Thursday, January 14, 2010

Goodbye to a Good Friend

Dear friends and visitors,

I wanted to share with you a sad event in the life of our family.

Today, a short while before writing this, I, along with my wife Jennifer, had to put our little dog Maggie to sleep. She had been suffering for a long time with a collapsing trachea, a condition common in small white dogs. We had taken her twice to the University of Tennessee in Knoxville to help us decide how to treat her. We considered surgery, but opted instead for a less invasive treatment with special medicine, processed by this top-notch veterinary hospital. It worked for a few years and we were thrilled with how she was doing on what, to us, was a miracle drug.

However, just this last week, she began to gasp for air almost constantly. She wouldn't eat and, when she did drink water, she would spit it up. She was miserable and listless; her sleep, (which was all she was doing), would be interrupted with frequent coughing spasms. It was awful---and upsetting!

We took her almost every day to her wonderful veterinarian, Dr. Woody, at the Animal Health Clinic in Franklin, Tennessee. He-- and we-- tried everything we could to help her. She got shots, pills, steroids, and all kinds of medicine; but it eventually became clear that Maggie was suffering greatly, without any hope of relief.

Dr. Woody told us to consider a thought in the heartbreaking process of deciding what to do. He advised us to ask ourselves this question: are you doing all these things "for her--- or to her."

After one tortuous night for our dog, (which was also emotionally excruciating for us), we knew what we had to do.

We brought her in to what had become her second home, due to our many travels. They love her there; and we were greatly comforted to know that her last moments would been spent with folks who had shared so much of her little life.

They were almost as upset as we were to see her go; but go she did.

The other day at the clinic, after discussing, at length, Maggie's dwindling options, I asked---whimsically: "Well, Dr. Woody, do dogs go to heaven?"

He said, thoughtfully, "I'll answer you with a paraphrase from Will Rogers: 'I don't know if dogs go to heaven but, wherever they go, that's where I want to be!'"

My wife, Jennifer, my daughter, Misha, and I, mourn the loss of our good, good friend, Maggie Mae Goetz. She was a Bichon Frise who would have been 14 years old on January 29, 2010.

We first said hello to her when she was two; shared with her twelve wonderful years; and said goodbye to her today, January 14, 2010.

Thanks for listening.

Love and Shalom,

Friday, January 8, 2010

Let It Snow!

"Well, the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful...", goes the well-known song. It's the perfect tune to accompany this first week of 2010! Happy New Year to all of you!!

Throughout America, at the dawn of this decade, there have been records set for low temperatures, snowfall, and other climate related occurrences. (Could this be the result of increasing, man-caused, global warming? Hmm?)

My wife Jennifer and I live in Nashville, Tennessee. We hardly EVER see snow. We did this year; and it has been EXTREMELY cold. Our daughter Misha is visiting us from sunny, southern California on her college Christmas break. We have spent most of our nights huddled by the delightful fire as we experience together the frightful weather. (Maggie, our very old dog has to go outside periodically...for obvious reasons!)

I happen to like the snow. This morning, as I write this, the flurries resemble little sprinkles of sugar falling from heaven. They seem to speak silently about the sweetness of G-d's love for the world He has created. (Thank you, Father!)

Of course, we have had what is called a "dusting." I don't know how I'd feel about -20 degree temperatures and huge snow drifts bringing life to a standstill. We had one of those storms a few years ago and it was rough.

We hope this wintry season has not been too difficult for "all y'all!" I send this brief greeting to wish you and yours a blessed, prosperous, healthy and happy new year. May the sweetness of our Lord's presence surround you like blankets of freshly fallen snow...except much warmer!

And to paraphrase the afore-mentioned Christmas ditty, (written incidentally by two Jewish guys on one of the hottest days of the year):

" long as (He) loves us so, let it snow, let it snow, LET IT SNOW!"*

Shalom, Peace,
Marty Goetz (and family)

*"Let It Snow" composed by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne: 1945