Archive for the ‘Briscoe’ Category

I want to write a post exclusively about Briscoe, the GOAT dog, the ottoman, the big headed dog, a post that has nothing to do with this horrible day, nothing to do with this terrible year.  But I need to write this first.  I’m devastated, and I need to keep telling myself I did the right thing for Briscoe, even if it feels really terrible right this second.

I had to put Briscoe down today.  This sentence conveys none of what actually happened, and makes me feel terrible.  Technically I didn’t have to do anything.  I could have let them treat her ongoing chronic pain and increasingly frequent digestive issues, maybe put her on an anti-anxiety med for her sunset symptoms, and I could have given her more baths in the medicated shampoo.  But the goat dog was real sick of frequent baths and multiple medications, and over the past year she has become increasingly fragile and clearly uncomfortable.  She’s been on multiple medications for seven years, and her joint issues have been a fairly serious problem for the past five years.

In August 2014, right before her 8th birthday, Briscoe was diagnosed with protein losing nephropathy, and the specialty vet in Charleston told me that she was dying of this disease.  The vet said she couldn’t tell me any kind of time frame, that we could treat it and it might be manageable for a while, but that this disease would definitely be what killed her.

In August 2017, right before her 11th birthday, Briscoe was unable to get out of bed one morning.  I was sure she was dying, this was it, you can’t have a dog who can’t walk.  The specialty vet told me she wasn’t dying, she had a torn ACL, and it was fixable.  She had surgery and they fixed it and she was like a new dog.  Her activity level increased drastically and she lost a lot of excess weight, and her kidney disease continued to be well managed with multiple medications.

So I’ve been preparing for Briscoe’s inevitable demise for a long time.  Literally half her life.  And I really never wanted to be that person who seemed oblivious to the fact that their dog was half dead in the living room.  But recently, I’d started to turn into that person.  She was sick.  She’s been sick for a long time.  She had terrible arthritis in her front, I guess you would call them wrists?, and I’m pretty sure her other knee needed repairing.  She had a really hard time lying down, and once down, it wasn’t super easy for her to get back up.  Going up and down stairs was very difficult for her.  Despite all of these things, she seemed unwilling to accept her limitations at various times, and she very much still wanted to run and jump and romp with Ed and Jack.  But, when she did those things, she fell down, and you could tell the falls hurt her, physically and emotionally, as she’s always been the alpha where Ed and Jack were concerned.

Although she often refused to accept her physical limitations, she did seem very aware of them, and that they made her vulnerable and less able to defend herself.  This made her more aggressive, and more hyper vigilant.  She struggled to relax, and she had a very hard time in settings outside of my house, and disruptions in her routine seemed to very taxing on her.  I had to have work on my downstairs floors in May, and me and the dogs spent most of that day upstairs, and going up and down the steps several times that day and her inability to relax because she knew something was happening downstairs left her barely able to walk the next day.

We went to my parents house over the 4th of July, and she had a very hard time.  It was upsetting.

When we got back from the 4th, she was much better at my house, and she seemed to be more comfortable and I tried her on a different NSAID, and it seemed to work okay, but then last week things just started going off the rails.  She’s had several days of stomach issues, and Monday night I was resigned that the next day would be the day.  But then yesterday she was a lot better and super peppy and extra fiesty, like she wanted to prove to me she was fine.  But then last night she was sick off and on most of the night and sick again this morning.  I couldn’t get her to drink water last night, but this morning she drank water and was standing around her dog bowl waiting for breakfast, so I fixed her breakfast.  She took one look at the rice and chicken broth that I fixed for her, and promptly threw up all the water, like a pregnant person with morning sickness or a very hungover individual.

Even without eating, she continued to be sick this morning, and I called the vet and told them I thought it was time.  They said I could come in at 10:30, and they would have a room where I could come in with her. I talked to Suzy, and she told me I was doing the right thing, that it was time.

Once in the room, Briscoe ate some ice, and then she let me hold her for a while, something she would never let me do at home, but being in a new place made her feel uncomfortable enough that she was happy to let me snuggle her.  The vet was great, we’d been talking on the phone off and on for the past year about Briscoe’s various medications and trying to increase her comfort level, and I spoke to her after I got back from the 4th of July, about how I felt like things were deteriorating.  She agreed I was putting off the inevitable, and this way, we could offer Briscoe a calm relaxing end to her suffering, before things got even less manageable and we ended up in a crisis situation.  Last night felt close to a crisis situation to me, and I didn’t want to put Briscoe in that situation again – a night or a weekend where she was unable to stop being sick and I did not have a plan in place.  She has always deserved better than that.

