I've had a pretty good weekend, especially considering everything from last week. And I want to thank all of you for the gentle comments you left for me. Each one helped me more than you realize. I'm on my way to healing, and you have paved the path for me.
Thursday afternoon, China and I went for our walk, as I planned, but for the first time ever, she was reluctant to follow me down the driveway. I decided she might realize she didn't have the energy for that, although she appeared to be feeling fairly well. So I picked her up and walked around the yard and talked to her.
Friday morning Linda came to pick us up for the drive to the vet. I noticed, as often happens, China was not struggling to breath or gurgling, and I wanted to say "We'll wait." But I knew it wasn't the right thing to do. The vet checked her and although it wasn't audible to me, the stethoscope told him that she was heavily filled with fluid. Perhaps it just hadn't broken loose for the morning, I don't know.
I held China in my arms and within a few seconds, she was gone, peaceful, and already chasing across the Rainbow Bridge with her buddies.
Linda talked all the way home. She didn't avoid talking about China, but didn't dwell on her either. At home, I made a pot of coffee, and she stayed for almost an hour, until she was convinced that I was OK. Then I busied myself with housework and the rest of The Pack. They all seemed to be fine, even Ali.
When Gail got off work at 4:00 she came over to check on me and to meet Jazi. I asked if she wanted to stay for dinner, and fixed a quick and easy pasta. After that we watched a movie and laughed like crazy people! It wasn't a funny movie, but we couldn't help but roll our eyes and giggle. It was "Farewell To Arms," from 1932, starring very young Gary Cooper and Helen Hayes. What was so funny was that the acting was so hokie!! I looked it up and found the first "talkie" was in 1927, so this was just five years later. The acting still had some qualities of the silent movies such as always facing the camera when talking, no matter how awkward, the stilted language and dramatic gestures and voice inflections! I think it did me good to get silly. Shortly after Gail left, my friend, Joe arrived from Tulsa. We sat and talked for a little while and then turned in, as it was already pretty late.
Saturday morning I fixed a pot of coffee, and when Joe got up, we just sat and visited until after noon. He offered to buy me lunch, but I was enjoying being lazy, so I whipped up some tuna salad, and we continued to kick back. Late in the afternoon we got ready to go out, and left for a dinner show. I can't remember if I told you, but Joe is my "groupie friend," who always comes here to see The New Christy Minstrels when they do a show in Ruidoso. The show was really fun, as they are making some changes in the group (from necessity). The NCM were originally formed in the early 1960s. They were all in their early 20s, so do the math .... they are aging and some have actually passed away. There were changes in the membership through the years, anyway, as people left to do other things. John Denver was one who was part of the group before he broke off on his own. The group eventually disbanded and everyone went their own ways.
(Note: The following paragraph is going to have some music history that may not mean much to many of you who are, ahem, youngsters, so don't let it bog you down. Or else, go research it and listen to some sound bits, if you're interested.)
After several decades there are four of the originals that are consistently together again, with three others who join them when possible. There are two new, younger members who are a regular part of the group, and they continue the original sounds as well as bring their own "thing" to the folk group. One is a yodeler and he is really good. On this weekend another "new" person has joined them, and he is a fantastic addition! He was formerly a guitarist for Crosby, Stills, and Nash (please tell me some of you know who they are!!). Randy Sparks, who is the founder and lead of the NCM, found him in a coffee house in Kansas (!!!) playing blues guitar. OMG, he has a gorgeous deep and mellow voice and plays a guitar like I've never heard before! He is a Lt. Col. (ret), US Army who raises Arabians and Angus! Hello? Is there anything this man doesn't do? He will be replacing Barry McGuire (you may remember him from "The Eve of Destruction" fame). Barry has joined the group on occasion in the last year, but since he lives in New Zealand, he can't be here often. We were fortunate to see him here in 4/07. However, this replacement is far more exciting IMO. His voice just blows me away, and he ain't bad to look at, either. I've tried to google him for information, but I can't find anything, so I assume he was one of those who played in the band or sang back-up but never got noticed. What a shame! He is awesome! He sang a couple solos, and I recorded a few seconds of "Bo Jangles," one of my favorite old-time songs. I'll put it on here, but unfortunately, you can't really appreciate it from this recording. It does not do justice to his voice, but it's all I had. His name is Rick Hill. And BTW, the guy with the banjo who is backing him up in this clip is the yodeler.
Yesterday Joe and I met with several members of the group for breakfast, then back here to kick back. In fact, we both napped a while, something I rarely do. Then we again, got ready to another show last night. This was one of the original Minstrels, Dolan Ellis, who is the Official Balladeer of the State of Arizona, who was in concert. He, too, has an excellent voice, writes and sings songs about the myths and historical events of Arizona (and to a degree the Southwest in general). This is the first show of him solo here, and it was good. Gail, her brother and SIL joined us, and we had a lot of fun. Gail's bro and Joe hadn't seen each other in decades, so there was lots of catching up going on!
Joe left today to return home. I hated to see him go, but I also was ready to get some things done around here that have been neglected. I didn't do as much as I thought I would, but I was glad to be able to get back to my routine a little bit.
The Boys had not had an accident in the house for two weeks, and while Joe was here, they couldn't seem to poo anywhere but in the house!! I don't know what the heck that was about! Perhaps I wasn't as vigilant, perhaps they were missing China, perhaps the presence of Joe put them off schedule. I don't know. However, we are back on the timer and schedule, and not one mess today! Good grief! How embarrassing. Joe is understanding, as he and his wife have a fairly young dog and they've been through it, too, but still ......
I was busy enough all weekend that I didn't dwell much on China. I suppose that is good, as now the hurt is a little less. I'm sure the next few days will be hard at times. Tomorrow I have to return to the vet's office for dog food. I don't look forward to that. But judging by how today has been since we got back to a fairly normal routing, the sharp, cutting edge is gone off the sadness. Ali has slept just about all day, so I wonder if it is finally sinking in on him that she is gone. This evening, he has been with me more, and seems mellow but alright.
Before Joe left today, he gave me a laser pointer that he had in his pocket. He had played with the dogs using it, and they had fun. So this evening I played with them a while, and all four of The Kids chased it. It was fun watching them as they tried to catch it, but the funniest thing is that Sammy stayed in that area diligently looking for the little red dot!! It was hilarious as he looked under the couch, under the coffee table, got on the couch and looked there, and he kept sniffing the carpet in a four foot square area! I see fun times ahead with that little gadget!