Goodbye Sweet Max

My old man, my big boy, my buddy…these are all things I called my beautiful cat Maximum Paws, belovedly known as Max.  (he had more toes than normal, hence the name, Maximum Paws)

Max was 19 years old.  For the past few years he has had a number of old kitty ailments, but they were all being managed well.  This past week, he took a quick turn for the worse.  We tried to save him, we didn’t think this would be the end.  No one did.

I won’t go into details of his death.  He just got sick and we had to say goodbye.  Our hearts are breaking.  We are both devastated.  Our big boy is gone.

He leaves us exactly one week after the 5th anniversary of his sister’s death.  Sandy was a huge part of our lives.  I wrote about her loss here.

I feel like I’ve lost my children.  I know many people will not understand this, but Sandy and Max were a part of our lives for so long.  We started our lives together with them.  They rode across country twice with us.  They were close.  It was a great relationship.  And they brought so much love and happiness into our lives.  I miss them so.

I just can’t stop crying.  My heart is broken.  I see him everywhere, and no where.

my darling Max you will forever be in my heart.

Our Family Grows

On Sunday, September 7th we walked into Pet Supermarket to get Max some cat food and met this little girl:

10635901_10203173624444748_2641088124266372651_nShe was very scared and shy.  She wanted me to pet her, but wasn’t sure.  Then she looked at me and I think she suddenly she realized, I was a good one.  I bent down to her and she came up to my face and gave me the tiniest lick on my nose.  Tears welled in my eyes.  I knew this dog needed me.

Her name is Kiki.  She is about 2 1/2 years old.  She is a Terrier mix.  Looks like she is probably a Rat Terrier, with maybe some Chihuahua in there?  She is a little thing, she weighs about 13 lbs.  One of the first things you will notice about her is that she has a crooked front left leg.  This is part of her sad history.

Kiki has had a rough life so far.  We know she was in an abusive situation, that is where the broken leg came from.  It healed without being tended to.  I can’t imagine the pain she had to have been in.  She then ended up in a shelter where she was adopted by a lady who had 11 dogs.  She was a hoarder.  The dogs were not house trained.  They were not socialized or exercised.  Her neighbor had adopted a cat from the agency that ended up with Kiki, the Tasha, the founder of the agency, tried to talk the lady into letting her find homes for some of the animals but she wouldn’t let her.  The lady was subsequently evicted and that is when the Tasha got Kiki.  She had her for a month trying to get her socialized, at least partially house trained, and just calm before trying to find her a forever home.  Kiki has been with her for about 3 months and has really shown what a wonderful dog she is.

When we first met Kiki she would growl at Stuart sometimes.  Actually, she growled here and there at anyone.  Stuart said she growled at me a couple of times, but I never heard it. (the wonders of being deaf, huh?)  We talked to her Tasha and asked about fostering her for a little while before deciding about adoption, explaining that we weren’t sure if our big old cat would accept a dog in the family.  We did foster a dog for a little while once before and Max did not accept him at all.  However, he was a big dog, and a puppy.  We were hopeful that this situation would be different.  Kiki is smaller than Max, and she has lived with cats before so she is used to them.  Tasha understood and said she was willing to let us foster her for a few weeks before we adopted her.  We took an application with us to talk it over and get things started.

On Thursday of that week, right after I got my hip injection, Kiki arrived at our home.

Kiki’s arrives.

She was not too sure she really wanted to be here at first.   I felt so bad.  She was very attached to Tasha.  Kiki cried and cried when she left her with us.

IMG_20140911_200349

After a few hours she got a bit more settled.  She did play some with me that night, and slept curled up beside me.  It became apparent she was going to bond with me, but it was going to be a little bit harder with Stuart.   So I had him give her treats, and spend more time with her and suddenly I came out to find….

Stuart getting kisses from Kiki!

Stuart getting kisses from Kiki!

