If you’ve been reading the blog over the past couple of years, you may recall the “Darla-in-my-chair” issue. We had two dog-free zones in the house — our bedroom and my old, beat-up but beloved recliner. Soon after Darla?arrived as a blind girl from Michigan in 2013, I walked into the living room one day and found her’sleeping soundly in the recliner. I didn’t have the heart to make her get down, and she took full advantage of my weakness. She decided she really liked that recliner, and it quickly became her favorite spot. I had to rewrite the rules so that only Darla had permission to use my recliner. (She went on to break plenty of other rules, this one just being the first. She had figured out that a certain someone was so smitten with her that she could — and did — get away with just about anything.)
But when I found myself having to bribe her to get out of my recliner so I could use it, I felt ridiculous. But better to feel ridiculous than the guilt I felt if I made her get out of the chair without giving her a treat. (I know: Commence eye-rolling.) It was clear that we had a problem: There were two of us, and only one recliner. Yes, that chair was 21 years old (!), yes the seat had been chewed up by Priscilla the blind Poodle several years ago, but dang it was still comfortable and it was where I really liked to sit and read in the evening. (Alayne to husband: “Why don’t you go sit in the corner and read?”)
It did eventually dawn on me that actually “we” didn’t have a problem. I had a problem. My favorite dog loved my favorite chair.
I convinced myself, with a little encouragement from Alayne, that it really would be okay to buy a new recliner after two decades of using the other one. That way I wouldn’t have to share, or bribe, or feel ridiculous or guilty. There would be a new recliner for me, and the old recliner for my girl. (I recall that some blog readers pointed out this obvious solution back in … hmm … 2013.)
So several weeks ago I finally ordered one, almost identical to the original. It arrived last Thursday. We re-arranged the living room so both recliners would be side by side, and I would still be in my corner, but in the new chair. I took that photo last night, and you can see that Darla is once again happily enjoying her recliner.
I suspect she was thinking, “What took him so long?”
If that was the happy news about Darla, I’m sorry’to say?we?also have’some upsetting news. The oncologist at Peak called last Tuesday to say the lab had run some additional, more detailed tests on the biopsy from?Darla’s latest mast cell cancer surgery (her third) and found mast cells had invaded a nearby lymph node. So what had been confined to dermal outbreaks was now a systemic problem. That, of course, is not good. On Thursday I met with the oncologist’to discuss Darla’s prognosis, and we decided to start her on a 6-month course of chemotherapy. She’s already had her first treatment and is doing very well. No side-effects at all. But please keep your fingers crossed for our beautiful girl.
In better medical news, blind Taco’s bile acids test came back with only mildly elevated levels, so right now all he needs is a daily liver support medication (Denamarin). We’ll recheck him in several weeks. So despite our fears, this little guy turned out to be in a great shape!
Penny Heinrich says
Sorry Steve, but sweet Darla really deserves the chair! Thinking good thoughts for improvement in her health. Oh and congrats on YOUR new chair…you deserve it too!
Colleen & kitty, Andre says
Oh Darla, you sweet lovely girl. I love how you win the recliner battle!!! Cuteness goes a long way!!! Now, let’s win this health battle. I know you can do it!!! Good news for Taco!!!!
Barb Ribinski says
That photo with the two chairs just looks right. No more bribing necessary. And I’m sure Darla is glad. (an no doubt secretly smiling to herself) Let’s say a prayer that the chemo does what it’s supposed to and she has no bad side effects from it. Also glad to hear little Taco man is in good shape. I wonder if blind dogs ever do any kind of activities, like maybe an easy obstacle course type thing, like sighted dogs can. If he is as smart as he appears to be, he’s going to want to be active, even if he can’t see. You’ll have to be sure once it’s warm enough for him to go outside that there is stuff for him to do. I don’t think being sightless will slow him down that much.
I did not want to read the second part of your blog about Darla. She is getting the very best love and care, so she’s very fortunate. But it is still disappointing. As long as she has her chair, she’ll be a contented girl 🙂
I think you should have a contest over what the chairs upholstery actually looks like! God’s blessings on everyone there.
Kathy Hertzel says
Darla looks so content in her chair next to her Daddy’s. She certainly is Daddy’s little girl.
Darla wouldn’t like that recliner if it weren’t yours, with your scent, so I suspect.
Heidi, The Beagle Brigade, and The Moxie Kitty says
Steve, honey, I hate to say “we told you so”, but the only one who didn’t know she was going to win this one was you. 🙂
Prayers for Darla as she goes through chemo! Cancer sucks!!!!!!
Tonya Allen says
Hmm, I’m wondering how long it will be before Darla decides that she likes the new chair better… At least you’ll be able to count on one of them being available. Looks very cozy. The moose lampshade gave me a smile.
Poor Darla, I hope the chemo does the trick. Glad to hear more good news about Taco!
Much good health to Darla from her former dog pal Billy aka B. Billy Bigglesworth…. And so happy for Taco! And enjoy your new chair, Steve!
I can relate! We have had numerous “recliner dogs” over the years. We had one, our dachshund Zipper laid in it with Rick. Then Fudge wanted in, too. After we lost Zipper and adopted Maggie she took over with Fudge. Finally we bought a 2nd recliner. Rick starts out in the larger one with one or 2 dogs, then he moves to the smaller one and leaves the dogs in the newest and largest! We now have a 3rd recliner and our dachshund Moon Pie (a puppy mill rescue who never had a bed, blanket, chair or anything but a wire cage for 6 years) has taken that one and one of the others over! I often see him start out in one chair, it fills with dogs, then he moves to another! Truly, they have taken over our furniture, our lives, but most of all our hearts so whatever they want they get!
Aww! This looks like the best place to be best buds. I’m happy now you all have the chairs of your dreams, and will be sending best karma that it’s the very coziest healing place for sweet Darla.
I agree- she’s irresistible!
I was wondering the same thing Tonya said (about Darla taking over the NEW recliner!) Ha! Sorry to here her prognosis. 🙁 Saying prayers for her. Give her hugs (gentle) from all of us readers.
susan Kenney says
love this little story …and your perspective on sharing space with Darla 🙂
Kathleen A. Rivard says
The room looks more balanced with a second recliner but it’s not nearly as beautiful since Darla does not grace it. Every good thought I can summons is with Darla and her battle. She really doesn’t seem too worried. Dog Bless her!!! 😉
We have an oversized Lazyboy recliner and I sit it in with all of our dogs constantly……I wouldn’t have it any other way! What they do for me is worth more then I could ever express.
Thank you for all that you do for these wonderful pets that ask so little and give so much,
Vicky Harrison says
U guys have sure.found your calling. I love this story!!