Alvin Charlie Lewis, 2009 – 2023

On Tuesday, January 19th, 2010, I adopted a puppy by the name of Alvin from SCARS (Second Chance Animal Rescue Society).

This is our story……

DAY 1

Possible dog adoption on the horizon.  Amanda found this little dog named Alvin on the SCARS website. He is a Cocker Spaniel mix.  Black and white.  Very cute.  His foster family invited us to go and meet Alvin.  The whole family is going tonight.  We are very excited.  In the afternoon, I ran out to The Bone & Biscuit (which is a local pet food store) to grab some toys, and things that I thought were necessary for a puppy.

We drove after supper to meet Alvin.  Oh my gosh!  Despite having a rough start he was doing well in his temporary new surroundings.  These folks were incredible.  A representative from SCARS was there, as well.  We visited, and got to know Alvin, a little.  After much discussion ….. I decided to adopt Alvin.  How could I not?  So after signing the papers, going through his medication(s) and other instructions we were on our way.  The ride home was interesting.  Alvin drooled the whole way.  He must have been terrified, not knowing what was going on.  After all, he had just settled in with the other people, and now these guys were carting him off.  To where?  When we got back to my house, the kids came in, and helped give Alvin his medication, and then I was on my own.  Much like having a baby.  Except when I had Amanda – I actually had help.  This time I was ALONE….. exciting and scary.   Time for bed.

Welcome Alvin Charlie Lewis.  I had thought of changing his name to Charlie but decided that Alvin suited him best.

Today is Tuesday, February 21, 2023. Alvin turned “14” on January 19th. I have been posting about Alvin’s state of health since the beginning of January. It seemed like one minute he would be on the road to better health and then things changed. In hindsight, I know the old adage …. 20/20…

My heart is breaking as on Saturday, February 18, 2023 in the morning we said goodbye to our sweet, sweet Alvin. My cuteness, my bubba, my Al, my Albin, my trusted companion ……

We (his sister Amanda and I) took him to the Emergency Hospital last Friday where he had his first surgery of 2021. After an assessment the team admitted him where they would keep him overnight to to do an ultrasound and to give him IV fluids to keep him hydrated. I did not know the results from the stool sample until Thursday and had asked at his Vet to have bloodwork done at that time. The results from the stool sample and bloodwork showed a horrible bacterial infection and that his kidneys were in trouble. At this point things were very bad but we did not know the extent of his situation until we received the call from Guardian, the Emergency Hospital on Friday night. Most of the call is a blur to be honest. None of what the Doctor told me would change the outcome for my poor Alvin.

I want this post to be about him and his life, a celebration of a little dog named Alvin, who would win my heart and the hearts of everyone who met him over the course of his 14+ years on this earth.

From the beginning Alvin was a fixture in our neighbourhood. Every walk we met someone new and over the years those two and four legged(s) became our friends, our family. Alvin just had an easy way with everyone. There are so many stories. I really need to write a book about his life because he was one of a kind. He came into my life when I did not know that I needed him and spent the next years being my best friend, my companion, my everything. I learned so much from him and will spend the rest of my life attempting to be more like him.

We became a family of three humans and three pups when I adopted Alvin back in 2010. He became a playmate for Penny and for Elton, someone initially that was tolerated. Elton loved Alvin but it was Penny who gave Alvin a run for his money. They played and teased each other. I saw just the other day a video of Alvin pulling Elton on a floor mat ( I smiled and cried). There are photos of the three pups sitting on the back of the sofa looking out of the window at my daughter and son-in-law’s house while we waited for them to arrive home from work. I am so grateful that his first year or so with me, I was at home full-time and for most of the last three years due to the Pandemic, I was also at home with my sweet, sweet boy. Elton and Penny passed in 2016. Amanda & Steven adopted Milo a short time before Elton passed as he had been alone since Penny’s passing earlier in the year. Milo was a puppy and so small. I think initially Alvin was nervous around him. A few days before Christmas of 2016, Miss Aspen, a yellow lab cross joined our family. She was about one year old, I believe. Then we were three and three again.