They are best buddies now!  She is still wary of him when he has on his work clothes, but she warms up fast as soon as he puts on his every day clothes.  I guess she just doesn’t like a man dressed up!  She used to get very upset when she got crowed.  We live in a small place now, if two people pass in the hall, it is crowded.  Kiki would often growl and cower if we were suddenly over her, she has gotten used to it now.  She is adapting so fast, I’m so very proud of her.

IMG_20140914_185351IMG_20140914_185320In these two pictures you can see how her leg healed when it was broken.  We still have to take her to see a vet to see if she is in pain, or if this will affect her in her later in life, or if there is anything we should do about it?  We know we can’t afford to pay for her to have major reconstructive surgery at this time, but if she needs to have surgery, we can start to save for it now.  She does not act as if it hurts.  She runs and jumps without favoring it.  In the photo it looks as if she is favoring it, but when she walks she puts her weight on it.  It breaks my heart to know someone hurt her like that.  I can only promise her that I will try my best to make sure no one ever hurts her again.

We were asked if we would keep her name.  We thought about it….should we change it?  Truthfully, we wouldn’t have named her Kiki, but she likes it.  She listens to it.  We thought about changing it to Mini, it sounds close so I’m sure she would get used to it.  We thought it would be cute because we have a Max.  But she’s Kiki.  Stuart often calls her Kikster!  He has also called her Yoda because of her ears.  She does have Yoda ears.   A friend said she could have multiple names, Kiki Mini Yoda…now we keep playing around and singing her songs every night adding names on to her.  hahaha  However, she is Kiki.

We knew it was a good sign between Kiki and Max when they didn’t chase each other.  They were a little curious, but mainly stayed out of each others way.   Then on day 3 I was lying in bed reading and Kiki fell asleep on one side of me, and Max came up and went to sleep on the other side.  I was in a pet sandwich!  Wow!  I was amazed! Then yesterday I walked in the living room and saw this:

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Max and Kiki

They had both taken my seat!  Most importantly though, I think they are pretty comfortable with each other!  Every once in a while they will chase each other.  I’m not sure if they are really chasing each other, or playing.  I think they are playing.   When they catch each other, they just stop.  It’s kind of funny.

We haven’t officially adopted Kiki yet.  However, we do plan to.  We just want to have her checked out by the vet first.  I can’t imagine what they could possibly say that would make us not adopt her.  We just feel it would be irresponsible for us to go into this adoption without knowing everything.

For those of you who have followed my blog for a while know how much the loss of my dog Sandy left a huge open hole in my heart.  It has been about 2 1/2 years since she died.  We feel it is a good time for us to add a new member into our pack.  We think Kiki is a good fit.  I also feel Sandy has had a little paw in selecting her.  There have been a few little things that she does that are just so “Sandy”.  Suddenly I can talk about Sandy without crying.  I feel this sadness lifted.  She has not been replaced in any way, I feel she wanted me to help another dog the way I helped her.  I feel like I’m fulfilling a promise, and her memory is living on in this new little furry baby.

Sandy

Sandy

This has been a very joyful time and a very hard time for me.  People who are going to adopt a pet have many things to consider.  Chronically ill people have many more things to consider.   This is a huge responsibility.   I have been doing so much better recently I thought I could take care of Kiki mostly on my own.   I was writing stories of the future.  Just as worrying does no good because we can’t do anything about the future, expecting the future to be as the same as it is today is also fruitless.  Everything changes.  We have to remember, we can’t predict the future.  When things hit us from out of the blue, we have to make room for it and adjust.

I’ll explain in my next post.    …..teaser……my hip condition is complicated so, I suddenly have a dog and can’t walk her, at least not right now………

Me and my blog…..it just is.

hearts gray scale

w. holcombe’s heART

After more thought, and feeling much love, I realized hearing the “criticisms” about my blog, and/or me, hit home because I was feeling critical about myself.  I don’t think of myself as a negative person, but I was feeling it, and didn’t even realize it.  My life has changed drastically over the last 4 or 5 years, and the one thing I felt I held on to was my ability to see the best of the situation.  I never asked “Why me?”  I said, “Why not me?”  This is very important to me.  This is a part of my very essence.   I was afraid I was losing me.

