Thursday, February 26, 2009


I've had a lot of small bits of this and that with my family lately. And, thought I'd share them with you. I know the word used to describe snippets of information is, 'factoids,' but I thought Frocktoids is a better fit for us.

Wichita Falls seems to be agreeing with Evan. Sheppard Air Force base is much smaller than Lackland. But, Michael informs me that Lackland actually is a massive base and dwarfs most others. So, if Lackland is the first exposure to Air Force life, all seem surprisingly small to Airmen at first.

Evan is very pleased with his room accommodations and the size of his closet. It's actually a walk-in! His room mate and he don't see much of each other as they are on different shifts. Ev's day now begins at 11PM. That would be a great schedule for me since I am, by nature, a night crawler. Evan seems all right with having been assigned the third shift.

The chow hall is outstanding which is a huge step up from his experience in Basic. However, generally philosophical about these things Evan said, "I guess they even use the food as a way to stress you out when you're in basic, but I just had french toast here and it was slammin'!" Always a good thing...slammin' french toast.

Tech School runs 24 hours a day! In the few months' time that he will spend at Shep, he will have undergone about three and a half college courses of information. Talk about an intense mini-mester! He likes his instructor. Most things are done with Power Point presentations and he has to hand write his notes. Laptops not allowed in the classroom.

I suggested that, immediately after every shift, he sit in his room and transcribe all his notes onto his brand new laptop. That way, he gets to process all the new data twice. Somehow, that dual processing seems to plant the new info quicker. He thinks he might give that a try.

Life is good for Airman Frock. He has his phone back so he's in touch with the world again. He took the picture here with his phone! I adore hearing from him just checking in and saying, "Good morning, or actually,Good night." Sharing tidbits before he takes off for another day. His room is relatively comfortable and the training is interesting. He'll still be hoping for mail to read even with the electronic connections once again available so I'll have ample opportunity to continue practicing my penmanship. Our boy is doing just fine!

Melissa, on the other hand, is in a mad struggle at the moment. Things at her home are tense and sad. Dash, her five year old Jack Russell mix has thrown a disc in his back. He can't walk and is in a great deal of pain. "Dash" is one of the most appropriately named dogs I know. Except now. Now he's unable to move his back legs and wag his tail, bewildered and hurt. Melissa, Opie and Zach are uncertain.

Opie and Dash have become best buds. He's not sure what to do and hates what may be the eventuality for his poor dog. They are trying steroids and pain medication to see if this is a passing thing, hoping that his young age is working in his favor.

Melissa immediately drops into former vet tech mode to help the 'family' process all the info that's being thrown at them. It's a massive help to have her knowledge at times like this. But, she's also my daughter who is trying to do the right thing for her pet and the ones with whom she lives. She's my kid who can't help but painfully recall that she went through this same heartbreaking decision with her colt back in the fall. And, I'm feeling hard pressed to find a way to make it better for her.

"I'm getting pretty sick of having my young pets blow up in my face," and I can relate having had to put down one of my Cairn Terriers when he was only four years old. Unbelievable what I put myself through.

It's never easy walking that last mile with your animal. Never. Sometimes it's easier, depending on the amount of suffering the animal might be experiencing, to understand the 'rightness' of your decision. But it never makes it all right. You do it because that's what a loving owner does.

Having had the experience several times prior to young Jessie, I knew what to expect. But, what I wasn't prepared for was the difference with Jessie being young enough to know and act like he just wanted to get the hell out of the vet's office that last day. He didn't 'look' or 'act' sick. He looked young and vital. I felt lousy sitting there waiting. Just friggin' awful.

But, Jessie's juvenile diabetes couldn't be controlled and was getting worse. Just as his aggressiveness was escalating. Jessie, probably feeling at risk since he was unwell, would attack Yoki simply for being the larger canine. I guess that was Jess's way of putting him on notice. Yokie would try to avoid it but, I broke up many dog fights. And, was bitten once in the process; not intentionally, my hand happened to be in the wrong place at the exact wrong moment. Actually, the bite was what stopped Jessie cold. He was very contrite.

