25 March 2016

Yesterday A Beautiful Light Went Out In My Universe

I'm writing this down as the disparate memories I have of her have become fuzzy.  This is a testament to the power of blogging as I so desperately looked for stories of us from the past. I don't want to forget her sweetness, her sacrifice, her resilience, her personality, her love.  I also want to remember my last time with her. 

Our last night together was marked by sleeplessness.  Sadie with her heavy panting, sometimes guttural coughing, me with my attempts to assuage her pain.  Often petting her  and telling her it's going to be okay.  Then gently laying her head on the comforter.  Although this intermittently worked, she would find some new ball of invisible phlegm or she'd get up breathless again. This went on all night and it pained her to breathe or even to stay lying down. She can't even find pleasure one gets from scratching an itch. Her left hind leg often looks like it was about to bubble every time but within a fraction of a second she managed to bring down the other leg.  She has perfected the timing of her scratching so as not to injur her more. For how long has she been this fragile, I wondered. She was a shell of her former self.  I suppose that goes with aging and living. We spent our last time in the living room. She on the floor with a blanket but much preferred the bare wood floor, me beside her.

As snow accumulated outside, we were watching the whole night sky become light.  Parents awoke and checked on us and mom got ready for work.  Dad will be spending time with us as he too is unwell.  My visit was primarily because of dad. I was not prepared for this. Despite attempts to feed her, she much preferred human food.  And why the hell not I thought.  She ate some meat, some rice, some cookies, and some raisin bread.  Save the occasional coaxing by us for her to go potty outside, she was always by my side.  

As dad watched TV - terrorism in Brussels, reactions to the Liberal government's budget, reality TV show in some frontier land - I spent time petting her, taking pictures of her, of us, so desperately trying to capture some last moments before she was gone.  As our last half hour together approached, she seemed to want to get something from under the couch.  An orange ball (with a UFA corporate logo).  She wanted to play fetch.  Although fetch has never been a strong suit of hers - she would pick it up and then refuses to let it go.  That was the extent of our fetch - I'd throw it a mere foot from her as she struggled with mobility - and me trying to take it back.  It's our thing from back in the day.  

I try to recall her smell. It's a combination of Tres Semme conditioner, coconut shampoo, and dog musk. This was one of the last things we did the day before to prepare her for today.  Mom wanted her to go with the dignity and respect as any human deserves.  Although it was a struggle for her to stand in the tub, she leaned on me for support as suds and dirt and hair all got washed off of her.  I cling ever so desperately to her smell. Her leash smelled of it for a while, but now as I bring it up to smell, it is gone and I'm sad all over again.  I don't suppose I will ever get it back however fresh the memory is.  She was a special dog.  She was my special dog.  I didn't realize that I'd have to let her go twice, once to my parents and now this. But I know that being here, coming home was needed.  I needed to be here not for my own sake not for my closure, but for her.  Thank you for your friendship, Sadie. You have taught me immensely about life and love. 

24 March 2016

Our Last Sleepover

Sadie just spent the last few hours panting heavily. The job of breathing has gotten labourious for her. tried calming her down by gently petting her head and soothing her with my words and it seemed to work albeit very temporarily and intermittently. Tomorrow has become today and although we have spent the majority of the night awake, her restlessness and her inability to stand or sit remind me that she is suffering a great deal.  I can't complain. I have given her her final bath yesterday. And I have spent yesterday feeding her apples and raisin bread - her recent favourites.

Thank you for your friendship, Sadie. You have taught me so much about life and love.

27 April 2015

A Hard Tugging

A recent picture of Sadie, who has outlived all littermates. Though the greys tell her age, she is still as beautiful as I remember.  

Last night (3:45 am) Charlie by my side, dry heaving with his "puke dish" while I reassure him that everything is going to be ok.  

There is an immeasurable bond between human and his/her non-human companion.  There have been studies that show the benefits of such a partnership.  Perhaps there is some truth to this.  Perhaps not. Regardless of empirical studies' results, I know this much is true: our pets devotion and affection impact us to the core.  This post was influenced by two recent events:

  1. My Charlie was recently ill.  The cause unknown but it was worrying.  He spent the whole evening and night expelling fluids from both ends.  Although he seems better now, he is still a bit lethargic and withdrawn.  There is much mystery as to the cause but I am relieved for his improving health.  
  2. My Sadie is getting old.  Her brother Kayne - a littermate with whom she has kept for a while, recently passed away due to health problems.  It also appears that her genetics has caught up with her.  Although she has not lived with me for many years, there is a hard tugging at my heart that aches for the impending loss.  It hurts to think that all those experiences - the training, the runs, the walks, the hikes - will just be mine.  Perhaps, they have only been mine for some time but I'd like to think that those times were instrumental in constructing that bond between us. And that bond has some permanence for both of us.   

