Thursday, February 27, 2014

And like always.... it's winding down....

As we are nearing the end of our trip, I think I’ll bring you all up to speed on where we’ve been and what we’ve done.  On Tuesday we left Mom’s and headed west.   First destination, Cabo Rojo.  Made it there, cute little town ~ Boquerón, and found this great little eatery ~  Galloways….. Sweet little sea side restaurant in Boquerón... and it is....                      

The food was great, I was able to get an actual salad. A chicken ceasar salad!   Years of experience has taught me that when In Puerto Rico and I order a salad, I usually get a wedge of iceberg lettuce a slice of tomato and some thousand island dressing. (aka catsup and mayo).  Good salads are hard to come by on this sweet little island and like gold when we find a place that serves one.  Jay and Trace had fish or something or other and the drinks there were second to none!   The rum was flowing, drinks were good.  The entertainment was great… we had these large, extremely large fish swimming around, and the fun was in the feeding them.  Playing with my fisheye lens, I took what I think is one of the more fun pics of the trip.

After eating we went out on an adventure.  Headed down the road to find a beach, any beach. We ended up at a park.  Apparently a national park, National Wildlife Refuge.  Beautiful seaside park, with cabins beach side to rent.  Since it’s winter right now the place was pretty empty.  Just us and the birds and occasional perro.  

We spent the day in the sun, on the beach.  A sweet little inlet, very much like the ones we know on Vieques. 

On the road again, heading east.  I am so twisted with my directions here.  I always associate the shore on the east coast, not the north or west or south….  It was supposed to be a simple trip from Cabo Rojo to Ponce, but like all our road trips here on the island, the actual roads don’t match the roads on the map,  the signs are either covered by foliage or nonexistent and it ends up taking much longer that anticipated.

Made it to our hotel in Ponce and headed out to explore the town.  Given it was the night before Carnaval, not much was going on.  We did get the lay of the land, ate at the Ramada in town and headed back for a good night rest.  I did learn I can be a Martini girl at dinner.  Seems the drink I really wanted wasn't in season.  So I ended up with a Lola Martini.... Tracy said given it was made with Rum,  Rum and fruit juices, there wasn't any trace of martini in the glass, I did love it though.

Wednesday we spent the day by the pool resting up for Carnaval!  We headed into town around 3, grabbed some pinchos, and mask shopping. 

We had the treat of the trip when we started talking to one little shop owner who had a beautiful art gallery upstairs.  Tracy convinced the owner to give us a private tour.  Wow!   The artwork was beautiful.    It was a hidden gem… beautiful paintings, huge ornate masks.  We learned a little about the masks and how they were made and how they are valued.  The most expensive are the most ornate.  Like with teeth, and tongs, and many horns.  He showed us one for a few thousand dollars that is being sent to a designer in Florida.  We wanted to buy a mask or two, but the cost and the difficulty transporting it made us decide not to.  Jay did buy a pretty painting of a yellow flamboyant tree by Ponce artist Jorge Romero.  He decided to have it shipped home and carrying it would not have worked. 

 After our food and shopping we found the best seat in town (AT 4pm!) in anticipation of Carnaval starting at 7:30pm!  Crazy right!  Right!   It was fun!  The masks were incredible.  What was really fun was walking around afterward seeing all the young men dressed in the costumes.  We even found a puppy dressed up!

It was a long night, made it home really tired.  This morning we set out for our final adventure and adventure it was.    The front desk staff gave us accurate directions to the Tibes Indigenous Ceremonial Center.  An ancient Ceremonial site uncovered in 1975 after tropical storm Eloisa.  Before the storm and eventual excavation, it was thought the the Tainos were the first tribes of Puerto Rico.  This finding showed that there were pre-Taino tribes dating back to 300 AD.  The site was incredible and our tour guide, Louis Martinez was a walking college course on archaeology with a little botany thrown in.  He also knew how to entertain.

