Archive for June, 2011

To celebrate my father-in-law’s 79th birthday, my mother-in-law took us out to dinner at the SeaGrille last night. My in-laws both ordered blue fish which is never on my culinary radar. Charlie chose the Fisherman’s Platter because he always goes for the most bang for your buck!

Instead of choosing my usual stuffed shrimp or broiled scallops, I chose something called Free Form Ravioli. The list of ingredients were definitely tempting. I had no idea what Free Form Ravioli would look like, but it intrigued me.

Rather than stuff individual raviolis with ricotta cheese and tiny bits of fish, the chef piled the ingredients on top of each other in one delicious heap. The pasta was cut in rectangular sheets instead of neat little squares pinched together – one sheet at the bottom of the dish and one at the top, not connected. The ricotta cheese, warm, with a sprinkling of herbs, formed the mushy but yummy core. In between the pasta sheets and covering the cheese were huge chunks of lobster, shrimp, and scallops mixed together with mushrooms and tomatoes.  Crispy leak shavings were sprinkled on top adding more flavor and a little crunch to my dinner.

What a brilliant idea – Free Form Ravioli!  I love ravioli, but have always felt that the pasta and the cheese overwhelm anything else one may add – shrimp, lobster, etc. By going beyond the ravioli limits – taking the filling out of the pasta – you can have all of these wonderful flavors mixed together on an equal basis. A bite of pasta, a dab of cheese, a huge chunk of lobster. Mmmmmmmmmm!

Free Form Ravioli serves as a fabulous metaphor for summers on Nantucket. Our days are the same as when we’re home – we eat, we sleep, we cook and we clean. But days on Nantucket are not contained by the mundane in the same way my dinner last night was not contained by small squares of pasta. Summer here is relaxed and full of delights. We stroll through town eating ice cream and stop to converse with a stranger who has a friendly dog. We spend hours on the beach reading, swimming, combing for shells, sea glass and special stones. We linger over our meals with friends and family. We awaken to the sound of the foghorn in the distance. We give our children more leeway – allowing them to walk to town on their own and stock up on sweets at the candy store. We argue and laugh over who found the best treasures at the dump!

Eventually my summer here on Nantucket will end and I will return to the real world.  Instead of bringing home souvenirs maybe I’ll bring home the way I feel – relaxed and taking joy in simple pleasures – and live a little more like Free Form Ravioli…


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I had thirty pages left in the Bill Bryson book I was reading, so I ventured into town yesterday hoping to find something fun to read. I packed two other books with me on this trip, but I wasn’t in the mood to read about education and learning theories right now.  I’m on vacation!

Here are the books I chose at the library:


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling ~ I read the final Harry Potter  book the day it came out in 2007.  I told my husband he was in charge of the boys, locked myself in my room for a marathon session, and finished within 24 hours.  I read it again last year when my boys were reading the series for the first time on their own.   What a blast we had discussing each book and watching the movies together (only after the books were finished).  My younger son decided to reread The Deathly Hallows since the last movie comes out in July.   He finished right before we left, so I didn’t have time to read it too.  The book is quite large and luggage space limited so I figured it would be easier to get it from the library here on Nantucket.

The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern ~ I have read a few of her books in the past, but that is not why I chose this book.  My husband and I have been watching reruns of Ms. Ahern’s show Samanth Who? on Netflix this week.  Then the very first book I looked at on the shelf was hers.  The universe seemed to be telling me something and who am I to argue with the universe!

The Union Quilters by Jennifer Chiaverini – I’ve read all the other Elm Creek Quilts books.  I added this book to my pile.

Under the Harrow by Mark Dunn ~ Our good friend’s sister is married to a writer named Mark Dunn so I picked up the book to see if it was his.  Apparently, there are two authors named Mark Dunn because this was not the Mark Dunn we know.  I read the back cover of the book and noticed that this author had written a book I very much enjoyed a few years ago, Ella Minnow Pea.  The other book was quirky and fun, so why not try another.

My theory on library books is simple and twofold.  Check them out, you don’t have to read them if you don’t like them – life is too short to read a book you don’t enjoy and are not required to read.  And, it is better to have more books than not enough.

I continued on my quest for books, strolling through town to my absolute favorite bookstore in the world, Nantucket Bookworks.  Unfortunately, I was not able to fully browse for hours on end the way I normally do because my arms were already full of library books which were getting heavier by the second.  Every year I peruse the shelves of this small, but fabulous, bookstore over the course of numerous visits before making any purchases, but not today.  Today I was ready for more books.  Different books.  Books that called to me.  Rather than second guess my choices, I went with gut instinct.  This is what I chose:

private life by Jane Smiley ~  I have to admit, I liked the cover.  I read the summary on the back.  I noticed that the story takes place during WWII.  Why not.

