Changes

My home is in a state of unadulterated chaos at the moment.  Stuff is strewn everywhere as we attempt to wrassle the contents of two persons’ households into boxes in anticipation of a move to a new city in [checks notes] six days.  A contractor is stomping around the house, replacing a bunch of ungrounded outlets and making other repairs identified in a home inspection report.  “Oh Sherrie” was blaring from his cell phone, but, hail satan, he turned it off a little while ago.  Jess is upstairs on a call.  And I’m hanging out with a blind dog who is prowling around the dining room and barking, because there is just Too Much Going On.

One day life will be quiet again, and it will feel strange and I probably won’t know what to do with myself.  In the meantime, though… I will do my best to not lose my goddamn mind.

As I alluded earlier, Kirby is currently blind.  Poor guy lost his brother and his vision on the same day.  That evening Kirby was suddenly unsure of his surroundings, running into things, etc.  By the next day, he wasn’t even reacting to light.  Jess shared a little more background on social the other day:

Kirby’s (third round of) uveitis took a turn we’ve always hoped to avoid. His inflammation worsened to partial retinal detachment in both eyes and severely decreased vision. Over the last week, the pressure in both eyes started increasing as well and he’s now completely blind. Unfortunately, his eyes are too foggy to see his retinas without an ultrasound so we don’t know how things look at the moment, but we’re hopeful a concoction of eyedrops and oral steroids will reduce inflammation, keep him from developing secondary glaucoma, and help restore his vision (whether this is possible is yet to be seen and a test of our patience).

Kirby had a follow-up appointment yesterday.  The inflammation is significantly down, but they still can’t see his retinas.  The vet said there is still some hope the retinas will reattach once the inflammation is gone.  Until then, we are trying to help him navigate this sudden change, which means, ideally, keeping him in familiar surroundings.

So of course it’s the perfect time to move, right?

Which we are doing, next week.  In short, Jess was offered a really good job in Columbus, one that warrants a move.  I already work from home full-time, so where I live doesn’t impact my job.  We found a house to rent in a cute neighborhood that’s within walking distance of the Short North, so we won’t be lacking in places to eat and drink. And for the first time in pretty much forever, almost all of our human and dog medical providers will be in the same city.

I’m sad to be leaving the city I’ve lived in all my life, of course, but excited for new adventures.

More later.  Now it’s time to resume attacking the empty boxes upstairs that are just screaming to be filled with stuff.

RIP, Fozzie Bear

When Jess and I first started dating, the dogs were… maybe not suspicious, but at least a little wary of me. After all, I was a strange new human who’d suddenly entered their lives. A human who didn’t appreciate them hogging all of the bed, was taking up far too much of their mom’s time, and who didn’t really know to interact with dogs beyond the theoretical. Wariness was not only understandable, it was fully justified.

But Fozzie was never that way with me.

He was the first of our trio to really take a shine to me.  I like to joke that Fozzie and I are both more cat-like: we like our space and quiet, and don’t require a lot of attention.  This made us fast pals.  But when Fozzie did want affection and pets, he would come to me.  I can’t count the number of times that I would be doing something and would feel his intense gaze staring up at me from the floor.  Or see him stand up and slap his gigantic front paws on the footstool, as if to say, “hello friend I am ready for a belly rub.”

Fozzie passed away last weekend. Thanks to Lap of Love, he was able to do so quietly and peacefully in our backyard — one of his favorite places to explore — in his favorite bed, surrounded by the people who loved him. We spent the days leading up to Sunday smothering him in attention (even though he slept for much of it), and giving him all the food he wanted to eat (he was particularly enamored with bacon) and all the greenies he could stomach. We had Fozzie for seven months longer than we’d expected, thanks to the amazing care provided by Dr. Okonkowski at MedVet. We thought of these as bonus months. During this time Fozzie experienced some of the happiest times of his life. He got to go to the beach again. He was more affectionate and demanding of attention than ever before. We were only too happy to oblige.

If I have any regrets it’s that I only got to know Fozzie for the last four years of his very long life (19 years). I would have loved to see Fozzie as a tiny terror of a puppy, with paws as big as his face. So sure, more years would have been great, but the four years I did have with my beloved Elder Dog were beyond great — they were life-alteringly good. I am grateful to have had them and that I was able to know such a good, sweet boy. I’ll treasure those four years for the rest of my life.

Fozzie, we love you and miss you.  See you on the other side, buddy bear.