Sunday, November 29, 2009


Its been a difficult Thanksgiving Holiday for the Clare family. Jonas was diagnosed with Mitrol Valve Insufficiency on Wednesday. On Friday morning he was put to sleep. We miss him terribly.

We only had Jonas with us for 8 months but in that short time he filled our lives with joy. He added a warmth and vibrancy to our lives that we hadn't experienced before.

Jonas wasn't too fond of other dogs but he adored all people. If Jonathan or I were sitting down Jonas felt that he should be in our laps. If our faces were in striking distance he would stretch himself until he could lick our noses. If he couldn't lick a nose he would lick the air. In fact, his air licking tendencies would have made any obsessive compulsive proud.

Second only to his love for nose licking was his love for food. Peanut butter and french fries and banana bread were his particular favorites. He also enjoyed licking out our yogurt cups and would often have a yogurt ring around his muzzle. In his last few months as he felt more secure in his role he believed certain food scraps belonged to him. He would sit and huff until we gave him his due. What a character!

On Tuesday evening, he was breathing heavily and didn't want to eat his dinner. We got him to eat part of it but could tell he wasn't feeling well. We decided to call the vet first thing in the morning. We took him in on Wednesday morning and after some testing were told that he had Mitrol Valve Insufficiency. The Vet was able to show me the current x-ray compared to the one taken 8 months early. His heart was visibly larger than it had been. His enlarged heart was pressing on his trachea and making it difficult for him to breathe. As a complication he also had fluid in his lungs. The Vet gave us 3 different medications and sent Jonas home. The prognosis was decent. The Vet figured that with medication Jonas would have about 2-3 years.

Unfortunately, the medication did not help as the Vet had hoped. Jonas got progressively worse Thanksgiving Day. His breathing became more and more labored, he stopped eating and going to the bathroom. We wanted to give the medication time to kick in but we knew he wasn't improving. At midnight we took him to the emergency animal hospital. He was put into an oxygen chamber to ease his breathing and given medicine intravenously. We still hoped that he would bounce back. On Friday morning the animal ER explained that Jonas' heart was just too worn out. They said that they could keep him alive for a couple weeks but recommended euthanizing Jonas to relieve his struggling.

Jonathan couldn't bare to be there. (Jonas was his special buddy.) I went to the animal hospital to say goodbye. Even though he was so sick he stood up and wagged his tail when he saw me. I took him out of the oxygen chamber and held him for a few minutes. He licked my nose at first but then had to concentrate on breathing. He was so tired. I got to hold him as the Vet injected him and he put his head down on my leg. I held him and told him what a good dog he was and he was gone.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving I want to say how grateful we are for Jonas and the time we had with him. Our house is feeling pretty empty without him.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Cook and the Lobster

We hope everyone had a Happy Halloween. We stayed home and passed out candy. We had a lot of kids come by and were back and forth to the door all evening. (helped us work of those extra Halloween calories) Jonas wanted to see everyone that came to the door and got tons of praise and petting. He even tried to follow a few of the kids home.

We didn't dress up to pass out candy but Jonathan and Jonas dressed up for work on Friday. They turned out super cute and I wanted to share a couple of pictures.

Chef Jonathan and the lobster.

Front view.

Side profile.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Family Visits -- Joe Graduates

A few weeks ago my family got together for Joe's graduation. Mom and Dad came down from WA and Alan and Kristina came up from So. Cal. We stayed all together for a couple days and it was so much fun. (The previous post is from our family BBQ in the park.)

Here are a few pictures.

With niece and nephew . . .

With his sisters . . .

With Mom . . .

With Dad . . .

After walking in . . .

Receiving diploma . . .

Walking off the stage basking in the glory of a Master's Degree!

Beaming with the joy of accomplishment . . .

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Inspection of the weapons.

Cadet Amara.

Cadet Ethan

Desention in the ranks.

Joining forces to attack the enemy.

Fleeing from the enemy.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Dancing in the Park

This Saturday I got to go to Raley's Field to watch a River Cats game and see my brother Joe get his groove on. Joe is on a dance team ( sponsored by the Spotlight Dance Club in Sacramento. Part of their team performed on Saturday in-between innings at the game. I was really impressed! Joe was great out there. They performed 2 different numbers. The first one was all smooth and elegant but the second one was more spicy.

Here is Joe with the team. Check out the hips!

Getting a little sexy!

Showcasing his partner's spin.

Close up of Joe and his partner.

In action.
I wish you all could have been there. Next time you see him ask him to show you some moves.

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Only Thing to Fear . . .

As most of you know I have a slight aversion to needles--particularly those involved in blood letting of any kind.