Somewhere along the way, we met Allie and her Abby from down the street. Right from the start Abby was the love of Alvin’s life. It was evident each time they were together. They would roll around on the lawn and were just so happy to be in each other’s company. She passed way about three years ago and Alvin was heart broken.

We met Iris, Walter, Abbey and Teddy while out for a walk one summer’s day many years back. That first meeting would be the beginning of a friendship for us all but more importantly one for Alvin and Teddy. I, we teased that they were best friends and they truly were. Sadly Abbey passed away not too long after we met. The relationship between Alvin and Teddy grew. Iris would tell me that she could not utter Alvin’s name when they were getting ready to come over to our house, because he would get so excited. They loved each other and had so many sleepovers over the years. Years later they adopted Kobi, a little sister for Teddy and she became Alvin’s dear friend as well.

Our next door neighbour Sonja adopted a cat named Humphrey after her first cat Aussie passed on. There was something about Alvin and Humphrey and from the beginning they liked each other. Humphrey would be out front on a leash getting some fresh air and would immediately come up our front porch looking for Alvin. He spent lots of time here with Alvin. When Humphrey came into the house Alvin would walk up to him and they would touch noses to say hello and then they were off exploring. They spent time in our backyard as well. Theirs was a special relationship for sure. A couple of years or so ago, Sonja adopted a kitten named Bogart who has grown into this huge grey cat. Alvin always wanted to get closer to him but that was not meant to be. Bogart did grow to “tolerate” the neighbour.

We met “Cookie” a little girl a few years ago. She belonged to a family who lives a few doors down from us and at the time, her human Dad and I worked for the same company. We would meet them when we were out for walks. Her Dad Husam would say that Cookie did not do well around other dogs but Alvin was the exception. Two Christmases ago, their family was going to Disneyland for two weeks and they asked if Cookie could stay with us. I immediately said yes. I remember the night where they came over just to ensure that she would be okay with Alvin in his space. Alvin was so chill and Cookie after running a quick marathon around the living room, settled down. They could not believe their eyes. We enjoyed our time with Cookie, she kept me hopping and was good company for Mr. Alvin. When I had to go back to the office for three days each week in October, it was Cookie’s Mom Alyaa who would come to take care of Mr. Alvin. They are family now.

Alvin had so many friends. I am sorry that I cannot share stories of them all. Some of his friends have passed on.

In addition to the long list of pups that Alvin called friends over his lifetime, there were a long list of humans as well.

Our friend Pauline who has the most beautiful garden in the summer and where Alvin and I would love to go and hang out. Pauline & Al have a grand pup Georgie and I remember the day when she walked him over to met Alvin. Lots of energy. Another friend. I always said that Pauline’s yard was our “happy place” as Alvin could run and sniff without worry. Our yard is small so he enjoyed running around her yard. He would check out the flowers and sniff every blade of grass.

Alvin had a unique talent. We only found this out when our friend Val would mail parcels to me filled with all sorts of goodies. She would always include a package specially for him. When I would go to the mailbox and bring a box into the house, he would get so excited. Then came the best part. Until I got the box opened, he would jump up and bark. I would locate his package right away and grab the phone to take video as he opened the package. Yes, he would actually open the package. One paw holding the sacred parcel and with his mouth he would tear away at the tissue paper until he found his special treats waiting inside. The last few Christmases and birthdays have been amazing as well. I wished I could remember how old he was when he started to do this but it is a great memory. In fact, this last Christmas Miss Aspen started to open her gifts as well. I guess she learned “gift opening” from him.

We were not able to have an actual birthday party for him this year due to timing but he did have many parties complete with Invites, Birthday cake/cupcakes and guests and lots of presents. Those are memories I shall treasure forever.

I apologize to those dear friends whom I cannot begin to mention everyone as this post would be even longer.

Alvin was one of a kind. He had a gentle soul. Yes, he was an anxious pup but he always treated his friends and family with love and respect and kindness. I am so grateful for technology and for all the videos and photos that I have at the touch of a button. I can hear his voice now.