The vet was great, and said we could do it out in the side yard that was fenced and grassy and shady with lots of trees.  It was still horrible, because telling your best friend of your entire adult life goodbye was always going to be horrible, but at this point, we were committed.  But it was intentional and thoughtful and calm and peaceful, and it wasn’t about what it felt like to me, it was about what it felt like to her.


This was after they gave her the sedative, before they gave her the real drugs.  She seemed relaxed and calm for the first time in days, and I’m going to try to remember that.  It’s hard.  This was so hard.  

She was the best dog,  I hope I did right by her.  Ed the bulldog is very confused.  We are going to go watch old videos of Briscoe zooming, back when she could zoom, and imagine her zooming again in the clouds.  Hug your puppies, our time with them is so short.

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Happy Birthday Briscoe-dog!

This is a couple of days late, but since Briscoe doesn’t have a cell phone* or know how to use the internet**, I’m hoping she doesn’t notice.  Also, this can be a throw back Thursday, or Briscoe’s Greatest Hits.

HAPPY 8th BIRTHDAY TO THE FLUFFIEST, HAPPIEST, GREATEST, MOST BIG-HEADED DOG IN THE WORLD!  Thanks for being my best friend and favorite creature.







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*She doesn’t have a cell phone because she is broke because she doesn’t have a job.

**She doesn’t know how to use the internet because she doesn’t have thumbs and she sucks at typing.

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Briscoe is trying to make me feel better about not being able to work out. My yoga mat and tennis equipment have been crying to Briscoe during the day about feeling neglected and abandoned, so she thought we should pull them out and make them feel loved. Just making it onto your mat and breathing deeply counts, right? Oh, and what I really want is a mini trampoline, so, if anyone has a mini trampoline laying around, I’d be happy to take it off your hands. I NEED it. For rehab.

We started with child’s pose.




As you can see, Briscoe is a ball hog.


We volleyed for a little while.




Briscoe’s favorite pose is shavasana.


And we all say, Namaste, bitches.

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Fluffy dog problems

In light of Christy’s comment that she doesn’t care what I blog, as long as I blog – here we go.

The photos of Briscoe on the pillows evidence Briscoe’s lack of concern that her bed has been taken apart for the cover to be washed, and will make do with what is available. The pictures on the couch clearly demonstrate that Briscoe’s comfort is more important than mine is when it comes to couch lounging. The photo of Briscoe asleep on the bed was taken at 10:30 in the morning when I had been out of bed for close to two hours. I think she had been asleep for a solid 12 hours.

Would it get on your nerves if the person you lived with took pictures of you sleeping all the damn time? And then posted them online?






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I literally cannot believe that is already 2013.  Life moves shockingly fast these days.  I feel like all I’ve done in the past few weeks is eat and drink.  Let’s think about 2012 for a minute.  I read a lot of books in 2012.  Most recently, I read Liars and Saints, which I highly recommend. Rarely, I come across an author that has a syntax or voice that I can only describe as hitting the right cord, where I don’t actually care what they are writing about, because simply reading the words is enjoyable.  I haven’t figured out exactly what I mean by that, but Maile Meloy writes in a way that I find immensely satisfying.  For example, I don’t particularly like depressing stories, but I love Jack London because of his writing.  There is something chewy and piercing about it.  Obviously, the really great writers make people feel this way, but I think there is something very personal about who hits me like this.  There are lots of fantastically talented writers who I can acknowledge that their work is quality, but who don’t resonate with me.  Steinbeck and Faulkner don’t do it for me.  Robert Louis Stevenson and F. Scott Fitzgerald do.

I read The Tiger’s Wife in early 2012, and that story really stuck with me.  The structure of the book was different, and there was a detached and dry quality to it that made the fantastical side of the book seem more believable.

My favorite book of 2012 was The Night Circus.  This book was highly fantastical, and maybe not for everyone.  But I found the emotion conveyed through the story to be moving and enthralling.