Let’s face it, the past couple of years have been very challenging for this household.  Yes, we’ve met these challenges head on, but they just kept coming…..and coming…and coming……..often the solutions have not been as easily forthcoming.

It has been wearing me down.  Much more than I realized.  Not one to dwell on things, I normally allow myself to feel the emotions that go along with a challenge then I make a plan, and deal with it.  “How do I handle this?”  “What can I do?”  “What’s the best way….????”   Unfortunately, many of the challenges I’ve had to face recently have been completely out of my control, or the resolution is not easily obtained.

  • My husband lost his job…..what can I do?  I asked myself that often.  I felt guilty that I couldn’t work.  I tried to get disability and was denied.  (yes I’m appealing, but it’s taking a long time.) Totally, out of my control.  No easy fix.
  • Sandy died.  My best friend.  My constant companion.  I felt lost.  In many ways I still do. I felt guilty.  I felt I let her down.  I know that’s not the case.  The grief has taken a lot out of me.  Out of my control.  No easy fix.
  • I’ve had added health issues.  Out of my control.  No easy fix.
  • My health issues have gotten worse.  Out of my control.  No easy fix.
  • My father was diagnosed with cancer.  Out of my control.
  • ect…ect…ect…….

Yep, I was having a hard time being me.  I’d look in the mirror and think, where are you?  I know you are in there somewhere….come out!   I was ready to hide.  After everything, I felt broken.  And I could not admit that, not even to myself.

I talked on here about my fears, my pain, everything.  I’ve been honest.  However, inside I could not wrap my head around the fact that I was really and truly scared that things would never get better.  No matter how many times I might have said it, and wanted to believe things would get better, the fact that they may not was driving me crazy.  The thought that things would not get any better…..that was just not acceptable.

Then I realized, I’m looking at this all wrong!  I’m thinking too much in the future.  I don’t know what the future may hold.  I have been freaking out over what has been happening, and I have been building up these stories in my mind about how my future might unfold.  These stories have not been great.  This is not a healthy way of thinking!   I cannot live in the future, no more than I can live in the past.  The only place I can live is in the present.  Yes, that sounds very Zen.  Yes, I’ve been reading a lot about this, but it makes sense.  If I’m constantly thinking about what tomorrow might bring, good or bad, I’m going to miss out on today.  That doesn’t mean I can’t make plans, but it does mean I’m not a slave to them and I’m not going to get all bent out of shape if something happens to change them.  It also means I’m not constantly looking back thinking, “I just want my old life back.”  that’s not going to happen, I’ve known that for a long time.  Focusing on the present gives me the opportunity to enjoy my life as it is, without disappointment about dreams that didn’t happen, or romanticizing about a past that I can’t have anymore.

In short, my outlook is changing.   Luckily, so are things around me.  Would my outlook be changing if things were continuing to be spiraling downward?  Yes, I think it would.  I think it has been, I just haven’t been writing about it here as much as I probably should have been.  It’s a work in progress, or to put it more correctly, I’m a work in progress.  I always will be.  So will this blog.

I want to share with my readers, my friends, this side of me.  It is time to share more of the side that is brave, positive, compassionate, and thankful!

Yes, I will continue to come here and speak open and honestly about everything – all of it!  I can’t help it, it’s who I am.  If you would have suggested that I close the blog, I would have turned it private and continued to write, just for me.  This stuff has to come out somewhere!  However, I want you to see how I am handling the rough patches,  how grateful I am for all the little things in my life, and how much I really do enjoy my life….”ants” and all.   But there will be times when I don’t handle things well, and you will continue to hear about that too.  It’s all part of living with chronic illnesses!

I’ve decided to challenge myself a bit.  Each week I plan to write a post called Attitude of Gratitude.  These posts will include things I’m grateful for that week.  These posts may include pictures, drawings, stories, words…..or some times it may just be one word….who knows.   I want to make sure I never let a week go by that I don’t think about things for which I’m grateful.  I try to do this every day, but we all know some days we just get a bit overwhelmed.