We saw a replica of what the village would look like, however this was not a site where the Igneri or Saladoids (the pre-Taino’s) lived.  It was where they celebrated and or worshiped.  It was kind of like a town square.  We saw and experienced trees with fruit they used as red and yellow paint.  There was even a tree whose leaves when crumbled turned into soap.  Louis showed the us the berries the kings used to help them speak with the gods, the Jojoba beans.   Tracy took notes on all we learned.  I’m sure he would explain it all in much better detail than I could here.
One neat tree we saw, and none of us had ever seen anything like it was the tree with what looked like thorns....  
Louis cut one of the thorns off for us to examine.  It created not only a yellow dye but a beautiful clean, light scent.... Hmmm, how can we bottle this. Louis said there is no need to when you have Ralph Lauren for men and women.
Louis told us about a coffee plantation, “just down the road”.  Of course in search we went of the elusive Coffee plantation in Puerto Rico.  

Last trip, Tracy and Kosti spent 5 hours in the mountains searching for a coffee plantation.  We spent another 2 today to no avail.  I am not sure what it is with me and mountains, but I just don’t enjoy the rides.  Again, twisty turny, two way traffic roads, one car width.  Crazy… I had no options but to buckle up and try to keep my eyes closed and not look out the window, and the steep drop beneath us.  We did happen on a thick bamboo forest.  That was neat.  I’ve never seen bamboo so old, large and so much of it!    We never did find the plantation that was “just down the road”.  I am beginning to believe there is no such thing as a coffee plantation in Puerto Rico!

Bamboo in the mountains but no coffee!

We’re down to our last few hours together.  Time to eat, relax, pack .   We have long trips ahead of us.  Tracy will leave the hotel tonight from Ponce at midnight to catch his 4am flight out.  Then wait catch a bus out of Fort Lauderdale home, only to wait until Kosti gets out of work to pick him up.... He has almost 24 hours of traveling ahead of him.   Us.... Here's hoping we get snowed in here!  A girl can wish.  Planes perhaps not flying due to weather, crazier things have happened!  Until next time, thanks for reading.    

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Camuy and then some....

Our Trip to Camuy was on Saturday... The only way I remember that now is through my photo's.  (thank goodness they are dated!)  Here is our man Trace on the way down into the caves.  Thankfully we took a tram most of the way down, but we entered the caves on foot.  I am having way too much fun with this fisheye lens Kristen gave me to use. I thought the caves would be the
perfect spot to use it!

I had a bit of fun playing with images and the lens.... bet you can't guess who that is above!

I tried to get a portrait of the three of us on the way out... didn't quite work the way I wanted.... but I like it of my Men!

Before we hit the caves on Saturday, I spent some time hummingbird hunting at Mom's .  She has a pack of hummingbirds who come each morning for breakfast and late each afternoon for dinner.  Okay, maybe not a pack but a couple of them are humming around her flowers!  I didn't to too good with capturing them, but I did get two.


On one of my day dreaming trips, while internet surfing I found a condo for sale on the beach in Arecibo.  That afternoon we went on a drive by to see what they looked like.  Oh my, I am in love!  The road they are on reminded Tracy and I of a mix between Vieques and East Lake Road in Conseus... if you could imagine that.
 We made our way all to the end of the road to a biker bar and restaurant.  It was
    kinda like an open air Creekside Inn.  It wasn't your everyday dead end.  It actually
    ended at an inlet.  With a little piece of land separating it from the Atlantic Ocean.
    Great place, just off the beaten path, we would have to bring people here to see it,
    no  one would find in on their own, except for the bikers.

   We stopped on our way out to check out the beach across from my beautiful condo...
    Lovely, lovely, lovely.... we decided to run home, get our beach attire and return.
    That was Sunday.  While I did take many pictures, none worth posting.  It was a fun
    beach day.  Lots of people, and as Tracy pointed out.... many many beautiful
    muscled young Puerto Rican Men!  Many.
    We did dip our toes in the water.... had some pinchos from a truck, our favorite
    food, enjoyed the music being shared by all the parked cars, (although Jay tells us
    it's a good thing we don't understand Spanish, cause the music we were tapping our
    toes in the sand to was all about, putting things in and out, female dogs and garden
    tools) and just plain enjoyed the day in the sun on the beach across from my condo!
    It is clear that it is a young person beach on this beautiful Sunday.  No families in
    sight.   There were dogs with people on the beach.  Three caught my attention right
    away.   There was the big blockhead (pibble) who had a life vest on and enjoyed
    swimming, there was the little Chihuahua with two young girls who kept wandering
    to visit other parties and then there was the young man with the body who didn't
   quit, walking around with a tiny, newborn blue nose pittie in a towel.   I did manage
    to talk to him, the pup didn't have a name yet and probably shouldn't have been
    away from his moma just yet.