I also read the Silver Lining Playbook (awesome! read it), The Forgotten Garden (didn’t love it), Ready Player One (a fun read for any child of the 80s), The House of Mirth (Edith, you are so beautiful, and your stories could not be more depressing), Wicked (so much love for this book), Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (you will cry laughing and feel more normal), The Mists of Avalon (enjoyable, if you are into long drawn out medival sagas, and really, who isn’t?), The Casual Vacancy (J.K. Rowling’s first adult novel.  A good read, but certain things seemed forced for the purpose of proving it was NOT A CHILDREN’S BOOK), and I started Freedom, but then I got bored with it and never finished it.

I feel like I saw a lot of movies this year too.  It’s amazing how hard it is to remember.  Let’s see, maybe I can go backwards.  Les Miserables (awesome, obviously), Life of Pi (heartbreaking and visually captivating), Anna Karinina (I read this book in high school, and I was impressed at how they were able to pack the whole story into an appropriate length movie, but it’s a depressing story), Skyfall (I love Bond movies, and Daniel Craig is fun),  Beast of the Southern Wild (man, everyone should see this movie.  Unbelievable.  Hush Puppy is fantastic), Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson is a proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy), The Hunger Games (people who don’t like Jennifer Lawrence are just jealous), Magic Mike (people who don’t like Channing Tatum are just jealous), Being Flynn (everyone likes Robert De Nero), and finally, The Iron Lady (I felt more educated after this movie).  I feel like I had to have seen more movies at the beginning of the year, but now I can’t remember.  That’s a strong showing, but I still feel like I’ve missed some huge movies.  Argo, The Hobbit, The Silver Lining Playbook, Django Unchained.  I’ve also tried to catch up on some of last year’s movies in the comfort of my own home.  Hugo, Trouble with the Curve, Tinker Tailor Solider Spy, How to Train Your Dragon (my new favorite animated film), The Muppets, 21 Jump Street, and Coraline.

Basically, if you were curious about what I’ve been doing in the past year, I’ve been watching movies and reading books.  Sometimes I go outside and interact with something called other people. It definitely explains why I haven’t been blogging, because I’ve been reading and watching.  I am going to try to stop being such a consumer and start producing.

I did go to a few concerts – Blitzen Trapper, Patterson Hood, The Avett Brothers, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Brandi Carlisle, Miranda Lambert, Chris Young, and Jerrod Niemann.

2012 was an excellent year. It was a year full of new friendships, important re-connections, thousands of downward dogs and chaturangas, a 10k, a 5k, one of the best tennis teams a girl could ask for, abundant sunshine, oysters, shrimps, boats, coffee, beaches, bowling, late night dancing, handstands, thunderstorms (I had a dream last night I was struck by lightening, but it didn’t hurt, it just left a weird scar on my leg), Vail, Steamboat Springs (TWICE!), Williamsburg, Sea Island, Valdosta, D.C., a job I love more than I ever thought possible, and some damn good football.  And I cut all my hair off.  Everyone should try it.

I have high hopes for 2013.  I think it is going to be the best one yet.

Photo evidence of awesomeness.


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So Icy

Everyone in the Southeast had a snow day today.  Everyone but a large portion of the city of Charleston.  Despite the fact that my stairs were coated with sleet, all of the bridges were closed by 10 am, and ice was heavy on the trees outside my office window, I did not get a snow day.  When Susan Elizabeth was in town on New Year’s Day and we drove across the Ravenel Bridge, she told me to make sure I appreciate every day I drive over bridges and across the marsh and the sky.  Last week, on my way to work early, the sky behind me was lit with the rising sun and the sky in front of me way navy blue with rolling rain clouds.  Above me was seven hued rainbow that arched from horizon to horizon.  As I drove, the rain clouds rolled and eventually it was raining on my car while the sun was shining.  I love it when the devil is beating his wife.

On rainbow days like that, it is very easy to appreciate the sky and the weather.  Today, less so.  I’ve decided the way I’m going to make it up to myself for missing a snow day is to make a promise that when it gets warm, I will leave work early whenever possible, and take days off when available, and spend all my time at the beach or on a boat.

Briscoe and I made soup yesterday.  I love the way celery and onions smell at the beginning of soup making.  And garlic.  And tomatoes.  Mmmm.  I let Briscoe sleep in the bed with me last night because it was so cold, and she’s a great little heater.  When I woke up this morning, my feet were cold, and my little fuzzy heater was nowhere to be found.  I found her in the middle of the king size guest bedroom, sound asleep.  She shattered any delusions I had that she slept in the bed with me because she liked being near me.  Obviously I understand she has a lot more room to stretch out in the guest room, but please.  I can’t help being a little hurt.  She can sleep in the kitchen tonight.  On the floor.  You know, on a pillow with a blanket.  Like a dog.