You are welcome to join me in this challenge.  We can make it an official challenge if people are interested.   I’m going to do it, for me, and hopefully to inspire others with chronic illnesses to look around and notice the little things that they can still be grateful for.

Thank you all for taking my Poll!  It was an overwhelming landslide that I should continue to write as I do.   I promise I will continue to write as open and honest as always.  I will continue to show the bad and the ugly sides of my illnesses, but I want to even it out and show the more positive sides too.  Yes, there really are some!

I’m so very grateful to have such wonderful friends!  (many who I have never met in person)

The comments and emails I received after my last post amazed me!  Thank you all so very much!

What’s up and on my mind…a Free Write…

Please note…I’m just going to write and not pay too much attention to grammar or spelling or anything like that, I’m not going to re-read because I don’t want to filter what comes out.  This is an experiment, something I sometimes do in my journal….let’s see what comes to the surface….

Acceptance is not the same as giving up, but if I’m not careful it can slip into that.  I’ve accepted my illnesses, especially Meniere’s with hearing loss, for a long while now, and I’m really ok with it.  I realize things aren’t going to get much better, and my not get any better….now is that giving up?  not saying I’m OK with it, but saying it won’t get better?  When my husband was worried because I had been feeling worse for a while he wanted me to think about going to the doctor and he said, “I just want you to get better.”  I got so mad and upset.  What?  Get better?  What delusional state are you living in?  Do you really think I’m going to get better???  I felt like he didn’t understand….then I realized…after a long discussion that he meant he wanted me to feel better than I had been for the past month, he felt something new was wrong and wanted me to check it out.  Then I thought….could I get better?  Have I given up?  and decided, yes, to a certain extent I had given up.  I was so determined to accept my life as it was, I had given up that it could be better.  Maybe the hearing can’t get better….well, the doctor has told me that much.  And possible the vertigo will never get better….but who knows for sure, I accepted my fate.  I’ve also accepted living in pain.  Hip pain, pelvic pain, Vaginismus, neck pain, arthritis pain….and my other illnesses….I accepted my fate, I’d live with these forever, but really, do I have to?  Yes, I’ve put these issues on the back burner because the Meniere’s, Hearing loss, and Migraines have taken over my life, but as I’ve found that my Migraines can get  better, I can hear better (thanks to the computers in my head) maybe not the same or as well as i once heard, but I can hear….why should I not believe some of my other issues can be helped.  No, I’d given up.  I’d given up on having a normal sex life, given up on being able to walk for any distance without being in horrible pain, given up on so much….  I feel better that I’ve accepted the things I cannot change, but I’m ticked off at myself for giving up on the things I could.  This has changed!!  I’m not giving up on getting better…the things that can get better….I’m not giving up on me.

I had a realization the other night.  I’ve been having full blown panic attacks lately…yes, feeling like I can’t breathe, my chest tightening….everything.  I realize most of these have been triggered by the loss of income in the family, then me being denied my disability claim, and I’m still mourning the loss of Sandy.  (yes, it’s been over a year and an half)  Losing a friend who was so close to me for 19 years has taken it’s toll on me.  I can honestly say I have not grieved for anyone more than Sandy except for my mother.  Maybe it’s because of everything else that has happened in the past couple of years, everything just building up on it…but I don’t think so…my Sandy girl was just so special.

I HEARD MUSIC!!  Yes, that’s right!  I actually heard music for the first time in at least 3 years!  Stuart was out of town for a job interview, and I was watching a movie, they started playing Credence Clearwater Revival’s Have You Ever Seen The Rain?  And I actually heard it!  I understood the words, I heard the music!!!  This new CI likes music.  I still can’t understand many spoken words on TV, but I heard music!  I didn’t realize I missed it so much.

