Earlier this evening I stumbled across my blog (strange, but true) and spent a couple of hours reliving the wonderful adventures I shared with Sadie and Luka. I started this as a knitting blog, but let’s admit it: this is a dog blog starring these two crazy canines.
I realized as I was reading that I literally just stopped this blog. Sadie, Luka and I didn’t stop our adventures and I didn’t stop taking pictures of them, but I did stop documenting our lives. I’m so glad I recorded all the years that I did because Sadie and Luka are both gone now and reliving our adventures brought back so many happy memories and it made me smile.
I’m a fan of symmetry and a bit OCD, so reading the last couple years of this blog and seeing that I just stopped it abruptly bothered me. So, I decided to write one last post. I have no idea if anyone will read it but I wanted to put a bookend on this blog.
I also wanted to provide the final chapters in the stories of Sadie and Luka. I didn’t have many readers of this blog but my regular readers were always so kind and seemed to enjoying hearing of our adventures.
In November of 2014 Luka was diagnosed with a liver tumor. This tumor was likely caused by him being poisoned 18 months before. Several dogs in my neighborhood were poisoned and Luka was the only one that survived (thanks to a very expensive week in the ICU). The perpetrator was never caught. I was blindingly angry for awhile but I realized at some point that I’m somewhat grateful he/she was never caught as I may have done something to that person to land myself on the wrong side of the law.
My ornery boy was an overachiever until the end. When he was diagnosed two different vets told me he had 3 months to live. If I was lucky. He lived 7 1/2 months. I’m most happy that he was symptom free and his usual bouncy self until the last couple of days. We had so many adventures those last months. I’m actually grateful that I knew his time was drawing to a close because we did things I otherwise would never have done: visiting the dog park in sub zero weather, hiking in a torrential rain storm, going to the swimming hole twice a weekend, etc.
He was only 9 (maybe 10) years old when he died and still completely active. I was determined to pack as much as possible into those last months. I think I succeeded. This picture was taken during that time and completely captures his personality.
When Luka died Sadie was 12 years old, slowing down and starting to accumulate various health challenges. Our trips to the dog park became a little bit of walking and a lot of sitting together in the sunshine, watching the other dogs play. We also started spending afternoons at parks relaxing beneath a tree. Around the time she became 13 it was nearly impossible to get her into/out of the car so we became homebodies and spent our hours quietly hanging out at home. While it’s always sad to see a dog lose their mobility, I’m always grateful that they’ve lived long enough to become elderly. There is something so sweet about an old dog.
Last March Sadie turned 14 years old. I went all crazy dog lady.
I’m so glad I did because she died three weeks later.
Since that awful day last April I’ve been trying to figure out who I am since for the last 19 years I’ve had one (and usually two or three) dogs. For various reasons, I have not adopted another dog and do not plan to do so in the foreseeable future. I’m sure I’ll one day own another dog, but it’s going to take some time. Sadie’s death broke me in ways I never thought possible. I’ve loved and adored all of my dogs, but she was different. She was special. At this point, no dog can live up to the legend of my sweet Sadie.
Now I will bring this
knitting Sadie and Luka blog to a close. Thank you to everyone who read and commented over the years. I appreciated each and every word you wrote. I’ve thought about my regular readers over the past few years and have wondered how you are doing. If anyone is still blogging or active in other ways online feel free to leave a comment or drop me a line (runswithneedles at gmail dot com).
“No amount of time will erase the memory of a good dog.”
One of the tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon – instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today. ~ Dale Carnegie
It’s been an odd summer in my neck of the woods. The combination of an epic wildfire (which closed many of my favorite hiking spots) and unbearable heat has meant the dogs and I have been a bit lacking in our outdoor adventures.
Not last weekend.
We hit the road and headed for the hills. The destination: somewhere I’ve wanted to hike for years.
Luka eagerly led the way while Sadie waited for me to snap the picture.
The woods eventually opened up.
Luka enjoyed exploring.
He especially liked climbing on the huge rocks.
Sadie was fond of the cool stream water.
As for me….I enjoyed the scenery.
As we neared the summit Luka (finally) started to look tired.
And Sadie appeared to take in the view.
Finally we reached the summit.
The dogs rested
and I took in the view.
When we returned to the car the dogs immediately settled in for the ride home.
By the time I stopped for a snack
the sounds of snoring were coming from the back of the car.
The calendar tells me that summer is just around the corner. I think summer is already here.
The dogs and I returned to the ‘ole swimming hole today. To say it was a smashing success is an understatement.
Even before we arrived at the water the dogs seemed downright gleeful.
There was exploring.
Like always, Luka ran ahead but always waited at a trail junction for me to point the way.
It was a gorgeous day.
Shortly after we arrived home the thunderstorms arrived. Luka settled in the chair in the front of the window and watched the rain fall.
Perhaps he was dreaming of the swimming hole?
There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning. ~ Louis L’Amour
There has been hiking happening around here.
It’s the picture taking that’s been lacking. I finally remembered to snap some pictures yesterday.
There was running.
Here they come!
Luka was kind enough to strike a pose at an overlook.
Sadie managed to smile while running.
I smiled while taking in views like this. Oh, how I love my adopted state.
When we arrived home I promptly fell asleep on the couch. Upon waking, I found that I was not alone.
There’s been gorgeous weather around here lately. It’s been perfect for hiking.
And for running.
I haven’t taken a lot of pictures on our weekend adventures lately. I’ve been too busy enjoying the scenery.
On today’s hike the sky was a beautiful blue and the sun was shining brightly. It was the perfect day to take portraits of the dogs.
But they refused to look at the camera.
