Thursday, 28 May 2015 05:07

1995-4. Amber

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amber2Milton and I had talked about getting a dog at various times in our relationship. Milton was not particularly enthusiastic when I told him in 1995 that I was finally going to get one. Even though Milton was not enthusiastic, he didn't object either. 

I had done a lot of research. I knew the size of the dog I wanted. I had gone to dog shows. All of this led me to Brittany Spaniels. I love the orange and white coat that a Brittany can have. Full grown, they are a medium size dog. The are known for their intelligence. They are a hunting dog. 

Initially, I had been thinking about a rescue. I looked into the Brittany rescue website and we went and looked at several in foster care. They all looked old or unhealthy. I didn't want to start out with a lot of veterinary bills with my first dog in so many years. I finally looked into breeders and found a Brittany breeder in Napa and corresponded with her. There was going to be some pups right around Christmas. 

When we brought Amber home, at first she was a little shy and reserved. Once she got to know us and knew she was safe, she could get pretty rambunctious. She was a terrible chewer when her teeth were coming in. She chewed up everything! She chewed the inside of my car. She chewed all our wooden deck furniture. Amber

She got me out of the house on walks more often. At that time, there were more open fields around where we were in Vallejo and I would walk her and occasionally take her off leash. There were rabbits in the area and despite my objections, she couldn't help herself but follow instincts and follow a running rabbit. 

I believe people should train both children and dogs. I guess I'm in the minority because I see so many children that are out of control out in public and so many dogs that are out of control. I trained Amber not to bark when i left the house. It wasn't really that difficult and very effective but for some reason, people don't bother and you often hear dogs barking incessantly in suburbia. 

Amber was an inside dog most of her life. We have a patio and a hillside in the backyard and I trained her to do her business up on the hillside, away from the patio and house. She was very considerate. 

We took her camping with us once and she could not understand that she was expected to sleep on the ground. We had an queen size air mattress to sleep on and Amber kept trying to get on it with us. I think the ground might have been a little cold or something. She just didn't get why she wasn't her nice warm home. Every time someone walked by in the campground, she would get nervous and start to growl. None of us enjoyed that night of camping. 

Two other things made Amber very nervous- fireworks and balloons. 

We have a Six Flags park in Vallejo and they have a fireworks display every night for several nights leading up to the 4th of July and New Years Eve. Those were Amber's least favorite holidays. 

It was hilarious on the one hand to see Amber react to something as innocuous as a balloon but ultimately, you couldn't help but feel her fear. It was just one of those irrational things that any of us can have. For her, it was balloons. It didn't make sense but they totally freaked her out. 

She was an incredible, wonderful dog. Although Milton had been a little reluctant at first, he totally fell in love with her too. 

One night, Amber urinated on the floor. This was very unlike her. She kept urinating small amounts, apparently uncontrollably. At first, before i realized what was happening, I tried being stern with her. Then she started vomiting. I knew something was very wrong. I scooped her up and put her in the car and drove to Fairfield, where i knew there was a 24 hour vet. They stabilized her that night and I was to bring her to her own vet in Vallejo the next day. 

I can't remember if it was the emergency vet in Fairfield or her own vet in Vallejo that recommended out bringing Amber to U.C. Davis. They have a veterinary school there. They had better resources. I think it was there that they gave her an M.R.I. and did some other tests. The diagnosis was grim and tragic. 

It had taken Amber four years to become the amazing dog I always knew she could be. She had been a horrible puppy and a wonderful dog. She had urinary tract cancer. 

The doctors told me they could do some things but that she would have to live with a urinary catheter. There were no guarantees even if they did everything they could. The decision had to be made. 

Milton and I took Amber for one more walk in Sacramento. Even though she wasn't feeling her best that day, she still enjoyed seeing the multitude of squirrels that inhabit that part. She pulled on her leash, but not with her usual enthusiasm. Milton and I knew these were our last hours together. Our hearts were breaking. As I write this, even thinking back to that day, the feelings come rushing back. 

When I spoke to others about what had happened, some would ask if I was going to get another dog. I know that they had good intentions but I just couldn't fathom it. Milton and I were both devastated. Amber could not just be "replaced" by another dog! It took Amber four years to become Amber. How could we even consider starting all over again?

