Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Hopi is Gone. RIP Dear Hopi.

You know, there are just some weeks I wish I had never gotten out of bed. This was one.

This morning, the vet said Hopi was looking a bit worse... still not eating, and she had thrown up again. She was on pain meds and an IV off/on since Saturday. We decided to giver her barium and see if it would pass through her system. She threw up some of it, and apparently, the x-rays showed just a bit leaking into her intestines. She was not strong enough for surgery and had a heart murmur to boot.

Today as I traveled home from my mom's 95th birthday lunch (I stopped to see Hopi on my way there), my vet called to tell me Hopi had gone seriously down hill and now was the time to let her go. So I did.

This is the ONLY dog I have not been right there with in probably 20 years, and this was MY personal dog. I feel terrible about that; it is just so wrong. Yes, she came in as a rescue, but she had so many things wrong with her, medically, I wouldn't release her. She quickly became a part of the family and the very gentle alpha dog.

Hopi was (is) a delight. She loved all other living things, was trustworthy to the extreme, obedient to near perfection, thoroughly enjoyed long walks (even if she walked slowly), was terrific in the car, dependable, curious, well mannered, often funny and gently kept everyone here on the straight and narrow. GSDs are very bright, and she was no exception.

I just adored this dog and she was perfect for this rescue house, for me and for the others.

Please say a wee prayer for this wonderful dog, Hopi, to ease her on her way. I hope God has a very special place for her.

Tomorrow, I will pick Hopi up from the vet, leave her for cremation and pick up Joy's ashes. I was never counting on being on a first name basis with the secretary at the cremation business. When I left Joy to be cremated, I picked up Artie's ashes. They have been there a while. Artie passed while we were evacuated in the last wildfire. He was an 18yo doxie and a FABULOUS dog.

For years, I have kept the ashes of all of my personal dogs and others who have passed in my care. If and when the local 320-acre ranch is purchased for wildland open space--a effort I have been working on for almost 25 years--that is where their ashes will rest, except for a little pouch of them to accompany me on my own way when my day comes. I will never be without a dog, even in death.

This is a photo of Pete (a once feral dog) who passed away several years ago. He lived with me for almost nine years after the ranch was sold to the current (Nevada) speculator (we have been in court now for six years) and they threatened to have Pete impounded. And this is the entry to the ranch.

Someday, I hope to be scattered with my dogs on the rear left highest peak.

In the spring, the "bowl" of the property is a gorgeous bright yellow, filled with wild mustard which is part of the Crucifera (cross) family. The property has several endangered species, including one that was declared extinct in this area in 1989, but is now likely winter habitat for this species.

This is a picture of the property from an adjacent ridge deep in winter, as the green shows. The following photo is the basin just as it is beginning to bloom in the spring.

We used to walk on the ranch until the speculator put barbed wire across the frontage (you can see the posts in the second bloom photo) and "No Trespassing" signs. For the last two years, they have had around-the-clock security living on the site. Only in the last two months has that ceased. I'm sure they did this to break our hearts, and they succeeded to some extent.

My best friend owns part of the ridgeline to the right (and just out of view) of the overview photo. It is funny, every time we use it, the Sheriff gets called. Hehehe.

When they bulldozed the historic buildings, which was HEARTBREAKING for the community, Pete, the dog, died. He died the second day of it while I was trying to stop it and did, but only temporarily. I came home to find him dead.

The buildings were (documented) very important in terms of Orange County history. This made no difference.

Who cares, right? Better to forget about the past, sock everything under 12" of concrete, grade almost one million cubic yards of dirt to plop down some McMansions behind a guarded gate on land the Juanenos consider sacred.

But I digress. Sort of. I am very tied to this land, as was Pete, Luke, Dax (the latter two born there, Pete was their father) and every personal dog I have ever had up until the barbed wire went up. I have walked every channel and canyon, every animal and ridge trail, collected fossils (the property actually produced a surprising aminite about twenty years ago), watched deer and bob cats, taken plaster prints of mountain lion tracks and seen a huge variety of birds. One can almost feel the spirits of the Native People on this land.

I will work harder now. Hopi belongs on this ranch. So do Dax, Luke, Artie, Katie, Kaweah, Flopsy, Chips, Duke, Ralph and me. Pete, especially, belongs here.

Everything is related.