Life Lately: Motherhood

Let her sleep, for when she wakes, she will move mountains.

Let her sleep, for when she wakes, she will shake the world.

~Napoleon Bonaparte

grace nose

Life has been a bit of a blur lately. So much of one that I realized just yesterday, eleven days into August, that we had turned a page on another month; this much closer to cozy autumn days, sweaters and rich colors and falling leaves and other magic.

While I look forward, I have also been consumed for the last two months with something unexpected. In June we took our gorgeous Gracie girl to the vet for her usual checkup. While all outward signs have told us she’s a happy, healthy, vibrant dog, one round of routine lab work and one follow up round a month later have revealed otherwise.  There is a problem with her liver, and we don’t yet know what it is.

Sleeping Grace

The process so far has been one of elimination. We spent the first 30 days after the initial testing stopping all of her medications with the hope that they had caused the problem. The second round of tests showed the same scary results as the first. Our efforts didn’t help. Now we are preparing for a third round in a few weeks’ time, and until then our girl will be enjoying an all organic diet, a prescription liver support supplement, as well as other vitamins, minerals and oils to get her back to her healthy best. If these efforts prove futile, ultrasound and biopsy are next on the agenda. And by then, if that moment comes, I will be one doggie mommy on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

Pretty Grace

For these two months I have been watching her every move. Is she sleeping too much? Drinking too much? Eating too little? Does she want to play like she did before? She is sleeping more than usual, but it doesn’t stop me from constantly looking at her and feeling her for the slightest little bump or irregularity. When all she wants to do is sleep, there I am, Crazy Mommy, interrupting her slumber as I run my hands along the perfect contours of her body, wanting to love her because no matter what I do it never feels like enough. I always get the thump of her tail against the floor or the bed, depending on where she settles. Her precious way of saying Mommy, I don’t mind. I love you. But don’t worry Mommy. I’m going to be just fine.

Dog paw

Yesterday I found her outside in the backyard by herself. I watched through the screen door quietly, just wanting to take in her sense of wonder. How she carefully studied a honeybee in the garden, perched atop my red bell pepper plant. How she gently sat down and looked up at the sky as a plane flew overhead, captivated by its movement and sound against bright blue and sweeps of white, as if it was the most interesting thing in the world.  I am always learning from this girl. This beautiful, heaven sent, exquisite creature who has held my heart since the day my husband brought her home.

Grace with her bone

Until that next vet visit, it will be parenthood as usual in this house. We will let her sleep and play and explore and do as she pleases. There will be lots of belly rubs, gentle kisses and Daddy cuddles. And simply enjoying her, and the love that fills this home.

Doggie Cuddles

Have an amazing week, everyone.

Give your babes some extra love today, both the four legged kind and two legged kind.

doggie contemplation

Sunday

“Man is the only animal for whom his own existence is a problem which he has to solve.”

~Erich Fromm

giraffe hide

The last three weeks have not left much time for fun, time with my husband or time for my photography practice. So on Sunday, when my love suggested an afternoon at the Sacramento Zoo, I answered with an eager “yes.”

Sacramento’s zoo is a modest place, but it doesn’t lack in opportunities to get rich, interesting photos. When we went last spring, I was reduced to the camera on my iPhone; this time around I was excited to have my Nikon and its family of different lenses to work with. My only problem in situations like this is the battle to silence my inner critic, and remind myself that photography and the skill it demands is a gradually acquired thing. So we went, and I hoped for the best, and promised to give myself a break if my results were less than stellar. Because really that isn’t what the afternoon was about. This time was meant for loving company, and a chance to see some of the world’s beautiful creatures.

flamingo

orangutan

African Bongo

boar

tigress

kangaroo

river otter

lioness

giraffe

giraffe

giraffe hide

giraffe

The four giraffes we saw were clearly the stars of the show. While I had to take most of my photos from a significant distance and through thick wire fencing or glass, the Sacramento Zoo’s giraffe habitat has a beautiful redwood viewing platform and the lower asphalt walkway is separated from these beauties by only a modest wall and low fence. A wonderful opportunity for even the most novice smart phone user to get beautiful, vibrant shots.

It was a fantastic afternoon~mild weather with pops of sunshine through thick, grey clouds, stunning animals and the man I love.

Perfection.

Enjoy your week, everyone.

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