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Ollies_Grieving_Mama
Merly's mum -- I know what you mean about holidays. I had spent weeks and weeks planning out Halloween costumes for Ollie, his sister, me, my friend, her husband, her dog, and her baby. I bought all the material and was about to start cutting and sewing when I had to take Ollie to the hospital. I canceled with my friend, and I don't know that I'll ever do Halloween costumes again. 
Ollie's Grieving Mama
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Merlysmum
Luckily for me, we didn't make a big deal about Halloween although I did put a dinosaur costume on Merlin once. He didn't like it but he tolerated it for my sake. I haven't been able to move or put away any of his things - his coats, leash, ducky...the idea is unbearable. I truly don't think I can do it (ever). I feel nauseous and anxious even considering it. I'm going to a pet loss group today. It's only once a month and in another city so it takes me a long time to get there and back. As with this forum, it's good to gather with people who can understand each other's pain.
Joanne Brigden
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Ollies_Grieving_Mama
Hey big bubba -- Your sister and I went on  a really long hike today. We went on a different trail than usual, and we went way far (only like 2 miles round trip, but that's way far in our book,  especially with going all uphill on the way back). We saw a slightly unimpressive paleolithic archaeological site at the end. We didn't have a ton of time to explore because we had to book it out (relatively speaking) in order to get back to the car before dark. Maybe next time we will go back for a longer look.You would have been OK with the hiking, but you would have LOVED seeing all the people who were there on a Saturday afternoon. Your sister said hello to a few, but I'm  pretty sure she was just looking for food. She was SO hungry when we got back home. It made me really sad to think about how you lost your love of food during your last 6 weeks or so. Then I thought about how stupid I was to miss the fact that you stopped eating your fill of anything except bully sticks. You even chowed down on a bully stick the night before we went to the hospital, so you must have really loved them. It still makes me sick to my stomach to think of how bad you must have felt for all that time, and how confused and sad you must have been that your mama wasn't there for you. It was so phenomenally stupid of me not to mention that yowere off your food when we were at the vet just a month before you died. Hopefully she could have investigated and found whatever was eating your body from the inside out. Sadly, you don't speak English, so you couldn't advocate for yourself. It was before your energy really started going away, because we were there for a broken dewclaw from you being a doofus when you were running around at the dog park. I also have been wondering a lot what would have happened if we had gotten you to the emergency hospital 12 hours earlier, when you refused to play at the dog park and that stupid black lab wouldn't leave your privates alone. I should have known something was really wrong when you didn't growl at him at all. I think the cancer must have been there. I have also been wondering a lot about why your sister didn't say anything was wrong. She always obsessed about your ear infections,  but didn't cue in to the cancer at all. Or did, but  didn't say anything about it. I don't know. Either way, it was my responsibility. I even insured you the day that you came home, so that I would always be able to provide you with good healthcare no matter what my financial circumstances. I could have afforded the tests and the treatment, even though I don't make all that much money. I could even have afforded surgery if I had to. I was always so paranoid about economic euthanasia that I didn't even think about euthanasia to keep you from an awful death when you were only 5. I guess I was paranoid about  the wrong thing. This week, your sister and I are going back to the doctor who treated you for a look at her hind legs to make sure everything is OK in her old ladyhood. Now, every time I look at a lump or bump on her body, I see cancer and start panicking, so I guess we'll be more frequent fixtures at the vet. We love you, big bubba. We wish you could be here with us to go hiking next weekend too. 
Ollie's Grieving Mama
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Ollies_Grieving_Mama
Hello bubs,

Things are a little better today. It feels like we are starting to move on. Which sucks. Because we weren't supposed to move on without you. I'm sorry -- you were always mad about being left out of anything. It kind of breaks my heart that today wasn't as sad. It's only been 5 weeks, after all. We still light candles for you every single night, and I still sometimes look for you with your legs up in the air in your huge cushy bed tucked into the corner of the living room. It's very strange having so much room in bed at night -- your sister only takes up like a third of her half of the bed, so I feel like my legs shouldn't have so much freedom on the bottom. You were always the big impediment, except for when you got tired of not having enough space (such a diva) and went to bed in the room across the hall. You definitely needed you space. Your warmth is definitely missed. You were my big, solid, dependable dude. Now I don't get to make the joke "I already have a big, handsome man who sleeps with me" whenever somebody asks why I don't have a boyfriend. I will always miss you, big man.
Ollie's Grieving Mama
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Ollies_Grieving_Mama
Hi my big man,

We missed you a lot today. You were so sweet and happy and eager to please all the time. Your sister is very sweet, but she doesn't have the same joy that you did. We are happy together, but I don't laugh with her like I laughed with you. I am starting to think about another furry family member to fill out our lives a little more, but then I feel bad. I don't ever want to replace you. Even though you were only in my life for 2 short years, you were such a huge presence and a blessing to both of us. I think the bird liked you, but you didn't want anything to do with him, so we'll leave him out of the calculation. I think   I  might make a little memory book of our time together, because I am so scared of forgetting you. We didn't have all that much time together, and I know memories fade as time goes on, and I don't ever want that to happen, because you were such a special boy and you deserved to be remembered forever and ever. It makes me sad that you never got to start your career as a therapy dog so that you could have many more people to remember you fondly. You had a lot of light to share with the world.

Love you, bubba.
Ollie's Grieving Mama
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Ollies_Grieving_Mama
Hello my man,

It's been a bit of a rough day. Your sister and I went to the vet, and sat in the same room where you were diagnosed with your IMHA. As I was sitting on the floor with her, I couldn't help but see you there laying on the tile floor because you were feeling so bad, which you had never done before. Your sister was really not happy to be there either, but we were there because I let you down at the cost of your life, and I don't want that to happen to your sister. Since you left us, her back legs have gotten really bad, so we got them checked out, and the vet says it's arthritis. That explains why she hasn't been running in the last few months, but I feel really bad for not ever remembering to mention it to the vet when we went for her annual  checkups before, so we could get her on the right medicines and supplements and feeling better. Hopefully she'll be happier and healthier through her senior years. I'm really sorry you won't be here to experience them with us.

Ollie's Grieving Mama
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Merlysmum
Ollie's Grieving Mama - Pectin is good for canine arthritis. The kind used for making jams and stuff. It's cheap, available in the grocery store and it works. Also, if you gently massage her legs it helps a bit. A friend of mine had a dog whose arthritis pain and mobility noticeably improved when she started putting pectin in her pup's food. I don't think it has a lot of flavor so she likely won't notice it in her food. I hope she has a lot of pain-free senior years ahead of her.
Joanne Brigden
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