Goodbye, Bear

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The puppy mill owner told me he was a bit on the mean side and disliked men most of all. No amount of socializing really changed Bear’s opinion of men, but what the lady failed to tell me was that Bear also disliked women and children as well. I felt pretty lucky that he like my sister and me. I was his person. He was okay with my sister, but she couldn’t groom him or bathe him. At least she could pet him and love him. 

I have spent the past 11 months treating Bear for a nasty chronic staph infection and bladder cancer. Nothing we did could save him from the inevitable however. With me have my immune system disorder, Bear was becoming a danger to me. I contracted staph from him last April and had to have the wound that resulted incised and drained. I was also on antibiotics for a month. As Bear continued to decline and began showing resistance to every antibiotic, I knew I would have to make the awful decision to have him put to sleep. The bladder cancer was the final straw. Bear was urinating blood and thick blood clots. He was losing weight too. It was sad to see, and I wasn’t going to see him suffer.

After preparing my sister for what needed to be done, I called and set the appointment. Bear had been on painkillers which helped him a lot. In fact, he was as bouncy as a puppy and hardly seemed like a dying dog. That made it harder to take him to the vet for his euthanasia. I loaded him into the backseat and, we started off for the final journey. My sister wept softly. When we pulled into the parking lot at the vet’s, Cheri took 3 final photos of our big Bear. Then, I helped him out of the car and went inside.  I filled out the paperwork and paid for the services. Then, it was time to take him for that final walk to the exam room.  I turned him over to the vet and her tech after he was muzzled. I couldn’t stay because if Bear was true to form, he would get very upset and begin snapping and scratching. As I have to have surgery October 3rd., I couldn’t risk being bitten or scratched. I told him goodbye and petted him briefly.  The vet and the tech both gave me a comforting hug, then, I left before the waterworks started. It hurt so bad knowing he wouldn’t ever be coming home again.   I was okay with my decision though.  I was doing the right thing for my wonderful, loyal friend. We gave him the best 3 years of his life and, we showing complete kindness by letting him go so that he wouldn’t feel pain or suffer any longer. It’s part of being a responsible pet owner. 

Yesterday wasn’t awful, but both my sister and I were subdued most of the day and just tried to get lost in household tasks. It wasn’t until I went down to clean up Bear’s kennel that it really hit me that he’s gone. I swear I even heard his collar jingle once. Zoey, my female Bouvier, won’t even come down the deck stairs, so, I’m certain she knows, in that strange way animals know, that her buddy is no longer with us. Poor Bear with such a hard life, is in a better place now. I can feel good that we gave him a wonderful life. He learned to play.  He learned to do silly parlor tricks. He learned to trust. When we got him, he didn’t even know what a dog treat was. He really did make strides. 

There will never be another dog quite like Bear and, I will also treasure the time I had with him.  That this dog, who had been so abused, could learn to love and trust again amazed me. People could learn a lot from animals.  In many ways, this dog knew he had been rescued and really seemed thankful. All he wanted was to be loved and petted, have a nice dog house with thick blankets to lie upon, and a big backyard to run in, and good food and treats too. He even learned to like being groomed.  He would come home practically strutting. He knew he was a handsome boy. He touched my heart and there he will remain.  Always, my Bear.  Someday, my buddy, I’ll meet you on that Rainbow Bridge.

http://www.petloss.com/poems/maingrp/rainbowb.htm

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If Wishes Were Horses

I have 8 more days until my surgery,  Frankly, I’m a little nervous about the whole thing.  I don’t like the whole blood clotting issue. I have #FactorVLeiden and #LupusAnticoagulant.  Then, there’s the #primaryimmunodeficiency.  I’m trying to think positive.  I think that in my case, this would be a little easier to deal with if I wasn’t a nurse. In some cases, ignorance is bliss.   I know the surgeon was a little freaked out, but thankfully agreed to remove the gallbladder. The first surgeon refused and no amount of cajoling could change his mind. I think that’s what has me a little nervous. 

I’ve been thinking about my best memories a lot lately.  One that came to mind was when I was swimming in the lake with my then boyfriend and, he asked me how does one pick out a horse.  I laughed and told him that you don’t really pick out a horse.  They pick you. 