19 April 2015

The Middle Man, Ticketmaster and Things To Look Forward To

I am trying to channel my pal, Christielli, in this post (although my preference is a bit mainstream, and less cool).  Music.  Music.  Music.  As awesome as these shows will be (I think, I hope) to experience, a tremendous ingredient is the company.  Along with the hundreds or thousands of audience members singing, dancing, and good-timing around, my seat mates will add a unique phenomenon to the experience.

  • Ed Sheeran 1.0, in Calgary, with Dan and Jillene; 
  • U2 3.0, in Toronto, with Dan; previously in Edmonton with dad, and in Vancouver with Paul, Sam, and Gwen
  • Mumford & Sons 1.0 in Edmonton with April; 
  • The Lion King 2.0 in Calgary with Dan; previously in NYC with Jillene; and 
  • Madonna 1.0 in Edmonton, with Dan and Nicole

Despite my contained excitement for the following events - must.  keep.  it.  together.  - I am a bit puzzled at Ticketmaster's role in these shows (Channelling Pearl Jam).  Apart from the obvious monopoly they have in dispensing tickets, I wonder about the necessity of an exorbitant service/administration fee.

Also, where are you, Coldplay?

10 April 2015

Moleskine: Japan

In lieu of pictures, typed reflections and synopsis of my recent travel to Japan, I've elected to scan my Sketchnote from the past two weeks. Most entries were made that night so as to preserve the unfiltered observations as well as recollections of the day.  These supplies (softcover Moleskine, Staedtler markers, fine line Sharpie pen, and Bic pencil) are worth more than their collective weight in my carryon (which was negligible).  They have added value to the journey.  My only regret is that I wish I had done this previously with my prior travels. Along with postcard writing and fridge-magnet, Starbucks-mug, guitar-case-sticker, and backpack-badge shopping, I suppose I can incorporate this into my own travel rituals. 

20 March 2015

In transition #Travel #spring

In transition
In YVR…Awaiting the long haul flight across the Pacific.

Sent from my iPhone

16 February 2015

Fitting for a Valentine

A little ramen for romance before ballet
With delicate songs, these are lithe bodies in control

10 February 2015


In bullet-form, here are some significant life events unchronicled prior to this point:

  • Northern California/San Francisco 3.0 trip during fall break was enjoyable.  Wineries, mud bath, massage, biking. The new places: Mill Valley, Muir Woods, Napa Valley, Sonoma Valley, Half Moon Bay, and other sights of San Francisco seen through a cyclist's perspective.  Marin Headlands.  The other side of the Golden Gate.  So much to discover still.  Also, the Giants were big this year in baseball.  As for soundtrack: these tunes will forever be associated with this trip: Space Oddity (David Bowie) and Cool Kids (Echosmith)

  • Somehow, a wash, a blow dry, and a trim expedited the process of aging for my puppy.  A young, scruffy dog was dropped off and by lunch time an old man of a schnauzer was picked up.  Don't be fooled though.  His puppy behaviours are still here: energetic, unpredictable, and curious.  

  • I had a physical. And they've gotten more invasive.  And apparently it will become an annual tradition.  
  • Ramen is big this year...nom nom nom   

16 November 2014


I've been waiting for the arrival of a four-legged companion in my life. Ever since I gave up Ben and Sadie, life has been less full. Pets really make one's heart swell with so much love - a love that cannot be sated from purchasing new things. 

This is Charlie. My dream come true. After having postponed getting a dog - after getting my Master degree I promised myself - I finally fulfilled this self promise. And I'm very happy. 

There are rough days like 2 am wake up calls by his cries to go potty or the occasional accident, to the heart wrenching cries when I leave for work, to the evident lack of obedience. All of which are done to test my patience and love. But how can I neglect/ignore/hate such a helpless being. And look at that face. Yup I am smitten. He is still socially awkward but quite smart. Not unlike me. Haha. He knows his sit, stay, come, down, and leave it. Today we learned get up and look at me. If I seem bright, then that's what I'm doing. Onwards, internet.