Funny that right from the beginning he would follow me everywhere. When I was in the kitchen he was in the kitchen, when I was having a shower he would sit on a mat with his back to me (always the gentleman) and when I was in bed, he was right beside me. The very first night that he came to live with me, I had made a little bed for him next to my bed. He just looked up at me and cried. That last about twenty seconds or less and from that point on, he slept next to me. Alvin always had to be touching me when we went to bed and then sometimes he would move over.

Alvin was not fond of haircuts and baths, nail trims, and ear cleanings or car rides but he loved his friends, his family, walks, bananas, carrots, cauliflower and chicken, opening special packages for him. He had a good life. Alvin lived his life until his last breath with a dignity all his own. He will never be forgotten. To add, he loved his toys. His sister mentioned about how he would go into his toy box and toss the toys around until he found the one that he wanted in that moment.

I just looked at the time and it has been two hours since I started to write this post. It has now been three full days since my beloved Alvin took his last breath on this earth. I would like to think that he has joined Elton, Penny, Abby, Abbey, Aussie, Casey, Jasmine and Jack and that they are all in a happy place filled with acres of green grass and sweet flowers to sniff and explore, bananas (his favourite) and good food to eat and blue skies over head.

There are no words to express the outpouring of love that has come to me and my family over the lost of our sweet Alvin. He was loved by everyone. The living room is filled with beautiful flowers and cards; he would have loved them. The stories shared. Tears have fallen across our faces as we mourn the loss of our dear, dear Alvin. I can honestly say that he was one of a kind and he touched the lives of everyone he came across during his time on this earth. He will remain in my thoughts and in my heart for the rest of my days on this earth. I will never forget him. He is engrained in my very being. So many memories most of them great. I shall miss our walks, our snuggles on the sofa. He loved the sofa, the chaise part of the sofa. That is where he spent most of his last time on this earth.

Thank you to his sister Amanda, to his brother-in-law Steven, to Aspen & Milo for being the best family to Alvin and to me. To the team at Guardian: Trina, Jamie, Dr. Zhao, Dr. Cockwill, Dr. Frederick and the young woman who helped us with the final preparations. I am sorry her name escapes me. She was so sweet and kind with such a hard job. To our friends and family: Pauline & Al and Family, Sonja, Steven, Humphrey & Bogart, Michelle & Family, Tejada Family, Gillian and Signe, Allie & Bailey and Family, Alyaa, Husam, “Cookie” and Family, Arlene, Joanna, to my sister Cindy and my brothers John and Tyler and families, Iris, Walter, Best Friend Teddy and Kobi, Jessica & Eric, Paulette, Karen, Suzette, Jami, Malena & Susana, Aron, Crystal & Family, Anick & Children, and Diana, Rod & Family. There are so many people to thank for your love and support. To Dr. Karen (his regular Doctor), Michelle, Brenne and Chelsey – there are no words.

I would like to post a few more photos from over the years. There are way too many too post but I will share a few.

I had hoped that this time would have been far into the future but our time together on this earth has now passed. You were the best and will always remain in my thoughts and in my heart. I am saddened beyond words that you are gone but I can see those eyes and I know that you needed to leave. Thank you for being my friend, my buddy, my companion, and my “SON.” Thank you Alvin Charlie Lewis.

With every step I take, you will always be at my side.

Love, Always & Forever

Your Momma

Thought for the day…..

Alvin and I have a regular morning routine up until the past couple of days.

I am not certain just how it changed but it has.

This morning after Alvin had his breakfast and as I was sitting down to do my morning writing at the kitchen table ….

Mr. Alvin stood on the floor by me and barked.  If I got up he ran away.  I knew exactly what he wanted but he didn’t know quite how to ask.

So after a bit of back and forth.  We figured it out.

I said “want up” and he jumped up putting his front paws on my lap.

So I reached down and picked him up.

Now anyone who knows Alvin or has seen him …. knows that he is really not a lap dog.

But Alvin wanted up and that’s what he got.  (no, he is not spoiled).  LOL

He was breathing hard as he was nervous …. funny as he was the one that had wanted up.

I guess he figured he was missing out on something.  What, I am not sure.

