I have found your Lab!

On this Wednesday, 6 weeks to the day my boy left me, I am missing him so very much. Some days are so much worse than others. I still feel a bit of unreality, like I sometimes get the feeling that he is coming back. I know that is not at all realistic and then I get the punched in the stomach feeling…..he is really gone and it is so permanent. I worked a bit on his scrapbook tonight. Just Geary tonight. Anyway, this is his memory place so, ….Last Summer I got a phone call. A man said” we have found your dog.” The dog fence contained Ty when he wanted to stay in the yard. It was effective, maybe 50 percent of the time. I have them tagged with my name , address and phone! as well as their names. Ty’ s was the keepsake that my daughter wanted along with part of his ashes. We take the dogs a lot when we travel and I was always so afraid one of them would accidentally get loose so I bought the tags. I had gone for a walk and my husband had let Ty out. The rule was that if I was out walking or running, Ty had to be in the house. Somehow, he always seemed to know I was down the road somewhere. I got back to the house and soon after my phone rang.  Someone had found Ty. He gave detailed directions except that he gave them thinking that I was coming the opposite way. I was like How far did he go? I drove down the road and could not find the house. I turned around as he said he would go into his front yard and wait. I get almost back to my house and there stands this man with my dog. We live back off the road in the woods. He told me that his girlfriend had been walking in the woods and saw him. I guess she thought he was just some loose dog running around. They seemed a bit disappointed to find his tags I think. Turns out Ty was just running around in our woods. They did not really even realize our house was back there. They had moved in fairly recently. So I showed them where our house sat. I at least got to meet my neighbors that day. We all had a big laugh over finding a dog that was not really lost. Life with my Ty Guy was never boring, that is for sure. I am sure the bridge is a livelier place with his presence. Love and miss you so much, Mommy

Labs Don’t Shed

That was the joke in my house for a good many years. When my husband was petitioning for a second dog, that was one of my arguments. I already sweep up a half of a dog every day now. His reply, “Labs don’t shed.” I think he truly thought they did not. So , as I would empty a dustpan, change a sweeper bag or pick a black hair out of my food:) I would laugh and say” Labs don’t shed.” Well, shed  did. Twice a year, profusely. I would brush and brush and still could get more. It is funny, his hair would end up different places than Chandler’s. It was a different texture and Chan’s Border Collie coat stays suspended in the air. I was plugging my phone in last night and looked at the back. It is white and I could see nestled inside the cover are 2 black Ty hairs. They are staying. There was still some on the sniffer yesterday. He is probably in corners that I will not discover for awhile. As I said before, this was his home. Our furniture was his too.  I have come to realize though that the longer he is gone that there will come a time that I don’t find his hair anymore. You know what, that makes me feel so very sad. The last few times that I brushed him, I saved the hair I got. It is in a baggie in the memory box, along with his extra large Kong, his bandanas, shirts cards, collar etc. I have not even disposed of his meds yet. I think subconsciously, that I knew he was not going to be with me much longer so saving some of his hair gave me a tiny part of him to hold on to.  I dint know if that makes me sound like a weirdo or not. Hey, I may just sprinkle some around the house again when I stop finding it. I think the memory of him is kind of like his hair. Nestled into the walls and corners of this house to be found, sometimes, when you least expect to. There was a pair of shoes by the front door today. I could see my Ty Guy very clearly in my mind, picking one up and heading out the front door with it in his mouth. I miss and Love you so much my precious boy.  ( by the way, I do know how to spell Swiffer, my tablet would not let me go back and change it)

Oh those eyes!

Ty waiting for chair 2 Printing some pictures for Ty’s scrapbook. Came upon this one. This memory is so priceless. We have a big chair in our bedroom ( sort of a chair and a half.) Somehow, Ty decided that it had been put in there as his bed. Every night at between 8:30 and 9:00, this is the look we would start to get. He would sit there and just stare us down. If one of us got up, you guessed it….. Ty and I had quite a few snuggles on that chair. It was another melt into me place for him. He would keep scooting closer and closer. If neither of us moved in what he thought was a reasonable amount of time, he would start to become vocal. I can still hear him. We got such a charge out of it. So comical. I miss those snuggles, miss that routine. That was one of the hardest things to see, when he could no longer get up on his chair. This was taken shortly before he was diagnosed. This was November and he was diagnosed in the beginning of January. I had no idea how my world was about to be changed.I can see that he had lost a bit of weight already looking back on this picture. He was still active and eating well though. I can remember the night I took this picture. We were getting our usual chuckle out of his predictability. He had done this a million times before,  but something made me turn on my ipad camera and snap this. I am ever so glad I did. By the way, we never made him wait too long for his chair. After he would jump up, he would lean his head back every night and just stare at me with those big brown eyes.

The day Ty became “mine”