    Tracy was kinda tired of going to bed so early each evening, so he decided to head out on the town of Factor 2 to see what the locals had to offer.   He made it partly down the road, the local local bar was not open, it was too dark to venture on.  Jay decided he would head out with him.   They found a pizza joint with a TV, a beautiful Ricky Martin and some beers.

Sunday evening before it got dark, Jay and Tracy captured a tree chicken.  Well, they didn't really capture it, more like chased it into it's hole in the ground a buried it.  Little bugger, look what popped it's head up Monday morning...

The Tree Chicken!

Enough chasing chickens.... we decided we wanted to see what our beach looked like during the week.  Low and behold.... it was almost empty.....

 Above is the picture from the parking lot of my condo!  I only had the fisheye with me, but I still like it!  The unit I want is on the left corner, top unit.  It also has a roof top deck, can you see it?  I love it!   We weren't able to get in to see it, but a girl can dream.   Then I turn around to capture the view in the other direction and violia!

Beach, beach beach..... beautiful beach!  Complete with Turtuga nesting areas.

Such a beautiful, beautiful beach on the Atlantic Ocean side of the Island.
I love it!

My boys are getting antsy now, time to go do something.  I will continue as the adventure continues....


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tracy Arrives.... February 22 & 23, 2014

Pretty good, the days are all mixed up!  Didn’t take long.  We have not been wearing watches, have not seen a calendar… have no idea what day or time it is.  I know it is early morning as I am writing this, as the sun is shining and I hear construction work going on.   Loud outside construction work only happens here in PR is the early morning hours, before it gets too hot.  Jay, Moma Cruz and Tracy are all still sleeping, me ~ I figured since we are going in search of an internet café (A.K.A. fast food joint) I’d better catch you all up on the happening down here!

Early Friday morning, waaaayy early Friday morning, Jay and I set out to pick Tracy up at the Aguadilla airport.   Tiny little airport on an old military base a bit west of Arecibo.  His flight arrived at 3:30am.  Jay figured it would take us about an hour to get there, so we set out around 2:30am.  As always, we learn something new here just about every day.  Driving to the airport we learned that between the hours of midnight and 6am red lights are just a suggestion. We were told later that day, that you don’t want to be sitting at a red light during those hours and have a couple cars pull up to you and block you in.  You don’t want that to happen.    So you slow down at a red light, looks all ways, then go.  It was hard for Jay to do that, we are so conditioned to stop.  After a while it became clear, we were the only ones stopping.  He began to do that on the way home.

Like every good trip we take, it is always an adventure in getting there.  We finally made it to the turn off for the airport, but that’s when the signs stopped. It took us a half hour to get here.   Then we drove, and drove until we spotted a plane off to the left… we knew we had to be close.  After another half hour of driving we found a sign indicating the airport.  The sign we right across the street from it.  Of course!  I ran in to see if Tracy had arrived yet.  The place was packed.  Apparently this cheap Spirit Air flight from Florida to Puerto Rico is pretty popular!   Yeah Tracy made it!!!!!!
Friday was uneventful.  We were all tired, and needed to get our heads in the game, so to speak…. We made it home and all went right to bed….  Vacation mode here we come!
Yesterday we decided to hit the Caves of Camuy.  Previous years friends Dawn and Darren repelled down into the caves.  We knew that was not for us, so we took the real tourist route and hit the tram.  We strongly recommend if you are in Puerto Rico and have the opportunity to tour Camuy, do it!  There are some spectacular sights down there. 
Our way home began the adventure.  Tracy and Jay navigating through the interior back hills of Puerto Rico to get us home.  Oh My.  While it is a beautiful tropical island.  It is that a beautiful tropical island.  The interior of it is mountainous.  Get it? MOUNTAINOUS.  The roads are tiny, barely fit one car, very twisty and turny, up and down.  Once again, we are reminded that road, street signs, directional signs are not abundant down here.  To say they are virtually nonexistent would be an accurate statement.  So we drove.  Jay figured we would either hit the Atlantic or the Caribbean eventually and we would go from there.   We did, hit the Atlantic and made our way home.
Not much else exciting went on, wanted to take Moma out for dinner to her favorite place.  Turns out to be a Chinese restaurant.  Then we came home and sat out front for a while watching for the ponies and their Saturday night riders to pass by.

