It's the time of year when so many people are following traditions and baking those goodies that they love the most. These are a few of our favorites! Fudge, Cherry Popcorn Balls, Coffee & Spice Cookies, and Butterscotch Bars. This afternoon we hope to make Chocolate Chip cookies as well. Normally the older girls all come over to our house and we have a big baking day together. Well this year with the cold, ice and snow, that didn't work out. So Sapphire made the Chocolate Chip/Oatmeal cookies with chocolate drizzled over the tops, and Niki made more fudge at their house too. I don't know? Can anyone ever have too many goodies during the Holidays?!?!
This is Dutchess (on the left) and Duke (on the right - both on Doug's lap). Aren't they cute?!?! After having to put our Saint Bernard down last week, we all missed having a big dog around and it seemed so sad without Bo here. That is when we heard of a litter of pups that had been found by a farmer, suffocating in a plastic bag, thrown on to the edge of the river to drown. Isn't that awful?! At any rate, the farmer took these 8 pups, who didn't even have their eyes open, to a rescue nearby. The rescue family, called RUFF http://ruff.weebly.com/, took them to the vet, began bottle feeding them and caring for them. 2 of them died and were too far gone, but 6 survived! When we saw this, we emailed the rescue center and asked about them. After discussing it with all our kids, we all decided we wanted to get one. That is when Doug surprised us last night and came home with 2 of them!!!! Everyone is sooooooo thrilled! They are part Saint Bernard and part Mastiff (with possibly a bit of Shepard in them from what their vet can tell.) So, Doug just couldn't decided which of these two he wanted, so he got both! The kids are so ecstatic!! So am I! They are wonderful puppies!! I cannot imagine how anyone could try to kill them that way!
Our daughter, Ashley, decided to build her parakeets a "playground." She actually hollowed out a log, sanded and cut dowels, routered the edges of all the wooden pieces, etc. It turned out wonderfully!!! It even fit in her bird cage! They seem to enjoy it. She is hoping to build a couple of them and try to sell them at the Exotic Animal Swap meet in June, if all goes well.
Today we had to say Good-bye to Ashley's Saint Bernard, Bo. He was such a loved dog!!! I cannot imagine our home without him now. He would have been 7 this coming February. He started having mini seizures, losing bladder control, losing his hearing, limping from arthritis, losing weight, etc. We have known for a few months that we needed to do this, but couldn't bring ourselves to do it.
It is now after 12:00 and we are home and have buried Bo. We buried him in a large hole out behind our shed by the horse pasture. We were right in our thinking, as the vet said that Bo had large amounts of fluid in his chest cavity, and the vet could not even find a usable vein that would work on either of his front legs (so he had to do it muscularly), which took longer for his heart to stop, though he was brain dead almost right away. All of this to say that Doc was pretty sure (without doing an actual autopsy) that Bo had an incredibly enlarged heart and was suffering. All the signes were there. He said the theory is, “The larger the breed of dog, the shorter life span.” I had to keep saying to myself over and over and over again, “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengths me.” “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengths me.” Ashley and I stayed with him the whole time in the back room. Then Doc H. and Doc S. helped Ashley carry him out to the back of our truck. We had the hole ready, which is good because it snowed here last night and the ground is frozen. We backed up as close to the hole as we could, and Ashley and I lifted him out and set him in the hole. Then Cory, Ashley and I covered him up. It is so bitter cold out and the wind is just awful, but we needed to do this today. Ashley put large rocks around his grave and a cross she made for him yesterday with his name on it...”BoBo”.
I have to say though, that I in earnest prayed last night that if for ANY reason this is not what we were supposed to do, that God would stop us one way or the other and I would turn around and come right home without question. All the way there I kept praying, “God, see, we’re getting closer. Now would be a good time if we are to stop this.” Well, nothing happened to stop us and so in we went, trusting that God knew what was best for him. Afterward though, something happened...I had gone up front to pay them after Bo was gone, and a couple walked in with their dog in tow. With them they brought a 5-month-old Saint Bernard puppy! One that looked so much like Bo the day we got him! I asked about their dog and they said they had just gotten him because their other big dog had died of cancer. Then Ashley came out of the back room and saw him. She sat there petting this pup and crying while they sat there quietly letting us pet him and talk to him. And the other miracle of this was that…his name is Bo!! And then they said, "but we call him BoBo!!" Tears ran down Ashley’s face while we drove home and then she said, “I think this is God’s way of Bo telling us that he is okay now, by kind of living through their puppy Bo!” That is such a sweet thought! And yet it seemed to be so true all at the same time. Only God could have planned for another couple to walk in, at the exact moment after we finished saying good-bye to our Bo, with a St. Bernard puppy, and one named Bo! For that we will always thank God! So, hard as this is, there is a miracle to be found here, and we are so blessed for that! Now if Ash and I could just stop crying…