Letting Go

Kona, our 9 year old male Siamese has been battling Chronic Renal Failure the past couple of months.  We’ve tried to make him as comfortable as possible but came to the realization his condition was not stabilizing.  Steve and I had to make a very difficult decision: it was time to let Kona run free at the Rainbow Bridge.  I have never had to make life decisions like this; it’s absolutely heart-wrenching and to be honest: it SUCKS!

I decided to write this very difficult blog before we let him go because I knew there was no way I was going to be able to write the tribute Kona deserves, once we came home.

Kona was one very special kitty…

     He had pizazz and personality.

He could make you laugh with his inquisitiveness or as he was zipping around the house, with the kitty zoomies.

He was a love bug who would sit on your lap or by you for hours, just enjoying your company.

He would drool all over you as you stroked his velvety fur.

He terrorized his sister…

and loved on Reid like she was his Mama.

He tolerated Pongo and if he had more time, they probably would have become friends.

           WE LOVE YOU AND WILL MISS YOU DEARLY,                       SWEET KONA KITTY!


November 8, 2002 – January 31, 2012

Back In The Game

After a holiday hiatus, we are back into our Nose Work classes.  Pongo has sniffed his way to Advanced Nose Work and is preparing for a trial in May.  Our instructor Liz, at Alaska Dog Sports made today’s class especially challenging for the dogs.  Instead of using the usual small, metal tins to hide the scents, she put the scented q-tips into empty pens.  That means the scent could only travel through the very small opening at the end of the pen.

I love watching Pongo take on a challenge but felt for him today when he struggled a bit to find the hides.

We also had a chance to practice box drills.  Pongo is working really hard on alerting with a sit instead of becoming the Smash-O-Nator and destroying the hide or the box.  All of these small details matter in a trial.  He can find the hide no problem but if he disturbs the hide area, it’s a fault.  So, practice, practice, practice!

Workin’ Out

Exercising outside when it’s 7 below zero is not really my cup of tea.  I’ll do it if I have to but I’d prefer not to.  Pongo and I went for a 40 minute walk today.  And while it was a brisk walk in attempt to stay warm, I don’t really call that a workout. So, I hopped on the treadmill this afternoon.  In the past, we’ve tried to get Pongo to walk on the treadmill by himself but in order for him to walk on it, you have to be walking on it with treats.  I wasn’t too worried about him getting his exercise today as we walked this morning and played frisbee out in the yard a couple of different times.  But when he decided to jump on the treadmill with me, I took advantage.

(I apologize for the poor video quality but walking, while videoing and feeding treats to Pongo was a task in itself!)

Bleeping COLD!

Winter in Anchorage is pretty predictable: snow, Chinook winds (warm winds), ice, and then more snow.  But, this year has been one weird phenomenon after another. Our average snowfall for Anchorage is 74.5 inches.  Right now, we’re sitting at 88.8 inches and still have at least 3 1/2 more months of Winter.  We’re having a hard time figuring out where to put all that snow!

That’s a 7 foot fence!

Besides all the snow we’ve had, we’ve also been frigidly cold.  I’d much rather deal with the snow than the negative temperatures we’re experiencing. At least you can go out and enjoy the snow, without freezing your rear end off!  Today, we took Pongo out for a walk on the trail that runs along Ship Creek.  And as much as Pongo hates wearing his cold weather gear, he definitely needed it today.

Right before we started our walk.

We were out less than a minute and quickly realized…Pongo needed his booties.

Pongo sportin’ his fleece booties.

Pongo and Papa trying to stay warm while Mama froze her fingers taking pictures.

(Oh, the sacrifices I make for the blog!)

One happy Cattle Dog!

My two handsome and very frosty guys.

King of The Bed

We have never been one to allow our dogs on the furniture, let alone sleep with us. It wasn’t too hard to enforce because Reid was never really a get-up-on-the-couch type of dog, and trying to coax her on the bed causes her to go into convulsions.  All this changed when Pongo came along.

At first we were really good about enforcing the “no animals on the furniture” rule but eventually we broke down and allowed him on the couch when he was 8 or 9 months.  Then, things just naturally progressed to the occasional sleep in the bed with us but that meant Steve and I didn’t sleep very well because Pongo has to be right in the middle, sprawled out, and touching both of us.  We both would wake up shivering, a couple millimeters from the edge and more often than not, a dog head resting on my pillow inches from my face.

We’ve been tossing around the idea of a king bed for a while but have hesitated because of space.  Our bedroom is not the conventional bedroom; it’s small, opens out to the living room (I know it sounds weird but it adds “character” to the house), and everyone has to walk through it to get to the living room.  So, having a ginormous bed isn’t really conducive to good feng shui.

We decided to take the plunge though this weekend and buy a king bed because having Pongo sleep with us more often than not, outweighed the lack of space, the occasional bruised knee from whacking the bed corner as you walk to the living room, and the tight squeeze Steve now has to take in order to get into bed (I’m strictly speaking for myself here-I know Steve may not feel the same way but he has commented on how he “likes all the room” he has in bed).

Here’s Papa and Pongo “helping” Mama assemble the bed.

The new bamboo king bed assembled.

This is what Steve found when he came to bed…Pongo sound asleep on Papa’s pillow.  

(The big lump on the right is me having fallen asleep while reading.)

Even with a big king bed, he’s a spoiled rotten bed hog!