We will be here a few more days.  Today’s goal is the internet café.  For among other reasons, we will be able to upload a few movies onto my kindle so we can watch them tonight.  We looked into going to a movie yesterday, but nothing good was playing…..
So as not to call it a night at 7:30pm, Tracy and I snuggled close together to watch "The Butler" on my Kindle Fire.  Great incredible movie... interesting snuggling on a bed trying to watch a kindle.... 

Well folks, that's it for today.  Hopefully excitement will follow soon.  One thing is for sure... we are relaxed!          

All is right with the World.... Puerto Rico 2014

 February 20, 2014  ~ Reader beware… these dates won’t correlate with the posting dates.   We are off the grid here.  For me to post, we have to find a local fast food establishment that has free wifi.  With that being the case, there may be two or three posts in a row on any given dateWe tried and tried to make it work at a few fast food places, to no avail.  Had to wait until today at the Ponce Holiday Inn!

This year is perhaps one of, if not the coldest winters on record in Rochester, NY.  Waking up to temps below zero gets old real quick. Originally we were planning a trip to Hawaii.  Things being what they may, it didn’t happen.  Tracy and the Russian, which would be my little Kosti Masti….packed up and moved to southern Florida. Hmm.  With that in mind and a few other events which we won’t get into here, Hawaii plans were put on hold.
Earlier this year ~ that would be the beginning of last month, Jay (AKA.  Papi, Papi Cruz, My husband) decided we would not take a vacation this year.   We have been putting off a new roof each year in the name of a vacation…this year it looked like the new roof won.   It won that is until ridiculous amounts of snow, crazy number of days in a row of subzero temperatures, grey skies…  Papi Cruz couldn’t take it anymore.  Helllllooooooooooo Puerto Rico!  We had to get out of dodge (at least the subzero weather and endless snow) as soon as possible. 

Yesterday we woke up to a balmy 25 degrees at home.  Believe me when you wake up with the temp at 10 below zero every morning for what seems like endless days, 25 degrees seems warm ~ Giving new meaning to the phrase, “it’s all relative”. ~  I had every intention of packing last weekend,  on Monday night after work, then Tuesday night.  Well Tuesday night snuck up on me and I couldn’t find my summer clothes, they were absolutely nowhere to be found.  I think wishful thinking got the best of me last fall when I started on the Dash Diet.  Thinking I would lose a crazy amount of weight before this season.  I seem to remember that I donated most of my summer clothes,  (don’t tell Papi).  You can probably guess the rest of the story.  I lost maybe 15 pounds, felt great and stopped paying attention, gained 5 back...and so the story goes.  Back on the wagon (or at least the DASH Diet).  Oh wait, we’re on vacation.  Packing, yes let me get back to packing.  If you have read previous any entries on any previous trips, you know packing is always a story with us.  It is no different this year.  Of course I was not worried about packing, because #1.  Two years ago we discovered that Moma Cruz (who we are visiting is Jay ~ Papi Cruz’ Mother) lives very close to an outlet mall.  Yes that is the truth!  Who knew…. And #2.  Every year when we visit Moma Cruz, I leave things here.  (toiletry type things).  Knowing #1 & #2,  I packed underwear, magazines, my three favorite pair of pedal pushers (aka.  Capris) two comfy dresses, powdered ice tea mix, almonds and almond and cranberry protein bars.  Papi of course packed his usual 3, 3 and 3, and a banana, a  bagel and two muffins.  (3 shirts, 3 shorts, 3 pair of underwear) and a big credit card.  Life IZZZZZZZZZZ good!

