River Bottom Beagles


River Dogs

Every chance we get, all the dogs and I head down to Sunny Beach on the river down at the end of the hay field and we go for a swim.

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Never too old

Hope still enjoys swimming in the river.

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Amazing Grace

We came close to loosing Lisa again. Thankfully she was in St. Marys hospital in Rochester, the best place in the world for her to be when she crashed. Where a large team of brilliant and incredibly hard working people where able to pull her back from the brink. I’m always amazed at what happens there. Where do these people come from? Not least of which are the nurses who have the most difficult work, put in 12 and 16 hour days, day after day after day. They see more in a week than most of us will see in a lifetime, and yet they keep a positive attitude that can’t help but carry over to everyone they come in contact with.

Because of her heart, Lisa’s lungs filled with fluid. She needed to be on a respirator for several days. It isn’t pleasant to have a tube down your throat. To keep her from fighting and trying to pull it out she needed to be sedated. When she finally improved enough to be taken off the respirator and have the sedation stopped she should have awakened and been her old self, but she didn’t. Because (we think) of all the different medications she had been given and because of all her body has been through in the past, she was very confused and unable to talk or control her movements. She was very agitated and seemed pretty frustrated. Being the fighter that she is Lisa fought this without rest, for days. When I would talk to her she would look at me. I think she could hear us and she knew we were there. No matter how hard I tried to push them away, thoughts of what her life would be like if this didn’t change were always there just under the surface.

Sunday night Lisa started to put words together and respond to questions. She kept her RN busy all night by constantly trying to get out of bed and by working on getting her voice back. Seemed like it was hard for her to form words and to keep her concentration on the real world around her. I walked in Monday morning after trying to get a little sleep, and I could see all the things she wanted to say that wouldn’t come out. But what did come out was WWWWHHHHOOOOOOOOOO!!!! The sound we use to call the beagles in.

WWWWHHHHOOOOOOOOOO!!!! WWWWHHHHOOOOOOOOOO!!!!  Over and over and over. Long and loud! David, the poor guy that had to take care of her all night left the room laughing and shut her door to keep the noise down. Forming words and putting sentences together isn’t easy. Sounds like this are easier to get out. And singing.

Lisa started in singing Amazing Grace. How sweet the sound indeed!!

I saw Lisa smile and even laugh today. She did manage a few sentences. I heard “I love my children”. And one that comes out loud and clear, “I WANT TO GO HOME!”

Can’t be replaced

At work, I need to think about what I am doing, at least some of the time. I’m staying late and skipping breaks. At home I’m scrubbing kennels and spending more time with the dogs.

I’m carrying a phone with me all the time. First time for that since Lisa was on the transplant waiting list.

I want to tell Lisa about what the puppies are doing now and about the mourning doves that are nesting by the window. Ask her if she’s heard that new Dierks Bently song. He wrote the last verse about his dog Jake that he just lost after 15 years. Some things just can’t be replaced.

I come in the house and her things are all over, but she’s not there. She is back down in Rochester at Mayo.

I can’t talk to her on the phone. Everyone wants to be kept updated, but I can’t. It’s like having a bad headache and you finally find a way to hold your head so it doesn’t hurt quite so much, then you move wrong and the pain hits you again.

Think I’ll head in to work early.

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