A Truth Universally Acknowledged:  33 Great Writers on Why We Read Jane Austen ~ Yes, I am that obsessed with Jane Austen and her novels (fan-fiction too).

The Case for Books:  Past, Present, and Future by Robert Darnton – Apparently, I have become one of those people.  I bought a book about books.  I chuckled to myself as I recalled that Brian Regan comedy routine about watching fishing on TV.  Part of the reason I chose this book is because I have been contemplating the purchase of a NOOK or Kindle.  Considering I was willing to lug 10 pounds of books home yesterday, leads me to believe that I’m not completely sold on the idea of an e-reader.

I finished the Bill Bryson book last night.  Now my problem is figuring out which book to read first!  Sometimes I wish I could just devour books whole.  But I’ll look at my collection, see what strikes my fancy, and then savor every word.

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An ode to Cool Whip

Yesterday I made two pies

Cream cheese, Cool Whip, powdered sugar, and vanilla

Blended with a mixer older than me

Scooped into graham cracker crusts

Topped with fresh island berries

Eat less dinner

Consume more pie!

Homemade whipped cream is absolutely sublime – a heavenly blend of the most basic, real ingredients.  Cream.  Powdered sugar. Vanilla.   However, I’ve killed as many batches of real whipped cream as I’ve made.  I over whipped.  I under whipped.  I added too much vanilla.  I didn’t add enough sugar.  The cream wasn’t cold enough.  The bowl wasn’t cold enough.  The cream wasn’t fresh.  It just wouldn’t whip!

Cool Whip, on the other hand,  just requires you to cut off the plastic wrapper and open the tub. Voila!

According to Wikipedia, from 1967 until 2010 the only thing dairy about Cool Whip was the sodium caseinate.  In fact it was called a nondairy topping.  Starting last year, skim milk and light cream were added to the recipe, but the amounts are pretty minimal considering the first four ingredients are water, hydrogenated vegetable oil, high fructose corn syrup, and corn syrup.  Well, at least water is a naturally occurring substance…

Cool Whip allows you to make quick, easy, and fun desserts.  My pies last night were perfect for a summer evening.

Yesterday was an amazing beach day – the sun was warm and shining bright, a blue cloudless sky, the water was a perfect temperature, the kids were busy and more importantly not driving me crazy.  We savored every last minute on the beach, reluctantly leaving around 6:00. As we drove home I began to panic – we had to be at our friend’s house for dinner at 7 and I was bringing dessert which I hadn’t even started yet!  Thanks to my tub of Cool Whip, the pies were made and in the refrigerator before the kids were done with their showers. OK, so it wasn’t the healthiest of desserts but it sure was yummy!

So I have decided that this shall be the summer of Cool Whip using recipes found  online as well as experimenting on my own.

Cool Whip is yummy

A dairy topping sort of

It makes good desserts

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Footprints on the beach

Every year my family spends three to four weeks on the island of Nantucket.  My in-laws have a house here and they are more than generous in sharing it with all of us.  If you’ve never been, Nantucket is a small island 30 miles south of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  With miles and miles of beaches, a quaint town, cobblestone streets, grey houses with white trim, and huge fog banks – Nantucket is an island paradise New England style.

My boys, ages 9 and 11, love spending time here (truth be told we all do).  They walk into town, drink vanilla cokes at the pharmacy lunch counter, stock up on sweets at the candy store, find treasures in the little stores, and play cards in the garden of the Atheneum (somehow I seem to look the other way regarding their sugar intake on this island).
Afternoons are spent at various beaches around the island – each with it’s own special charm.  There’s the south side of the island with it’s big wave beaches.  Early in the season it’s a real treat to see a seal bobbing up and down in the waters.  Yes, the water is that cold and yet we swim – we swim until we can’t feel our extremities anymore.  The north side of the island has warmer temperatures and calmer waters where my older son loves to snorkel.  Yesterday he saw a small shark, 2 squids, various hermit crabs, and schools of minnows.

The compulsion to dig is not one they seem to outgrow.  Shovels have gotten larger and the resulting holes enormous.  The excitement they show when they hit water never fails. I have dozens of pictures depicting the two of them sitting with all their friends and cousins in ginormous holes.  But life is not all fun and games.  The rule is that the hole must be filled in before we leave.  We try to be respectful of the beach.  Mostly, we don’t want some unsuspecting person to fall and break their leg.

