It’s a BOY!

It’s a BOY!

DSC_0553smWell, it’s official… Lucy and I are adding a BOY to our little family!  He’s a (red) golden retriever and approximately a year old… and I get to meet him today!  I know that sounds a little cooky to adopt a dog you’ve never met, but it just felt right.    He’s a shelter dog, and I knew from the moment I saw him (on facebook), I HAD to have him.  I just knew that HE was MY dog.  There were a few hurdles to jump, but they just kept working out, so we’re going with it!  (God has this funny way of doing this in my life.  I say,  “I’ll keep going, as long as you keep opening doors.”  And He does.  That’s how I ended up with the store to begin with, but that’s another story for another day.)

My Favorite Child

My Favorite Child

As a parent, you’re not supposed to have a favorite child. And if you do, you’re certainly not supposed to say it out loud (gasp – much less write it down). Luckily, my “children” aren’t able to read, so they’ll never know that I’ve betrayed them this way.

I have a favorite child, and her name is Sarah. sarah pretty 2(This is also my favorite photo of her – head thrown back, smiling at me.)

When I got her as a puppy nine years ago, I had no idea that she would end up with so much of my heart. She needed me, but at the time I got her (and time after time during the years since), I’ve needed her too. At difficult times in my life, she loved me unconditionally and gave me comfort. When I moved to Dallas, she made my first house feel like a home. When I had the opportunity to buy a store in Lubbock, she and I moved in with my grandparents for a few months… And as I took on this new adventure of being a store owner, she was by my side – coming to work with me every day, greeting customers and letting the children give her treats and rub her belly. We braved living in a rent house (that didn’t allow pets, but made an exception once they met her) and building a new home. She’s been my shadow and best companion through a LOT of changes in the last decade. Through it all, she’s been my constant companion.
We’ve gone on road trips and had picnics and gotten frozen custard and enjoyed swimming. She’s been good for a nuzzle when I’ve been sick, a head rest in my lap when I’ve been sad, and a greeting every time I’ve come home (including an elated bark, wag of tail, and the closest toy in her mouth).

My family has always loved animals, but in the last decade, our dogs have become FAMILY – staying in the house, sleeping in the bed, eating better than just “dog food”. You would form a pretty strong bond with anyone you spent that much time with – even more so when that companion’s ONLY job is to love you the entire time! As weird as it sounds, I think Sarah was my soul mate. She had an unbelievably sweet and tender spirit, and she understood me and loved me unconditionally. I have never felt closer to an animal, and I know that she was an angel sent just for me.

Over the past two months, the declining health of my #sweetsarah has rocked my world. I always thought we would have more time together – to visit the ocean, to vacay in the mountains, to enjoy more snowy winters by the fire. After the last few weeks of living “day to day”, I know those dreams aren’t going to happen, but I’ve been more than content to sit on the floor and stroke her face, or strap her into a doggy wheelchair to take a cruise around the neighborhood.

With a heavy heart, I tell you that this weekend, Sarah’s struggle ended, and I lost my favorite child. Even though a future without her smiling face seems impossible to bear, I’m taking comfort in the fact that I did all I could for her. I gave my soul mate the best life possible (and she did the same for me).

As for my other child, Lucy… I think I’ll give her a few more years to have a shot at the title. She’s a pretty darn good dog too.

Here are a few photos of Sarah that make me smile.

10 Days + A Spinal Tumor

10 Days + A Spinal Tumor

This past week and a half has been a complete roller coaster of emotion…it’s only been ten days, but it feels like it’s been three weeks!  I won’t say it’s been the longest 10 days of my life (that would be too dramatic -and I AM trying to keep things in perspective here).

So, before anyone jumps to any conclusions:
– No, I am not sick or dying.
– Gratefully, I still have my family (and friends).
-To the best of my knowledge, none of my family or friends are sick or dying.
-I have not fallen victim of a natural disaster (or zombie apocalypse).  Whew!

This post is almost exclusively about my dog, Sarah.  She’s been a great companion and furbaby for almost nine years (my longest roommate aside from my brother and my longest “love relationship” to date – ha).

