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Ups and Downs

Yesterday we were thinking it was the end of Zachery’s life.  He lay still long enough I called my daughter to let her know the time was arriving to say goodbye. Michelle drove over, we cried, we talked, Michelle groomed Zachery and held him in her lap. Something inside of Zachery started to come alive again and he started to eat.

Today, he made himself get up and eat and go outside. He even put himself to bed with my husband, even though I am still up. I don’t know how much longer Zachery has left to live, but spending his last moments at home with family is  an act of LOVE!!!

 

Zachery rallied

Zachery rallied

Thinking it was the end of life.

Thinking it was the end of life.

Learning how to Walk in Love

WALKING IN LOVE

God uses the normal daily walk to teach us how to live like Jesus.

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Zachery February 1998!  I brought him home for Michelle to have a pet.  He became work for me.

Zachery sheds huge amounts of hair.  We got a bag-less vacuum because every time I vacuumed I would fill a bag.

We gave Zachery to Michelle when she was 4 years old. She has since moved out of the house and Zachery is left to live out his days with Bart and I.

This last two years God has been teaching me how to Love  Zachery. I have had a friend say we should just put him out of his misery. I believe he was still running with me at the time.  Even if he wasn’t running he was still walking a mile and enjoying life. At this point in time He is at the end of his life. We have adjusted much of our lives to help him live out his days well. He wants to be with us, he still follows us from room to room to be near us.

When Michelle left home Zachery stopped getting the attention he used to. I have learned to figure out what Zachery is asking for.   

I HAVE GOTTEN ON THE FLOOR WITH HIM TO GIVE HIM A BACK MASSAGE.

I would have never done that in the past. He has lost most of his muscle mass, and his back and hip bones stand out. When I massage his muscles, I see his body relax. He feels better and he has received Love!

Zachery has been a picky eater. He quit eating for a while because he no longer was interested in the food.   We thought his fogy brain was just aging but food helped his thinking. When his brain isn’t thinking he forgets when he is inside and when he is outside. Often to get him to eat I have to change his food with different types of canned dog food or gravy or rice. It is not always easy to understand what he needs are at the time.

Sometimes I need him to go outside or move to another room, and have found MILK-BONE dog bones are a great  encouragement  to get him to follow. There has only been one day he refused the MILK-BONE because he wanted to go out a different door and explore the back yard instead of time in the fenced in area.

I used to walk Zachery around the block (1/2 mile) and even up to a mile for the last few years. I quit walking Zachery 6 months ago because I had to carry him home twice. We eventually realized Zachery was leaving a message that he didn’t appreciate being left behind when Charlie got a walk/run. So now after Charlie comes home I take Zachery for a walk down to the corner and give him the chance to smell the smells of dog life! It has also had the benefit of strengthening his legs to aid him up and down the stairs.

I have come to care about Zachery’s needs and wants. Helping him through the end of his life instead of yelling because he is bothering me. What would Jesus do?