Tag Archives: Gabi

Dog treats … or 30 pieces of silver?

So there is no misunderstanding, I use the ’30 pieces of silver’ reference as a symbol of betrayal. I was raised a Catholic kid and grew up hearing the story of how Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. So, betrayal is what ’30 pieces of silver’ means to me.

As regular readers know, I have recently adopted a dog. Boots is a lovely mixed breed, three years old who weighs 20 pounds. I lost my beloved canine companion, Gabi, after nearly 17 years together at the end of March of this year. Gabi was, in fact, my first dog.

To the untrained eye, these are dog treats.

So, having lived with a dog for that many years I thought I knew something about dogs. Turns out that just because I knew a lot about one dog, that didn’t mean I knew a lot about all dogs in general, or my new dog, Boots, in particular.

When I wanted to leave home and not take Gabi along, I would go to the cabinet and get out a couple of dog treats to give her as I brought her to the back bedroom. Gabi was a smart pooch and as soon as she saw me go to the cabinet for the treats, she would run to the bedroom and wait for me/them. I would then give her the treats, close the door and leave.

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Boots – The adventure begins …

As regular readers know, I lost Gabi, my little canine companion of the past 16 years, at the end of March. While I have by no means fully recovered from the grief of her loss. I do feel well enough to have adopted a new dog.

Meet Boots, a three-year-old mix breed with a lovely brindle coat. Boots comes from the PAWS (Pets Are Worth Saving) no-kill pet rescue in Chicago. He weighs 18 pounds, about double Gabi’s final weight.

Driving Boots home from the shelter was the first step in our adventure together. He was nervous in my car. Or course, I have no idea how much experience he has had in cars and he had clearly never ridden in mine, so I understood his nervousness. For the record, I drive a MINI Cooper hardtop, stick shift. That is relevant as Boots in his agitation, was walking back and forth across my lap as I drove us the four miles home. I love driving stick and it was even more exciting with the dog getting between me and the shift lever on our first ride together. Needless to say, we made it.

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Death and Grieving …

I realize that the subject of death and grieving is not typical for me here, but since Gabi, my canine companion of the past 16 years, died just over a week ago, I have experienced a tsunami of grief.

I used to say, flippantly, “I don’t do grief well.” Now that I am in the throes of it I realize what a shallow remark that is and I am sorry I said it. Grief is no trivial matter as anyone who has lost a loved one can attest.

A friend of mine on Facebook created this picture of Gabi

Someone said, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” One of the most devastating aspects of my dog dying is the finality of it. Death is the end. No mas. I will never see her again, never rub her furry head or wet nose. Never go for another walk together. That is OVER. It wasn’t just her life that ended it was OUR life together that died.

Gabi was in her 17th year and I had seen her declining physically for the past two years. I wrote a post about it last August.

Nonetheless when she died last Friday, I was devastated emotionally. I couldn’t comprehend the depth of emotional pain I was experiencing.

First of all, grief isn’t something we encounter regularly. Secondly, I think we often aren’t prepared for it … certainly not its power. I know I was not ready.

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Happy Birthday, Gabi!

Gabi, my miniature poodle and canine companion, turns 16 years old today on December 12. She has lived with me for the past 15-1/2 years. In that period I can’t remember a day in which she didn’t bring a smile to my face or make me laugh out loud.

Gabi weighs 11 pounds. The vet said that a dog this size ages as follows: First year = 17 years, every year after that = 4 years, So Gabi, in people years, is 77 years old.

Also, in the course of our three daily walks, I have met hundreds of people that I never would have encountered otherwise. Some came in and out of my life like raindrops, but many have remained and become a part of my life.

Celebrating her birthday is personal for me and isn’t going to help anyone to lose any pounds or inches. However, a pet can play an important part in one’s happiness. Check out the post – Owning a pet can benefit your mental and physical health.

Although she is a part of my life now, I didn’t have a dog for over 50 years. My brother and I had a dog when I was around 10 years old, but it wasn’t long before he became my father’s dog. You can read about how Gabi came into my life in the post – Anatomy of an act of kindness.

Here she is with her July 4th bandanna.

Earlier this year I wrote a post on The ravages of old age which you can read by clicking the link. Gabi is clearly no longer a pup, but while she has some of her abilities waning, she still, hopefully has a long way to go.

Tony

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National Dog Day

I just learned that today is National Dog Day. So, herewith my offerings for the celebration:

My Dog Gabi

As a puppy with my daughter Kate
Most recently riding with her friend Myble in her buggy.

If you would like to learn how I happened to adopt Gabi, check out my post Anatomy of an Act of Kindness.

Tony

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A Boxing Day bike ride …

Boxing Day in Chicago was a wonderful high temperature record setter for us residents.