Well, I think that’s all for now.  I’ve been having a hard time keeping my CSF pressure stable, and today is a bad day.  My doctor raised my dosage, and I need to take my meds.  I also have to see a neuro-opthomologist.  (Yes another thing I had accepted, and felt like it wouldn’t get better, I know it won’t go away, but hopefully, it will get better)

My asthma symptoms were much better but not great, my doctor added another medication, and now I’m much worse.  Bah!  Hoping this will get better.

Oh, Stuart’s interview in Las Vegas went well.  We are going to go look around soon and then he will make a decision.  Lot’s to do…well, not as much as I thought, they said they will pay for the move.  : )  But selling the house when we aren’t here, that is a scary thing….at least to me.

Keep meaning to take pictures of my new Cochlear Implants…I want to take a photo of the new beside the old, so you can see the difference.  It’s amazing how much it changed in just one year….but I don’t think it will change that drastically again for a while.

More soon….thanks for putting up with my babbling.  AT least this has some coherent thoughts some of my journal free writing doesn’t.

I have a confession…

For over a year I have been clinically depressed.  I have had some small doses of mania in there, but mostly I have been shrouded in a black cloth with no hope of seeing the light.

photo by click tongue, at deviant art.com

photo by click tongue, at deviant art.com

I realize now that my psychiatrist was going through some issues of his own, and didn’t pick up on the fact that my depression was more than what I should have felt.  At one point he told me that he felt like he had done all he could for me and I should see someone else, I could not hear that he was looking out for me, I only heard that I was losing something else in my life.  He had been my doctor for close to 12 years, I felt I was just being tossed away.  So, I ended up staying with him.  It eased my mind, but didn’t make me better.  Yes, I had many things happen that gave me a reason to be depressed, but not as depressed as I was.  I wasn’t acting like me.  I really don’t remember much about 2012, I remember some horrible highlights, but not the good moments.  We all know, that is not me.  I normally cherish every moment I can, and look at things realistically, not escalate them to the point that I can’t see past the hurt.

The mania manifested itself as anger.  I was so angry at times, and I had no control over it.  I hate that Stuart was the one who had to be on the receiving end of all this emotional turmoil.

In 2012 and part of 2013 I cried every day.  Yes, part of it was losing Sandy, but it started before that.  I think the catalyst that started all of this was my diagnosis of Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH).   I finally knew I would never get back to the point I was at the year before.  I would never feel “normal”.  There were a lot of emotions that went with this, a lot of realized loses.  I never expected to become a completely “healthy” person.  I’ve never been one, why would that change now?  But something snapped, and I no longer felt as positive as I had.  My new psychiatrist thinks my medication had not been working as well as it should even before then, but I was handling what was coming my way.  The diagnosis just pushed me past the point of helping myself.

I won’t go into everything that happened to me last year.  I will say there were some major things that I simply could not deal with.  However, I didn’t realize it then, I thought I was doing rather well on most accounts.  I knew there was one thing that was eating me up and sent me spiraling out of control….  I posted a poem about family.  How I wasn’t very close to my biological family and I was so happy I had a family with Stuart.  I was not saying it was anyone’s fault that my family and I don’t see eye to eye, it was really more about my love for my chosen family.  Well, a member of my family saw it and sent me a comment out of the blue.  This is someone I used to be VERY close to, but now she hates me and slanders my name to anyone who will listen.  I have not heard from her for about 10 years, yet she says my friends here don’t know me.  She says I’m evil….ect.  I never expected to hear from her again, but there it was, a comment from my niece.  She is 3o years old and still holds a grudge over something.  I don’t know what, and no one will tell me.  I have a feeling it is something from my very unstable Bipolar days, but I don’t remember most of that.  I was literally a different person while that disease had hold of me.

Now I have a new psychiatrist, and after one visit I felt like a weight had been lifted off of me.  I felt validated.  She understood my illnesses without me having to explain them.  She saw I have IIH and immediately said, “You can’t even exercise.”   THANK YOU!   Other doctors have said, “if you could exercise”…..blah, blah,blah.  It makes it sound like I choose not to exercise.  Not that I really can’t.  I will have excruciating pain, and will pass out.  I have figured out ways to do some weight-bearing exercises.  But I have to go slow.  I cannot do cardio, if my heart rate gets to high, I’m out.  She increased one of my medications.  And I am feeling better, but I think it needs to go up a little bit more.

