The house is warm again

For 2 weeks the dogs have been huddling with me at every occasion.  They don’t like the house being below 60 degrees F.  We finally got the furnace fixed.  It turned out that the propane tank was making too much pressure and so it was burning so hot that the system was shutting down.  “Bowman heating and cooling” adjusted the valve and got the system to limit it.

We had Holtzman to come out and work on the regulator and they said that it was at 11 PSI.  They usually set it for 12 PSI in the house but they didn’t adjust it because we were having problems with pressure.  Well… that was $125 out of the pocket that was wasted.

But now that we have the heating working the dogs are not sleeping on me.  You would think that having dogs huddle on you would be good.  But it is nor comfortable.  I am glad that they now sleep in their own space and are not on top of me.


I miss Remy

A unique thing about Remy was that whenever he heard the click of the TV, he ran from wherever he was to jump on the couch and secure his place for watching a movie.  We rarely watch the TV. About the only time is when we get a movie in the mail from Netflix.

On Friday we received the Ghostbusters 2016 disk in the mail so we watched it Friday night.  I pushed the button that turns on the TV and DVD player.   The click came out… but Remy didn’t appear.

I think this is the first time that I have done something that would result in something uniquely “Remy” and yet Remy was not there.

I miss Remy.

Kira and Goof got cold

Just as I was recovering from being sick and not able to eat, I woke up at 2am with both Kira and Goof laying tightly against me.  While it is normal for Goof to sleep near me, Kira doesn’t like to be within 2 feet of anyone and never against them.  Both were shivering.

We normally keep the house on a schedule to save energy and let it drop down to 60 at night.  But when I checked the thermostat it was down to 53.  I pushed the temperature up to 68 but nothing happened.  It was 19 degrees F outside.

I put a small blanket over Goof and one on Kira.  Goof stayed curled up and slowly stopped shivering.  Kira kicked her blanket off and kept pressed against me shivering.

First thing in the morning I called the AC repair company that installed the unit 2 years ago and they said they were booked but would try to find a way to fit us in for an emergency visit.  We pay $400 a year for a maintenance contract that includes the cost of any emergencies and adds a bit of priority to us.

During the day we tried various things and found that it we flipped the emergency switch by the unit that it could be brought back to life for about 15 minutes.  I didn’t think it was particularly good for the unit to keep flipping that switch.  So we found that going to the thermostat and turning it to off for a minute and then back to heat that it would run the same 15 minute cycle.  So, all day long the dogs huddled together and shivered while wore long coats and kept cycling the unit.  We got the house up to about 63 by 5pm.

At about 6pm the repair person arrived and after about 30 minutes of testing he found that a protective switch was failing and told us that we could keep cycling it without damaging it.  We got the house up to 66 but it will drop again.  We got out a little oil space heater and have put it in the room with Kira so that she won’t shiver so bad.

I am getting better

I haven’t eaten anything in 4 days but today I finally made some eggs and was able to keep them down.  It always messes me up when a dog goes down.  Somehow these critters just get to me and I cannot handle their exit.  I know what we did for Remy was right.  He would have slowly died from not being able to eat.  I just hate doing it.  I think I get more upset as I get older.

Life is getting a little back to normal for me.  For the first time in a week I didn’t accidentally put Remy’s bowl out. Every day this week I have fixed 4 breakfast for the dogs and then fussed at myself for putting a bowl down for Remy. I made some eggs and kept them down. This has been the worst birthday that I can remember.

But life goes on.  Goofy McGoofface is curled up under my office chair and Kira is sleeping soundly.  It is 26 outside and the house is below 60. It is going to be a bad winter.

I do miss Remy terribly.

Remy: Farewell

On Friday Remy stopped eating and got lethargic.  Then Sunday I heard him fall at about 3am and got up to find him laying in the floor in the kitchen.  I would have stayed home with him but I had to lay off about 1/4 of my staff so it wasn’t an option to stay home.  I carried him to his bed and got him a bowl of water which he seemed happy to have.  He drank 2 bowls of water but still didn’t get up before I had to leave for work.

I have been through this enough that I knew it was the end.  I hugged him and said my goodbyes.  Mike was able to stay home from work and called the vet.  The vet came out to the house and Mike held him as they put him down.  He had esophageal paralysis and there wasn’t anything that could be done.