Well, this week I had to get a blood test. As soon as my doctor mentioned it I broke out into a sweat. This was followed by an intense reprimand/pep-talk to myself.

"Anna. People get blood drawn everyday. It's not that big a deal. Don't worry about it. For heaven's sake . . . BE AN ADULT! Just suck it up! "

I called Quest Diagnostics and set up a morning appointment. I was actually feeling pretty confident when the moment arrived. (I knew I'd be in and out in five minutes.) When I got into the blue chair (why is it always a blue chair) I told the tech I was a little nervous and made a joke. A few seconds later I was out cold. Everyone was very nice about it. They were saying how common it is for people to pass out, etc. They let me rest for a while and then with one lab tech on each side I was helped/carried to a room with a cot(I started to lose consciousness again as we walked).

After resting on the cot for 10-15 mins I decided I was feeling steady and needed to use the restroom--an unfortunate choice. This is where things really went a rye. I walked to the bathroom just fine but felt like I was going to pass out again when I was in there. I called to the tech standing outside the door and she came rushing it. I laid on the floor but I kept feeling worse and worse. I had terrible stomach pain and my arms were tingling like they were asleep. The tech look really concerned and ran out momentarily to tell someone to call an ambulance.

By the time I heard the sirens I was really a mess. I was doubled over in pain and my arms were completely numb. I was waving them around and hyperventilating when the paramedics came in. The lab tech had kindly draped her lab coat over my bare behind so I wouldn't be embarrassed when they moved me onto the gurney. Oh, the indignity of it all! Actually, I was completely oblivious. I felt so awful I really wasn't paying attention to anything except the questions being asked.

They loaded me into the ambulance and I was so happy thinking that they would help me and make my pain go away. Unfortunately, no help was forthcoming. I was advised multiple times to "BREATHE" but I guaranty that was harder than it sounds. They tried to get a line into me but my blood pressure was really low and my arms were numb!--no veins!

Then things got weird. Some crazy guy on drugs started screaming and trying to climb into the ambulance. He managed to get into the cab but was pulled out. I could hear him yelling and growling and could feel the ambulance shake as he slammed into it over and over again. We had to wait for the police to come. More sirens. I have no idea what happened with that guy. As soon as the police arrived we left for the hospital. Just 2 blocks later we arrived at the emergency room (it was pretty close to the lab).

I spent the next several minutes throwing up into a pan and answering questions in between. Ten minutes later I was feeling just fine. Grrrrhhhhh! I spent the next several hours resting and being tested. I got to enjoy being stuck by 4 more needles--the cause of my being there in the first place.

In the end I was given a clean bill of health. Nothing wrong with me except for a fear of needles. On the plus side I had a great story to tell at work the next day.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Saturday, May 16, 2009

All For A Good Cause

On June 6th, Jonathan and I will participating in the San Francisco "Take Steps for Crohn's & Colitis Walk."

Jonathan was diagnosed with Crohn's disease when he was 16 years old. It is a painful digestive disease that can cause ulcerated sores anywere throughout a person's digestive tract. Currently there is no cure but people that suffer from this disease experience alterating periods of remittance and inflamation throughout their lifes. Treatment includes medication, surgery to remove "problem" areas (colon, intestine, etc) and even radiation.

This walk is meant to raise funds for research. We are asking for donations from friends and family. No obligation--any amount would be wonderful.

We are on a 3 member team called "Clare". It will be Jonathan, me and a friend of ours from church. If you are able to make a donation just go to the link below.


Monday, March 30, 2009

Update on Jonas:

Well Jonas is back to his old self. He is running and playing and wagging his tail. He's also been gobbling food like the bottomless pit he is.

His breathing is pretty much back to normal. He has been clearing the fluid in his lungs. Unfortunately, he has been clearing it on our carpet. It's easy to clean up but wow is it gross to step in -- I think I win the prize at 3 times last night. Eeeeewwwww!

But we love him. Thanks everyone for your concern and well wishes.

--Big friendly lick from Jonas to you.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Breaking Our Hearts

It's been a difficult couple of days at the Clare house. Yesterday morning when we woke up Jonathan noticed that our new dog Jonas was breathing funny. I wasn't too concerned until I tried to feed him breakfast. No interest at all--and Jonas LOVES food. A Lot! We knew something was very wrong.

