Saturday, August 01, 2020

A Week Later ... And An Almost Tragic Bunny Tale

It's been a week since Iago left us and it is strangely silent in our house.  I can't go into the kitchen without checking to see if he has water in his bowl even though the bowl has been gone for a week.  At 6 am and 5 pm I have to check myself since I no longer need to feed him.

Iago's paw print ... full of love.

I am sure he is still with us in spirit ... he is definitely here in hair.  The vacuum canister was half full with black dog hair when I cleaned this week.  It will diminish over the next couple weeks as the last vestiges of Iago are sucked out of the carpet.

Along with the mourning of Iago's passing there was some bunny drama this week.  If you follow me on Twitter you have already heard but for those who don't, here is the story.  We have rabbits in our backyard.  This year they started digging holes in the grass.  After chasing them away a few times I made a pile of stones on the deck that I could throw at them to get them to quit.  This week I saw a rabbit digging in a hole.  I went out on the deck and threw a stone and missed it by about a foot.  It didn't budge.  I grabbed a second stone and threw it.  I didn't think I was a good throw and I expected to hit it on its back but to my horror I hit the rabbit square on the head.  I could hear the stone thunking it's poor little bunny skull.  The rabbit staggered around a bit and laid down.  It's head slowly went back until it was staring straight up.  I think at this point it went unconscious.  A few minutes later it lowered it's head and just sat there.  After about fifteen minutes I went down the stairs and, seeing me, it hopped off into the bushes.  I felt very relieved.

I don't think I could ever hit a rabbit's head at 20 - 25 feet like I did.  Heck, when I toss the remote to the Wife less than ten feet away I usually miss by three feet.  But, if I see another rabbit digging ... I will try to be less accurate as my heart wouldn't be able to take it really.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Santiago 03/10/2007 - 07/25/2020

Last night we made the hard decision to put down our dear companion Santiago.  He had been suffering from all sorts of old dog ailments for the past three years and, while we tried our best to keep him healthy and comfortable, on Saturday he reached the point where we couldn't help him anymore.

The day we got Santiago.
We adopted Santiago - I called him Mr. Iago - from one of the Wife's friends.  We named him after both the Camino de Santiago and the Wife's favorite character from Ernest Hemingway's "Old Man and the Sea". He was five years old when we got him.  He's spent his first five years being a farm dog.  Unfortunately he had a taste for the neighbor's chickens so we took him in to keep him out of trouble.

Iago was such a laid back pupper.  Nothing bothered him.  He was unflappable.  The only thing that would set him off was when he saw a raptor circling overhead.  He would run around the yard barking at it until it flew away.  Other birds, big or small, would not even get a second glance from him.

He wasn't much into toys.  You could throw a ball and he would bring it back but after the third throw he would be done.  He did have a plush candy corn that he liked but he would only grab it when he had to go out to do his business.  We started calling it his "pee pee corn".

Iago was not a smart dog - in fact, he was as dumb as a box of rocks - but he was the sweetest dog I've ever had.  He loved licking hands, chewing ice cubes, eating hibiscus flowers, and hunting rabbits in the backyard.

Iago being a trooper with snuggle bear.
In 2017 he developed laryngeal paralysis.  This made it hard for him to breath.  If he got too excited he would weeze and almost passed out.  His heavy breathing became the background noise in our house.  Later the same year he developed issues in his rear end - a possible result of being hit by a car as a pup.  He was started on opioids and anti-inflammatory meds to control the pain.

Over 2019 and 2020 he slowly lost control of his rear legs.  He became incontinent and would spontaneously poop ... often in his sleep.  He could walk but his rear legs were becoming shaky.  He also began suffering from short seizures.

On Saturday he refused to go down the stairs.  The final straw was when he struggled to go up two stair treads.  We knew it was time.  We let him go so he wouldn't suffer anymore.

The Wife and I will miss him.  The house is already so quiet without his heavy breathing.  We are comforted that he lived so long - thirteen years and four months - and we could give him a good life in our home.  If someone ever asks me to describe him in a few words I will simply say he was a very good boy

March 10, 2007 - July 25, 2020


aka Mr.Iago, Old Man, and many other names.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Another Year Around The Sun For Me

Yep ... I'm fifty-seven.  Another year has passed and for the first time in a while I am really feeling my age. The more I think about it the more I'm sure that I have yet to recover from my Appalachian Trail hike and the more I think about that the more I doubt I ever will.

I came back diabetic but I've managed to lower my numbers a bit but I am still on the divide between diabetic and pre-diabetic.  I probably could get my numbers lower but I have lost the fight in me.  This strange year we're working through is not helping any.

But that's OK.  The fact is my body isn't what it used to be and that's the natural progression of things.  So instead of worrying about it I started celebrating my birthday on Friday with a couple scoops of Cold Stone Creamery birthday cake ice cream with cookie dough mixins.  Tonight it will be Italian take out. I'll get back to trying to be healthy tomorrow ... or not.

Happy Birthday to me.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Another Year Around The Sun Together

Happy Anniversary to the best Social Distancing partner and world traveling buddy a man could ask for.  Every day I count my blessings that I am yours.

