Just a Little More Time

As I was taking my dog Syrah to the vet’s for her blood sugar checkup, we walked past another car in the parking lot with the hatchback open.  There were two men who looked troubled. When I took a look at what was in the back of the car; I could see it was what looked like an older Rottweiler laying on blankets as if they were a bed.  Syrah and I got into the vet’s and it was busy for a Friday afternoon, so we waited.  I occasionally looked out the front window at the men and the dog and wondering what was going on.  About a an half hour later, I could clearly see that they were both crying and distraught.  I turned around to focus on Syrah and give her pats and to scruff up her fur.  Since she’s blind, I wanted her to know she was okay, and I was right next to her.  

I saw one of the technicians go out to the car, I presumed to let the men know that it was time.  As the three of them used the blankets to carry the dog into the office and they went very quietly, except for sobbing, directly into one of the exam rooms.  I knew that this was going to be the last time they would see this beautiful dog.  I can’t even imagine what they must have been feeling.   I didn’t know how long they were in the room since another tech had come out to take Syrah’s blood, but I know that they did not go back out through the front door.

It was clear to me at that point that they were doing what every pet owner dreads the most – saying goodbye to their best friend, their fur baby, their confident. Whatever they are called, dogs and cats are family, and those two men were just saying their goodbyes before bringing their dog in for the final time. 

For the rest of the afternoon, I thought about those two men and their dog, and how the dog must be at peace now, but their grief was just beginning.

All they wanted was a little more time.  RIP pup, I could tell that you were very loved.

….. Two weeks later, I was back with Syrah and one of the men was there to pick up the dog’s ashes. 

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When Did I Give Birth To An Owl?????

It’s a question that I ask myself all of the time, but more specifically, when my 2-1/2 year old son doesn’t get his way, or if he wants attention.

It’s been going on for a while, so much so, that I asked my mother if we had any member of our family that was an owl, and maybe it skipped a few generations and appeared in my beautiful little boy….. Of course, she thought I was nuts, so she did the half laugh, where it’s more a question of my sanity, than an actual laugh.

I did tell her that I was just joking, so she wouldn’t get worried for my mental stability.

This morning in particular, I was rushing around – as I do each morning getting the dogs fed, and then taking them out to do their business, giving our diabetic dog, Syrah, her insulin shot.  Then there was taking care of the humans, taking a shower, getting dressed, getting my son dressed, preparing and eating my breakfast, the kids breakfast, clean up the breakfast mess, making sure my daughter has her snack for school, making sure she is properly dressed for the weather, making sure she brushed her teeth and her hair – two things that she sometimes ‘forgets’ to do, and then giving them their vitamins.   All of this within 30 minutes…..

When my son started hooting, yes hooting, as in, like an owl!  When he does this particular cry, I know it’s not a hurting cry, like he’s in pain.  It’s just a cry that he does when he wants something that he doesn’t quite know how to say it yet…  So, as he’s hoot, hoot, hooting, I’m feverishly trying to figure out what the heck he wants.  So, I start asking the 20 questions, ‘what’s the matter’? ‘what do you want’? ‘is something hurty’?…. and so on. This was going on for about 5 minutes, now, all the time in the morning is precious, so if anything throws us off schedule, we are late leaving the house, which results in my daughter being late for her Kid’s Club at school in the morning, then I drop off my son late, and then I still have to drive 40 minutes to work, and I get there late, then I have to stay late, you get the picture…

So, after trying to be a detective, I figured out that he wanted his little matchbox car that he couldn’t quite reach on the shelf….

UGH…. I said, “sweetie, you know how to ask mommy to help you, you don’t have to hoot like an owl’.  So, then he and my daughter both started hooting like owls, so of course I had to join in with them and say, ‘uh-oh, my kids have turned into owls!’

It makes the morning stressful, but never boring – and I would never trade it for anything in the world.

I have owls as children, and I couldn’t be happier!

Dogs are not disposable…..

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Max (8 weeks), left and Syrah, on the right

Our older dog Syrah (right) has been with us since 2003 when she was 8 weeks old. She is a Shepherd mix that we adopted from a local shelter.  She has always had such a way about her; she’s very loving, very protective, silly, stubborn and any other adjective you can throw in there.  She’s great – plain and simple! She’s like the nosy neighbor positioning herself on the chair so she can look out the window at the passersby on the sidewalk across the street.

When we had our daughter in 2004, Syrah (we pronounce it like “Sara”) always stayed close by and kept tabs on her.  If I was in the kitchen and Anika would be in her crib or bassinet sleeping, as soon as she woke up; Syrah would alert me by barking – as if I couldn’t already hear her :).  Or if Anika was playing or laying in her baby papasan chair, and she pooped, Syrah knew it and she’d go over, sniff and let me know.