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By the way, are you familiar with the Boxing Day reference? I  first encountered it in 1976 when I had just moved to London working for Reuters News Service. I expected to go out and do some shopping on the day after Christmas and was introduced to Boxing Day as celebrated there – a National Holiday. No stores open! Naturally, I couldn’t figure out any reason for the Brits to be wanting to engage in boxing on the day following Christmas. Really seemed like  a bad match. Continue reading

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Gabi’s first bike ride of the season

Spring in Chicago is a wicked time of  year. While we don’t get crippling blizzards like the worst of winter, we suffer from a Chinese water torture of erratic weather that is below freezing one day, low 50’s the next, then back down to the 30’s, and, oh yes, there is the wind. As a result many Chicago bike riders don’t consider riding till late April or May when the weather fluctuates more moderately. For that reason I am celebrating my dog Gabi’s first bike ride of the season. Regular readers know that Gabi rides with me on the Lakefront most days of the year – over 45F – with no wind or rain. She averages around 3000 miles a year in her 13 years of living with me.

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I got her the hat initially to protect her from the sun, but I thought it looked so cute, that I just put it on her every time we ride.

I have many shots of her on the bike, but, clearly, it is not easy to get ones of us together. The only ones I have are from the annual Bike the Drive ride that takes place on Memorial Day each year, when Chicago closes the famed Lake Shore Drive for several hours and lets bike riders take it over. About 20,000 of us take advantage of that each year. The ride is sponsored by the American Transportation Alliance (ATA). This year’s listing follows:

With Chicago consistently being ranked by Bicycling magazine as one of the best cities in the nation for biking, there is no better way to celebrate the start of summer than with a ride on the city’s crown jewel roadway – Lake Shore Drive. So grab your bike and enjoy almost 5 hours of car-free riding on Sunday, May 26.  Proceeds benefit Active Transportation Alliance’s work to improve biking, walking, and transit throughout Chicagoland.

In past years ATA had photographers along the way capturing riders who wanted a photographic memento of the ride. I stumbled upon some pics from the 2008 ride.

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My daughter, Kate, then 14, rode with Gabi and me. Gabi is wearing my windbreaker as it was a chilly morning.

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This is a current shot, not on the bike, but wearing her track suit that I got from Amazon. A dog wearing a track suit blows my mind.

Tony

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Happy Birthday, Gabi!

Gabi, my miniature poodle and canine companion, turned 15 years old today. She has lived with me for the past 14-1/2 years. In that period I can’t remember a day in which she didn’t bring a smile to my face or make me laugh out loud.

gabi

Also, in the course of our three daily walks, I have met hundreds of people that I never would have encountered otherwise. Some came in and out of my life like raindrops, but many have remained and become a part of my life.

Celebrating her birthday is personal for me and isn’t going to help anyone to lose any pounds or inches. However, a pet can play an important part in one’s happiness. Check out the post – Owning a pet can benefit your mental and physical health.

gabi bday

Although she is a part of my life now, I didn’t have a dog for over 50 years. My brother and I had a dog when I was around 10 years old, but it wasn’t long before he became my father’s dog. You can read about how Gabi came into my life in the post – Anatomy of an act of kindness.

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Recent pic of my bike riding companion.

Thanks to my friends on Facebook who created the birthday illustrations above.

Tony

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Anatomy of an Act of Kindness

I am reblogging this as the subject of it – my dog Gabi – turns 12 years old today. I thought this would be an appropriate celebration of her birthday.

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I shot this picture of her on a recent ride. She likes her sun hat.

Tony

Health Secrets of a SuperAger

I started this year encouraging Random Acts of Kindness as a super stepping off point toward being a happy person. I have seen over the period of writing this blog how many people abuse their bodies with food in their efforts to assuage real or imagined feelings of insecurity or as a misdirected way of dealing with stress. If they were happier at the outset, maybe they wouldn’t have a weight problem at all. The tags at the right with stress, happiness and relaxation will direct you to further items on these subjects.

Getting back to the act of kindness being dissected. I want to explain it from start to finish as I think there is some valuable information in it.

Gabi at 3 months chewing a ball …

It started some years ago when my ex-wife got a puppy for Kate, my daughter. Kate was 11 years old…

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Happy National Dog Day!

First of all, I want to salute my little canine companion, Gabi. She is 11-1/2 years young and has brightened my life ever since I adopted her. For details on how that unlikely event occurred, check out my post Anatomy of an act of kindness.

Meanwhile, “National Dog Day is celebrated August 26th annually and was founded in 2004 by Pet & Family Lifestyle Expert and Animal Advocate, Colleen Paige, also the founder of National Puppy Day, National Mutt Day and National Cat Day and many more philanthropic days to bring attention to the plight of animals and encourage adoption. The date of August 26th is significant, as it’s the date that Colleen’s family adopted her first dog “Sheltie” when Colleen was 10 years old.

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Here is my canine companion, Gabi, whom I adopted 11 years ago. She clocks about 4,000 miles a year in her basket on my bike.

“National Dog Day celebrates all dogs, mixed breed and pure. Our mission is to help galvanize the public to recognize the number of dogs that need to be rescued each year and acknowledges family dogs and dogs that work selflessly each day to save lives, keep us safe and bring comfort. Dogs put their lives on the line every day… for personal protection, for law enforcement, for the disabled, for our freedom and safety by detecting bombs and drugs and pulling victims of tragedy from wreckage, now they’re detecting cancer and seizures…things even humans cannot do. NDD was adopted into New York State Legislation in 2013. Read more about it here.

Tony

 

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