Here is the last picture I have of Remy.  He is the yellow one in the middle.  This was just before our Stump burning party.  He was waggy and healthy through Thanksgiving and overnight he just changed.


Remy was the first rescue dog that got us involved in HART ( He was a really good dog.  He was a weak alpha but he never had accidents and never destroyed anything (other than when his tail knocked stuff off of tables).  He was about 9 months old when we rescued him from hurricane Katrina in 2005.  He lived 11 years with us.

Remy started life in a difficult situation.  When we got him, he had been trapped in the floods and had learned to fend for himself along with a dog named Riley.  During the first few months of having him he was running in the yard with the other dogs and his foot broke for no apparent reason.  He fell over and we ran to help him.  You could feel the bone grinding but he never bit us or lashed out while we were checking out his foot.

Remy was the only dog that couldn’t be taught not to bark.  He would wake the house up if you didn’t get up to give him food.  And the entire time you were putting the food in the bowls, he would bark.  It was frustrating but now that he is gone, I miss it.  Every morning and evening I still get out food for him and then have to kick myself because something is missing.  It is a dog that is missing.

Friday came along and I was off for my birthday.  I had Mike cancel dinner as I just am too sad to celebrate.  My father died on my birthday and it seems that my dogs die close to my birthday.  I think I have had one dog (Grendel) that didn’t die right near my birthday.

Goof: he makes me smile

The past year has been one of the most difficult that I can remember. The job is at the edge of success and failure and I have gone without salary through out it, not just one but two small tornados hit our house in the summer tearing up the porch and roof, and recently failures of hardware in our production system at work that have kept me working 24hours a day for a couple of weeks have just worn me down. I drive to work knowing that I have no choice but to stay and I drive home wishing that I didn’t have to make the drive.  My staff happily takes vacation and leaves me without coverage for customer support so I am working 13 hour days to cover for them.  And recently, my phone battery ruptured and melted down losing everything that I had in it.  I have backups, but my replacement phone won’t accept the backup.

Tonight I was sitting in my office thinking about what to do about my failed phone and just making myself more depressed when the little orange goofball came running in the room, looked at me, and then jumped on me pushing me and my chair into the wall and knocking over my laptop and a few other things. In the mood that I was in, I would think that I would have just yelled at him, but instead I surprised myself that I just laughed, hugged him, and then wrestled with him.

In all of the problems I have had, this little reincarnation of Darby that I call Goof just seems to be able to break the mood and make me smile when I least expect it. Every night I go to bed and he is somewhere else. Every morning I wake up and he is laying with his back against me and his head on my pillow. He doesn’t move a bit no matter if I toss and turn (which is pretty common) and will lay there silently till I reach over and touch his nose. During the work week I touch his nose at 6am, but on weekends I touch it at 8am. He sits there so silently waiting for his breakfast but won’t bother me till I touch his nose.

When I touch his nose, he stands up, stretches, and then lays on me and chews on my hand until I wrestle with him. Then I give him breakfast. He is the most energetic, affectionate, and patient dog I have seen. Every dog is different, but this one can do bad things and I just fuss, fix, and move on. I don’t do that with the other dogs. Something about this little thing is unique.

Goof: Just a wonderful companion

I still cannot imagine how someone could throw this little dog away.  Yes he is energetic and wants a lot of attention, but he gives back more than any dog we have had.  Every morning I find him laying on the bed with his head on the pillow next to me and when I move, he adjusts.  When I wake, he is watching me and slaps me in the face with a paw to start the morning.  We wrestle and play for a while and then I get up and for my shower and shave and he waits by the door.

I really am happy that this little dog likes me.  I feared that I would never have a dog like Kira that liked me and stuck with me, but I was wrong.  Goof seems to really like me.

He is just so much a Darby reincarnation that I have to think that this kind of dog personality must exist all over the place.  When I walk through the house, he walks with me watching me… literally looking at my face… for direction.  When I sit down or lay down, he lays on my foot or finds a way to be touching me.

I am really glad we adopted this little guy.  He does get into trouble and he cannot be trusted alone in the yard, but in time I think he will figure out the boundaries.  He is only 1.5 years old right now.