On my way to Puerto Rico!
We arrived in San Juan around 2:30 yesterday afternoon and headed straight to Casa Barcardi for our annual drink and purchase of the 12 year bottles of rum for the Tiki Bar.  Mission accomplished.  We got to Moma’s about 4 -4:30.  Of course she had dinner for us and then, and then…. We both went in for naps and didn’t see Moma until this morning around 7am.  We are on Vacation!
It is a beautiful day here in Arecibo!  85 and sunny.  Our big accomplishment today was a trip to the Outlet Center for some shopping.  I don’t know what I was thinking….. it is winter here in PR.  All the clothes they have out are winter clothes, long sleeves, sweaters, jackets.  I was able to find a few things, not as much as I was hoping… (actually not only was everything winterized, but big girl ~ as in Misses sizes were nowhere to be found).  Don’t worry ~ Walmart came through.  I was able to pick up a few big girl tees there!  That and what I left here last year, I’m good to go.

It was a long day, it’s getting late,  we are going to sleep early tonight for Tracy arrives at 3:30am or so and we have to go pick him up at the airport.  You cannot even imagine how stinkin’ excited I am.  It will be like the early years … Jay, Tracy and I. 
I have come to realize that home is where you are the most comfortable with the people who know the worst of you and love you anyway. 

Well we are finally at a location with WiFi so the posts should start coming....

My Black Mercedes January 22, 2000 ~ May 15, 2013

My Sadie Girl.  She was that once in a lifetime Dog.   The one that all the others will have to live up to but will never be able to.  ( I know the longer she is gone, the better she was~ for some reason time intensifies memories, but that’s okay!) Sadie was my Soul Dog.  She loved me like no other…
My blog since the beginning started and ended with my Sadie Girl. When my Sadie’s life on earth ended, my heart was broken once again.  It has not only taken me a while to get back here, but even just deciding if I wanted to come back here.   I think I have found my new normal again.  I think I can handle it , so here I am! 
 I will not be able to write this without crying, feeling sad, missing my sweet girl, but here goes.  This post is going to be long.  Sadie was my sidekick.  Where I went, if dogs were allow, there was Sadie.  She knew my every move, responded to all my moods and loved me no matter what.  I learn what true unconditional love is from her.   She deserves to be remembered and memorialized here.   This is for me, it will help me to remember her when I am old and my memory fails me.   I will always be able to come here and read all about her.
My Sadie Girl fought the good fight.  Like everything, nothing in my life is without meaning.  Tonight, I sit here in Mami’s kitchen in Puerto Rico writing about my Sadie Girl.  (Papi & Jay are one in the same ~my Husband,  Mami is Jay’s Mother~ my dear Mother in Law).    Growing up, we always had a dog or two.  I love animals.  My brother loved animals more.  He found a solace in them which has taken me a while to understand, now I do.  He knew that no matter what he did, or how he did it ~ his pets, would always love him.   When he was about 6 or 7 years old, my mom took him to a therapist to help with some of the PSTD symptoms.  At the time, it didn’t have a name, but I believe that’s what it was.  My brother had a classic case of PSTD.  If you lived through what he did, you would as well.  I love the fact that during one of the sessions, he talked about “his pets” ~ Tiny, Patrick and Janet”.  The therapist had to check with my mother at his next session as he had thought Janet was a person and not a pet.  I love this story and know it is true.  I have most of my family history on paper in the form of my mother’s love letters to my sister when she was away at college.  This story appears in one of the letters.  I love this story, because I know that Andrew, my brother knew I loved him unconditionally.  I do.  Which brings me to my Sadie Girl. 