I called the vet and took him straight over. Poor little guy. The initial assessment was that it was heart disease. We were devastated. We thought we were going to lose our sweet Jonas. However, after an ultrasound, multiple X-rays, and blood work they ruled out heart disease ($1000 later, grrrrrrhhh). They found a lot of fluid in his lungs but otherwise a clean bill of health. They said his heart has a small defect but it's strong and should not pose a problem for him. Unfortunately they don't know why his lungs are filled with fluid. When I came to pick him up at the end of the day everyone referred to him as the "mystery dog." In other words, there was no diagnosis. The vet's theory is that he probably ingested rat poison 2-3 weeks ago (before we got him). Apparently rat poison causes internal damage but isn't noticeable until roughly 2-3 weeks after it is eaten.

The vet sent us home with some medication to clear up the fluid and an antibiotic--"to cover the bases." Although we are so happy to know that Jonas will be alright it's breaking our hearts to have him home. When I picked him up his breathing was worse than it had been when I brought him in. All last night he was struggling. He refused to eat or drink and would barely move. We tried to make him comfortable. We got him to take his pills with peanut butter (clearly not sick enough to pass up peanut butter!) I got him to drink a little water by dipping my fingers in his water dish and having him lick them. He was clearly exhausted. All his energy was spent on breathing.

It was painful to watch. Both Jonathan and I ended up in tears at different points in the evening. Jonathan was able to give Jonas some relief by holding his head between his hands. Jonas seemed to relax and breathe a little easier. That was about 1:00 am. It was a long night.

Jonas is doing a lot better today. His breathing is still labored but he is eating small amounts, walking a little bit (very slowly), and drinking water. I'm feeling a lot more confident about his recovery. We definitely had our doubts yesterday.

We have only had Jonas for a week and a half but we are so happy to have him. His sweet personality has melted our hearts and we can't imagine life without him. We are so grateful for him and are pleased to know he'll be with us for a long time to come.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

New Addition!

No, don't go buy us burp cloths and booties . . .

We got a dog! We have been working through the doggy adoption process for a week and we finally picked up our fuzzy pal yesterday. His name is Jonas and he is a 2 year old dachshund. Here are a couple of pictures of me and Jonas.

Jonas has red hair with some dark brown in there two. He has a white chest and white toes. He loves to give kisses and go for walks. And he adores food--the smell of food--any activity in the kitchen--the opening of any bag or container that might contain food--any remote possiblity of food. In other words he is highly motivated by "treats" which should be really helpful for training.

We are so happy to have Jonas in our family. He is a sweetheart! He hardly ever barks. He sleeps on his doggy bed while we are sleeping without whining or trying to climb into our bed. He doesn't need constant interaction (although he loves attention) but he is content to be wherever we are. He also loves to fall asleep in our laps (as you can see above.)

For those of you concerned about our cat Dante . . . rest assured. They won't be friends but they don't seem to care about each other. They can pass by each other without barking or hissing. We think this is a good sign.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Movie Game

Some family member's blogs have done this fun movie quote game. (See Taylor Made and Hopper's Happenings) We haven't posted in a while so we decided to copy their idea. Actually they challenged us and we are Throwing Down The Gantlet! So here we go. If you think you know what movie a quote came from just write it in the comments section. You can use all your mental faculties, cranium size, and gray matter but please resist the urge to look these up on the internet. Have fun and do your own movie game blog if you haven't already.

1. Got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we are wearing sunglasses.

2. Push the button Max!

3. Behind that door there is a 95 lb chinese man and 50 million dollars.
Let's get him out of there.

4. Oh, I'm afraid the deflector shields will be quite operational when your friends arrive.

5. If someone asks you if you are a god . . . say yes!

6. Him? He's harmless! Back in the 60's he was part of the free speech movement at Berkley. I think he did a little too much LDS.

7. I find that smuggling is the life for me, and I would be delighted to kill your friend the maggot.

8. Do us a favor... I know it's difficult for you... but please, stay here, and try not to do anything... stupid.

9. A eugoogoolizer... one who speaks at funerals. Or did you think I was too stupid to know what a eugoogooly was?

10. You're not the man I knew 10 years ago.
It's not the years, honey, it's the mileage.

11. What I want from each and every one of you is a hard-target search of every gas station, residence, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse and doghouse in that area.

12. My parents don't like anything ostentatious. And they really don't like fire.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New Years Resolutions

If you're bored with life -- you don't get up every morning with a burning desire to do things -- you don't have enough goals.
Lou Holtz

I found this great website called Joe's Goals that I want to share. It's a free online goal tracker. Check it out:

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Christmas without the Beagle?

I apologize for my absence... But before Christmas is over... let us remember Charlie Brown and his beloved beagle! In my opinion; The Red Barron should hop back on his dog house... Otherwise he is in for a great surprise... Ladies and Gentlemen, the beagle named the Great Casey!