I cannot put down the memories of Ty’s life without including his accident. He was just over a year old. He liked to chase cars and the Amish buggies that would go past our house. It did not help that his Mom ran all over the neighborhood. Of course he wanted to see her. She lived across the street cattycornered from us, but spent most of her time at the house directly across the road. They were very generous with treats:) We always went outside with him to keep him in the yard. I was at work and my 15 year old daughter got home before me. She let the dogs out and thought she could go inside for a few minutes. She tells me that she can still hear the impact to this day and I am sorry she has that in her mind. A lady was speeding down the road( a neighbor witnessed it) and hit him with an SUV. She left after saying that she would be in touch if there was damage to her car. My cell phone had run dead that day( I don’t think we were as attached to them as we are now this was in 2007) I came down the road to see the whole neighborhood sitting in my front yard crying. Adults too! I called my husband who was on his way home. I could immediately tell his leg was broken. We loaded him into the back of our Jeep and I rode back there with him holding his leg together as best as I could. He would whimper when it would move, but never, ever showed any sign of aggression. When we got him to the vet and put him on the table, his tail was thumping. I knew then that this dog was one of a kind. He had to stay at the vet for 2 days before they would operate. He had lung contusions and they were concerned about additional internal damage. They basically wanted to see if he was going to make it before they fixed his leg. I called them many times over the next days. After an emotional 2 days, they decided to repair the leg. If the damage was too great, they would amputate. I now wonder….though his tumor was in his scapula, not his leg. I often wonder about the role the plate and pins played. that is one of those just don’t think about it things, I guess. They pinned and plated his leg and for the next 6 years, you would never know that anything had happened. I had to look  close (there was a very faint mark) to remember which leg it was. He never had any further lung or stomach issues( well unless he ate those non food items)  He ran, jumped and played as Labs do. I installed an underground dog fence the week he was hit. He would still occasionally run through it, but we could pretty much keep him contained. When we moved here, I had another one installed even though were far off the road. When we brought him home to recuperate, I was the one who took care of Ty. I fed him special things, gave him his meds, changed his dressings and took him to all of his vet visits. It was then that we formed that unbreakable bond. I would always joke to my husband that “his dog” was ornery. Suddenly he was “my dog”. Where I went, he went. He would turn those eyes on me and I would melt. My husband said to me one day that he had never seen a dog look at someone with as much love as Ty did me. He was so very special. When we would go to the vet, he had to be sitting on the bench beside me. He would then lean in just as close as he could get. How I miss that. When I would stand, he would lean into my leg so I could pet his velvet ears. He never minded the ear petting. I would love to pet them just one more time. He liked to be massaged in the little dent between his eyes. It was like acupuncture for him I think:) Ty did not have one mean bone in his body.Yet I have no doubt that he would have guarded my family with his life if need be. I was right way back then, he is one of a kind. He was my big, goofy furball of fire. I miss you precious boy!

More non food items!

I figure this is as good a place as any to share the memories now. After all, this blog is celebrating TY. I ate a popsicle last night. I did not have to put the stick in a covered trash can 🙁 I had to have trash cans with lids in all my rooms. Tissues, q tips, candy wrappers, Ty loved them all. I would throw something in only to watch him dig it out. He then figured out how to flip open the lids. I always had to go retrieve my popsicle  sticks from his mouth. My stick was still in the trash this morning. I was thinking today how big of a hole is here now with him gone. There is not a room that does not have a memory of his presence. This was his home and he LIVED here. He was allowed on the furniture and he begged at the table. Bad manners, maybe, but I think he enjoyed life. I used to say that there is no bad day when you are a Lab. He was so happy. I think I will start trying to be more Lab. The other thing that he ate was an entire tree of cheap glass Christmas ornaments. We used to have a weekend house that was in the middle of nowhere. I had put up a tree and used Dollar General balls. This was his first Christmas and I suppose they looked good. We were miles from a vet. He never even got sick. I am not sure he actually managed to swallow any, but rather just crushed them up. His tail could clear off the bottom of a Christmas tree in a heartbeat. Swish, splat, splat! When guests came, I tried to stand between his tail and the tree. I miss his big thumping tail. I could hear it as soon as I walked in the door. I called it happy tail syndrome. I am surprised that he never broke it as hard as he would thump it against things. I even miss his over enthusiastic greetings. If he was outside, he would jump up and throw his entire body sideways against me. He had enough strength to knock me over if I wasn’t prepared. I know, I know, bad manners. He was just always so happy to see his people come home. He was a precious soul and I miss him every minute. My life was made infinitely better because he was a part of it.

How we got TY


I had no plans to get another dog when Ty came along.

My neighbor’s dog had just had puppies. She was a very sweet tempered Chocolate Lab that sort of had the run of the neighborhood. The puppies and Mama were out in an open garage. When the puppies got old enough, they started to come across the road to visit. now my 4 girls loved that , but I knew the dangers even though it was a back road. ( this was the road that TY would later be hit on) I told them not to feed them at our house. We began to return them when they came over, but inevitably, they wound up back at our house. In my pictures somewhere, I have a picture of the entire litter on my daughter’s lap. Still looking for that picture. Ty was the only male in the litter and my husband began to hint that he might want him. I said, “no, one dog and 2 cats and 4 kids is enough.” I am not sure that I argued for long. I eventually took the $150 down and told the owner that I wanted the male for my husband’s Birthday. This, in hindsight, is some of the best money I have ever spent. He would later prove to be the most expensive dog I have owned thus far, but he was worth his weight and more in gold. For the longest time, we had “your dog” and “my dog”. Not sure exactly when they both became mine, but at some point I became tremendously attached to this big gangly guy. His name started out as TYRAN….shortened to TY and eventually TY GUY. WE helped find homes for the remaining puppies and I have actually seen his one sister about a month ago. She is almost as sweet as he was. Almost! He was big, he chewed everything and his tail was crazy! He jumped, he licked and he dug. In short he was a typical Lab puppy. I remember saying one day to someone,” He is 4 now. Someone told me they settle down at 4.” Suddenly, he was 8. Where did that 4 years go? Why did I want him to settle? His activity and big personality are what I miss so much now. I miss stepping over his big body when I am making dinner. He always had to be in the same room as I was. Had I known what the future would bring, the training , the accident and eventually the cancer, would I have carried that money across the road to buy him…….IN A HEARTBEAT!!!! Love and miss my TY GUY!

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