March 22, 2017

Germany, according to my iphone (pt. 2)

March 21, 2017

Tuesday Tunes -- Find My Way Back Home by Priscilla Ahn

It's an old favorite of mine. 
It makes me teary eyed and my heart ache for some reason. 
It reminds me of Piri. 

If there is a way for you to come back, please come back to us. 

March 19, 2017

Happy birthday, Piri

If Piri were still alive, he would be have turned 18 today. 

Surprisingly I haven't cried (yet). I almost did but Yangkyu and I were both out and I fought back my tears. I have been looking back at all the pictures from Piri's birthdays past and it brought back so many warm memories (I only have them from his 11th birthday because I didn't have a digital camera until then). 

Piri, I hope you have a great birthday with all your friends across the rainbow bridge. I miss you. I love you. 

11th birthday (2010)
Rego Park, NY 
 // Piri snatched his birthday patty up quickly, in whole, and I couldn't take it back to chop it up in little bite sized pieces. I got so worried he would choke on it. He held on to it and literally gulped it down. 

12th birthday (2011)
Silver Spring, MD
 // Piri's first birthday in our new place in Silver Spring. We bought these birthday treats at a quirky pet shop in DC and got him a monkey toy as well. He shredded the toy up and we ended up throwing it out. I wish I kept all of his toys. 

13th birthday (2012)
Silver Spring, MD
 // Those candles. This time I made sure to make his patty into little meatballs because I didn't want a repeat of his 11th birthday. Piri was also aging so gracefully.. we really thought he would live to be over 20. 

14th birthday (2013)
Fairfax, VA
 // It was the first year when I made him a cake myself. I used sweet potatoes and decorated with his treats. 

15th birthday (2014)
Fairfax, VA
 // Along with a birthday cake, I made him a party hat too. His cake this year was meat ball cake! His expression looks as if he's saying, "why are you putting my food on fire?!"

16th birthday (2015)
Centreville, VA
 // It was his first birthday after being diagnosed with kidney disease. He would slowly become sicker. His cake -- sweet potato with carrots and chicken and his favorite cookie on top. We also took him to Pet Valu where I got him a huge lamb chop doll and told anyone who would listen, "He is 16 today!" 

17th birthday (2016)
Centreville, VA
 // His last birthday with us. By this time, Piri also was fighting cancer. Piri had lost his appetite and wasn't eating for a few days. I made him a sweet potato and chicken cake and he ate half of it. I was so happy. I also got him two more toys this year - almost as big as lamb chop from the year before. They now sit on the futon in Yangkyu's office. He wanted to have it in there to remember Piri by. I saw him napping one time while holding on to them.  

I miss you Piri boo. 
Happy birthday.

March 17, 2017

A sweet moment

This picture is from a few weeks ago.

We were cooking chicken gizzards to add to Bartles' food and he waltzed into the kitchen and tried to get past Yangkyu's legs to his bed near the window (he always chooses the hard route), but then I think he thought maybe resting here was a better idea and he slowly slid down into this pose and stayed there a bit.

We're almost hitting the 3 month mark since Bartles came home to us. I have to be completely honest and tell you that our bonding process took a little while to form. It's not that I don't care about Bartles or don't think of him as family but I think my heart was all about getting Bartles healthier. More of a caretaker role. But that is slowly changing.

I think it began when I had to leave him at the vet's office for his ACTH stim test and I ended up bawling because I was afraid he would think that we didn't want him anymore. Just a couple of days later we had our little moment in the kitchen and then when guest dogs snapped at Bartles (not in an aggressive way) my heart just wanted to protect him in case he had his feelings hurt. He was always our Bartles, but lately he really became our Bartles. ***For those who can read in-between the lines and can tell the difference between the first our and the second our (aside from the fact that the second our is in bold, italics and underlined), we are on the same wavelength and I am so glad we speak and understand this weird unspoken language.***

With Piri, he was always in our narrative. Even when Yangkyu and I talked about getting old and retiring, Piri was always there (we joked that he would be a zombie dog by then). 

Just yesterday as I was researching places to stay and visit in Jeju Island for our Korea trip I texted Yangkyu to let him know that I wanted to live there. I'll operate an AirBnB and Yangkyu can work in Seoul and come home to Jeju during the weekends (I don't know why I thought that there might not be a lot of jobs for software developers on the island - perhaps I am wrong).

He texted back and asked, "what if there are things that scare you while you are alone?" I immediately replied back and said, "Bartles will protect me. He'll stare at them with his Bartles fight stare." Yangkyu wrote back, "Let's fight." That was him speaking as if he were Bartles (yes, we are those crazy people who give human voices to our dogs). Yangkyu came up with it just a few days after Bartles came home and it's stuck ever since. We both shared laughing emojis to end our conversation (I laughed out loud too) and it hit me. Yes, Bartles is our Bartles. He's now really in our narrative. 

I have to tell you, these moments, these feels, they are everything. 

Have a wonderful weekend everybody. 

I plan on getting pampered on Saturday (eye lash extensions! I had them done in NY a few years ago and never again, but I've been obsessing over eyes - I can talk more about this in a later post - lately and so I made an appointment for Saturday) and then swinging by our friends' house because they made a little something for Bartles for his birthday. Isn't he a lucky guy! 

March 16, 2017

Piri's medications

I still have all of Piri's old medications. They don't particularly bring me good memories, but I can't bring myself to throw them out. They are Piri's old chemo support and kidney disease related medicine. They still sit inside zip lock bags in our doggy medicine basket, even after 5 months since he crossed the rainbow bridge. 

Every time we have guest dogs leave we take a 1-2 week break so that I can rest and clean the house. Every time I clean I also declutter and get rid of things we don't need. I always take a look inside the medicine basket and take this zip lock bag out wondering if that is the day when I can bring myself to finally throw it away. But I never can. 

Instead, I take out each bottle and remember all the times Piri took them with a brave face or when he didn't want to take any and I had to find the most creative way of giving it to him. When Piri got sicker pill pockets no longer worked and he learned how to pick them out of chicken. He never liked cheese or peanut butter. In the end, I resorted to spam and sausages and I hated myself for it. They aren't good for healthy dogs and even worse for a sick dog.

The expiration dates on some of them, especially his chemo support medicine, are coming up and so I decided that will be when I will get rid of them. I'll have to bring them to our vet's office to see if they can safely throw it out there so it doesn't end up being a hazard to the environment and animals (a tip that a good Instagram friend shared -- we always brought sub-q fluid needles back to our vet's office but I didn't think to do the same for medications). 

Piri's birthday is coming up in a few days and so my heart has been having these numb aches. And I have been looking at his pictures and videos more wishing he was still here. 

What a profound imprint Piri made on my heart. I miss you my sweet dear Piri.

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