word and honestly, how many times a week did you go to the gym last year?  Using the example in the previous paragraph, “I will lose 15 pounds by March 01, 2016. I will achieve this by working out at (the name of the gym) every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 7:00 until 8:30 p.m.”

Resolutions must be based on a WORKABLE PLAN, not on willpower. Willpower will get you started perhaps, but long term it will fail without a well-defined, specific, calendared plan of attack. Resolving that you are going to accomplish something and that willpower will get you there is much the same as shooting into the air and waiting for the geese to run into the bullets. You must turn your specific, realistic plan into action. What day and time are you going to the gym to buy a membership? Is every single workout on your calendar? If not, it’s not real.

On a positive note, I believe that you can achieve any New Year’s Resolution if you create specific, realistic, well-planned goals. After all, you’ve taken the most important first step – you’re reading my blog 🙂

Here’s to an incredible 2016!

Tradition compels me to end with something to think about. “When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.” (Confucius)