WAITING FOR THE MASK

WAITING FOR THE MASK

Several people have inquired as to how I am doing after recently announcing that I had a brain tumour so I felt a quick update was appropriate.

I just spent six days in St. Michaels Hospital awaiting surgery. I fasted twenty hours a day with an IV of saline solution attached to my arm because I had to be ready whenever the doctors were. Tests continued to be conducted and it was determined that the tumour is attached to the bone and muscle at my temple, my brain and right eye. This makes for a complicated surgery with more than one surgeon required. I need a neurosurgeon to operate on my brain and an ophthalmologist to operate on my eye. Because of this, time was needed to form the appropriate surgical team and for all to be available at the same time. 

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MY TURN

MY TURN

I have written many triumphant stories about the dogs we have rescued over the years. How they have overcome hardships yet still hold hope and faith in their hearts. I greatly admire the brilliant spirit of these dogs and their ability to live in the moment regardless of what has come before and what may follow.  I have asked much of these dogs – to trust, to overcome and to believe. Not one of these dogs has ever let me down.

Now it is my turn to do what I have asked of them – to be the person they believe me to be. It has just been confirmed that I have a brain tumour and will need surgery to remove it. The mass is behind my right eye and is attached to my brain. No idea yet whether it is cancerous or not but I will deal with what I know, as I come to know it.

The procedure I require is only performed at Sunnybrook or St. Michaels hospitals in Toronto so I am waiting to hear from the neurosurgeons as to which centre can take me the soonest. Seems to be a sense of urgency amongst the doctors.

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CALL ME JACK

CALL ME JACK

Just Call Me Jack

Spring may be slow in coming and whining voices may be rising from northern Facebook pages again but life is grand with Jack. I’m falling behind in all I have to do but life is joyful with Jack. The damp weather causes migraines and my body aches but life is sweet with Jack.

Jack is a two-year-old Malamute cross who was raised in Attawapiskat for sledding purposes. He was supposed to be part of a team, a contributing member and a dog with a purpose – but he wasn’t. Jack failed sledding. This dog runs to his own drummer. He questioned why everyone was harnessed together when the independence of running free was so blissful. He couldn’t understand why they all went in the same direction when scattering allowed for random, fun filled chases. Jack was surrendered to us when it was determined he just could not conform.

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DEAR DIARY,

DEAR DIARY,

Dear Diary,

I haven’t written for a while because it’s been a hard few weeks. On top of all the regular stuff, the snow is so high the dogs are simply walking over the fence these days. One more task – shovel and/or chase.

We have a lot of dogs right now, which is good because it means we have saved a lot of lives, but our foster homes are full and we are at our limit.  There are nine dogs living in the house with us and while that’s happened before this time is different. Two are long-term care and one is most likely palliative care – again.

One of the dogs in foster care is eight years old and I guess people consider that aged because we haven’t had much interest in him. Where he is now, we have to pay a dog walker each day and that will soon become overly expensive. Two other dogs in foster care have been so traumatized by their life experiences that it will take a long time to love them better. There is a dog from Attawapiskat that is now in foster care in Timmins. He was attacked by a pack of dogs and his injuries will need time to heal. We have one pup and she came to us on Valentine’s day. She is the only surviving pup out of a litter of five and she is just four weeks old.

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JUST IN PASSING

JUST IN PASSING

We knew, from the beginning, that she was just passing through. This little girl had suffered terribly in life and her eight years in Mexico had been hard spent. No one knew it at the time but Kit was dying when she arrived here. It was clear she wasn’t well and the obvious concerns were treated but so much more lay, literally, below the surface.

Kit arrived in June and in July she was diagnosed with Diaphragmatic Hernia. The crooked scar on her side and dislocated rib led our vets to believe she was attacked by a large dog and held in its mouth while being brutally shaken. This caused her abdominal organs and intestines to be pushed into her chest, compressing her liver, kidneys, heart and lungs. Nothing functioned well and she breathed as if through a straw. The prognosis was to keep her happy for as long as we could.

 

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AND ANOTHER NEW YEAR

AND ANOTHER NEW YEAR

A new year has presented itself with new opportunities and possibilities. I long ago stopped expecting great change or betterment because a new had year rolled in though. The glitter ball in Times Square can drop to a frenzied countdown and people can gather to kiss and hug but still, just another day has gone by. I enjoy the ceremony of it all and always hold hope in my heart but I no longer have sudden expectations. 
Each year, day and moment is what we make it. The work, struggle, disappoint, promise and rewards remain and we work through them all - just as always. My attitude is not one of skepticism but one of acceptance. Contentment even. Maybe it is age, living in the bush or working with dogs but I like the balance and steadiness of simply living each day as it comes, no matter the date. 

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