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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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!

Peace of Mind

It’s becoming somewhat difficult to remember feeling normal. I’m not feeling well most days, and will soon have my gallbladder removed.
In general, I make the best of my time. I keep my chin up & do as much as I can everyday. If I hit a wall from fatigue, I take a nap. I don’t push myself too hard &, I do whatever it takes to stay infection-free.
This past weekend, my sister Cheri & I took my great niece Mackenzie to the World Bird Sanctuary & to Lone Elk Park. It was hotter than a well digger’s ass, but we kept walking & viewing the beautiful birds. I especially love the hawks, owls & eagles. I think my sister & Mackenzie were quite taken with the peregrine falcon. Any bird that can fly 280 MPH has my vote.
We drove through Lone Elk Park after touring the bird sanctuary & saw several elk & 5 adult bison & 3 baby bison. It was a peaceful drive.
The best part of the day was being outdoors & watching Mackenzie experience something new. I completely forgot all about my illness & just had fun. I felt more normal than I have in months. It was wonderful!
It was like that again today. We went out and, did a little shopping, checked out some cars, ate lunch, stopped by my former place of employment to visit some of my residents,then came home, put away our treasures & our friend Kelley came by for a visit. It was a very positive day.
I wish I could go back & work there again. I really love my residents in the Alzheimer’s unit. I really liked that my sister came in with me & spent time visiting with the residents too.
Other highlights of the day:
8 new books
3 new tops
2 skirts
1 dress
1 belt
2 necklaces
10 CD-Rs
2 bottles of nail polish
Retail therapy is good for the soul!
I plan to wake up early to tend to our flowers- they need a good morning soaking. My moon flowers should bloom within the next 6-10 days. Always a gorgeous display!
I’m participating in a bird study too. That’s pretty exciting. I mean, I see the birds here, but I don’t really see them.
There’s just too many positive things for me to ignore. Life goes on with or without me- I’d prefer to go w/ the flow.
We’re even planning a relaxation day, Zoey- my Velcro dog will be staying in her first motel. Dogs like a change of scenery too. Cheri & I really need to decompress. A short day trip will fill the bill perfectly.
I’m just going to live like there’s no tomorrow. I’m not going to let negative thoughts bring me down & when I come to a puddle- I’m jumping smack-dab into the middle of it!
How are you enjoying your summer? Where are kid & dog friendly places that you’ve discovered?
Please feel free to comment.
Blessed Be!