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Sunday, May 28, 2017

Guppy's Obituary

Guppy Walz

 We will miss you, Gupster.

Relaxing with your ball in your mouth

Guppy the dog was put to rest on the rainy morning of May 25th, 2017.  He suffered from a neurological issue, which led to his back legs being paralyzed, and his front legs very weak, and soon too, his front legs would give out.   His family made the painful decision to end his suffering, and said their farewells quicker than they ever thought they would have to.

You loved sitting on our porch in the sun.

Guppy is survived by his family, Stacey and Tim, Riley and Maggie Walz, and brother Buddy.  He is also survived by all those who met him, and fell in love with him.  He is survived by those that took care of him:  The Sorrell Family, The Natale Family, The LaGoy Family, The Frankford Family, Heather and Sarah Coffey, his Facebook and Instagram followers.  He is joining his brother and best buddy, Toga, in doggy heaven.  The family would like to thank his vet, Dr Sarah, at Mandak Vet, for treating and taking care of Guppy all these years.  A special thank you to Tim's mom, Joyce Walz, for finding Guppy on Petfinder.

Guppy, and that face.

Guppy was a rescue dog.  The family doesn't know where he was born, or even how old he was.  All they know is that Guppy came to them aggressive, not social, and new to even playing with toys.  He was neutered days before the Walz's adopted him, so maybe he was a mill dog?  The first time a ball was thrown, Guppy didn't know what to do...But once he met his first squeaky ball, he was obsessed with them.  Even taking walks with one stuffed in his mouth.  Later, he would master the skill of sleeping and snorting with one in his mouth.  His balls were his treasures, and his family thinks he even dreamt of them, since he would run in his sleep.  After learning social skills and learning to let others pet him and touch him, he grew quite fond of his family.  His first brother, Toga, showed him the ropes, taught him boundaries, and Guppy was able to learn so much in his new surroundings.  Most importantly, he was able to trust and to be loved.  When Guppy passed away, his vet, neurologist and rehab teacher all believed he was over 10 years old.  He was able to live with the Walz family for 4 1/2 years.  A time too short for the Walz family, but inside their hearts, they knew they saved his life, and they were lucky to be with Guppy for this short time period.

Halloween 2016

Guppy was half Boston Terrier and half French bulldog, and his must enduring quality was his smile and his tongue that would always eventually come out.  He loved his squeaky balls, his squeaky plastic bones that are sold at Dollar Tree, and laying in the sun.  He had a special doggie bed that allowed him to hide under the covers, which was his favorite place.  At night, you would often find him snuggled up, with a squeaky ball in his mouth, snorting away and falling asleep.  Toward the end of his life, he loved to be held by Stacey.

Sleeping Guppy was the best.

Guppy was well known as a contestant to a Bark Box contest, that gained him nationwide attention.  He was also featured in many of Riley and Maggie's homemade movies, and later, would help Riley raise money for St Baldrick's, in TV clips that Riley would make.  With Guppy's help, Riley was able to raise lots of money.  He was also a incentive in Stacey's kindergarten class- if her students saved 500 Scottie Bucks, they could pay for a Guppy visit to their house.  Several of Stacey's students were able to have Guppy over for a visit, with a bedtime story.

My ruffaree

Guppy was a goofy dog, but his French Bulldog personality would come out- that stubbornness and attitude!  But he was the best family dog and provided so many laughs.  Later, his brother Buddy would be rescued, and just like Toga before him, Guppy was able to show Buddy the boundaries and ropes of living in the house.  The two of them would play and chase one another, and nip and box.  When Guppy could no longer play with Buddy, Buddy would become confused to why his fearless leader was slowing down.  Even in Guppy's last days, Buddy was trying to get Guppy to play with him.