In the late 90’s, Andrew found himself without a home.   He knew of course he was always welcome where ever I lived.  At the time I had a sweet deal living in the upper part of an old home in West Henrietta, NY.  A friend of mine from high school owned the house.  When I asked if my brother could live with me for a while, he was fine with that.  Of course he didn’t know at the time, my brother came with two adult pit bulls.  A couple of weeks was fine, but after about 6 months, the welcome was wearing out.  I needed to do something.   Our older Sister, Carol came through.  She is probably the only person in the world who knew me better than I knew myself.  She found a perfect house for me.  Old home with character, in the village of Rush.  Perfect!   It was mine and I could bring Andrew and the dogs with me.   Besides, I always wanted my own pup.  A dashound, like Patrick and Snuffy ~ the dogs I loved from my childhood. 
Andrew, Buddy, Keisha and I moved into our new home….. life was alright. Not great, as adult siblings were probably not meant to live together!   But it was alright.
Fast forward to my 40th year.   About 6 weeks after my birthday Andrew announced he found the perfect dog for me.  I indulged him.  We went to see her, a little black pitbull 6 weeks old ~ born on my 40th birthday, in the year 2000. 
Let me digress here a bit (it’s my blog ~ indulge me).  Up until I was about 15 years old, I used to wonder if I would be alive at the turn of the century.  You know 40 is really old!   Hmmm look at that ~ 14 years later than the turn of the century, still here!

Well back to Sadie girl.  She was not my dashound, but she was cute.  I decided I would name her Mercedes, Sadie for short.  Given the fact I wanted a doxie and didn’t get one, I thought I would take advantage of the fact I also want a black Mercedes and probably will never get one of those either, so I had my little black Mercedes!  Sadie for short.

When Sadie arrived, we were down to just one dog, Buddy.  Andrew was not working, he was home all day.  Andrew ~ if you didn’t know him was the real dog whisperer!  His love, patience and ability to train the pups was second to none.  Sadie and I reaped the benefits of this.  He and Buddy set out to train my Sadie Girl.  Even though Andrew trained her, she was still my dog.  She loved me like no other and I loved her just the same.  As the years went by Sadie became a better and better dog.  Andrew never stopped training her.  He also took every opportunity he had to train me as well.  He made me read books, watch videos and never stopped preaching about how I needed to be “a responsible pit bull owner” and what that meant.

I am going to digress here and share some Andrew stories.  Andrew being the dog whispered, resulted in our home come to be known as the “Dog Ranch” in our family.  Everyone knew their dog was welcome at our home, for it was decorated and modified to meet the needs of our pups!  Not only that, but anyone who brought their dogs to visit also had the benefit of some free dog training.  I will never forget one day I came home from work and Andrew had Buddy, Sadie and Cheyanne lined up on the edge of our yard facing the road.  Andrew was in the road facing them making all kinds of crazy hand signals.  When I asked him what he was doing, he simply told me, teaching them not to go in the road.  He explained that he did it frequently and that they would, if they didn’t already understand and not go in the road.  You know what, “Road School” as we call it now, worked!   Sadie Girl only went in the road once when she thought another dog was going to attack her property and people.  Aside from that one time, in 13 years, she only went in the road when she was on a leash.
Thank you for letting me share one of my favorite Andrew’s…. Now back to my Sadie Girl,  my love.
Sadie was with me though some of the hardest days of my adult life.  When she was 6 years old, my sister passed away.  My only sister ~ the one my mother wrote love letters to, the same one who knew me better then I knew myself.  It rocked my world, but there were so many others impacted by this that I had to hold it together.   Andrew offered the best advice, when I was feeling lowest, he would say, “when all is wrong with the world, go hug the dog”.  That I did.    Sadie let me cry on, she let me talk, she never tired of me needing her near me.  Of course I have other supports (my Husband and Tracy and the kids, but this post is about Sadie Girl and Andrew kind ofl!)

One of my favorite pictures of Carol and My Sadie Girl!

Two years later Sadie turned 8 years old.  Let me tell you, we should all take care of ourselves as well as I take care of my pups.  At her 8 year checkup, our vet~ who is just the best there is told me since “Sadie is 8 years old, she is considered a senior dog”.  She gave me some reading materials to look at, and things to watch out for and told me now I should bring her in every six months for "senior check ups".  That night I went home and cried.  I cried to Jay, I cried to Tracy, I cried to Andrew.  I even cried to Sadie.  I tried to will her to be the oldest living dog ever.  I asked if she could try to make 20 or 25.   She couldn't be a senior dog.  A senior dog means someday she will die.  I was not the same from that day forward.  It then dawned on me that dogs don’t live that long.  I had never given it much thought before then.

