Tuesday, April 17, 2018

One month ago...

One month ago today Kelsie died.
It's been a hard month.
I've missed that dog so much.
I never knew you could get so attached to a dog.
Before Kelsie I'd never owned one.
Kelsie will always live on in my heart. For 17 years she was such a part of me, it feels like we are entwined forever.
The photo above was taken 2 years ago.
She always loved her birthday cake!

This was at the rhododendron gardens at Deer Lake two years ago. Kelsie loved her walks there.
This past weekend we went away to Victoria and it was the first time I'd got the suitcase out to pack, since Kelsie wasn't here. She always suffered such angst when I'd get the suitcase out of the closet in the kitchen, that I'd have to do it on the sly. She never liked us leaving. 
We had a lovely time in Victoria, even though it was icy cold, but it was so very strange to return to an empty house with no little dog happy to see us, and no little dog to have a walk with in the evening. How very lonely it is now. 

I'm so glad I took so many photos of Kelsie and our adventures together. This was taken two years ago in April on our way to the DQ when it was much warmer than this year! Kelsie loved her ice cream treats!

By Loretta Houben

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Our 36th wedding anniversary.

April 3, 1982
My happy wedding day!

The young couple, very much in love.

Looking back 36 years, it seems like a dream.
I'm thankful Robert chose me to marry, and that he has been a sweet and gentle husband all these years.

I'm thankful to God for allowing our paths to cross.
Marriage is a beautiful process which reflects God's holy love to the church, the bride of Christ. It is for consummation between one man and one woman, for as long as they both shall live. It is a deep mystery and one not to be taken lightly.

My dear family, who loved and supported Robert and I.

I'll love you forever, my sweet bridegroom and husband.

By Loretta Houben

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Two weeks without Kelsie.

Two whole weeks without my little dog.
It seems so much longer. 
There are times when I feel okay, times when I feel flattened, and times when I simply cry.
It will take a while for me to get over this.
The photo above shows Kelsie just before the vet put her to sleep. I'd never seen anyone die before. It was very peaceful. Although extremely sad, I was glad to be there until the end for my friend. She loved and trusted us so much. We did the very best we could for her all her long and happy life.

On Good Friday we attended church and had communion, then we went to Costco and got a membership, and shopped a little there. We ate lunch at the On On, one of our favourite restaurants where we had honey garlic spare ribs after 6 months abstinence! Robert really enjoyed that.
We went to Market Crossing where I bought a top for Easter; I can never find a dress anymore. 
We walked in Foreshore Park nearby, remembering Kelsie the whole time as it was a favourite place of hers.
Then we stopped at Mandeville Garden Centre and bought the lovely pot of flowers shown above using money from my parents to remember Kelsie by.
I set up her urn and the lovely cards we got, plus a book I'd made at Shutterfly years ago.
It was a nice little memorial for her, which I showed to Leona when she came by that evening to watch "Call the Midwife". It was a full day. 

By Loretta Houben

Friday, March 23, 2018

First Friday without Kelsie.

Well, it's now been 7 days without dear Kelsie.
It was one week ago she got very sick and she had the episode at 11:30 pm. I'm remembering many good things about my very good dog. She was a real sweetie and always wished to please. The photo above is June 2002. 

This photo was taken in Barriere BC in August 2002. We decided to take a trip up there. We never did it again with Kelsie! Of all the strange things, Dora decided to take her black cat too, when she heard we were taking Kelsie. Kelsie wanted so badly to get that cat! It was quite a rigmarole to say the least. I feel very worn out with grief. It's still the strangest thing to realize I will never see Kelsie again.
Goodnight sweet dog.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

First Thursday without Kelsie.

Today I felt very flattened.
It seemed as if life had no colour or flavour.
I think it's all caught up with me. Robert was all set to head to work in Surrey. I didn't want him to go. It's only been one week since his gall bladder surgery. Robert usually doesn't listen to me. It gives me angst. However, a co-worker said he had to stay home today, and told him that his meetings would be organized by conference call. So I'm grateful to that person! It somehow helps to have him here. I keep looking for Kelsie. The photo above is from April 28, 2002: her very first birthday.

