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A long time ago, I was a child. (I started out as Cathy First from Colon, Mi.) For the past several years I’ve been an adult. A lot of things went on between those two stages of life; probably no more or no less than anyone elses. My husband and I moved to “da U .P” from southern Lower Michigan several years ago (yes we were trolls at one time). We owned and operated and operate Clementz’s Northcountry Campground and Cabins just north of Newberry, Michigan until May 2015. We have grown kids and grandkids (who all live downstate). My passion is life and all that Nature has to offer us and trying to photograph it in unique ways. Our intention in life is to see all that Nature has to offer us. We hope that you will be a part of our adventures as we cruise through our lives together. Come back often!

Saturday, July 15, 2006


Our little Chewy is getting old on us. We knew it would happen, but it seems like it sneaks up on you and bites you in the heart when you aren’t looking.

Chewy is our little 10 pound Shi-tzu (for those of you just “tuning in” there is a story and photo in the archives) and she has us wrapped around her little finger and she is wrapped around our heart strings. There isn’t too much that we wouldn’t do for her, but I gotta tell you that some of her “doddering old lady” antics have to be just to see how much I will put up with.

For instance, I know that dogs need to sniff the ground; it's how they keep abreast of current events. The ground is a giant dog newspaper, containing all kinds of late-breaking dog news items, which, if they are especially urgent, are often continued in the next yard. But Chewy, once she gets out for a walk, she has to sniff EVERY blade of grass between our yard and Alger County. I shouldn’t begrudge her the sniffing, it is about the only “sense” she has left. She can’t hear and her sight is minimal, especially if she is looking towards a light of any kind. I have to time her walks so she won’t be headed into the sun; otherwise she cannot see. She is either too cold or too hot…no happy medium. Oh, and she definitely has the sense of taste. Taste and smell…and cuteness. Ya can’t help but laugh at her at times. When Dan is walking Nick, the Husky and I’m walking Chewy, she tries to watch here Nick “goes”, by that I mean, where he hikes his leg and marks his territory. She’ll patiently wait till he is done and then she actually TRIES to get her little leg and butt UP so she can “mark” her turf over HIS turf.

Today I gave Chewy a bath, or I should say I TRIED to. It was like trying to bathe a greased piglet. And the fact that I was on my knees by the tub didn’t help matters any. There would have been less water wasted if I’d just gotten IN the tub with her and wrung my clothing out afterwards. SHE IS ONLY 10 POUNDS FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! And clipped short!! She might have weighed 10 ¼ pounds at the end of the bath because she sure didn’t soak up much water….and it didn’t take her long to run hell bent for leather from one end of the house to the other, shimmying and shaking. She was pretty much air dried before I even got out the hair blower. You wouldn’t have known it to witness this event that she is ailing from pancreatitus and old bones!

The days that she doesn’t feel up to par are becoming more apparent and it hurts like hell to think about “the future”. As I’ve said, Dan and I are not one to allow our pets to suffer, but I sure hope we have a lot more good days with her.

On top of everything else, she has food allergies so she has to have special food or a special rice diet concoction that I fix for her. Lately, she hasn’t even wanted to eat that and the pancreatitus is flaring up more often, but not as bad as before we had her diagnosed. If it weren’t for food allergies and the pancreatitus issues, I would give her anything, within reason, to get her to eat.

She still is happy, for an old gal and enjoys her walks, but she is getting so she doesn’t want to be picked up or cuddled and sometimes she doesn’t even want to curl up on my lap…which has always been her favorite place to be. We think this is to the discomfort she has at times. We have a large foot stool and big pillows at the foot of our bed on the floor so she can get up easily by using the footstool and get down easily (the pillows are in case she misses the foot stool). She doesn’t get on the bed any more and if we put her there, she gets right back down. I miss the closeness that she and I use to have; I mean the “cuddle closeness” when she use to get in bed with us or wanted to be held and cuddled like a baby.

We have pet names for both Nick and Chewy; she is Bitty Boo and also Groovy Chick. When she use to enjoy being groomed, she’d come home, all proud of herself, sashaying her little butt with the pom-pom tail…and you’d lightly rub her back, down by where the tail joins the body and she’d arch her little back and walk around on tippy-toes like a prima-Donna. She still does that when she is “feeling groovy”…so that is how Groovy Chick came to be.

I have to take comfort that when her time comes, she will be able to find She-ba and Dutch (who lived to age 14 and 17 respectively), our other pets in “doggy heaven”. Even though they never knew each other. I hold on to that hope. I also hope that she can find my Dad, because they DID know each other. Dad loved dogs and I know he’d take care of her and love her. Once in doggy heaven, her aches and pains will be gone and her eyesight and hearing restored…and she won’t have to be groomed which will really maker her happy!

I will take her for her walks as long as she wants to go. Because of her poor vision, we won’t move the furniture. We’ll leave nightlights on so she can find her way through the house when it starts to get dark. We will cover her when she shivers (she can be cold when it is 80 degrees), we will continue to talk with her, even though she is deaf, we will laugh at her antics on her good days and pamper her on her bad days. I admit that I DO become short tempered when I have to get up during the night more than once to let her out because she has a tummy ache. We will make her as comfortable as possible although we won’t prolong the inevitable. Posted by Picasa

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