However, I ended up in the hospital with blood poisoning from my own dog! Massive antibiotics pumped into me. A hand surgeon called in because it looked like surgery might be necessary. Thankfully the drugs reversed it. But, the hospital because of your own pet...

It was a bad situation for me and Yoki & Meggie. It had to be done. Though heartbreaking.

It seemed incredibly unfair. Jessie was a rescue Cairn. And, I couldn't help but feel cheated. I found him and brought him to a loving home only to have him destroyed within a couple of years. I suppose I can rest in the knowledge that I was able to give him fun and love for most of his life, regardless of how short that life may have been. I can see that now, but it took a very long time.

And, the irony is that Melissa and Opie went to West Virginia to liberate Dash from a shelter. He, too, is a rescue pup. They have given him love and joy. As he has brought to them. Prayers are needed all around. I hope you'll send them some loving thoughts today.

I don't want to end this post on such a sad note. So, I'll also share that I heard from Laura who enjoyed seeing Olivia as a recent post. She then said, "She gets more beautiful by the day, I swear!" What a mystery it must be to be a mother and watch your child change and grow. What a wonderful thing to be able to witness each day in your life. A blessing.

And, I hope that today, we can all find a moment of something beautiful, I swear!

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka WSM


Whitney said...

I will certainly be saying prayers for Dash and his family. I have only had to put one animal down so far. She was a 20 year old cat and her kidneys started failing. I believe that was the hardest thing I've had to do. My Mom and I cried for days as Betsy was a childhood pet. We got her when I was an infant. But as you said, we can take comfort in knowing we provided a happy, loving home while she was here. And knowing how she touched our lives as well.

Life With Dogs said...

We also had a rescue that we lost far too quickly. I was comforted by the fact that I knew his time with us was as good as it could possibly be - considering where rescues usually come from, that is important.

Be proud that you were a good steward.

The Bird's Staff said...

Sorry to learn of your sadness.
There is always the ache of putting down your friend, we all pay the price for loving our furry friends. Never again we say but the joy of having a loyal pet tempts us back to once again repeat the heartache...

Holly said...

Dear Bird,
That's very kind of you. And, thank you for joining my blog. Look back because there are several entries that deal with our critters. Meantime, that is quite a beautiful baby you have! Welcome to Your Mother Knows!

PureCommonSense said...

I hope Dash turns out okay. I have had a host of pets in my lifetime - dogs, mice, turtles and goldfish. It is always sad when one goes. We had one goldfish for several years and gave him a funeral and gravestone in our backyard, we couldn't just flush him he was a member of our family. And the dog we had growing up - fine dalmation - was a year younger than me and we had her from puppy to about age 17. So I basically grew up with her.

Erin said...

A few years ago, Jim had to put down his first pet. A little ferret named Dexter that he took in from someone who could no longer care for him. Sadly, he was taken at a young age by a disease that often strikes ferret-mill ferrets: Adrenal Disease. (This stems from having them descented and fixed to early.)
I am a veteran pet owner, having had to make the tough decision to put my cat Stash down when I was only a early teenager. I had to let him deal with this in his own time. As a result, we had rediculously expensive surgery done to remove the adrenal gland, only to discover that a major artery had wrapped itself around it in such a way as to make removal impossible. We had a second surgery to attempt removal at a later date, hoping that the vein had rerouted no avail. I nursed that little guy every night for over a week, like he was my child. I feel so badly for you all for this tragedy, but Melissa and Opie have given him such love that he may never have known without the time he has gotten to spend with them!

Helpful Buckeye said...

I was out of touch for several days last week and am now just getting caught up on e-mails, blogs, etc. I was distressed to read about you and your family losing one of your dogs to a disc problem. Those can be devastating to a dog and dealing with them as the owner is a very trying time. My sympathies to you and your family.
I covered disc problems in an issue of my blog a few months ago, which you can access in the column under "Labels." Perhaps that will help you understand more about why those things happen.
I also sent you an e-mail last week about the picture you sent me with the Westie and Scottie. I would like to use that picture in my blog if it's OK with you. The e-mail went to your gmail address.
Lastly, there was an interesting article in USA Today yesterday about weather-related headaches, which you might want to read. This is the web link:

Helpful Buckeye

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