The teeth and the tongue were your trademarks

The Walz family would like to thank Mandak Vet, and all the specialists that worked with Guppy, to making his life happy and comfortable until the end.  The family would also like to give a big thanks to Wendy at Everlasting Hope, where Guppy was rescued.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart, for picking us, from probably hundreds of applicants.  We were so lucky to have been the ones to provide Guppy with a loving, stable home.

Taking selfies

Guppy, I can't sit here and not picture you with your silly tongue out and those snorts.  So many days, I would be thinking how hard life was at that moment, and then a quick stare at you, with those teeth, and your big eyes, and I would learn to be mindful, and grateful, and just smile.  You always made me smile.  Goodbye to my Love Bug, Gupster.  You are in heaven, hopefully with Toga.  Chasing balls.  You are running again after those squeaky balls.  And now I'm smiling with tears in my eyes, with that image in my mind.  There you go again... making me smile.

Your favorite toy- we have a million of these around the house from the Dollar Tree.  You loved chasing them and putting them in your mouth.

One of our last pictures, Mother's Day 2017

Your favorite place

I'll miss you, Gupster.

Every morning before I went to work

Saturday, May 13, 2017

A Letter to My Kids, Mother's Day 2017

To my two beautiful children in 2017,

The moment, Riley, you were born, my life changed at that very second.  I was now a mom.  Everything was new to me, but I was ready to be the best mom, and make sure you were happy.  When you were born, you were born at 9lbs, 9ounces, but when the hospital discharged us, you were down to 8 lbs, 4 ounces, and everyone was worried about you.  Apparently, my breast milk wasn't coming out, and you were starving!  We tried everything to get my milk to come out, and when you were 2 weeks old, we finally just formula fed you, since my milk was coming.  We tried everything, and as a young man, you would laugh at the things we had to do.  We were giving you shots of formula milk, we were giving you formula milk from tubes...the doctors didn't want you to get used to a bottle.  It was stressful a little, because we just wanted everything to work.  And you had the loudest cry when you were hungry!!  I used to get nervous, because I didn't know if I was doing everything right.  I was always doubting myself.  The first 2 weeks of your life felt like 2 years.  My doctors were persistent that I not give up, but sometimes your body can't do what you want it to do.  I remember always thinking, "What am I doing?"  "Am I doing this right?"  I know you think this is too much TMI, but I wanted to emphasize that I thought I was already a failing mom.  I was already questioning if I was a good enough mom to you.  In those early weeks, I felt like I didn't know what I was doing, my body was failing me and I was feeling I wasn't good enough to be your mother.  I guess as moms, we are always questioning if we are good enough, but I went through it ten-fold your first weeks.

As you got older, and approached your toddler years, I loved it, and this was, to me, better than when you were babies.  You were talking, and your little personalities were coming out.  Riley, so shy, especially during our Toddler Music classes with Ms. Renee.  You much rather watch and observe, than to participate and have all the attention on yourself.  You were my quiet child.  Maggie, on the other hand, was my crazy and wild child.  When Maggie was 3 years old, at Lynn and Meredith's neighborhood party, you were dancing on top of the Little Tike house, and we knew we would have this free spirit of a child.  Although, since entering middle school, you have become more quiet and you like your quiet group of small friends.  Which I really like.  You don't just follow what everyone else is doing, and you don't feel the pressure of being liked or popular, which is such a grown up way of thinking.  I think Middle School can be hard, harder for girls than boys, so seeing you go through these years, confident in who you are, makes me so proud of you.  You are so mature.

Riley always had a sense of wonder about him.  Always observing the world around him.  Maggie was always this dreamy child.  I still know that you hear music in your head when you walk, and when you were a toddler, you were always humming and talking to yourself.  Riley always had a plan and a project going on.  Whether when it was when you were a toddler, and you were organizing your  bikes along the driveway, or writing a neighborhood newspaper, you always had something going on.  Maggie, always behind you, ready to help you.