Happy twenty-third anniversary!!!
May our wonderful life together last longer than we can imagine.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

A Piece Of Our World

This weekend across the country various Juneteenth celebrations are taking place.  I have to admit that, while I've known about Juneteenth for awhile, I have not known its true significance until this year.  Omaha has always had Juneteenth parades celebrating the liberation of the slaves.  This year, with the ongoing protests against injustice and bigotry, the day has taken on a new importance.

A memorial to James Scurlock killed during the protests.

Omaha has not been immune to the protests.  Early on a young Black man (James Scurlock) was killed by a white bar owner (allegedly prone to racism) during a protest in downtown Omaha.  It was first declared self-defense but it was soon handed over to a grand jury to determine if charges should be filed.  On one of my walks I took some pictures showing the signs of support from the community. 

More pictures of the protest signs can be found in my 2017-2020 Protest & Resistance Google Photos Album.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

I Hope The Summer Is Better Than The Spring

Spring has been ... interesting this year.  I can't say I'm a fan.  But as of now, it is the Summer Solstice in the northern hemisphere and maybe ... just maybe ... the Summer will be better.

... but probably not.

Happy Summer Solstice Everyone!!!

P.S.  Also Happy Hike Naked Day for those ambling about in the buff.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Not Present ... But Accounted For

I haven't been posting much lately.  It's not like I haven't had enough to write about with the pandemic and the continuing protests of injustice and inequality.  Some may assume that the social distancing may be at the root of this blog inactivity but that would be far from the truth.  When the stay at home orders came down in mid-March my life, frankly, didn't change a whit.  I've been socially distancing, self-isolating, and staying at home since long before the world even heard of COVID-19.  The only change I had in my life, really, was the Wife being with me all day - a plus in my book.

The fact is, since I returned from the Appalachian Trail I haven't been ... present.  I feel a bit adrift ... tuned out ... and I am content with this - at least for the moment.  This feeling is probably a result of having completed all my plans that I've had since 2012.  Ending my Appalachian Trail hike was the last thing on my list and I'm still digesting my experience.

Now, while part of me feels disconnected, my Twitter followers (@HomersTravels) know I am following what 2020 is throwing at us very closely.  I've kept Homer's Travels fairly politics-free.  Twitter is where my politics comes out full force.  So, If you are bored by the blog silence, feel free to check out my twitter feed.

At this point in similar posts I would pledge to either make plans, do things, or post more ... yada yada yada.  I'm not doing that this time.  My head isn't in the right place to make plans right now and, frankly, 2020 is not making it easy to make plans - a good thing since I've had my fill of plans for a while.  This may change ... or it may not.  You'll know it as soon as I figure it all out.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Ghost Droplets

I was taking Iago out to do his business in our backyard when I noticed something.  It had rained that morning (Saturday) and there were droplets of water on the long leaves of a potted plant on our patio.  That's what I thought until I took a closer look ...

Ghost droplets.
... and I realized that the leaves were in fact dry.  Somehow the image of the raindrops was printed on the leaves like a photographic exposure.  I've never seen this before and I have to say ... It's pretty cool!

Friday, May 15, 2020

My Ninth Caminoversary

While I walked the Appalachian Trail (AT) I often ran into people who had either already hiked the Camino or were planning to do so in the near future.  I had a Camino shell attached to my AT backpack.  One hiker even recognized it and asked me about my Camino.

As I was hiking the first half of the AT I decided that I would like to do a third Camino along the Camino Del Norte route.  I was even a little excited about the idea.

The path of the Camino.
Then the second half of the AT happened.  As I went through New England the desire to do the Camino, or any long hike for that matter, faded ... it faded very quickly.

At this time, the ninth anniversary of the start of my first Camino, I doubt I will ever do the Camino again. But, as the world had reminded us lately, you never know what the future holds.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Sometimes I'm Too Honest ... And An Update.

I was suppose to go in to get my teeth cleaned today.  My original appointment had been postponed due to Coronavirus.  I get to the office, they take my temperature (normal range), and give me a questionnaire.  One of the questions was "Do you have a runny nose?"  It's allergy season.  We have had moderate-high to high pollen counts for a few weeks here in Nebraska.  My eyes are itchy and, yes, my nose runs. I marked Yes.

That honesty killed my appointment.  I'd not mentioned my seasonal allergies to my dentist before so there is no note of them in my record.  So, in the day of covid-19, that was enough to stop my cleaning in its tracks.   *sigh*

My allergies are now part of my record so when I return next week, my teeth will finally be sparkling white.

Also, an update for my last post.  On Mother's Day I talked about the little bunny babies in a hole in our yard.  I'd placed a paver over the hole to keep Iago out.  Well after that post I looked off our deck and noticed the paver had moved nearly a foot off the hole.  Looking closer I saw the hole was empty.  Not sure what happened.  Either Momma bunny moved the paver and removed her babies or Iago move the paver and had a snack.  I think it was most likely the latter.  His farts reeked that night.