I made a special "cake" for her. She loved it.
I'm working through the 2002 photos now. We surely had many good times together. You don't realize how good your life is, until it has sped by. 
It was very cold and wet today. It poured all morning. No little dog to let in the back door and rub off with the towel. No little dog shaking herself until her collar rattled. No smell of wet dog filling the kitchen. The weirdest thing to me is that no one is there to let out often. I feel bereft and very lonely.

This photo was taken in June 2002, at Trout Lake. Kelsie loved going to parks in the car. She loved car rides. She loved exploring. She was a great companion for Matthew.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

First Wednesday without Kelsie.

Today Robert worked from home. Yes, indeed, only one week after his surgery. It's spring break, so our normal routine is gone at the moment. Usually Robert heads off to Scout Canada meeting with his cub scouts. He's a leader and enjoys it immensely. When the weather was good, and when Kelsie felt more peppy than she has been the past 2 weeks, she would always know when he was returning home around 9 pm and she would always be anxiously waiting at the back door, looking out the sliding glass door to see if she could see him. Each night Robert would take her for a walk around the block. On nice evenings I would often go with them. Lately the walks were very slow, and just up to Wellington, across the street, up half a block, and back. That's all she could manage lately. Just a week ago, before Robert went on his trip to Victoria with the cubs, we took her for a long walk, as she seemed up to it. We walked all the way to Ann Street and back along the lane and up Ruby. Kelsie was going really slow by the time we got half way up the street. That was our very last long walk together.

 I took her for her very last walk, just by myself, last Friday March 16. Little did I know it was the last. We went up the street, to the right, and down the back lane. Kelsie seemed really happy and I'm so glad I had that last wander with her. She was a terrific walker up until last summer. I even walked all the way to my parent's home last May, although that nearly did her in. I miss my walking buddy so much. We often took afternoon rambles together, and it was really sad to see her get older. But of course it was inevitable! She didn't have any arthritis as we left the laundry room floor on for her each night. Lately I'd just kept it on full time as we've had a very cold and damp winter. The first photo above is of Paul and Matthew walking Kelsie in Oct 2001. On that day she was 6 months old. The last photo was taken Feb 20. This is the last dinner photo with Kelsie in it; she always loved to have her picture taken!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

First Tuesday without Kelsie.

Little Kelsie, in June 2001.
She fit in immediately.
She was always such a good dog.

Matthew loved her too, and when he moved away in Nov 2008, Kelsie couldn't figure out where he went. Life is full of ups and downs; full of joy and heartbreak. Most of the days flow in a pattern, but then comes the time for a big upset and turmoil. It felt like that when Matthew moved out on Nov 28, 2008. I didn't want him to go; he was only 19. But he was very independent. Yet I still had Kelsie as she remained here with us. That was a big help to me, as the ache caused by Matthew leaving was very painful indeed.

Now that little Kelsie is gone, the pain has grown deeper. Tonight was the first Tuesday without Kelsie at suppertime, and the first Tuesday with Matthew here, but no Kelsie to greet him. She always seemed to know when he was coming, as I'd clean house and scrub all day. She just loved it when he was here. Up until recently, they would play energetically together, and sometimes in the evening if it was warm we'd all go for a walk together. As Kelsie got older, this happened less and less.

However last Tuesday, which we didn't know was our last one together, she sat near us at supper and whined a lot. Because she wasn't eating well, I only was giving her dog food, but that night I gave her some raw carrot which she gobbled down. She also ran to the back door when Matthew and Robert left at 10:30 pm to go do the risers, and she hadn't done that in a while. She wanted to go out too, to see them off. It was like she was saying good-bye.

The past few days I've been looking through all the photos I took of her in 2001, and I've been putting them in a special album on my Facebook page privately, so I can view them on our smart TV. I have so many lovely photos. It really helps to re-live the memories, as Kelsie now lives in our hearts.