Natalie and Travers gave me a pair of Hunter boot for Christmas.  I wore them for the first time today, and they made a splashing debut.  I love them, they make me happy.  Travers sent me a text last night around midnight of the snow that was already accumulating in Augusta.  Briscoe wanted to be with Bobby playing in the snow.  I’m going to take her to the beach to play in the pluff mud sometime soon and make it up to her.  She loves mud.

I had my follow up appointment for my appendectomy today.  It lasted about three minutes, and I was told I don’t have any activity restrictions, so I don’t have an excuse for not working out.  Sigh.  No more being lazy.  Haha.


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Windchills and Regrets

It is cold here in Charleston, South Carolina.  Not that it really mattered to me today because I was inside the whole day, but it sure looked cold out of my window.

As I was getting onto the interstate on my way home from work today, I saw blue flashing lights ahead and realized two seconds too late that getting on the interstate was not a good idea.  I stopped.  Considered my options.  And realized I had to continue onto the ramp of stand still traffic.  Ugh.  I knew the fluffy puff was waiting patiently at home to go outside, and I hoped she was sleeping.

When I finally made it 1/4 of a mile after 20 minutes and saw the wreck, I was instantly glad I stayed an extra 15 minutes at work.  It was for real.   There was a mercedes that had taken quite a beating but the driver and passenger area looked totally intact, which made me feel safe in the silver bullet.  She now has 199,500 miles, give or take a few.  The silver bullet is getting her 200k badge for Christmas this year!

Briscoe was extremely pumped to see me when I got home.  I felt guilty that she hadn’t gotten to do anything fun this weekend besides snuggle with Uncle Matt and lick and sniff all over Aunt Jennifer, so I decided to take her on a walk to look at some Christmas lights.

I knew it was cold, but figured I’d be okay in my layers and gloves and headband.  I should have taken into account the 20-30 mile wind, but I was so happy to be outside, and Briscoe was so happy to be outside, we ignored the cold.  I quickly paid dearly for this poor decision-making.

Briscoe was in high spirits, and her little dog breath made puffs of smoke as she jangled down the sidewalk, stopping to sniff and forage.  At one point she was chewing on something and I had to stop and manhandle her until she spit out a chicken bone.  My precious knitted gloves were no match for the 30 mph arctic blasts.

By the time we made it home, my hands were numb and Briscoe’s smoke puffs had become a constant cloud.  We were both very happy to get inside our warm apartment.  My hands were so cold I couldn’t get Briscoe’s collar off.

After a scalding hot shower, flannel pajamas and a bowl of hot chili, I’m starting to warm up.  Briscoe is asleep next to me on the couch and she’s a great little heater herself.

I hope you are all as cozy as I am tonight!

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The Love of October

I love October.  As a classic Libra, October is my month.  The stars tend to line up for me in October.  Not in any concrete, observeable way, but more in an inter-balance sort of way. 

Briscoe and I are adjusting to our new city.  Kate and Trav came to visit last weekend, and Kate and I did the Race For a Cure on Saturday morning with Susan, Jennifer, Mary Righton, Stephanie, Lauren and Meredith.  Trav and Briscoe spent the morning bonding.  I told Trav that he could tie Briscoe up outside of stores if he needed to, but just to not leave her very long. 

Trav’s first stop was the Starbucks in the Frances Marion Hotel.  He decided that Briscoe was probably fine to come inside.  So he and Briscoe stood in the long line patiently waiting for their turn.  It wasn’t until he’d been in the store for about ten minutes and made it up to the counter that anyone even noticed that he’d brought a dog inside.  He said the girl behind the counter took one look at her and said – “YOU CAN’T HAVE A DOG INSIDE THE STORE!” 

And he said, “oh, okay, can I have my coffee and we’ll leave!”

Haha.  It totally makes me laugh to think of the scene. 

Then they went to the visitors center, and Trav tied Briscoe up to the bench outside.  He said she sat down and stared at him, and a couple walking past said, wow, that is a great dog!  After Trav got all the maps of downtown Charleston he could carry and came back outside, the couple was still standing there, watching Briscoe be a great dog.  He said his biggest fear was that someone was going to steal her.  She’s adjusting to city life quite well. 

