Wednesday, May 25, 2011

New Directions

Last time I blogged was almost a year ago, it was in June 2010. Since then my life has made some dramatic changes. Some good, some not so good.

First we are blessed to live in my Hubby's Grandparents house. Both Grandma and Grandpa passed on last year. It was really, truly a privilege to get to know them and spend the time with them I was able to. After Grandma feel and broke her arm I was able to come and do some care giving for her. That was really an amazing time for me. I learned a lot about them both and my love for them deepened even more. I miss them so much.

Eric, Hannah, and I are blessed to be living in this home. We've been here about five months now and love it.

I started a new animal venture! I am now raising meat rabbits for our consumption and to sell a few buns to those who like rabbit. It's fun so far. I started off with a breeding trio: young Satin buck, one NZ doe and one Champagne D'Argent doe. Of those first three I only have the Champagne left. The other two are sitting in my fridge as I type this. I am cooking them tomorrow.

Here is the recipe I am going to use: http://

I am so excited to try rabbit for the first time. Tonight I prepped an 8 quart cast iron dutch oven (inherited from Grandma Kay) to cook the meal in. Rabbit meat is high in protein, and very low in fat and cholesterol. And apart from that they are the least expensive meat to raise. They also have the best meat-to-bone ratio of any modern livestock.

I still have three rabbits though. Last week I went and got two new rabbits: one broken-red NZ buck and one Californian doe. The doe is bred and she is a good mother, and has had several litters of babies already. My Champagne is a first time Mommy and I don't know how she'll do. I see she has a baby bump though, she is due to have her kits in about a week.

I started considering raising rabbit since I can no longer have chickens. I sold my flock several months before we moved. I wanted to keep raising animals for my family-- odd as it may seem raising meat for my family satisfies me in a really good way. I love the idea that I know exactly where, how, when the meat came from. I also wanted to raise rabbit to feed to my dogs, mainly Foenix who always seem(ed) to be having some G.I. issues.

That brings me to the biggest change as of recently. 8 weeks ago I had Foenix neutered. The very next day he developed the first outward signs of Peri-Anal Fistulas. They progressed rapidly and I put him to sleep on a Tuesday. These words I just typed are surreal, even yet. My dog is gone. I have not gotten up the courage to pick up his ashes at the Vet...I keep putting it off, I dread the feelings of loss and emptiness it gives me. I miss him-- sometimes I hate words because "I miss him" does NOTHING to convey how that feels. I hate talking about him with anyone because, inevitably, they pat me on the shoulder, give me a sad look and say they are sorry. And I appreciate their thoughts. Kinda.

I feel an inward numbness most of the time, but when I am NOT feeling numb I am sobbing my eyes out. I am a seriously ugly crier. Yet even the next day, after the dam has broken on my mourning, my eyes are so swollen I look like I've been in a fight, but without the bruises.

I want to tell people somehow that he was more than just my pet. I loved my dog and he loved me. He was also my working partner and proof of my skill as a Trainer. He assisted me with so many dogs I've trained, he was invaluable to me in that way. I have lost not only my dog, but an instrument of my profession, a teacher, and a friend. I just wish I didn't have to tell people this, I wish they just knew it. But, they don't, and, while its not their fault there's a sense of festering frustration about that.

What good is saying you're a concert pianist if you don't own a piano? What good is it to be a chef without a kitchen? See what I mean. But his loss is so much more than a bad hit to me as a Trainer. It's that we were so bonded and I loved him and he loved me. And I miss the light in his eyes, and I miss the silly games we played, and I miss spitting water at him, and I miss preparing his food at night, and I miss his large presence in my house, and I miss the secure, safe feeling he gave all of us, and I miss hearing him walk around, and I miss seeing him out of the corner of my eye and him noticing I am looking at him and him wagging the end of his tail acknowledging the attention.

Every day I know the space between us gets bigger. Every time I sweep my floors, do laundry, or clean my car, his hair and nose prints on the windows slowly get erased. I used to curse his hair all over the place. And now each time I empty the dust pan or lint trapper in the dryer I know that I just get that much closer to the day that I no longer have recent proof of his presence with me. That sounds silly. But it's how my mind works right now. Saying "i miss him" doesn't even begin to tell the story.

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