As soon as the words were spoken, out of no where, I heard a loud whinny and this horse comes running through the yard and right to the lake where he stood neighing and tossing his beautiful head. He was a gray dapple.  My boyfriend remained, swimming in place, with his mouth hanging open. I swam to the dock and went to the horse. He was very friendly.  I looked him over for a brand, a tattoo, anything to identify him, but saw nothing. I walked up to the cabin to change out of my bathing suit and into something more horse-friendly. my boyfriend started making calls to figure out who may have lost a horse. 

I had an hour of pure bliss with the stray horse before we figured out where he belonged.  He was from the neighboring farm.  He must have gotten out through the gate which someone had left open. I walked him back to the farm with my boyfriend following behind on a four-wheeler, steadily bitching about the flies flying around the horse. The horse was named Jack.  He was about 3 1/2 yrs. old.  He followed me back like an obedient pup. I got him back in the pasture and secured the gate. I rubbed his forehead a few more times and climbed onto the four-wheeler.   I could hear Jack whinnying loudly and felt bad for him.  He was just starved for attention. The lady that owned him wasn’t real nice or, I may have asked if I could come visit Jack from time to time. It would have satisfied my horse-craziness and, Jack wouldn’t be so lonely.   

Once back at the cabin, my boyfriend teasingly said, “Would a million dollars pick you like that horse just did? We could go buy a lottery ticket, if that’s how it works.”

“I wish!” I laughed.

That day was one of the nicest days ever. It had started on a positive note and ended with a star-filled sky and the call of an old hoot owl in the distance. I like days like that. I don’t need a lot of excitement to satisfy me.  I like the simple pleasures. 

I’ve never asked for much in this life.  I just want peace of mind.  I have family and friends that love me and support me. I have my dogs and this little bunny that make me smile and touch my heart. I don’t need much more than that. I just wish my surgery was guaranteed to go just right so that I can continue to appreciate the present and dream about a future.  

If wishes were horses, we’d all be riding!Image

 

A Woman’s Heart

A woman’s heart is a deep ocean of secrets.

 
I have lived a life of secrets and lies.  We all do in a way.  There is just some stuff you don’t divulge to other people because it’s none of their damned business, or because the nature of the secret could really hurts someone deeply.  Most of the time, these secrets, in themselves aren’t really bad.  It’s the perspective of other people that give these secrets their negative nature.  Add in a relative that thrives on altering truths contained in these secrets and, you come up with a ticking time bomb! 
One of my brothers is doing exactly this…using charm and guile to fuel what will eventually be a revelation to a dying 87 year old woman that will break her heart. This brother reminds me a little of Beetlejuice.  Don’t say his name or he’ll be released to wreak havoc on anyone in his path.
 Brother thinks he’s slick.  Brother thinks that he’s undermining me by being the fox in the hen house, but the last laugh will be on him because there is loyalty in that hen house. The hens are very savvy and know what that bad old fox is up to.  He’s going to end up with egg on his face in the long run.
I just hate that he has to be that way. It’s like people love to have ‘something’ on someone and will hold it over your head just because they can. What he doesn’t realize is that, if I so chose, I could hold a few things over him that I’m certain he isn’t too damned proud of. At least the secret he’s holding over my head isn’t something I’m ashamed of. I’m trying very hard to leave this situation to Karma. I refuse to stoop to his low-rent level.  However, if he hurts anyone I love, I shall choose my words wisely and gently remind him  that people who live in glass houses should not throw stones.  He really makes me angry!
I once idolized the man.  Now, he’s not even a shell of the person I once looked up to. He’ll stab you in the back while smiling in your face.  He’s an embarrassment to this family and certainly, not welcome in this house.  They always say that you should let go of grudges and such…oh, and to forgive…but sometimes, that just isn’t practical or probable. He set this scenario up for himself and alienated his brothers and sisters.  His mother who would welcome him with open arms is too much of an inconvenience to him. Guess what Rick the Prick…You are an inconvenience to me and, I will accept the responsibility of whatever happens when I cannot find forgiveness in my heart for you.My integrity will remain intact because I have a good reputation, unlike you.I do not need your validation.
Would any of you confront the person, if you were in my position?
Have any of you had this kind of relative?

