Addie’s Journal, Chapter 7 – Celebrating the One Week Mark

A week has passed since Addie moved in with us. As I’ve watched her closely, her small daily changes  in adapting have given me much joy and so this day I’m taking measure of the growth I’ve seen.

  • After Flower and Ed left yesterday, Addie was very tired. She didn’t get up and follow me whenever I moved around as she always does. When she heard me move she simply opened her eyes, saw everything was okay, then closed them and returned to sleep. Another little step forward!
  • I lifted Addie onto my lap on the couch with me after dinner and gently stroked her for half an hour. Then I needed to bring Button inside for the night, so went to the basement and out that door, found him and brought him in. When I returned upstairs after turning out the lights downstairs, Button was by the gate and Addie was five feet away from him. She made no aggressive sounds or actions. I was tickled by what these actions said. Button, also, made no aggressive sounds or actions. I’m hoping we moved a little closer today to the happy co-habitation plan I envision.
  • I asked to reschedule Addie’s spay surgery for another week and the shelter agreed. It just seems too soon given all she’s endured in the last several days.
  • We’ve worked out a broad plan for attention to both Addie and Button. Button jumps on my bed each evening and we spend fun time together: talking, petting, scratching his back and behind his ears. He sleeps on my belly all night, we repeat the evening routine in the morning, and then come out to greet Addie, whose tail wags joyfully as I see her entire body emanate a little more happiness each day. She is the most beautiful wake-up moment of the day. I open her crate door, she happily hops out, then stays still as I rub under her chin and belly. When I pick up the leash without saying a word, she knows exactly what that means and wags her tail enthusiastically as I fasten the collar. Out the door we go. Today she bounded out and off the back deck, and began running alongside the perimeter of the property, as I jogged along with her.
  • Addie’s learned much about her land already, and shows me some preferential places she likes to go to: the shaded glen, then around the dog pen fence to the other side, and into the grassy entrance to the stream, where she hops right in and splashes around. Water level is awfully low right now; she has to walk out nearly two feet to get to the water that is usually right at the bank. She’ll enjoy it more when the level returns, but she’s delighted with what’s there now.
  • Half an hour later we return for breakfast, hers first, of course! I’ve been wrapping her antibiotic in delicious cat food. This morning she ate the cat food and left the capsule. I re-wrapped it again and that time she ate all the food and left the capsule again. The capsule was soft and sticky by that time, so I re-wrapped it in more cat food and let it soften about half and hour. Third time was the charm.
  • I went downstairs mid-morning to walk on the treadmill. When I returned in a little while, Addie and Button were laying on the floor about four feet apart, calm and fine as could be. It was high praise and reward time for them both!
  • She’s learning her name. Indoors, a little while ago, I called to her, “Addie.” No response. The second time I called, she looked at me.
  • Addie’s lost some of her fear of every single noise: as we walked in the glen, my neighbor across the stream mowed his lawn. She paid no heed to the noise. When I tossed some fallen branches on the burn pile, she never broke her sniffing stride.
  • Addie’s eyes were injured during her attack; last night we finished her eye drops. Her eyes look so good, as well as deeply beautiful, as beagle eyes always are.

I decided this day, since no one knows anything about Addie’s history prior to Animal Control found her on June 26th, 2017 at 1:15 in the  afternoon in a ditch, that I will decree her birthday as being July 9, the day I brought her home. I’ve seen her age estimated at anywhere from two, three, and four years old, and that will remain a mystery. Yet a birthday celebration’s a celebration. Does age matter? I think not. Life and love is what matters!

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About Mary Jo Doig

At the turn of the millennium, I arrived at a cross-road that brought me to a splendid, if unforeseen place, almost as if I were a traveler on Robert Frost's The Road Less Traveled. I was single again, my three children were grown and building their lives, I'd experienced a health issue and was working on an improved lifestyle. I also ached to do two other things: (1) change my long human services career in upstate New York's Catskill Mountains, where winter seemed to be at least seven months out of every year, and (2) move to a warmer place in the universe. My decision: did I want to continue on the path I'd been following pretty much all my life, or could I gather my then-fragile courage and start life brand new somewhere else? These were scary thoughts for a single woman in her late 50s. Five hundred miles away, though, I fell in love with a new mountain range, Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains, where I knew not a soul except my daughter who was attending college in the Shenandoah Valley, and I moved. I rented a tiny cabin on a mountain in the woods and lived there in solitude for two years, working in a new career by day and, when home, communing with the incredible natural beauty that surrounded me. There I also began to write my life stories, which were aching for release. I joined the Story Circle Network in early 2001, a rich place in cyberspace for women life writers, where I strengthened my written voice and began sharing my stories. I found so many opportunities to grow: 10 year facilitator for an online writing circle of women writers across the country; thirteen year editor of the "True Words from Real Women" section of the quarterly Journal; a reader and reviewer of women's memoirs for the SCN Book Review site; program chair for two Stories from the Heart national conferences in Austin, T. Presently I'm teaching Women's Life-Writing and Older Women's Legacy workshops in my part of the world in Central Virginia and facilitating the ongoing Circle of Memories Writing Circle (formerly an OWL workshop that continued on) at the Crozet Public Library. I am blessed with three wonderful children, a son and two daughters; a small, huge-hearted family; dear friends; my beagle Addie and cat Button. My hobbies include reading, writing, editing, cooking, gardening, quilting, knitting, biking, and simply being with the profound beauty of the mountains that embrace my small two acres in the Blue Ridge. The life stories I began writing in 2001 have grown deeper with time, re-writes, and personal growth. All these years later, I'm scheduled to publish my memoir, Stitching a Patchwork Life, in 2018.
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4 Responses to Addie’s Journal, Chapter 7 – Celebrating the One Week Mark

  1. judyalter says:

    Beautiful story, Mary Jo.

    Like

  2. Yup – birthdays are important! With Buttercup, we had a fair estimate of age and we realized it was close to Gary’s granddaughter’s age – so we celebrate both on July 10. Love the photo of Addie in this post!

    Like

  3. Susan rosher says:

    I have been enjoying Addie’s saga toward recovery .
    I have not been to va for 2 years or so, but look forward to meeting her some day. She reminds me of our family pet Maggie in my teens. We lost our 16 yr old Sammy , a sheltie, last October , and found our Rudy in an Amish farm barn loft last November 7 mons old. Nick cried for weeks after Sammy left us. So Rudy , a sheltie, seemed to speak to us at first sight., the only boy of the 5 puppies. It has been a challenge for us. Wishing you and Addie a very long and special friendship .

    Liked by 1 person

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