Sunday, May 29, 2011

not letting life get too dull

Thanks so much for the kind words regarding Max.
When he was a puppy, I stated emphatically that he was going to be the last puppy we ever had . . . he was a LOT of work -  we went through a roll of paper towel almost every day cleaning up his messes all over the house.
Pepsi had also been a difficult puppy, taking almost a year to housebreak and ridding her of a disgusting habit involving her feces. yuck.
Anyways, we never expected that Max would be gone so suddenly, at such a young age.
So, we did, in fact, get another puppy.
Meet Bruno, sleeping on Joel’s lap on the way home.
He’s Sam’s dog – Sam found him on the internet and made all the arrangements. He’s from a family in Estonia . . . the husband works in Helsinki, so the mom came over with the puppy and her kids on the ferry and met us 2 weeks ago -  Stefan, Joel, Sofia and I were in Helsinki for that weekend staying at a waterpark hotel (because those 2 kids didn’t get to go on the school ski trip back in April).
Home one week.
He’s actually a fairly easy puppy (so far). And, he sleeps in Sam’s room . . . so I don’t have night-duty.
Can you guess his breed?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

going back a few weeks

I’ve taken a little break from social media . . . not sure if anyone noticed . . .
A couple weeks ago, our household was thrown for a loop when our young dog, Max, suddenly died. We have no answers as to what happened, I can only describe the events of that afternoon:
  • I came home from work at 2:30 and had a cup of coffee with Stefan
  • Around 3 he went back to the farm (about 5km away) and took Mattias with him
  • About a half hour later Stefan called me to say that Max was sick – he was drooling and throwing up
  • About 20 minutes later, after calling around to different vets and unable to get an appointment, Stefan called me again and said one of the vets said to take his temperature and I needed to bring him a thermometer. Max also now had diarrea.
  • Since I was at his parents’ house, it took me awhile to walk home, get the thermometer and drive to the farm (with Joel and Sofia in tow) and the travel kennel
  • By the time I got to the farm, Max was much worse . . . he was running around on his lead with his tail between his legs, his head down and a complete look of fear in his eyes. At this point, Stefan had made an appointment for Max with an emergency vet, but I didn’t know, so I had to drive home to get my driver’s license. Stefan put Max in the kennel in the van, and Mattias hopped in the back seat to sit beside him.
  • As soon as we got home, Joel and Sofia ran to the grandparents’ house and Sam jumped in the van with us.
  • When we got to the farm to get Stefan, I told him that Max had already died, before we had even reached the house.
We have no idea what happened . . . something natural like a seizure or an aneurysm . . . bitten by a snake . . . ate something, etc. Some people have asked if he could’ve eaten poison . . . since he was tied on his lead to a tree and there was no poison near him, that is probably not the case (unless it was done deliberately).
Dealing with the aftermath was difficult. All 4 of the kids grieved in very different ways. For Sofia, it was the first time since she’s been with us that something close to her has died. She cried for about half an hour and then afterwards said, “I’m still sad, but I’m not crying anymore.” Grandma told Joel it was ok to cry and be sad . . . and then he sobbed for almost 3 hours – he had lots of regrets and said he wished he knew Max better and missed that way Max leaned against his legs. Mattias didn’t want to talk about it all – he saw Max die and said he was freaked out by it. Sam was clearly upset since Max was his buddy, but handled it stoically.
Max was a great dog. I have never met a dog who wanted human touch as much as he did. The first thing he would do when he came into a room was to lean up against you and demand to be petted. Then he would go get his food dish and drop it in the middle of the kitchen floor. He thought of himself as a lap dog, despite his size, and loved to cuddle. Of course, he had some annoying habits – like barking hysterically at all animals who walked past the house and running away on occasion to check out the neighbourhood (he was able to jump the 5 foot fence at the farm). But, he was one of a kind and will be missed.
We often found him sleeping in our bed – with his head on the pillow!
He liked to be up high so he could look down on things.
My brother had asked last week why I hadn’t blogged about this yet, but at the time it didn’t seem appropriate. Our neighbour passed away the day before Max, my colleague’s father passed away the day after and a friend’s mother also passed away that week (although I didn’t know it at the time). Although losing a pet is hard, it wasn’t the right time to talk about it when people around us had just lost dear family members.
Lots has happened in the last couple of weeks, so hopefully I’ll get around to updating those of you who are still checking in on us.

The Holms

Denmark Road Trip

The outskirts of St. Pete

St. Petersburg

Saint Petersburg: Sankt-Peterburg, Russian pronunciation: is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea. The city's other names were Petrograd (1914–1924) and Leningrad (1924–1991). Founded by Tsar Peter I of Russia on 27 May, 1703, it was the capital of the Russian Empire for more than two hundred years (1713–1728, 1732–1918). Saint Petersburg is home to more than two hundred museums, many of them hosted in historic buildings. The largest of the museums is the Hermitage Museum, featuring interiors of the former imperial residence and a vast collection of art. Celebrating the 300th anniversary of its foundation, Saint Petersburg was selected as the main motif in a recent Finnish commemorative coin, the €10 Mannerheim and Saint Petersburg commemorative coin, minted in 2003. The reverse of the coin features a view of Saint Petersburg, with the Peter and Paul Fortress and its three turrets. In the coin the words "St. Petersburg 1703-2003" can be seen.