Being a mom has always been my number one job.  I always wanted to be there for you both.  I wanted to teach you about the world, about compassion, about helping others, about working hard to attain your goals.  You both amaze me with how smart you both are.  Being on the Principal's List for every semester (you both) since middle school.  That is such a hard thing to do.  When I was your age, I used to study so much, only to get 80's.  It means the world to me that you are these bright, gifted children.  It is something I count my blessings for.

I hope you both know how much I love you, and how proud I am of both of you, and the young people you are becoming.  You both can be anything you want.   You both have done so much at such tender ages.

Before I go to bed every night, as a way to get relaxed, I talk to myself about all that I am grateful for.  Our family is always at the top, and the first thing I think.  We are so lucky and blessed to have our family.  We always have a great time together, and we can love one another freely and without any reservations.  You all mean the world to me.  I just hope that when you both become adults, our relationship will stay bonded and strong.  I know both of you are going places, and you may not stay in Ballston Spa.  Despite the miles that may be between us, I hope we are always close.  They say that when your children become adults, they become your best friends, and I look forward to that day.  Even though, I know I feel it now.  I love you both so much, and thanks for making Mother's Day everyday.


Monday, May 1, 2017

My Favorite Room in My House

My favorite place to hang out is my front covered porch.  Now that the weather is getting warmer, there's no place to relax after a long day at work, than my porch.  I mediate, I read, I write, I talk to my kids and my husband.   I listen to the sounds of chiming wind bells, train whistles, kids screaming from the soccer fields, birds chirping, frogs croaking, cars braking and racing, our flag flapping...And every once in a while, there is silence.    Sometimes cars drive by, and wave.  I wave back, not a clue about half the time who is driving by.

I gather my thoughts on this porch.  If I have had a bad day, I can recap my day.  But for some reason, when I'm on this porch, I can tell myself, "Tomorrow is another day."  Maybe because with the weather warmer, I
know there is an end arriving soon, with our school year.  Summer is hinting that it can't wait to see me again.  I know that if I have bad days at work with my students, or if I'm feeling overwhelmed with all of the items on my to do list for school, I know that, sitting on this porch in the warmth of the Spring sun, that the end is near.  I can do this, I tell myself.  You always do.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Toga's Birthday

Today would had been our first dog's 17th birthday.  He pasted away in 2013, and it's been almost 4 years since he has left us, but the memories, legacy and how he had improved our lives remains with us.

Toga came to us, before we had children.  My husband, Tim, and I learned how to be responsible and loving when we parented a puppy named Toga.  He went with us everywhere.  We brought him to the beach and laughed as he ran in circles on the sandy beach, and we gasped when he seemed to be drowning in a deep tide pole.  We brought him to dog parks, and laughed and watched affectionately as he made new friends.  We were proud of him for being a good boy out in the dog fields, playing and taking turns with balls.  We taught him tricks, that got him awards and prizes at local fun dog shows.  When he seemed to be allergic to something, we went to our vet and had allergy testing done, even though it was costly.  We took care of him like a child, buying him foods he could digest.  By the time he was two years old, our first child was born, and we were more than ready for the challenge of motherhood and fatherhood, since Toga taught us so much.

Toga had to now share his "mommy and daddy."  And even though he was never mean or he never was aggressive to our son, and then 2 years later, to our daughter, we knew he was not so happy to have them around.  He was definitely a "mama's boy."  As I would be I feeding my son, Toga would jump on my lap, not facing my son but me, and to show that he was the older child, the more dominant one.  Toga was always a good sport.  We have so many pictures of my son with Toga, and he always posed for these pictures.  When our son was able to move in a walker, Toga learned that our son was a great food source, often dropping his baby crackers on the floor, on his path around the house.

