Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What? Summer Already?

Remember my post from six days ago that had pictures of all that white stuff and I was starting to believe that spring was never going to reach these parts?  Well, I guess Mother Nature decided to skip right past spring and go straight into summer.  The weather forecast says it was 65 degrees, but to me and the dogs and the horses it felt more like 80.

I walked the dogs at the park and they only made one lap before they were panting and ready to pass out.  Then I walked several dogs at the animal shelter, and they too were panting and begging me to take them back to their cool kennels.  They lapped up a lot of water.  Then I lunged the horses and I couldn't get them to trot very long before they were breathing hard and slowing to a walk.  I myself was dehydrated, dripping in sweat and ready to pass out after just an hour in the round pen.  So, it's time to get all of us back into shape.

Yesterday I spent four hours photographing a track meet for my son's team and tomorrow I'm doing another photo shoot at the animal shelter.  Both are volunteer jobs for my own practice, of course.  They got in a lot of new dogs and a load of puppies.  I tried to take a Doxie for a walk, but he was afraid to leave the shelter.  His legs were so short that I figured a walk around the building was enough.

I also got to spend a lot of time with a very loving Akita with the tightest curl in its tail I've ever seen.  I taught her to heel and sit, or perhaps reminded her.  No one ever really knows the previous training these dogs have had.  Then I tried walking a very excited Pit Bull.  It took me a while just to get the chain over the dog's head because she was spinning in circles.  Then she grabbed the leash in her mouth and pulled, which made it difficult to walk her, so I tried a trade off:  A treat in exchange for the leash.  It worked.

Despite all the trouble I had getting her out the door, she was a dream to walk out on the trails.  I worked with her on sit, since she already heeled well, but someone had taught her to sit facing you on the command instead of beside you.  It reminded me of that old argument over whether a horse should turn to face you or stop facing the direction it was moving on the whoa command.  If I'm not too exhausted I plan to also give the horses baths tomorrow.  It should get up into the 70's, which will feel like the 90's after all this snow we've had.

*****************************

I wrote this post earlier today, and I have my Sunday Stills post queued up, but these will be my last posts for a while.  I received a phone call from the police that my mother passed away.  I'm her closest relative, despite being 400 miles away, so I need to spend the next few weeks making funeral arrangements and settling her estate.

She was sharper in mind than I am and she loved her independence, so she lived alone.  We wrote to each other every week, but I didn't receive a letter last week.  The mail carrier notified that police that her mail was piling up and they broke into her home and found her.  It's heartbreaking, but I'm sure she is happy to end her life peacefully.  They think she died in her sleep.  I know she told me she never wanted to go into a nursing home, so it's a good thing she was able to pass away in the home she loved and has lived in for 50 years.

I'll leave you with some of my favorite photos from the track meet.

I just wanted to point out the lady crouched down behind the runner here. The athlete was deaf, so he had her tap him on the back when the gun went off.




This next one is my son...

22 comments:

Karen said...

I'm so sorry about your mother, prayers for your family. My mother has said the same thing. Safe travels.

Sue said...

So sorry for your loss. My dad was the same way, independent until the end. Thoughts and prayers being sent your way.

Laura said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your Mom! Have a safe trip to CA to take care of the arrangements. I hope you don't have any troubles.

Cheryl Ann said...

Oh, Nuzz, I'm so sorry to hear that your mother passed. At least she died at home, like my uncle. My grandparents stayed in their home until they broke their hips, but they fought going to a nursing home for YEARS. Grandma lived to be 100 and Grandad to 97! Please take your time. ((((BIG HUG))))

Emme said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Wishing you the best.....

achieve1dream said...

I'm so sorry about your mom. What devastating news. I'm glad she went peacefully and didn't have to be in a nursing home. That's probably the best way.

The pictures are great. We will miss you, but completely understand that you won't be posting. Hugs!

Anonymous said...

So sorry about your mother, but she maintained her independence to the end and obviously that was important to her. We should all be so lucky.

Nice shots of the track meet. I know diddly squat about photography, but these seem much more appealing to me than earlier ones.

Best wishes on that settling the estate thing, it can be a bear.

strivingforsavvy said...

I am so sorry for your loss.

Linda said...

Wow, that is shocking--sorry to hear about your loss, but I like what you had to say about it. I hope I die at home, someday, too. Best wishes in the days and weeks to come as you journey through all this.

Jeni said...

I am very sorry for your loss... deeply sorry.

fernvalley01 said...

Oh! My friend ,I am so sorry for your loss. You seemed to have a pretty cool rlationship with your mom. So nice to have had that. No words really convey what I want to say , so I will just tell you I am sorry , and keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Maybe the silver lining is your mom seems to have lived her life on her terms ,and it ended gently and on her terms as well. Hugs

ellie k said...

I am so sorry to hear about your Mother, I know it will leave an empty place in your heart. When my Mother passed away I found that there is always an empty place for her. I like to remember the good times and the many things she did just to make me happy. My thoughts are with you.
We owned an Akita years ago and she was the smartest dog we ever had and very protective of our kids.

Grey Horse Matters said...

So sorry to hear about your mother. This will be a hard time for you and the family and I wish you all the best.

Rising Rainbow said...

I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your mother. I'll be thinking of you in this difficult time.

Ms Martyr said...

So sorry to hear about your mom. I hope the estate settlement goes smoothly for you. My brother was the executor for my folks and does a wonderful job.
My condolences.

Crystal said...

Sorry to hear about your mom, but glad she went the way she wanted.

Those track photos are cool, I love the runner in mid air!

RebelRoX87 said...

WOW! That picture of your son is intense!

baystatebrumby said...

At least she passed away in her own home. That seems like the best place. I am sorry for her and for your loss.

TeresaA said...

I love the shots- especially of the guy running with the stick (I know that's not the word but I blanked :)).

Dreaming said...

I am so sorry to hear about your mom. But I do see how comforting it must be to know that she died peacefully in her own home. How wonderful not to have to suffer through the anxiety and pain of a debilitating accident or illness and having to be at a hospital or a nursing facility.

Great pictures. They warm my heart. Thanks!

Breathe said...

I'm so sorry about your mother. I'm glad to hear that she had her independence to the end.

I'll be keeping you and your family in my thoughts.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I'm so glad you're getting some warmer weather and no snow. The time spent with the animals must be very beneficial for your mind, body and soul right now.
And your track meet photos turned out great. Colt rocks!

I know you've been preparing yourself for your Mother's passing for a very long time, but this still has to be very difficult, especially dealing with the funeral and estate issues. I'm feeling that you are in shock right now trying to organize everything, but please try to allow yourself some time to grieve, too.

((((hugs))))
~Lisa