Sunday, December 27, 2009

To the McDuff

In Memory of Duffy

Duffy finally left us the evening of December 21st, 2009. His little body was no longer able to contain his fighting, tenacious Scottish spirit. We will miss him greatly. It is nice to know that the spirit never dies. He’s out there chasing squirrels and sniffing the winds keeping track of the all that transpires.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Painting Prep and Duffy Update

Duffy is still here!

Well he is still with us. He has been eating (turkey meat only) and drinking consistently and seems to be quite alert. His back legs are continuing to decline due to the severe spinal arthritis. Compared to eight weeks ago he is doing quite well. For a little buddy who wasn’t supposed to last beyond mid November he has now made it to mid December. It is a day by day novella.


I finally made a purchase. I’ve bought an Artist Essentials EASyL Lite. My holiday present to me. Not the most expensive but not necessarily cheap. It will be here by the end of next week so maybe I’ll have a chance to use it once or twice before the holidays. More to come

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Duffy update:

He is still hanging in there! The last 10 days have been up and down. He still needs to be watched or have a human around fairly constantly. He tends to forget just where he is when he wakes up from a deep sleep.

For a while this last week he stopped eating again. I stopped all of his medication. It’s time to let him go. It turns out his meds are what was making him refuse his food. As of Wednesday (12/2) he started to eat a small saucer of turkey twice daily. More than I’ve seen him eat in 4 weeks at one feeding. And he has continued to eat this quantity through today (12/6). Today at the first feeding he even ate a tablespoon full of rice. Yes!

Now for the bad news. The arthritis at his pelvic/spinal intersection grows ever more painful. He has increasing problems moving/walking with his back quarters. His right rear foot drags a bit. In addition his bladder cancer has progressed. He’s been having problems relieving himself, but continues to be a good water drinker.

It is very hard to consider what to do when seeing his pain. His little soul is still vibrant and aware. His body just won’t let him live much longer. I’ll continue to provide the home care until he makes it clear he would like to leave. That point hasn’t arrived yet. Soon though.


Meanwhile, I’ve been shopping online for a lightweight plein air pochade kit. There seems to be many available from the home made cigar box to the ultra expensive. The two now on my list (after reading blogs and discussion forums etc.) are Open Box M Light and Artwork Essentials Prochade EASyL kit. Both are a bit expensive so I’ll have to think about it a bit more. Since one of my goals is to spend a year on the Orkney Islands (beginning 2011) sketching and painting I want to have a box that will travel well.

Maybe I’ll actually get some art posted soon.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Ten days of dog hospice

Well, the last ten days or so have been trying. My best canine bud, McDuff (Duffy) is on his last life journey. We adopted him 7 years ago. This larger than norm Scottie has been very close to me. He is 13 years old this fall. Duffy was diagnosed with Bladder Cancer in early June, 2009 and was given about 30 days to live. But, he fooled everyone and is still with us, barely. He stopped eating about 10 days ago. Last Tuesday I took him in to the vet. They found aggressive arthritis at the joining of spine, tail and pelvic area, continued growth of the prostate (bladder cancer related) and a slow bleed into his stomach area. Duffy was given some medication and sent home. It has almost been a week and I've exhausted every brainstorm concerning the food options to get him to eat. He has slowly stopped eating all of his fav's like toasted almonds, dried liver treats, pill pockets.

Last night I was desperate enough to go up to the local Safeway and buy a fresh oven roasted chicken. Duffy wasn't even taking his medications and my arthritic hands won't allow me to force open his jaw if he chooses to clamp it shut. So, I tore off some of the crispy warm skin (just a few pieces) and wrapped his meds in a couple of them. He ate all the pieces (totalled about 5, not a lot). We repeated that this morning successfully, but he is refusing water and still is not eating anything else.

Our next appointment is Tuesday morning. So goes everything.

No art, or very little. I missed the international (local version) sketchcrawl on 11/21 Sunday. Maybe I'll make it next month. Finished one oil painting and am starting another. I need to get back into the swimming pool. I think I've gained about 10 pounds not swimming for the last month or so. Will post more later.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Okay, my second post. I have had a great week asking myself on so many levels, just what did I want going toward my art goal. Well I came up with the decide that I must try to do something 5 out of 7 days a week. Hopefully that will be drawing, painting or something related.

I'm also beginning to learn how to take digital photos of my sketches and other work. They will be posted as they get done but my inventory of actual work is pretty small at this point.

I went to a friends "new studio" opening tonight. I've been out sketching and plein air painting with her but have never actually seen her "other" work. Her colors are marvelous. The small plein air work is beautiful in color and value. More, More, More!

More to come. Leighzy Beighzy

Monday, November 9, 2009

First Ever Post

Wow! Never thought I'd be "blogging". It's been encouraged by friends and acquaintances. I'm like many other "baby boomers" - in transition. A time when the career and parental life are becoming things of the past and the desire to let life take a new "fork" in the road. My new fork has at least three lanes: learning to draw and paint to fulfill a life long passion, masters swimming which gives me a reason to exercise, and learning to pursue life long goals long put on hold.

Here are a couple of goals for the next 3 years:

  • Attend the FINA World Masters Aquatic Championships in Gotenerg, Sweden during late July, 2010
  • Live and paint in the Orkney Islands for one year sometime around 2011.
  • Become skilled enough in drawing and painting to journal in real time.

So to return on a daily basis is a bit much at this point but will try for weekly at a minimum and hopefully post more often.