Monday, February 9, 2015

Goodbye to Gunther

We said goodbye to our sweet Gunther Apollo over the weekend. His bloodwork indicated that he was in kidney failure, with extremely abnormal results. I did my best to make sure he was eating and drinking, but he did not appreciate my efforts. 

We adopted Gunther on Valentine's day, 2002. A litter of German Shorthair puppies were featured on the local noon news program. I loaded up the kids and we made the drive across town to take a look at these adorable pups. We gave him a good Germanic name and tagged the Apollo part after speed skating sensation Apollo Ono. As a puppy, he was so tiny that he could curl up in baby Jordan's bouncy seat!

Over the years, Gunther developed a distaste for the UPS man, and the big brown truck. We receive packages frequently. I could always tell we were getting a package because Gunther would start to growl when the truck was coming down the street. 

As much as he disliked the UPS man/truck, he loved diapers and garbage. Especially dirty diapers. We learned to keep the garbage pail in a secure area but he never let an opportunity go to waste, right up to the very end. 

Rose came with me to the vet and I was so happy to have her there with me. It is never easy to say goodbye, even when the time is right. 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

He's come a long way.

Zhen has his first music program tonight. This is amazing to me!

This is a child that began his life as a reject...unloved and unwanted. It took a huge toll on him. Many developmental milestones came and went in 3 1/2 years. He only learned how to be helpless...and to be afraid of human contact. 

We've seen so much growth in him over the past four years. And recently he has done things I never imagined that he would speaking (he has a few consistent words!). He has begun to connect with other people in new ways. I actually caught him singing along with a Veggietales video!

I had the privilege of sharing about Zhen with his general Ed class last week. Here are the photos he displayed. So, tonight he will perform a program with the kids, all of whom are very respectful and friendly. Hes been in school for four years, but this is the first year I felt he could handle participating in a program. He's come a very long so many ways. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Joy and sorrow

They often go together and give life it's distinctive addictive flavor. We can't know one without the other. The flavors get more intense as we age. I sometimes wonder how deeply one can feel the hurts and sorrows of life and yet, continue to get out of bed each morning. 

My joy today: The matching grant for Dmitry's family was met in a little over a day. Not just met, but unmistakeably blown out of the water. Big gifts and small added up to over $3000...$4000 with the match. Big gifts and small added up to a huge blessing, for the givers and the receivers. A love bomb!

This is joy! The little boy known to us as Dmitry, and who his family will call Zebediah, may never know how you helped his family perform this mission of love, but his life is about to change for the better. And we got to take part in this! 

My sorrow today: My dog, Gunther Apollo is dying. He has claimed the love seat in the front room and refusing to move, or eat. He has lost a shocking amount of muscle mass in just a week. I'm giving him some over the counter meds recommended by a vet friend, just in case it's something else and he might get better in time. But at the age of 13, we all know that his time is coming soon. 

Soon I will have to answer questions like, "do animals go to Heaven?" My answers won't be good enough. I hope so, though, handsome boy.