I love these pictures of her. She was so gorgeous, besides being so smart and so loving. Her hair got everywhere, though. It was impossible to get it completely out of my Nissan. Sometimes, in the summer, I would give her a buzz cut so her hair was just a half inch or so long. She still looked beautiful. And she liked being cooler. 

amberandcompanyamberandsylvanambermiltonamberpuppymiltonamber

 

 

 

Read 7381 times Last modified on Friday, 23 October 2015 18:20

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Darlene Marries Chuck- Click for story.
Me in first grade- Click for story.
Me in my 20's in 1970's- Click for story.
1967- Summer of Love- Click to read story.
2001 Trip to Cancun- Click to read story.
5th Grade in Abilene Tx- Click for story
Gay Disco 70's- Click for story
Where I was born- Click for story.
Second Gay Cruise- Click for story.
Photos of Dad & His Family- Click for story.
Women in Oils- Click for story
1973- Psych Tech Program- Click for story.
Summer of Love- Click to read story.
2005 Darlene Visit for Gay Pride- Click for story.
1974- On Larkin Street- Click for story.
Grandview- Click for story
Me in 3rd grade- Click for story.
2015- 2nd Gay Cruise- Click for story.
1958-1959- 3rd Grade- Click to read story.
The Psychedelic Experience- Click to read story.
Escondido 1960's- Click for story
2015- 2nd Gay Cruise- Click to read story.
2001 Trip to Cancun- Click to read story.
Cockettes & Angels of Light- Click for story
Amber- Click to read story.
1970's Promiscuity- Click for story.
Black Men in Oils- Click to read story
1973 "You have to be hurt..." Click to read the story.
Beatle haircut- Click for story.
Palouse- Click for story
Forbidden Dreams of Love- Click for story.
1964- Luv Please- Click for story.
My Mother- Click for more photos.
2014- Road trip to San Diego- Click for story.
1957-1958 1st Grade- Click to read story.
1982-1993 Waller Street- Click to read story.
Earthquake! Click to read story.
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Article

01. Introduction

03- Dads Family

03- Photos of my Father and his family

04- My Mother's Family

04- Photos of my Mom

04- Video of my Mom

04- Walling Family Reunions

04-Audio Files of My Mom

04. Billie

04. Ole

04.1. Forbidden Dreams of Love

04.2. Flames of Forbidden Love

04.3 Mom Writing Her Life Story

05- Jim Tarbert

05. Roger

1950's Grandview to Toppenish

1957-1958 1st Grade

1958-1959- Third Grade

1959- Palouse

1961- 4th Grade- Last time I wore a dress

1962- Abilene

1963- Escondido- Early 60's

1964- Darlene Marries Chuck

1964- My Beatle Haircut

1964-The Luv Please

1965 or 1966- Steve Castle

1965- In Foster Care

1966 Living with Darlene & Chuck in Seattle

1967- Juvenile Hall

1976- I Praise Thee (poem to Stanley)

1976- My Second Lover, Stanley Dunne

1976- Paul McCartney and Wings

1976-1330 Bush Street #9J

1977- 1667 Haight Street

1977- Trip to San Diego with Mary Jo

1977-1980- Tumultuous Relationship with John Perry

1978- 525 Haight Street

1979- September- Dad is Murdered

1980's- AIDS- Death and Dying

1980- Winter- First Trip to New York

1980- Word, Sound and Power

1981- Milton- Falling in Love

1982-1993 465 Waller Street

1982-1994 Computers to MacNursing

1984- 33rd Birthday

1985- Graduation from Nursing School

1985- Trip to Hawaii (Oahu)

1988- MIdnight Caller

1989- Earthquake!

1991- Aug 10th- Mom Passes Away

1991- Black Males in Oils

1991- Crack of My Life

1993- Move to Vallejo & Our First Home

1995-1. Road Trip to Washington

1995-2. Surprise Trip to Vegas

1995-3. Grandmother Rogers & Aunts Visit Darlene's

1995-4. Amber

1998- Camping at Russian River

2000 -Thoughts about Progressive Christians

2000- Resignation from John George

2001- April- Trip to Cancun

2001- Peace and Justice

2001- September 11th

2002- April-Puerto Vallarta & Blue Bay Getaway

2002- Nov 12th- My Stepfather, George McHenry Passes Away

2003- Trip to D.C. and N.Y.

