Sunday, May 24, 2009

Ode to Oreo

I have put off doing this post for awhile, just because it makes me a bit sad - actually very sad! The time finally came when it became apparent that Oreo's quality of life had deteriorated to a point where she was miserable. It was time to let her go. I felt like I had been holding on to her for a bit longer than I should have. She has been my little companion for 13 1/2 years. I'm not quite sure what my response will be when I'm asked who I've been talking to when it doesn't appear that there is anyone around. I've always been able to say that I was talking to the dog! We had some awesome conversations! If only we could all be so understanding, so non-judgmental, and so forgiving as our doggies!
We were able to pick Oreo out in November of 1995. Sarah was just barely 2 and I would take her over to the house where the puppies were every week so that we could take a picture of how she was growing. I was quite sure that Sarah wouldn't let the other kids know what was going on. Rich and I were able to bring Oreo home on Christmas Eve...a long, long night. She was so sad to have left her family. She finally ended up in a hamper, in the car, in the garage so she wouldn't wake up the kids. In the morning the kids had to go on a scavenger hunt and eventually found her in the fireplace in the family room...way too fun! They spent the rest of their Christmas vacation that year sleeping on a mattress in the kitchen with her until she was okay on her own.
Oreo was a perfect fit for our family. She lived in five different houses and several different kennels over the years. Three airplane flights just about did her in...definitely NOT her favorite thing. This picture was taken in February of 1997. It was interesting to watch her black hair eventually turn very gray. We originally called her Noelle because of her Christmas arrival, but then someone said she looked like an "Oreo" cookie, and that was it! So she was officially Oreo Noelle on her AKC certificate.
One of her VERY favorite activities...riding in the car! "Oreo, let's go!" and she'd come running! Whenever she would be with me to pick someone up and she would spot them coming, her tail would start going in circles, not just back and forth. Always made me laugh. Oreo was incredibly territorial. As long as she was in HER house, HER yard, and HER car she was queen and let you know it! In a couple of our homes she loved sitting on the back of a couch or chair and being a true watch dog. However, when we would be out on a walk she didn't make a noise. Not a social butterfly!
She had several different groomers over the years and was always well-behaved. Her favorite was Kim in Bellingham. They became great friends, especially considering that Oreo spent four months in Kim's kennel while we were building a home in Washington.
I laughed when I found this picture in the newspaper. I'm not sure Oreo could ever see it or paid attention to it. I wish I still had it. This little ball of fur worked her way into my heart, followed me around the house, and spent hours at my side. One thing that always made me smile was how she would come sit by the piano when I would play. I can hardly stand walking by the chair that she slept in for the last several years. I keep glancing at it to check on her! It just feels like something is missing. All of us will miss her extreme level of happiness when we would come home after being away, especially if we had been gone for awhile. Today after returning from Utah was kind of greeting from Oreo! Yikes. We miss her kisses, sneezes, and waves. Thank you, Oreo, for the joy you brought to our family. We will miss you!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Some of the Reasons I Love Edwardsville!

Ah, I LOVE this time of year! It seems like the cold winter season went on and on this year, but alas, spring has arrived! In our front yard we have two of these awesome trees, called Pin Oaks. These trees hang onto their leaves for what seems like the longest time.
This picture was taken on March 17th.
This picture was taken on April 20th, just over 4 weeks later. The dead leaves are just about gone!
This one was taken this morning...8 weeks after March 17th. Isn't that amazing - the transformation! I love watching this!
I think the flora and fauna in our area loved the abundance of rain we have had this year! The dogwoods were incredible. This one is not far from our house, it is shaped so nicely. I kept forgetting to snap a picture as I drove by...this is just about at the end of it's blooming. So pretty!
Right up there with my favorite flower (gardenias!) are lilacs. The scent is amazing! Yummmm!
I am so grateful for the abundance of beauties that exist all around us. How lucky we are!