At one point I had to switch and write with my right hand as he was resting his head on my left arm.

But I decided it was more important to cuddle and just have some totally quiet moments …

So the pen went down and we just sat there …. Alvin resting his head on the crook of my left arm … and his Momma beaming from ear to ear.

I love my Alvin.  We are a good pair.

So we have a new morning ritual.

I love it.  I felt so calm and relaxed.  Good, actually great way to start the day.

I highly recommend it.  Whether it be your dog, cat or your child…or just you.

Just sit and breathe.

Gotta go.

Special Hello: TO REGINA ….. I miss you guys.  Hope you are having a great October.

Always, Carol

Alvin …..

Just had to share a something cute.  Alvin always follows me around the house.  I have been back and forth to the office all day and just a few minutes ago decided to open the window.  I have an ottoman sitting beneath the window so that Alvin can lay down on something “soft” when he is with me.  The other day he jumped up on his hind legs and with front paws on the window ledge he looked out the window.  It was so cute and of course, I did not have my camera with me at the time.  This time when he jumped up … I jumped up and ran downstairs to get my camera.  Of course, he got down.  After some gentle coaxing he got up to the window once again and I was able to capture it on video and a couple of photos.  So here is one of the photos.  Will make you smile.  He loves to look out the window ….. especially if company is coming….

Lookin' Out the Window.....

Just this morning….

Earlier this morning when Alvin and I went for a stroll in our neighbourhood we came across some new additions.

There were baby geese.  Proper name:  goslings.

The goslings along with their parents were across the water but I could see them and hear their squeaks.

OMG, so cute.  I love all the little ones.  This is such a special time of year.

I must say that the morning air was so sweet and adding to it the sight of baby geese ……

well I was totally in love.

Alvin is calling me ….. so must go.

 

Just wanted to say that seeing those babies …… was awe inspiring……

Perfect beginning to this wonderful day.

 

Always, Carol

Just have to tell you …..

Quick story.  Last night during our week long wind storm, Mr. Alvin had to take a trip outside.  I opened the back door.  He started walking on the deck.  All of a sudden we heard this noise (kind of scary, groaning sound) Alvin turned his head, and looked up. While I was stepping outside to check things out …. AL high tailed it back into the house.  So what did he see?  Well a large section of siding had come loose on my neighbour’s side of our duplex.  The siding is loose on the second story.  It is still attached by the window but each time the wind blows it looks like it will be ripped off and take flight.  Each time Alvin goes outside he looks up to see what is going on.  Isn’t that cute?

Thanks to my “guard” dog.  He is cautious as he looks up each time he/we go outside.  Better to caution on the safe side…..

Always, Carol

Just for fun……

This has been a fun day.  My neighbour Sonja was over for coffee, and a visit earlier in the day.  We always have such great fun chatting up a storm.  Catching up, mostly.  She is one busy young lady.  But I just love her.  She is truly a beautiful human being. Alvin was so excited when he saw her coming up the sidewalk.  I thought that he was going to shake his hind end right off.  LOL.  That is my boy – he gets super excited when company arrives.  I get just as excited but I do not shake my “hind” end.  Now wouldn’t that be a sight.  LOL.

Later this afternoon we are going over to Amanda, Steven, Elton & Penny’s house for supper.  So that will be the perfect way to end this marvellous day.  The sun is shining and it is 15 degrees outside.  How’s that for an Easter weekend?  AWESOME, AMAZING, I would say.  So I thought that I would like to put some more fun stuff on my blog today as yesterday postings were a tad on the serious side.  I just had one of those days …… but that is okay.  I was typing, writing and listening to Neil Diamond (I TUNES).  I listened to all of the songs that I had copied  from a cd that I had purchased.  Now they are on my computer and I can listen to them anytime.  I love so many of his songs:  “Walk on Water” is one of my FAVS.  Soolaimon, Mr Bojangles, Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show, Sweet Caroline, Solitary Man ….. and the list goes on.  So I cranked up the volume and went to writing and inputting some poems & possible song lyrics on my BLOG.  Alvin kept wandering from room to room.  I do not think that he appreciated the volume. Or perhaps it could have been the fact that I was “singing” along with Neil.   I had the window open as well to let in the fresh spring air so the neighbours got a free show.  LOL.