Last Thursday, Sarah fell on my hardwood floors (trying to turn quickly when she heard the crinkle of the treat bag, go figure). She hit the floor pretty hard but got up and acted like normal, so I didn’t think much of it. Later that day, she was limping a little. The vet thought she might have pulled a muscle, so we got some meds and went home to rest. On Friday, she started walking “drunk” with her back legs (it’s called cross-walking). and after another visit, my vet recommended an emergency meeting with a neurologist in Dallas.
20130804-141957.jpgMonday morning, we visited with the neurologist at the Center for Veterinary Specialist Care and they had an MRI done. The results came back and were NOT what I was expecting!  Instead of a pinched nerve or slipped disc, it was a tumor. A spinal tumor, attached to her back left leg nerve socket. Apparently, the fall had caused the tumor to bleed, creating more pressure on her spinal cord (hence the trouble walking).
On Wednesday, Sarah had surgery to remove the spinal tumor. Here’s a pic of her the morning of. 20130804-141929.jpg  She nuzzled up to me and caught a few zzz’s while waiting in her crate…  After a 6 hr surgery, I got an update that they were able to remove a lot of the tumor, but not all (because it was so attached to nerves).  That means that Sarah will have to start radiation in a few weeks. The surgeon also had to cut a nerve to remove as much of the tumor as she did, so Sarah will have limited use of her back left leg for awhile. Hopefully the nerves around it will re-route and take over for the snipped one in time. Until then, my big girl has got a long recovery ahead.  Lots of rest (and plenty of help from me to move around).

Right now, I’m just waiting for her to be released from the pet hospital (hopefully tomorrow), but until I have the green light to take her home, it’s kind of a waiting game…

Do I know how crazy it sounds to go to such great lengths to keep a dog?  Yes.  But she’s one of the two “kids” I’ve got, and I just wouldn’t feel right about not doing anything I can.  Thankfully, I have a very generous, selfless, and supportive family who has offered to help in numerous ways – I’m pretty blessed that they’re pet lovers too, so they understand.

If you’re into praying for pups, I would love to have prayers for her recovery. So many of my Instagram have already been so encouraging, and I can’t express how much that means to me.  (If you don’t follow me already, my handle is @kandim)

I have called sweet Sarah a lot of things over the years: #fatgirl #sarahbear #babyface #mama…  But I’d like to add two more: #fighter and #survivor.  She’s been a real trooper, and I have faith that God is taking care of her, even through these crazy 10 days and in the months ahead.


P.S. – If you ARE the praying kind (especially for doggie things), I’m sure my family would appreciate a few extra prayers.  In the midst of all this craziness with Sarah (between her diagnosis and surgery), we had to put to sleep my parents’ dog, Dirk, who had been fighting cancer for about 10 months.  We love our pets like family, so it’s been a pretty tough week all around.

I’ll probably continue posting on Sarah’s progress, so if you’re interested, check back!  Thanks everyone!


{photo left:  Sarah, post-surgery, and VERY excited that I came to see her}


Sarah’s Birthday Cake

Sarah’s Birthday Cake

Happy Birthday Miss Sarah!  Today is her 8th birthday, and I’m not about to let it pass without a celebration.  Tonight made her a banana and carob birthday cake, topped with dog food bits and doggie treat “sprinkles”.  I think she knew the treat was in her honor, as she waited patiently for me to remove it from the oven, cut and serve it in her dog bowl.  I think she gobbled it up in about 60 seconds, but hey, that’s the birthday girl’s prerogative! 20130114-231640.jpg

Sarah’s Birthday Cake Recipe  (adapted from the Three Dog Bakery Cookbook)

2 cups water

1/4 cup mashed banana

1/8 t. vanilla

1  egg

2 T. honey

3 cups whole-wheat flour

1/2 T. baking powder

Frosting and “sprinkles”:

8 oz. no fat cream cheese

3 t. carob powder

1 t. vanilla

Blue Buffalo dog food bits

Milk Bone dog treats ( small and medium size)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a bowl, mix water, bananas, vanilla, egg and honey.  In a different bowl, combine flour and baking powder – mix well.  Add wet ingredients to dry and combine.  Pour into a greased, 9 x 9 glass dish and bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  To make the frosting, combine all ingredients together in a small bowl and beat until smooth.  Spread over the cake and decorate with dog food bits and mini treats.  Serve (in small slices, as your pup is sure to wolf it down quickly- safety first!)  Happy Birthday Sarah!