Another rule that has been ingrained in them since birth – you may not play or dig on the dunes.  To us it is just common sense, erosion of the dunes will ultimately cause erosion of the beach.  It appears as if not everyone knows this.  Every year we see children playing and digging on the dunes causing huge chunks of dune to fall – rivers of sand sliding away.  I’m not sure where the parents are during this time.  Even if I didn’t know that the dunes are there for a reason, I would stop my kids from what looks like destruction of a beautiful part of the island.  But no.  It is always upon us to preserve and protect our beautiful dunes.  I send my children over to politely explain that you must cease and desist – digging and playing on the dunes is just not allowed.  They continue to dig.  And so, now I must walk over…

Me (in my best Kindergarten teacher voice):  Hi.  I just thought I’d let you know that you really aren’t allowed to dig or play on the dunes.
Kids (ranging in ages from 8 – 13):  Oh, we didn’t know.
Me:  Yes, you see digging and playing in the dunes destroys the dunes then the beach will be destroyed and we won’t have a beach anymore.  So, now you understand and you have this whole big beach (arm waving towards the beach) full of sand to dig.
Kids:  Oh, but we want the red sand and we can only get the red sand here.
Me:  Yes, the red sand is very pretty, but you can’t dig here.
Kids:  Well, we really like the red sand.
Me:  I’m sure you do, but you really can’t dig the red sand.
Kids:  What about over there? We can get the red sand there! (points to another lower part of the dune)
Me: Nope, that’s still part of the dune.
Kids:  Oh.
Me:  You can dig in all this other sand, but you can’t dig in the red sand (which is soil people not sand).
Kids:  Oh.  OK.

Throughout this entire exchange no adults belonging to these children acknowledged that this discussion was occurring.  This was very disconcerting to me.  If some random adult purposefully walked over to my children and was having a conversation with them, I would  get up to find out what was going on.  If someone was explaining to my children that what they were doing was not allowed, I would say something like, “Oh gosh we had know idea. I’m so sorry.  Thank you so much for letting us know.  I’ll make sure they don’t play up there anymore.”  But no.  I walked away without any acknowledgement whatsoever.

I try to keep my ecological footprint small in all walks of life, but especially on the beach.  Sure, I could stay off the beach completely and have zero ecological impact, but the beach feeds my soul in a way no other part of nature does.  So, I will go to the beach and continue to teach my children (and occasionally other people’s children) how to keep their footprints small as well.