However, I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.  Right now it’s just a little candle, but it’s leading me out of the dark.

light at the end of the tunnel....photo from deviantart.com by zoop zoop

light at the end of the tunnel….photo from deviantart.com by zoop zoop

I have good thoughts again.  I am not crying every day.  My anger is much more under control. (I know my husband is very happy about all of this.)  In short, I’m feeling more like me.

I appreciate what I have.  Even when I’m stuck in a dark, silent room because of my migraines I am grateful I can get out of the light, and have a roof over my head.  When the world is spinning and I feel like my stomach is going to come out of my mouth, I am grateful I have a safe place where I can ride out the storm.  I may not be able to walk unaided most of the time, so I’m very grateful for my spiffy red walker, that is also a seat.

I’m grateful for my dear friends who read my rantings and support me so much.

This past Tuesday was my birthday.  I received more birthday cards than I think I ever have since I’ve become an adult.  Some made me cry (in a good way), some made me smile and feel all warm inside.  One I don’t believe the sender was thinking, or perhaps they don’t realize my hearing limitations, it played music.  I can’t understand music.  Stuart had to tell me it played Happy Birthday.  *funny*   He thought it was rude, I really think it was just a matter of not understanding.  Or wishful thinking.

Leaving in a Mini-Van….

don’t know when I’ll be home again…  (yes I butchered the song, “Leaving on a Jet Plane”).

We will be leaving Tucson tomorrow, Tuesday, March 19th.  I’m very ready to get home and absolutely terrified of the trip!  Terror to the point of making me sick.  What to do? Oh what to do?  I know I’ll be alright no matter what.  Stuart will be with me, and he’s just wonderful at handling things when I’m not at my best.  I feel so guilty, Stuart has been packing everything and getting food ready, and washing clothes…..yes, he’s been doing everything, as I lay in bed with ice on my head in the dark, trying not to throw up.  My stomach hurts so bad I’m getting scared….do I have an ulcer?

OK…now you’ve seen me at my most anxious.  Not pretty is it?  Getting  here wasn’t that bad.  I had that horrible cough and every room we stayed it smelled way over fragranced.   I’m sure it’s because we have to have a room where pets are allowed, but it kills me!  But I didn’t get sick…I mean sick, sick….until we got here.  Then I had a horrific attack, in a car!  I think that is one of the things that is scaring me the most.

I am ready to go home, or at least I’m ready to leave here.  This was one of the most miserable trips I’ve ever been on.  Spending the little bit of time, I was able to, with my niece made much of the misery worth it.

I noticed something the last time I was with my niece, I push myself more when she is around.  I have a ball with her, but I do more than I normally would…and I pay for it for a few days, however, it’s totally worth it!  Her imagination is incredible!  I wish I was able to spend more time with her.

I have so many appointments when I get back to NC.  First I see my CI (Cochlear Implant) audiologist.  I may have mentioned on here that I haven’t been thrilled with my hearing with my CI…but I figured something out!  My CI audiologist adjusted things so it would work best with my hearing aid.  After all we hear better with two ears.  The trouble started when my right ear decided it was going to go defunk since we’ve been here.  I can barely hear anything out of my hearing aid…on good days…and it is distorted.  So I’ve just been wearing my CI…it wasn’t set up for that, so I’m feeling much better about that.  It does look like the second CI will be happening….after all, the hearing aid isn’t doing much.

Second appointment, my therapist.  Oh how I look forward to talking to her about this trip, what a let down.  Plus, I’m really over loaded with guilt lately.  I think I should say…GUILT!  Not that it’s justified.  Most of it is about things I can’t do anything about.  But one big issue I’m having is my grief over Sandy, and my guilt surrounding her death.  I simply will never know if I did the right thing, if we could have done more?  I simply miss her so much, there still has not been a day since she died that I have not cried.  On April 18th it will be a year since I lost my little girl.  (funny how we say “lost”, I didn’t lose her,  I know where she is…in a little brown box wrapped up in her favorite blankets with her favorite toys and a raw hide)  I’ll always love you Sandy girl….but I need some help dealing with the loss of my very best friend.