Ramblings of the Sleep Deprived

This has not been the best of days for me.  It started last night when I couldn’t fall asleep, despite medication.  Then, when I did finally fall asleep, I woke up having a panic attack at 3 A.M.!  That is one weird sensation.  I mean, it’s similar to when you wake from a very frightening nightmare, but different because you know you weren’t dreaming.  Of course, I’m sure it has something to do with my pending surgery and, the what-ifs that plague me when I try to fall asleep. I just wish I could meditate it away!  I can’t help what happens after I’ve fallen asleep though.

So, at 3 A.M., I removed my nail polish, wrote my list of chores for today, and then, read #Superbia 3 by #BernardSchaffer until I fell asleep. I woke up around 8, and thought to myself…”Sure, sure, only when I want to look my best does this insomnia hit!”

I have a party to attend this evening and would like to leave the luggage under my eyes at home with the dark circles!  Yeah, I can be a little vain…but I’m a woman and, it comes with the territory.  I mean, after all, I’ve experienced scarring from my skin infections and surgeries, hair loss and paleness from the blood thinners, problems keeping nail polish on, and the occasional breakout when I’m on certain meds. It all seems superficial until it happens to you, then, it’s a different story.  Recently, someone gave me a compliment about recent weight loss, and if I had $100, I’d have given it to him for making me day!  One just never knows when they will be that one person that makes a difference in someone’s life.  He turned my whole mood around.   I was a blonde beauty long ago, and now, I’m this almost middle-aged woman watching age and illness change me.  I grasp those things that make me feel “pretty.”  I’ve fallen in love with some feminine trends I never would have in the past, such as wearing dresses and skirts just because.  It used to be that the only time I wore a dress or skirt was to a wedding or a funeral.  Now, I want to take the time to put on my face every morning, wear a nice dress and cute shoes, paint my fingers and toes….you get the idea.  I don’t want to be a wrinkle-counter, but, I don’t want to be one of those women that just doesn’t give a damn and stops taking care of herself.

Even when I’m in the hospital, I wake up and put on makeup and fix my hair.  Just because I’m sick doesn’t mean I have to look sick too.  It seems to make me feel better too.

I guess I need to adjust my attitude because that’s really what it’s all about…..attitude.  I do have attitude. I just need a good night’s sleep.  I’m sure I’ll feel better tomorrow.    For today, I’m going to focus on taking a nap, rejuvenating my spirit, and getting back to figuring out how to stop having panic attacks in my sleep.  Maybe then, Mikki can work on gettin’ her groove back!

Peace out!

Life’s Just Funny Like That

So, yesterday, I got ditched by some guy who claimed he was my friend.  He made it clear we were no longer friends and, to put the icing on the cake, he threw my religion in my face.  I give as good as I get and reminded him that he claimed to be a tolerant, accepting #Christian and, surely, wasn’t acting like a good Christian.  I’m #Wiccan and, he just doesn’t understand.  He closed his mind.  That’s fine by me.  I don’t need negative people like him in my life.  The one who claims to be so fine and upright is the first person to cast the stone.  Life’s just funny like that.  

It didn’t bother me much to lose that person because the friendship wasn’t real.  I see how cruel he is that he can be mean to someone like me who is sick and really needs friends for support and understanding.  I said a prayer for him in hopes that his negativity be turned into positive vibes.  I will do no harm.  I’m not into black magic.  I have practiced for thirty years and do not go against the creed. Ye do no harm, and so, I will just wish him well and pray that his black heart will be mended.  The one that spews the most negativity is the one that needs the most love.  Again, life’s just  funny like that.Image

Daisy the bunny is growing noticeably larger.  I would expect nothing less.  She is, after all, eating and drinking on a very regular basis.  This bunny wants to live.  She has a zest for life that inspires me.  She is such a fighter!  Funny how such a little thing can have so much heart.  Life’s just funny like that.

Lastly, I got my call about refilling my #Gammagard infusion for the month and, got great news!  I can go down to two needles per infusion instead of four.  This is going to make it so much easier to rotate sites.  I can’t put them into my thighs as they bleed too much and, I can only use the back of one arm because I had #compartment syndrome in the left arm and, using it is out of the question.  I’m so happy about this one tiny change.  I don’t mind sticking myself, but two sticks is a reduction of infection risk and, I’m all for that. Sometimes, things do go my way.  Life’s just funny like that.