2004- Feb- Road Trip to Baha Mexico

2004- Walling Family Reunion in Spokane

2005- Christmas Poem

2005- Darlene Visit for Pride Celebration

2005- Trip to Orlando

2005-1. Europe- London

2005-2. Europe- Paris

2005-3. Europe- Venice

2005-4. Europe- Florence

2005-5. Europe- Rome

2005-6. Europe- Athens

2005-7. Knee Surgery & Tongue Biopsy

2006 Christmas Poem

2006- February 23- Times Herald

2006- Palm Springs White Party

2006- Trip to Seattle

2006-July 8th Solano Peace and Justice Coalition BBQ

2007- Feb- Carnival Destiny- Our First Cruise

2007- Tre and Casey Visit

2008- Aug 15-18 Spokane Visit

2008- Psycho Song

2009- Honored by Vallejo Gay Network

2009- Women in Oils

2010 Christmas Poem

2010- Feb. R.C. Mariner of the Seas Mexican Riviera Cruise

2010- June 24- Badlands

2010- Trip to Seattle

2010-1. Europe- Amsterdam

2010-2. Europe- Paris

2010-3. Europe- Barcelona & Sitges

2010-4. Europe- Madrid

2011-1. Feb. My Fabulous 60th Birthday Weekend

2011-2. April- L.A., Palm Springs & "The White Party"

2011-3. Poem- Girl From Medical Lake

2011-4. Old Man Dancing

2011-5. May- Misty and Alex Visit

2011-6. August- Darlene and Sean's Visit

2011-7. Alex 16-18 & Pics

2012- March- Carnival Splendor Mexican Riviera with Family

2013- Wedding

2014- Christmas Poem

2014- First Gay Cruise

2014- September Road Trip to San Diego

2015- Seasonal Affective Blues

2015- Second Gay Cruise

2015- War on Christmas poem

2015-"Badlands" and Gay Bar Etiquette

2015-September 8. Political History

2016 Do Not Speak for Gay Males

2016- April- Palm Springs RV Adventure

4/4/2016- Not Going Along to Get Along

9/4/15- Liberals vs Conservatives

Beatle haircut- Click for story.
Earthquake! Click to read story.
2015- 2nd Gay Cruise- Click to read story.
My Mother- Click for more photos.
Click to read "Introduction."
Photos of Dad & His Family- Click for story.
2005 Darlene Visit for Gay Pride- Click for story.
2001 Trip to Cancun- Click to read story.
1973- Psych Tech Program- Click for story.
5th Grade in Abilene Tx- Click for story
Gay Disco 70's- Click for story
Me in 3rd grade- Click for story.
Forbidden Dreams of Love- Click for story.
Summer of Love- Click to read story.
Me in my 20's in 1970's- Click for story.
Darlene Marries Chuck- Click for story.
1974- On Larkin Street- Click for story.
Amber- Click to read story.
Cockettes & Angels of Light- Click for story
1967- Summer of Love- Click to read story.
Where I was born- Click for story.
2001 Trip to Cancun- Click to read story.
2015- 2nd Gay Cruise- Click for story.
Palouse- Click for story
1958-1959- 3rd Grade- Click to read story.
Second Gay Cruise- Click for story.
1974- First Trip to Europe- Click to read story.
1964- Luv Please- Click for story.
1970's Promiscuity- Click for story.
2005- Darlene Visits for Gay Pride- Click to read story.
Black Men in Oils- Click to read story
1973 "You have to be hurt..." Click to read the story.
2014- Road trip to San Diego- Click for story.
My Dad's Family- Click for story.
Women in Oils- Click for story
Escondido 1960's- Click for story
The Psychedelic Experience- Click to read story.
1982-1993 Waller Street- Click to read story.
Me in first grade- Click for story.
4th Grade- Click for story.
1957-1958 1st Grade- Click to read story.
Grandview- Click for story