I’ll also be seeing my Otologist for a CI check up, and to discuss the possibilities of another one.

In May I’ll be seeing my headache pain specialist and get more Botox shots!  Yes I’m looking forward to that appointment, too bad it’s so far out.

Some time in there I’ll be seeing my GP, time for blood test, have her check out this cough thing and all that kind of stuff.  Including this horrible stomach pain.

So I’m all caught up…I think.  Not sure if I’ll be able to do anything on the computer while we are traveling.  I know we’ll have Wi-Fi in our rooms, .but don’t know if I’ll feel like looking at the computer.

 

A Realization

For months now…oh about six…I haven’t had the desire to do much.  Blogging always helped me deal with things and I’ve found support here I never thought possible…but I just haven’t felt like it.  I’ll think about blog posts, write them in my head, but then in the day I don’t get out my computer and get in touch with the world.  I keep thinking I’m snapping out of it, and I am better…and I do think I’m pulling myself out of this depression now, but it was there sitting on my shoulder, whispering in my ear “What’s the point?”

It’s almost 6 months since Sandy died, and I’ve been consumed with grief and guilt.  I know I don’t have a reason to feel guilty, but all the “should have, would have, could have” questions kept swimming around in my head.  Those kind of questions don’t do any good at a time like this, but they’ve been surrounding me…all the “What if’s…”

Sandy….Happy Dog!.

I still expect to see her, and occasionally, out of the corner of my eye, I could swear she was there.  I will feel her on the bed, and nothing is there.  There have been times I could have sworn I heard her.  (Now I wonder how many times I heard noises and thought they were her and they were something else?)

A lot of people would not understand this deep grief I feel for the loss of my dog.  But she was more than just a dog to me…she was a constant companion for 19 years, my Baby Girl, my Sugar Plum Fairy…or as Stuart would call her, our “Stinky Dog”.  No Sandy wasn’t a Stinky dog.  It is a term of endearment from my husband, if he makes up a little song about you and it says you are stinky then he must love you dearly.

Stuart and (his Stinky Dog) Sandy (taken early April 2012)

Because of this lack of understanding, and the feeling within myself that I shouldn’t feel like this still, I’ve been feeling very alone with these emotions.  I hid a lot of it from Stuart for a while, but recently I haven’t been able to.

Two nights ago, I had a complete breakdown.  Nothing sparked it, nothing.  I was just about to doze off, and it started.  I ended up crying (read sobbing uncontrollably) for almost two hours.  Since then I have felt a release.  I’m still crying over her, but something broke during that night of gut wrenching sobbing.  I feel freer from the guilt than I have, I feel like I can move on….that doesn’t mean I’m forgetting my dearest Sandy Girl and everything she means to me, but I hope it means I can begin to see the sun again.  I’m kicking that little guy off my shoulder, he will no longer be able to whisper those disparaging words to me.  I love Sandy, and always will.  I know I did the best I could for her, even if i do question that sometimes.  More so, I question if the vet did the best she could have done for her, but I need to let that go too.  (However, Max has a new vet now.)

Sandy and Max checking on me in bed.

 

I know she was 19 1/2.  That’s amazing I’m told.  But just days before she died she was chasing the cat, curling up with me, and just such a happy dog.  I remember how every time she ate her dinner she wagged her tail the whole time.  I need to think more about the good memories, and remove the shroud that has been over me holding in just the memories of her last days.  Sandy brought me too much love to dwell on the tragedy of her death.

I won’t make promises that I will be here more often, but I think I will be….I need to get back to my friends, and managing my life, instead of allowing it to manage me.

(there may be many errors in this post, I just can’t read it again right now.)