When Toga had his last birthday, at 13 years old, he lived for less than 2 weeks afterwards, when we made the decision to put him down.  He had been suffering terribly.  He had diabetes, congestive heart disease, and a liver condition, which led him to be on 3 different medications.  Our vet reassured us that we had done so much for Toga, and we knew when it was time for him to stop suffering.  When we rescued another dog, it was nice to hear from the rescue group that our vet raved on how well we treated our first dog, Toga.  That we would be a great candidate to rescue a dog.  And as I sit here, 17 years later thinking about my very first dog, I think our training with Toga made us good candidates for "real people;"  our 2 kids, that I would do anything for.  Like caring for an ailing dog, I would do anything for my kids.    Even though I now have 2 different dogs named Buddy and Guppy, Toga just has this special place in my heart.  Happy birthday in heaven, sweet Toga.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Spring Break

It's the Sunday before school begins, and I am feeling refreshed and rejuvenated after having a week off from work.

It was a stay-ca-tion.  I literally cleaned a room a day, and didn't leave the house until my room of the day was completely cleaned.  I cleaned out closets, went through old bookshelves, "junk drawers" and emptied many of its drawers and added more to my donation pile.

I always get a little sad before going back to work, because I like the simplicity of life and spending time with my family.  Once school starts again, life gets crazy.  Time is something nobody has.

And I love my dogs, and it's hard to say goodbye in the morning, knowing they are mad at me because I have to put them in their crates again.  They have been too naughty lately to be roaming in the house.

I slept a lot too.  Since my body had mono last year, it just seems like whenever I don't need to wake up, and I don't have the alarm clock on, I sleep until 10 each morning.  And I listened to my body this week, and that's just what I did.  I slept like a teenager, and slept in until 10 each morning.  How will I ever wake up at 6 tomorrow morning will be anyone's guess.

Here's to the weeks we have until the end of school.  I might had needed all that sleep last week to get through the rest of the school year.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

My Escape

I walk into the cold air, with my terry cloth bathrobe over  my bathing suit.  My feet are barely clinging to my flip flops, as I rush to my destination in the winter cold.  I walk through a  narrow path that has been shoveled out, just for me and my trips to this special healing place.  I gasp as I throw off my bathrobe, exposing my skin to the frigid night.  I toss my flip flops in the snow and walk up the snowy steps.  I submerged my cold body into the hot, steaming water, and I suddenly feel my body relax, as the bubbles are surrounding me.  I breath in the cold moon-lit air, and feel the warm sensation of the jets, the bubbles, and I find myself forgeting all my worries of the day.  I forget that I have worries that keep my up at night.  I forget all the items that were not checked off my famous "To Do" list.  I forget that I left my classroom, with a million things left undone.  I am surrounded by the dark night, with the moon shining bright upon me.  The stars flashing, as if saying, "You did good today.  Just do your best, and that's all you can do."  I hear the humming, like I always do, of some mysterious machinery.  I always ask myself, "What is that sound?"  And then I relax, because up to this night, it has proven to be a harmless sound.  The chlorine fills the night, as I push on again.  This seems to be my routine;  two rounds of bubbles and jets.

And then, as time always does, it sneaks up on me, and I realize that it's probably late, and my two rounds of bubbles has landed me close to 10:30PM.  Just as fast as I take off my robe, I put it on even faster, if at all possible.  I quickly seal my retreat, feel my flip flops in the cold, grab my towel, and run back through the narrow path that has been shoveled out, just for me.  Just for me on these nights that allow me to find my inner peace.  My escape.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Daylight Savings

My opinion on Daylight Savings....

I do not like Daylight Savings because I it makes me feel out of sorts.  This morning, I missed waking up to the shimmering sunlight, that warmed my face minutes before my alarm clock honked.  I missed a hour of sleep yesterday, so not quite feeling myself since I am drowsy.  While at work, I stayed late, not on purpose, but I thought it was much earlier than I thought, because of the sun still shining at 5:30.  My husband, late from work, because "he  probably thinks it's much earlier, like what I thought earlier," I told my kids.  Stepping in at 6:45 laughing, my husband told me just that.

This Daylight Savings is quite the trickster.