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Best dog in the world

     was 2.7 pounds when we adopted her
     fit in the palm of my hand when we took her home
     would steal our socks off our feet by tugging at them when she wanted to play
     didn’t really bark
     hated when she had bows on her ears after being groomed
     would shiver when she was cold but refuse to wear her sweater
     would wriggle out of her sweater if we actually got it on her
     loved the boys from the time they were born
     would sit close to whomever was holding the baby – watching over them
     stole Obi’s binky and would walk around with it in her mouth
     jumped into the basket of the stroller so we wouldn’t forget her on the walk
     liked to sit in the carseat when it was on the floor
     jumped into the swing and the high chair at different times
     loved to pose for pictures with the boys
     would kiss the babies
     would eat all the food the boys dropped on the floor
     stole dirty tissues which she would eat (ick)
     tackled bones bigger than she
     loved to make her toys squeak
     hated the water but could swim (we checked)
     loved to run on the beach as far as she could go
     dug under Ron’s chair on the beach to sit in the shade
     walked parallel to us above the waterline as we strolled the beach
     loved the ivy in my mother-in-law’s yard on Nantucket
     wouldn’t eat until everyone was in bed at night
     waited by the door for Charlie to come home
     loved to frolic in the snow
     hated super cold weather
     never bit anyone
     loved to sit on Charlie’s shoulder when he was on the couch – like a parrot
     loved to go on walks
     would run to the door if you jingled her leash
     threw up 3 times on the trip to Martha’s Vineyard when I threw up 5
     was so excited when we got home we’d have to go outside because she’d pee
     HATED baths
     occasionally tried to venture out on her own down the street
     put Levi in his place when we were in New Hampshire
     shared her sun patch with Milo the cat, but at a distance
     loved bacon treats but not the crunchy treats
     ‘s tail would curl up on her back when she was happiest
     asked permission before stealing Lou’s apple
     would eat any food or snacks left in my bag
     attacked Snoopy
     licked the remains of an ice cream tub
     did not like Bonnie at all
     loved Grandmama and Malissa
     brought me a cracker as I recuperated from a night out with Charlie & Alvaro
     took the chocolate chip cookies on the table and buried them outside
     buried her pig’s ears outside
     slowly went blind
     learned to maneuver around the house despite being blind
     whined when she needed to jump off the bed or the couch
     would jump off the bed or couch when you said, “JUMP!”
     would only bark when someone was at the door
     would tilt her head to the side with the cutest look on her face
     had the softest fur
     liked to stick her head out the window when riding in the car
     preferred to sit on Charlie’s lap in the car than on the other seat
     traveled to California, Arizona, Texas, New York, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Massachusetts
     was a trooper on our hike in Evergreen when we got lost and soaked in the rain
     sailed over night on Lou’s boat and didn’t go to the bathroom for 24 hours
     tolerated Buster when he would visit
     did not understand how to play fetch
     would chase after flies by the living room window, kill them, and eat them
     chomped on popcorn
     wouldn’t leave the kids alone when they were eating popcorn during a movie
     mooched oranges
     loved sunflower seeds
     could eat an entire apple over the course of a few days
     liked to eat carrots and broccoli
     LOVED cheese
     could eat the cheese around her medicine and spit out the pill
     waited in front of the oven when dinner was done
     tried to get the Valentine’s treats and got stuck in the top of a shoe box
     hid in the downstairs bathroom cabinet
     was very funny when I made her mime “Stop! In the Name of Love.”
     hated to go to the groomer
     hated going to the vet
     knew we were at the vet’s or the groomer’s before we’d get out of the car
     was always awesome in her carrier on the plane,
     (except for the one time we flew to Nantucket on a prop plane)
     was terrified of woodpeckers – she’d run to the other end of the house
     would jump all over Charlie licking him if you said, “where’s the daddy?”
     loved to sit in a sun patch on the carpet or the couch
     had her own bed but rarely slept in it
     could be found sleeping in the laundry basket
     buried herself in the depths of our closet upstairs
     burrowed in the mess of the office closet
     would hide somewhere and not come out making us all frantic
     occasionally got stuck under the deck on Nantucket
     played with the big dogs on Nantucket & ran back to us when they got rough
     liked to sleep on top of a pillow on the couch
     would mush up against you when sitting on the couch
     loved Charlie more than anyone else
     learned to lick me only on the tip of my nose or on my hands
     would lick Charlie all over the face
     slept under the covers when it was really cold
     went into the shower with Charlie a few times (even though she hated water)
     always seemed to know when I was talking to Charlie on the phone
     couldn’t be more loving and cuddly
     was the sweetest dog around
     was absolutely adorable
     was the best dog in the world!

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Flip flops and Mary Janes

I learned to tie my shoes when  I was about five years old.  We lived in an apartment in the Bronx and my mother had spent all morning trying to get me to tie my shoes.  I couldn’t do it.  No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t tie my shoes!  The way I remember it, I gave up and in a fit of frustration my mother stormed out of the apartment.  I was terrified.  Where did she go?  When would she come back?

So this is what really happened – my mother left me to my temper tantrum, went next door to ask our neighbors something, and came back within five minutes.  As my mother told her version of the story, I asked her why it was so important for me to learn how to tie my shoes.  Her response, “They wouldn’t let you go to Kindergarten at St. Mary’s if you couldn’t tie your shoes!”

Determining whether or not a child is ready for Kindergarten based on their shoe-tying ability is not really fair in 2011.  Most parents, myself included, purchase shoes for our children without laces.  My classroom is filled with flip flops, Crocs, Cars shaped Crocs, sandals, sneakers, boots, and my favorite – the Mary Janes with velcro.  Not only do our children not have to learn how to tie shoes, they don’t even have to learn how to use a buckle!  By St. Mary’s criteria, only one or two of my students would be considered ready to enter Kindergarten each year.


Besides determining whether or not my future students are ready for Kindergarten (and subsequently first grade), I think about being ready all the time.  Perhaps it’s a function of my OCD tendencies – I obsess over minute details ensuring that I am prepared for  all possibilities.  Perhaps I was a boy scout in a former life.  Whatever the reason, it seems that most of my life is spent getting ready for something.  Getting ready to go.   Getting ready for bed.  Getting ready for school.  Getting ready for college.  Getting ready for the exam.  Getting ready for the performance.  Getting ready for a trip.  Getting ready for the holidays.  Getting ready for work.  Getting ready for the wedding.  Getting ready for the baby.  Getting the kids ready.