That year when Papi (Jay and Papi are one in the same) Tracy and I were in Puerto Rico, Andrew was taking care of the Sadie Girl.  He found a small lump on her belly.  By the time we got home (those days we came for 3 weeks) the lump had grown.   I feared the worst.  Andrew sat me down and gave me some cold hard truths, Sadie would not live forever.  I needed to face it.  He suggest I get involved with a rescue and when the time came, find a rescue dog that needed me.  I was still inconsolable.  I would never be able to replace or find another Sadie girl.  He assured me I had time, he thought I had a good 4 or 5 more years with her.  She still had the lump though and that worried me!   I, being the crazy Sadie lover I am ~ got her to the vets as soon as possible.  Our regular vet was on vacation, the one filling in for her didn’t think it was anything to worry about, but to be sure, she’d did a needle biopsy.  Yep, nothing to worry about she told us. 

As the 2009 went on, Andrew had an accident and passed away.  My world was once again rocked.  Would I ever find my new normal?  Every time I’d get close ~ something would happen.    I didn’t think life would ever feel normal again, too many holes in my heart.   I did what I could, used what I had and life went on.  I hugged Sadie, turned to Jay and Tracy and came out the other side alright!

The following year Sadie’s lump grew to grapefruit size proportions.  At her semi annual check up that year, my vet thought it might be good to remove it.  She did, she felt she got as much as she could, not sure she got it all.  Sent it to Cornell for a biopsy.  Grrrrrrrrrr, the biopsy came back it was Hemangiosarcoma.  She gave us 3 to 6 months at the most together.  I went home and got on the internet.  Read all I could, found a rescue group full of wonderful knowledgably supportive people.  People who understood/understand what my Sadie girl means to me.  They listened, assured me they would be there for me, told me their stories gave me hints on supplements and food, they became my internet family and they gave me the greatest advice anyone ever did.  Every day with her is a gift, love her, enjoy her and make the most of each minute together.  That is what I did.  For that advice I am ever grateful.  I stopped worrying about her dying and lived each day to the fullest with her.
Let’s fast forward to 2012…. My Sadie Girl was still with us.  Going strong, until I found some lumps on her leg…. The wind was knocked from me. Our amazing vet was able to operate and get as much as she could again.  Off to Cornell with the biopsy, only to verify the cancer had returned.  While we could treat it aggressively, we decided that at 12 years old, I didn’t want to put her through chemo and or radiation.  We would just take it all one day at a time.  We had 9 months of love before the cancer took my girl.  She was a trooper to the end, and she went peacefully with Jay and I holding her.  May 15, 2013.  One of the 3 hardest days in my adult life.

My Black Mercedes.  She had my heart.  She was my heart.  She was home.  We knew each other backwards and forwards.  Sadie Girl spoiled me.  She was a good girl.  She slept in each morning until I woke her up.  It could be 7:30am or noon.  Sometimes she slept with us most times she slept in her own room on her own bed, until she couldn’t jump that high.    She never ate what she shouldn’t have.  Although she did eat our couch once when she was a puppy and believe me, she never ate anything again without me telling she could.  She never left my side.  She never left the yard without one of us. She was afraid of cats.  (baaa hahahaah, I had a pitbull who was afraid of cats!)  I think she understood every word I said.  She stood guard next to me whenever I was sick.  She never let another dog between her and I.  She was my Sadie Girl, my normal, my love! 
Today she is part of Gagliardo’s Gladiators in heaven with the rest of the pack!  Waiting for us to join them.   

Don’t be sad, I am not.   I have one million pictures of Sadie and lots of memories that make me smile.  I believe that Andrew had the perfect pup waiting in the wings and was even able to lead us to her.  That story will have to wait for another day, for this post is all about my Sadie Girl!  While it has always started and ended with my Sadie Girl, tonight it has ended, I’ve decided to come back and Sadie Girl lives on in my heart….

(I usually go back and proof read my posts before I put them up, I don’t have the energy to do that tonight.  We are on vacation.  I am in a good spot and was able to write this.  I don’t have it in me to re-read what I have written.  I will soon and make corrections.  If there are typos, or mistakes in grammar please over look that for now and know my heart still aches a little for my sweet Black Mercedes, my Sadie Girl)   The End.

The Sunset on May 15, 2013

                                               I so miss my Sadie Girl... and so it ends with Sadie.