Sadie finally cooperated.
Luka stayed stubborn and looked where he wanted to look.
Finally I followed his gaze.
Have I mentioned lately how much I love Colorado?
Nothing’s better than the wind to your back, the sun in front of you, and your friends beside you. ~ Aaron Douglas Trimble
After a chilly week the weekend dawned sunny, clear (and most importantly): warm (in the 50’s!). The dogs and I took advantage of the break in the weather to check out some new hiking trails.
There was running.
Did I mention all of the running?
From all of the running it would appear that the dogs have spent the last week locked up in cages 24 hours a day. That, however, is not the case. The dogs and I have been walking three miles a day. I’m not sure where all of this energy came from but it was a lot of fun to watch.
The great thing about hiking in the winter is that I don’t have to carry water for the dogs. They just eat snow when they’re thirsty.
The views on our hike were incredible.
Sadie even struck a pose for me.
I did mention all of the running, didn’t I?
At one point Luka took a break from running and flopped down on the trail.
Soon it became clear.
Luka had found something yummy smelling to roll in.
Sadie noticed and moved closer to check it out.
She agreed with me: the boy is nuts.
I have two criteria to determine the success of a hike.
The first is how much mud is involved.
The seconds is how tired the dogs are.
Sadie dozed off while I was snapping that picture of my muddy leg.
When we arrived home Luka climbed onto his favorite dog bed.
Soon he was comatose.
MASSIVE SUCCESS!!! (It is very, very difficult to wear out Luka.)
I don’t think any of us will have trouble sleeping tonight.
Winter has arrived and the cold weather means I’m not taking as many pictures on our weekly outings. I managed to snap a few pictures last week before frostbite threatened to set in.
The dogs love to run when it’s cold.
Luka enjoys patrolling the fence line.
When I snapped this picture I had just told him not to jump the fence (he does that sometimes).
Running around in cold weather requires fuel. The dogs’ favorite fuel is peanut butter. The favored peanut butter delivery method is a Kong.
Luka looks a bit too comfortable in front of the computer (I need to check my credit card statements for any unexpected charges 🙂 )
Sadie has no time for such nonsense. There is napping to do.
Finally, the Fishermen’s Wool project is coming along.
A huge snowstorm hit here on Friday. I came home from work early (and just in time…the highway closed shortly after I arrived home). I was planning on hiding inside all afternoon (a foot of snow and 30mph winds are not my cup of tea). Luka, however, kept giving me expectant looks.
After a couple of hours of these looks I bundled up and we went out in the storm for a walk. The snow was very deep.
I nearly froze to death but I made this guy happy and that makes me happy.
Besides, how can I deny a Malamute the joy of playing in the snow?
If Sadie had her way I suspect she’d skip the frozen walks and stay on the couch.
She is a dog who treats napping as an art form.
Yesterday morning I was sitting on the couch when this happened next to me.
I was sure that once Luka realized Milo was there the moment would end (Luka loves to bug/chase Milo).
I was wrong.
Maybe my boy is finally maturing.
Being trapped in the house this weekend has had its advantages. My Fishermen’s Wool project is taking shape.
I still can’t comment on Blogger blogs that utilize word verification, but I am reading.
Another weekend, another day of the dogs running around like fools.
Even though the water was icy it was irresistible.
All of this playing means a quiet ride home.
Interesting pillow, Luka.
There is knitting in the house!
A new pair of socks.
And a new….something. 🙂 I broke my yarn diet to buy this yarn. It has a purpose though, and I have started swatching. Pictures will come later when the project has been started.
Finally…the answer to a question I sometimes get: “Why do you have such a huge sectional couch when you live alone?”
ETA: Many of the knitting blogs I read are hosted by Blogger. If you use Blogger please be aware that the word verification aspect of comments is not functioning. Even though I enter the correct phrase, Blogger says it’s wrong and won’t let me comment. I’m sure I’m not alone in this.
When our hiking season came to a screeching halt in September I assumed it would be April or May before we were able to go hiking again. The dogs and I settled into a nice routine of hitting the dog park on the weekend and (for me) staying warm in the winter weather.
2012 has been insanely nice around here. After a couple of weeks of warmth and sun I figured our favorite hiking trails would be free of snow and ice. This weekend we returned to our summer stomping grounds.
When I let the dogs loose on the trail Luka acted like he’d been shot out of a cannon.
From the way he was tearing around the forest you would never know that we’ve been walking three miles a day (and more on the weekends). It was like he’d been cooped up in a cage for weeks.
I cannot even begin to describe how wonderful it was to see him running these trails again. The last time we were here was the day before his surgery.
Once Luka calmed down we settled into our usual routine of him leading the way
and then waiting for me to catch up.
Sadie enjoyed exploring.
And also did her share of running.
At one point she took a quick nap along the trail.
While Sadie napped I watched the construction of a McMansion just off the hiking trail.
There was no sign of this house the last time we hiked this trail and I was rather startled to round a curve and see it. This house also proves that some people have more money than sense. The house is in a gorgeous location, but there are trees right up to the house (and hanging over the roof). This area is no stranger to wildfires (there were 3-4 last summer) and these morons really should do more to protect that pricey home. Thankfully our hiking area is a public open space so our access to this trail should not be impacted.
The only downside to our hike (besides that house) was finding the reservoir frozen and locked. Luka was not happy about this. He was so excited as we approached the water. When we reached the locked gate he kept pushing on it and trying to find a way inside.
Finally, I snapped this picture this morning. I absolutely love it.
There’s no denying it…these two are buddies. 🙂
Note: The lack of Sadie pictures is only indicative of my camera batteries dying, not her lack of adorableness.