But no matter how much time and effort I put in to getting ready, life is more like a game of Hide & Seek – ready or not here I come!

We weren’t ready to lose our dog this week.  It was supposed to be just a routine dental procedure.  Maddie woke up from the procedure and was never the same again.  Her physical life with us ended on Tuesday, but her mental life ended last Thursday when she never fully recovered from the anesthesia.  I am truly grateful that we had that time with her.  In a way we were getting ready to let her go completely.  We could snuggle with her, pet her, kiss her, and just be with her.  Yes, it was painful to hear her whimper and cry during those sleepless nights, but it would have been so much harder if she never woke up from the anesthesia.  We wouldn’t have been able to say good-bye.

I took care of all the details.  I signed the paperwork.  I paid the doctor’s bills.  I arranged for the ashes to be delivered to us.  I called our vet at home to tell her the sad news.  I baked the clay paw print the vet made in her office.  I put away her collar, her leash, and all her medications so we’re not surprised by them.  I did this all for my husband, because he could not.  We all loved Maddie, but she was truly his dog – like Snoopy and Charlie Brown.  As sad as I am, I know he is even more so.  I think a part of my sadness is for him.  I never truly felt those words, “I am sorry for your loss,” as much as I do right now.  I am always sorry when someone loses a family member or a friend.  But the sadness I feel for my husband right now overshadows the loss I feel for Maddie.

There is a piece missing from our family right now, but I won’t be getting ready to fill that missing piece.  Time will eventually make the missing piece feel a little smaller and we will get another dog.  The new puppy won’t fill in Maddie’s piece, but carve a new one into our family circle.

Despite my OCD tendencies, life is going to happen whether I am ready or not.  I can’t avoid any parts the way I avoided shoes with laces for my boys.   Perhaps I need a little retail therapy today – a pair of pink, sparkly Mary Janes with velcro straps seem to be calling me (just don’t tell Sister S. from St. Mary’s).

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Circling, circling, circling

Circling, circling, circling until she would collapse, that is how our beloved pet spent her last five days on this earth.

Last Wednesday we took our 13 year old shih tzu to the vet for her annual check-up.  Other than some heinously bad breath, sweet little Maddie was a healthy, happy, blind as a bat, little dog. Well, the doctor told us that her tooth was infected and a mass was growing on her gum.  The tooth needed to come out and the mass removed.  The doctor explained that dental work on a dog requires anesthesia, but it’s pretty routine.

Thursday morning we brought Maddie to the vet for her to have her dental issues taken care of and some tartar scraped off of her teeth.  I anxiously carried my cell phone close to my heart all day (I have a tendency to stick my phone in my bra), waiting for the call from the vet saying everything was OK.  Finally the call came.  The procedure went well, the mass was easily removed.  Maddie was awake, but agitated.  We picked her up early thinking that being at home would calm her down

When we arrived at the vet’s office they brought Maddie to us.  Normally she would greet us with her tail wagging frantically as she would squirm out of the technician’s arms to get to us.  On this day, she seemed disoriented.  We figured the anesthesia hadn’t worn off and the pain killers were kicking in.  We took her home and figured she would sleep for the rest of the day, after all that’s what she would do 20 hours a day on any other day.

Maddie didn’t sleep during the day.  She wandered aimlessly around the house and began to circle.  We thought when my husband came home she would settle down a bit.  That wasn’t to be.  She didn’t even seem to recognize him.  That night we went upstairs to bed and brought Maddie with us as we always do.  Sleep completely alluded us that night.  She whimpered, whined, and cried all night.  Could she be in pain?  We knew she had a pretty heavy duty pain killer in her system, so she she shouldn’t be in pain.  Every time we tried to settle her into bed with us she would squirm and whine.  She wanted to be on the floor.  She wanted to circle.  All night we did this.  Eventually she collapsed in my arms for 30 minutes of rest, but it wasn’t enough.

Back to the vet we went.  No, she can’t be in pain.  The painkiller is pretty heavy duty and truly the dental work hadn’t been that invasive.  The circling seems to indicate that she has a neurological problem – a blood clot or a brain tumor.  Perhaps it’s an allergic reaction to the medication.  We tried benadryl but with limited effect.  The whining stopped, but the circling did not and she still wouldn’t sleep.  We spent another sleepless night with our circling dog.  She always circled to the right.  Starting with big circles and spiraling inward  finally reaching the center point when she would spin without moving her rear legs until she’d collapse.  After a few moments she’d pick herself up and start with large cirlces again.