Back to today.  I am going to post miscellaneous fun photos and just put a “funny” caption to each one.

For your viewing pleasure.

"Green with Envy"

"1, 2, 3" .... ready or not here I come..

"PLEASE" I promise.......

"You told me red lipstick was in"

Just TOO Cute......

This is how "Justin Bieber" got started.

Little boy to Little Girl "Hm, let me think about that"

"Head in the clouds"

Who says "You have to be a Prince, to get the girl"...

"Are you sure?" .. this is the one?

"Oh, man where did all this white stuff come from?"

OMG, Alvin did you leave those tracks? Alvin "RUFF, must have been aliens".

"Come on in, the water's great"....

Thought for the day…..

This afternoon my friend Lea accompanied me on a walk with Alvin.

It is mushy, slushy, icy and wet out there.

But we all need the exercise, so we braved the elements.

Lea wanted to take the reins so to speak (Alvin’s leash) and so she did.

It was so cute, they would get a bit ahead of me and then Alvin would stop, turn around and make sure that I was there.

He did that on the whole walk.  Guess there is a guy who wants “me” around.  LOL.

We had a great visit.  I sure am going to miss her.  They leave for Quebec on Sunday.  I am going to miss the whole family.

So the thought for the day is this …… always spend time with those you love ….. because you never know what tomorrow will bring.

A month or so ago, I never would have  dreamt that the Enchill family would be moving away.

So remember, take the time when you can and spend it with family and friends.

I am so happy, deep down in my heart that I had another opportunity to spend some time with my friend Lea.

After the walk she came in for a little while.  We were planning some crafts for Friday afternoon.

Friday I am babysitting a couple of little ones, and then the Enchill children will join us for crafts.

Party time ……

Before Lea left, she had to try the treadmill.  She did very well.

All I can say is this ….. Quebec will be so blessed to have this wonderful young lady join their population and Alberta, well, we will be missing her.

OMG, the sun just came out….. YAY……  Big smile….

So remember ….. VISIT …. PLAY …… SMILE …… LAUGH …… ENJOY LIFE …… cause you never know when things will change.

Change is good but just different.

Someone is barking and wanting my attention as he plunked down on his tummy …. nope he is up ….. I know it is suppertime.

Gotta go.

Always, Carol

My Life …..

I was just looking at the photos that are on my home page.  The ones that my daughter chose.   I suppose that I was about  “4-5”  in the photo from my childhood, and I know exactly how old I am in the other photo.  The second photo was taken last fall by my daughter so I was “53”.  So that would make close to fifty years that have happened in between photos.  A lifetime by all accounts.  I was just thinking that it would be an interesting exercise to go through those almost fifty years, one at a time.  How much do I remember?  How much do I want to remember?  How much do I want to share?  Can I actually put a date on things that happened thirty or forty years ago.  I am going to try.  Also wherever possible I will post photos, now that should be a hoot.  Hairstyles and pant lengths, oh my…

Over the past few years, I have been on a quest for self improvement, and  of self examination, so I figure this would be good therapy.  GOL (giggling out loud).  Why not?

Well, Mr. Alvin is commanding me to get his supper for him.  Sure would be nice if he could get his own.  But that might prove to be …… well not so much.  So I am going to publish these thoughts and see what you think.  Is this something you would be interesting in reading?

While  you ponder that question, I am going to give supper to the boss of this household, my dog, Alvin.  Truly he wears the “pants” in this house.

