“Buster the Springer, and my wet capris…”

Today, as I ran some errands, I decided to take a moment and drop by the lake near our home. In a state with over a million lakes (and I am not kidding) it is pretty easy to find a local lake. Today, I stopped at Wasilla Lake. It was so pretty. It was 68 degrees and the sun was blazing. I made a new friend! A Springer named Buster and his owner, CJ. She was there with her baby son in a front carrier, her Alaskan Malamute, and Buster. They were having a great time, chasing a ball into the water and back out again. Unfortunately, I did not realize how friendly Buster would be. He came up to me, wanting hugs and cuddles, with his wiggly butt, all full of water. He shook out his coat all over me. And then begged me to throw the ball. So I did. What a wonderful break.

Up here in Alaska, when the sun is blazing and the temps are pleasant, everyone is outside. Surprisingly enough, the park was pretty empty. There were no jet skiers, either. It was just this young mom and her dogs. And it was the perfect interlude to a stressful time in my life. My mom seems to absorb all my energy. If I am not doing something for her, I am doing something with her. Even if I am just keeping an eye on a sleeping old lady. LOL. We got her a tray for the couch where she can eat her meals on. It has legs that go under the couch. She took to it right away. In fact, she had her coffee this morning and promptly fell asleep, her head drooped down over her magazine, laying on the tray. Not much keeps her awake. And she is getting particular about what she eats, and how much she eats. I think she is having a hard time seeing her food, getting it onto her fork/spoon, and then getting into her mouth. Most clothes are stained. The other day, she had a very bad choking incident, and we were so worried. She recovered and finished her meal. But it was hard to watch.

Today, I had to run to the vet to pick up a prescription for our Springer, Poca. She is 13 and a wonderful dog. She has been battling a skin infection on her back since late June. We finally had a firm diagnosis of what bug we are fighting, and I had to go pick up her prescription. As I made my way home, I just wanted to stop for a minute, catch my breath, and get some photos of where I live. And as luck would have it, I meet a fellow Springer owner. We laughed. We tossed the ball to the dogs. I got to play grandma to her little baby (talking baby talk is one of my secret skill sets) and I was taking time for me. It was only 10 minutes. But wow. I came home refreshed and was able to give Poca her new meds, and laugh at my soaking wet capris and flip-flops. I think this is a lesson. As caretakers, we need to take these moments away. To look at the sky, enjoy the view before us, and thank God for the many blessings in our lives. And then we can come back and dive back in this Alzheimer’s thing we do. God is good, my friends. He is there. All we have to do is look.

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