I’m also adjusting, but I’m starting to have that little homesicky feeling where you start to think of all the people you used to drink beer with on a random tuesday night or the seasonal events you are missing.  Then something tragic like a giant tree falling in your parents front yard, and you really sort of wish you were there to see it.

Crazy times, right?  Kate said she just hopes no one is trapped underneath all the limbs.  I get real sad when trees fall down!

But I’m going to an oyster roast tonight and my new kickball team had it’s first game last night, which was super fun.  We lost, but we could have won if the other team hadn’t had a coach.  A coach.  For kickball.  Come on.

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Briscoe and I decided to go on an exploratory run of our new neighborhood today.  The best thing about wandering around downtown Charleston in the afternoon is that you can look at the direction the sun is setting and then see where the closest body of water is, and you can’t get entirely lost!  It also helps to know which steeple is which and where it is suppose to be in correlation of where you want to be.  Eventually you come upon a main drag and can figure out which way to go next.  That being said, it is completely possibly to end up miles away from where you live with an exhausted dog and long trek home.  We were having such a great time wandering, we really didn’t realize how far away we were from home.

Briscoe is a great dog to walk in populated areas, because everyone asks, Is that a Wheaten?  or, What kind of dog is that?  It is a rare day that someone actually knows she is a wheaten with confidence.  She is adjusting well to her new home, she spends most of her time in what was her favorite chair at our last home.  I’ve decided to just let her keep the chair.  I bought it at the attic sale and have an overstock slipcover on it, and as such, even though it is a high wingback chair I still paid less for it than I did for Briscoe’s last orvis bed.  And she seems to like it better than the orvis bed anyway.  She likes to be up high.

My parents got me a nook for my birthday, like the kindle, but the barnes and noble version.  I’ve always really liked barnes and noble as a store, and I think I like the nook.  Can any one think of any reason why I’d rather have the kindle?

I racked up on novelty electronics this weekend, Travers and Natalie gave me a tom tom, which is really fun.  Now I’ll never be lost again!  Haha.  Somehow I have a feeling that is completely untrue.  I got lost today in North Charleston and took a right turn at a red light that said no right turn because I was so distracted with where the closest fed ex store was.  As I was turning I saw the sign and I thought, OPPS, shouldn’t have done that.  But someone was speeding up behind me so it was too late to turn back!  Luckily, the person speeding up behind me was a cop, who was nice enough to pull me over, listen to my excuse about being a new transplant, lecture me on signs and such, and let me go.  That has never happened to me before!  I’m pretty sure it was the McCoy sticker on the back of my car that got me out of a ticket, but who knows.  I was really pumped about it and really appreciate that cop for being reasonable and nice and understanding – it makes me really respect the force, know what I mean?

K, my battery is dying and I’ve got a good book to read, so sweet dreams friends, and I’ll be back soon!  Love!

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Briscoe is at the salon today, getting her hair did.  Her hair was getting so long I was starting to feel neglectful.  I can’t wait to pick her up so Bobby can have a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb.

I’ve been getting some awesome blog love from Betsy and Molly, my sweet Atlanta friends who I never get to see.  But I was lucky enough to see BOTH of them this past week.  It’s amazing how long you can go without catching up with the important people in your life.  Actually, it’s amazing how fast time goes by and how quickly life seems to happen.

Speaking of which, I’m really happy that the time changed last weekend and the daylight last an hour longer every day from now on until the fall.  I love spring, and I love summer, and I’m excited.  Also, I’m starting a new job on Monday!  It’s time for new beginnings, and I’m ready for a new challenge.  Until Monday, I’m working on getting my life put together and cleaning my house for the Masters!  Did you hear that Tiger is going to make it this year?  I don’t know how I feel about it – it’s going to bring a lot more hype to the week, which can be fun, but it can also make everything more difficult for us local people.  But the golf traffic signs are up and the flowers are starting to bloom!

First the red buds were blooming, then the Japanese magnolias and now the Carolina jasmine and the blue star onion flowers have started to bloom and it’s only going to get better from here!

Soon the cherries and the dogwood and the azaleas and wisteria and the whole world will be covered in flowers and everything will smell wonderful!  I can’t wait.

Of course, all this talk of warm weather and flowers blooming ignores the reality of pollen and allergies and bugs.  After playing tennis outside last night in Waynesboro I was violently reminded of the reality of pollen and bugs.  I think the flowers and the pretty weather are worth it.

Happy Tuesday!

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