Until later……

Life is like that …… Part III

It is funny or perhaps strange would be better word for remembering a current task, and  how differently it was performed years ago.  For me, this just happened.  I am currently doing a couple of loads of laundry.  When I was removing the clothes from the dryer it suddenly dawned on me “how lucky I was” to have my own washer and dryer in the house.  When I was growing up, there were times when we would take our clothes to the local laundromat.  We would carry bag upon bag inside, and then would fill up as many of the empty machines, as were required.  I could even see the dirty tiled floor (it had been raining that day).  Smell that clean clothes scent.  Feel the heat from the dryer as we folded the warm clothing, towels and bedding. Oh, the static electricity.  Not my favourite thing. I could actually see in my mind’s eye the clothes, as I was folding them.  It was the strangest feeling.  I remember that I was so HAPPY to have clean dry clothes.  One great thing about going to the laundromat was you could do so many loads all at once.  At home, it took all day to wash clothes.

This gave me the oddest feeling.  To remember in such detail is amazing.  Visualizing things is work for me.  I want to do it, but my wandering mind and insistent thoughts cloud the pictures.  But NOT this time.  How great.  I feel like I made a major breakthrough.  LOL

Now this probably would seem crazy to most people.  The fact that I was happy to be washing and drying clothes in a laundromat.  But when I was a little girl growing up on the farm, all we had was a wringer washing machine.  I was about 7 or 8 when I started using that machine.  It was hard work.  The clothes were washed in the machine but  before you rinsed them they had to be put through the wringer to remove the excess water.  This task not only took some ingenuity but was dangerous as well.  You had to be so careful that you did not accidentally get your hand, shirt sleeve  or arm caught in the wringer.  One of my younger brothers actually put his arm through the machine when our attention had been averted.  VERY SCARY.  We had an outdoor clothes line as did most people of that era (1960’s).  But at some point, I think it was after we had been in the new house on the farm for awhile, (the one that my Dad built), he bought a gas dryer.  That was great.  It was wonderful in the wintertime as we didn’t have to hang up the clothes outside.  They always froze of course, so then you would spend hours getting them dried, and then ironing everything.  We (being me, most of the time) even ironed the towels and sheets.  Okay, that is another story.

So as you can see to have this amazing luxury is a big deal for me.  I have over the years thought about it.  I mean up until I moved into this house, I did not have my own washer and dryer.  In the apartment building there were machines which were shared between 24 different tenants.  But even then …… I was a happy girl.  Walking down the hall is a far cry from standing on the porch and hanging out sheets to dry when it was bitterly cold.

So, I wonder how many people my age (53) can remember doing laundry the old fashioned way!!   Hey, my grandma Stella even had an old wash board (I remember her using it from time to time).

For all those reasons above, I am eternally grateful.  Sometimes those jobs from the past  not only bring back interesting memories, and  food for stories, but are good for the character, as well.   So the wringer washer replaced the wash board and so on and so forth.  Here we are today.  At some point, I am sure that we will stand inside a shower like unit, and something will clean our clothes without us even removing them.  Kind of like the sonic shower in the Star Trek shows. Not sure about how that would work with bedding and towels but I am sure they will work that all out.

Interesting, hey.  So take a few minutes and think back to your childhood and how you did some task.  Compare it to today.

 

Always, Carol

Guess, Alvin needs me…..

Thought for the day……

Remember those times when “Sesame Street” or “Dora the Explorer” or perhaps “Max & Ruby” occupied your children for a short time while you started lunch or baked a cake.  Mm, that makes me hungry…  LOL

Well I never thought that I would say this, or that it would happen to me when I was over 50,  but it has.  You see I have this puppy dog named Alvin.  He likes to have my attention.  In fact, when I am on the computer he jumps up and gives me the old paw ….. or sometimes he just sits there and barks.  Back to the reason why I am writing this, … my daughter & son-in-law gave Alvin this purple “thingy”  for Christmas.  It comes in two pieces and screws together.  It is hard rubber.  When it is apart you can place peanut butter inside and then screw it back together.  The dog licks the peanut butter to his heart’s content.  I must admit that I have used this gadget when I needed a break from my “boy”.

Both Mama and “boy” are happy….. Alvin is still licking at the purple thingy even though the peanut butter is long gone.

So the thought for the day …… can you guess what it is?  Mm, let’s see!

Thought for the day ……. sometimes “Mama” just needs a BREAK….. LOL.

Always, Carol

Ah, Mama's boy.......isn't he cute!!!

 


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