During the day she would circle.  At night she would circle and whine and cry.  It would break our hearts to hear her.  Our dog who slept 20 hours a day hadn’t slept in days.  She wouldn’t eat.  She wouldn’t drink.  She couldn’t smell.  She didn’t know us.  She was just a circling dog.

On Saturday my husband went back to the vet to pick up a prescription for doggie valium.  We thought, if she would just sleep she would feel so much better.  Again the circling continued during the day and she seemed almost calmer.  That night she started the crying again.  We tried the valium.  She ate some turkey.  She drank some water.  We had a glimmer of hope.  My husband brought her outside since she drank so much water.  He called to me – “You have to come see this.”  Our sad little doggie was having the time of her life prancing around in circles on our lawn.  Yes, prancing.  She couldn’t have been happier it seemed.  Her body, fed and watered, seemed ecstatic.  But the tell tale signs that all was not well were still there.  She was prancing in a circle – always to the right.  Her tail was as low as it could go.

We thought after all her running outside, the food, the water, and the valium she would sleep.  No.  We spent our third sleepless night letting her pace and circle.  She whined and cried all night.

On Sunday we saw the vet again. She had never seen a dog come out of anesthesia like this before.  She could send us to a neurologist, but Maddie still might not recover.  By Sunday afternoon the morphine-like pain killers wore off and Maddie was finally able to rest some – 20 maybe 30 minutes at a time.  Again that night was the same as the other nights – the whining and crying, the pacing and circling.

Monday afternoon we flew to Boston with her.  The trip had been planned for months.  As of Wednesday she had been scheduled to stay with our friend for the month we would be gone.  We brought her with us because we needed to be with her as much as she needed to be with us.  Somehow we managed to feed her a McDonald’s hamburger with the valium.  Not the healthiest food to feed a dog, but it was calories and valium inside her.  Calm as a cucumber she was throughout the entire flight.  We were so grateful.  We had hope.  If she’s sleeping maybe she’ll be better.  Monday night was the worst night.  She was almost inconsolable despite the medication we’d given her.  She whimpered and whined in my arms squirming to get out so she could circle the floor.  The compulsion to go clockwise seemed to overwhelm her.  A few times she turned into a corner and got stuck.   She’d cry and cry pushing against the furniture hoping it would budge so she could continue on her path.  She wouldn’t turn to the left.  She was happiest outside, running in circles so that’s where my husband spent the night.

We decided to call a local veterinarian Tuesday morning.  Maddie wasn’t getting better, in fact she seemed to be getting worse in some ways.  Yes, she was prancing around outside – but always in a circle.  She was refusing to eat.  She hadn’t had much to drink.  And while she would rest, she wouldn’t sleep for much longer than a cat nap.  She couldn’t smell.  She didn’t know who we were.  Our happy, loving dog was no longer with us mentally.  The new vet did not have much hope for us either.  There were a few more drugs we could try, but we said no.

My husband said good-bye to Maddie and ran outside.  This was so hard for him.  The doctor gave her a sedative to calm her down.

I sat there in the office with my Maddie, holding her, petting her, kissing her.  I told her about all the wonderful memories we had of her.  How everyone loved her and thought she was the cutest dog ever.  How sweet and kind she was.  How much she loved our boys when they were born and would watch over them.  How she stole Obi’s binkies.   How she would stow away in the basket of the stroller not wanting to be left behind for the afternoon walk. How she watched over them.   How she loved to pose for pictures with them.  How much she loved going to the beach and digging under our friend’s chair for shade.  How she would run and run and run on the beach, occasionally stopping to look back at us making sure we knew where she was.  How she HATED going in the water and would walk just above the water line parallel to us as we strolled on the beach.  How she loved the snow which would cling to her coat in huge clumps, but hated the cold.  How she would curl up in bed every night with Charlie snacking on popcorn and sunflower seeds with him.  How popcorn was her favorite and it was almost impossible to watch a movie and eat popcorn when she was around.  How she would get so excited to see us, she would pee.  How she would wait at the door for Charlie to get home.

I told her what a sweet puppy she was – what a good puppy she was.  I told her how very much we loved her and how much we were going to miss her.  I told her how very, very sorry that she had to suffer as she did the last five days.

I stayed with Maddie as the doctor administered the drugs that would stop her heart.  I had too.  Maddie loved our family so much. After watching her maniacally circling for five days, I needed to see my adorable, sweet puppy at peace again.

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