I guess I’ll end there so I can go get ready to go to the #VFW to see my friends and watch the ball game…big #Cardinals fan here.  Maybe they’ll even win tonight.  I’ll think positive.  Us native #St. Louisans know that our boys know how to lead us into #Red October-Life’s just funny like that.

Crazy Weekends

iphone 171 iphone 094 iphone 090 iphone 079What a crazy weekend!  First, I had Mackenzie, my four year old niece from Friday till Monday.  That kid has one gear-the ‘Go’ gear.  We swam, read stories on the Kindle and, at one point she hit a button that popped up and, now all the extra bells and whistles are now unlocked-for $19.95!!!  She’s a sweetheart and, we did have a lot of fun this weekend.

I barbecued on Sunday.  I used my brand new Weber Kettle for the first time…I loved it!  My nephew, my brother-in-law, and my nephew’s friends enjoyed the juicy, tender ribs and porksteaks.  Mackenzie tried a sample of everything.  I did discover that she strongly dislikes potato salad.  Thank goodness I made corn on the cob!

After everyone had eaten and said their’ goodbyes, I sat outside for a little while.  Suddenly, my dog, a Bouvier des Flandres, started barking a real funny bark I’d never heard her do before. It was a half high pitched bark and a cry.  I immediately got up and went inside to see what was the matter.  At first, I saw nothing and decided to get started on the dishes.  As soon as I stepped in front of the sink, I felt this little whoosh and something sat on my foot.  Thankfully, I’m a calm woman, as it was Daisy, my orphaned bunny.  She had flown the coop and didn’t have a clue as to where she was or what to do.  As soon as she heard me, she ran for safety and, in this case, it happened to be my foot.  I scooped her up and put her back into her box which I secured, and gave the dog Pupperonis  for being such a good dog.

Health-wise, I’m hanging in there.  My surgery is scheduled for Oct. 3.  I’m sure all hell will break loose at that time because my sister works two jobs, my dogs will have their noses out of joint…and then, there’s Daisy the bunny, if she is still here.  We don’t realize my role in the household until I’m not here to do it. It sucks to foist any load onto anyone, but I have no choice.  Cheri will have to feed the dogs, but there more to it than just dumping food in a bowl.  Bear gets a #cosequin and a multivitamin broken up in his food, plus a half a packet of Moist and Meaty, and a pain pill and, a cranberry pill wrapped in cheese.  His water is changed daily too.  I also water the flowers on the back deck since I’m down there.

Then, there’s Zoey who gets a small sliver of the cheese Bear’s pills are wrapped in.  Then, she goes out with me to feed Bear.  Sometimes, she goes potty while we’re out there.  Sometimes, she doesn’t even leave the deck.  That’s when I know she senses Bear isn’t in the mood to play.  Once we finish with Bear, I feed Zoey and change her water.  Then, we go out and water the flowers which are everywhere-the front flowerbeds, potted plants and more plants on the upper deck, After watering, we crush soda cans, wash dishes, and, these days, feed Daisy her formula and chop up carrots, apples and celery for her to graze on between feedings.  Anyway, there is a lot to be done in my routine.  The saddest part is that Zoey will lay at the top of the steps and mope until I come home.

The surgery must be done though.  I don’t want my gallbladder to become infected and perforate.  The infection would kill me.  The surgery is risky because of the clotting disorders and my primary immunodeficiency, but the hematologist cut the risks with the plan he designed to get me through it more safely.  The surgeon’s concern is that I’ll bleed or develop post-op clots because he’ll be touching and moving organs around which can bleed from being handled.  He also showed me the arteries that could possibly be nicked and, other areas that could be perforated.

I figure that I’m in good hands and will be ok.  I’ve made future plans too…so, that means I have to be around. I’ve got tickets to see #Rain-A Tribute to the Beatles at the fabulous #FoxTheater!!!!  I will probably miss seeing  #Three Dog Night on Oct. 5th., But I’ll survive.   My nephew will get to hang out with his mom and see a great show.

Guess I better  end here as I have a lot of emails to check.  I’m going to take it easy today because after 4 days with Mackenzie, I’m beat.  Next weekend will be a blast as I won a pair of tickets to #LouFest-30 bands, good eats and lots of fun things to do.  Take care, Everyone!