Monday, February 25, 2013

I say 'good bye' to my best friend

Lacee's last day, doing what she did best.
This is the post that I wish I would never have to type out. Our dog, Lacee, had lost the fight against old age. She was my best friend, my relentless companion, my walking partner, and my 'rug'. She could sleep through a hurricane, but at the first hint of food being put in her bowl, it was like she had bionic hearing. Her crunchies and green beans were her favorite--but, then again, what wasn't?

She was well-traveled, having made numerous trips to visit family in Missouri, as well as a long-distance road trip to Indiana last year. She rode like a champ, spending most of the time laying on her favorite pillow, looking around like Queen Astor. She was the best companion for traveling...or for anything.

Her condition started out as just a slight limp, but within a few days, she had become almost immobile. As with many big dog breeds, her back had issues, and there was nerve impingement and some pretty severe pain. It was inoperable because of her age, and simply because there wasn't much that could be done. Surgery would be extremely expensive, and the results were unpredictable, at best. So, after spending more than a week with several veterinarians, trying different therapies, drugs and shots, we had to make the decision that nobody wants to make.

Lacee's final moments in the vet's office. The towel was
used to help carry her back end, which no longer could
support her.

We took her to see Dr. Andrea Razer, whose tableside manner and gentle kindness had always been welcome, especially in a time like this. She offered her condolences, and her soft-spoken professionalism as she administered the final dose. Taarna (Madison) was there to assist, but in her true style, she bawled and squalled like a baby.

It was a very difficult time, and being 8,000 miles away made it extremely difficult for me. She was my closest friend, and to not be there for her or with her in her final moments is a regret that I won't soon live down. I am just glad that she was surrounded by those who loved her and whom she trusted.

It's never easy to lose your best friend, but if there was ever a poster pet for rescuing, Lacee would be it. The perfect dog with the perfect attitude. Never barked, never bit, and only wanted a scratch. I will miss you, Lacee...and you will never be forgotten.

Friday, February 08, 2013

"Welcome" to Afghanistan?

So, after 11 months in the land of expansive sand and sun, I made the choice to move on to Afghanistan. This option afforded two things--a change of scenery, as well as an increase in pay. The change in scenery isn't much--mountains instead of sand dunes, and grass and trees instead of sand and rock. As for the pay increase...well, that one needs no explanation. I'm here to make the money, and the uplift is significant. My time is limited, however; I will be homeward bound on June 1, unless something drastic happens, or I can't find gainful employment in the meantime. Time will tell there.

Because life here is much like Groundhog Day, there isn't really much to report on. I did make a trip home in November of last year, and had a grand time. I reacquainted with family, hung out with my dog, and drove my oh-so-awesome car. But, like all good things, the trip ended too soon. I was back in the land of sand and rock mere days later...awaiting my final return home.

As for the kids, the boy has finally entered college after being out of high school for a mere 5 years. I hold my breath for the time being, as history hasn't really worked in his favor too much. He did manage to pick up a vehicle that is 100% his, and not something that some apathetic bag of protoplasm had bought for him to let him use and abuse at will. We shall see how it goes, but each day that passes simply adds to the hope. The girl...has a much different story. She has bounced around from house to house, living nowhere for more than a couple of weeks, using her friends up like old toilet paper, destroying friendships over made-up drama, and lying like there's no tomorrow. My hope for her is that she'll eventually tire of the lifestyle of a gypsy, but at this point, I don't know. I did provide he with financing for a car, which went south almost immediately. The car was repossessed and repurchased, all within just a few short weeks. As I said...hope isn't very high right now, but we must soldier on.

I wish I could say there's more to report, but other than the minor day-to-day bullshit, it's just eat, work, sleep. Once I'm closer to being gone, I'll exert more effort. Want to see pictures? They're either in my Picasa album or on my Facebook/Google+ page. That's all I have for now. Until next time....