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Isa's Story

March 6th, 2017

Story Time

Posted by teri in Uncategorized    

I’ve been writing Isa’s story off and on in a little notebook I have. As often as not I end up in a puddle but that’s my “new normal” so it is what it is. I really haven’t gotten further than her “gotcha” day. I suppose it can considered progress that I’ve moved from the end to the beginning of her story. Her bed is still where it always has been, her food bowl in place. I put her harness back on the dining room chair – I moved it after the first contractor I met with asked me if I had a giant gerbil. (WT …?) I’m working up to putting her harness up from grabs here but I’m not quite ready.  I consider it progress that I took her collar out of the drawer and set it next to her ashes. I was careful not to let the tags jingle – that would be too much. She hated being without her collar, always visibly relieved when I buckled it back on.

But that’s my story.

Today the memory floated up to the top of my brain of her playing tug of war with an acquaintance’s yorkie terrier, at best all of three pounds. The yorkie won, pretty much every time. Isa loved the game more than the subject stuffed hedgehog and allowed the yorkie to “pull” her forward. I’ve never seen anything like it.

That’s a quickie story and sadly no pictures.

So how about the story of our hike to Wheeler’s Peak (Taos, NM), must have been in 2012 early summer since there are pockets of snow around. Trail head is at 10,000 feet with just over a 3,000 elevation gain over 6.2 miles one way. What was I thinking? The first leg to Williams Lake is easy, a mile or so, and flat, relatively speaking. We hung out at the lake for a while – Isa is all about playing in the water.

Then we started up. And up. And up. The view(s) are spectacular.

That bluish shiny spot down there, only barely seen behind/between the trees? That’s the lake.

I’m sad to say we didn’t make it all the way to the top, largely because I’m a giant chicken. In my defense I was feeling the altitude: my legs were being very grumpy and complaining about a lack of oxygen, it was cold and windy the higher we got, and the trail was nothing more than loose rocks and a long-ass way down. Exhibit A:

But the biggest reason? A certain dog continually disappeared down the mountain, hidden among the rocks, investigating who knows what. And she certainly was not responding to my call and her hearing has been known to be “selective.” There is a chance she could not hear me – the wind was blowing the “wrong” direction. She probably did that 3,000 feet of elevation gain at least twice over. This was on the way up, at our lunch break, before the “disappearing dog” game began:

She was dragging doggy butt that last mile from the lake back to the car and I don’t think she moved again until the next morning. Well, except for dinner of course. One must maintain one’s meal schedule regardless of fatigue level.

We had lots of good hikes (and snowshoes) over the years. Wheeler’s Peak was easily our most ambitious. My preference is to putter along and enjoy the scenery without bodily damage. Being all dog, Isa always did three to four times my mileage. For that matter our regular neighborhood walks were power walks on my part. I could only barely keep up with her – she didn’t walk anywhere, it was always a trot. Except of course when it was necessary to stop and pee on something. Better still finding something edible (her definition, not mine) – thank goodness she had a cast iron stomach.

So that’s today’s story. More as I am able.



  1. I was absolutely riveted to every word yiu wrote about Isa today. And yes, “your story” is different from “Isa’s story”.

    Explaining where yiu are in the grief part if yiur story is very familiar to all of us. Yeah, we get it. The is NO timeline for when a bowl has to be moved, or a leash moved from it’s normal spot or a container of ice cream in the freezer has to be thrown away after being in there for two years because it was the container your dog (or Happy Hannah) last ate from. Nope, no timeframes. What I have found is that, subconsciously, allmof the sudden you’ll move the food bowl without thinking about it…at first anyway. And then, rather than throw it away, you put it in a place where it’s still a keepsake, but you aren’t tripping over it!

    Now, bak to Isa’s story!! OMD! What a beautiful, beautiful girl she is!! And quite the athlete!! My goodness, you two shared so many adve tures, so many happy times nust being with each other and being out in nature!!

    The pictures yoh shared are spectacular in so many levels! Congratulations to BOTH of you for handling this…er…challenging little “climb”! But the view was absolutely worth it!! The time rogether absolutely worth it! And Isa getting to enjoy just being a dog absolutely worth it! 🙂 🙂

    Thank you so much for sharing this special time with js AND beautiful pictures! I can only imagine the fun Isa is having hiking trails at the Bridge that, as hard as it is to believe, even have more brilliance than this earthy trail 🙂

    Lots and lots of love and hugs

    Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

      benny55 — March 7, 2017 @ 12:22 am   Reply

  2. That is such a beautiful memory and no one can ever change that or take it away from you. Reading this was actually like watching two movies at once and it reminds me that I need to create more memories like this while we still can. thank you. this is beautiful.

      tinsch — March 7, 2017 @ 8:59 am   Reply

  3. Aww I loved the hike story! That reminded me so much of the hikes we had with Jerry before he lost his leg.

    And as for Isa’s things…what’s the rush? It took me FOREVER to decide what to do with Jerry’s things and I still have many of them, like his purple sweater that lays on my nightstand. If and when you’re ready to donate or pack stuff away, you’ll know it.

      jerry — March 24, 2017 @ 5:07 am   Reply

    • Isa and I had lots and lots of loved a good hikes before her amp. I would be hard pressed to say which of us loved it more.
      Jerry’s banner has come up a number of times for me the past couple of days. I love the picture of him with the stick in the river/lake – he looks so happy!
      I’m in no real hurry to get rid of Isa’s things although I do question that decision regarding the kong that is in very sad shape. I was thinking that maybe a new tripawd could benefit from her harness but I also think that my one-day new furbaby will have lots of mom assists in and out of the car and such and there’s a reasonable chance Isa’s harness might fit. Seems to make sense to wait and see. If not, it will certainly go up for grabs.
      Interestingly, one of Wallee’s balls with feathers (Isa’s favorite thing) found it’s way onto Isa’s bed with her other toys. I have no idea which of them did that but either way it made me happy/sad. Wallee misses Isa almost as much as I do.

        teri — March 24, 2017 @ 5:31 pm   Reply

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