Syrah was my first dog, so I never knew what to expect as a dog owner.  She has exceeded all of my expectations and then some.  She got to know my mother-in-law and brother-in-law very well, and now even mentioning their names gets her tail wagging and she barks with joy.  Sometimes if my brother-in-law is on the phone with me, and he’s feeling down, I will mention his name, Syrah will get excited and bark and it makes him laugh.

In February 2012, she was getting lethargic and not herself.  We took her to the vet on a Sunday morning (yes, they’re open for a few hours on Sundays).  After doing some tests, and an X-ray, they suspected that she had a tumor on her spleen.  I was told that typically this type of tumor has a very high malignancy rate (about 80-90%), so after drying my eyes, I asked the vet what our next step would be.  Surgery to remove the spleen and the tumor.  After they biopsied the tumor we got a call saying that it was BENIGN!  My husband and I (and the vet) couldn’t believe it.  We were so happy.  The vet called her the ‘Miracle Dog’.

So, months went by and she had the spring in her step again and it was so great.  She was 9 years old and still acting like a 4 or 5 year old dog – not as much energy as a puppy….

Then around the end of November, early December, she again started slowing down, drinking a ton of water, peeing all the time – including in our bedroom – which she had never done – EVER!  I’m sure by now, you know what the diagnosis is… yes diabetes.  We were shocked!  She always had plenty of exercise, was never overweight, ate natural dog food, we couldn’t believe it.

I asked the vet what to do now.  He said go home talk it over with your family and we can get her started on insulin injections.  To be honest, I wasn’t thinking about cost, I was just thinking of getting her healthy again.  I went home and my husband thought about the cost right away.  We’d already been having financial troubles, so another cost to add to the pot was not what we needed. We discussed (loudly) for a bit about what to do.  I was pro-injections and he was pro-saving money.  He does love the dog, but he was realistically concerned about our “fiscal cliff”.  This was a Thursday night and I had to bring her in for monitoring the next day.  That was our next ‘discussion’.  I had to come right out and ask, if he was leaning towards putting her down.  I said very firmly, that it is NOT what I wanted.  She is perfectly healthy otherwise, and once she gets regulated, she will just need the injections twice a day, that’s it.

He said he didn’t want her to have to be put down, but he was still very concerned about our money – or lack of it – situation.  So, I took her back the next night and got the lowdown about how to do the injections, etc. Got the insulin and syringes at Walmart (the costs are very low).

Skip ahead a few months.  It’s the end of February 2013.  We can see clouds of grey in her eyes, she is having trouble getting down the stairs.  So we took her back.  She now has cataracts, and is mostly blind.  Seeing her steadily going down hill has been very hard for all of us.  They upped her dose of insulin to see if she can get regulated, but she’ll always have the cataracts.  She can still play with Bella, who is almost 1 year old, and Max almost 4 years old. But she barks more now because she can’t see when they are coming at her to “attack”.

She is still hanging in there, to which I am very grateful.  But if for some reason, she becomes insulin intolerant, and continues to steadily decline; we will have to make a very hard decision.  One that most pet owners never come to lightly.  I hope that it doesn’t because I cannot imagine for one day that she would not be with us any longer. To not hear her sighs as she falls asleep, or if we are all laughing too loud when she’s trying to sleep, or when she barks when we tell her that ‘grandma’ is on the phone.  Or even when she’s done eating and she comes over and nudges your leg as if to say, ‘thank you for the food, it was yummy’.

Pets are not disposable, no matter how hard situations become.  When you bring an animal into your homes and lives it should be forever, not until they get too big, they get their fur everywhere, or they bark all the time.  Dogs are our best friends that won’t judge you if you’ve eaten too much Java Chip ice cream.  They are our confidants.  And most importantly, they give you their unconditional love, and all they ask you for in return is your time and commitment to be there for them when they need you.

Kim

First Post, hmmm what to write…….?

As I sit here with my favorite radio station streaming; the kids & dogs sleeping, and the hubby is working out – I am realizing that this is my first actual occurrence of “me” time in a long time.  It feels very nice.  I don’t usually get this time, so I am enjoying it, until someone wakes up and cries. 🙂  I love looking in on them while they are sleeping.  They are both so precious, and they look so peaceful.

I have a 2-1/2 year old son, and an 8-1/2 year old daughter.  They are both great kids and I feel very blessed that they are both healthy and happy, but I do feel guilty a lot of the time for wishing for more (or any, really) me time.  Is that wrong??

Anyway, I wanted to keep this short.  I just wanted to see if there were other working moms out there, who sometimes wish they didn’t have to work, and could spend more time at home with their kids.  I know I’m probably not alone.

Take care.