April 5th 2013 10:41 am
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It pains me that I even have to write this. As I look through Beatrice's profile and read all of the diary entries, the only thing that comes to mind is that my dog is not here anymore. She's not ever coming back. EVER. It's the worst feeling in the universe.
The universe has gained another beautiful, effulgent, immortal star. That's great for the universe, but it ultimately sucks for me. Over the years, people, including my own family physician, have tried to justify why the human species suffers through so much emotional pain and grief after a loved one dies. "It's because we are selfish. We want our loved ones here for our own personal contentment."
I partially agree, but I don't think that is the primary reason. It took the last five years to realize that, while having our loved ones close to us in proximity is contentment, once they are gone forever, there is no way for us to contact them to make sure they are okay.
I want to know that Beatrice is okay. I realize people try their best effort in finding the right words to comfort those who have lost a being they've loved so diligently. People that know me well would NEVER think to utter anything having to do with "God...." as I am not a religious person. I do not believe in heaven and hell, and I don't even really believe in a "Rainbow Bridge." I will admit, however, that the Rainbow Bridge apologue is comforting to allow the survivors to daydream that our pets float up to the heavens and trot upon a creek with a bridge just on the other side, with a gleaming rainbow to welcome them. But that's not where Beatrice belongs. She belongs here, in my home, with her friend and companion, Buckeye, and the family cat. She was happy here....on this planet called Earth.
"She's pain free now."
Of course she's pain free now....she's dead.
Words like that do not comfort me whatsoever. The "pain-free" axiom is getting old and tiring, and I really wish people would just stop saying it. It serves no purpose other than provide constant reminder that my dog is dead. I wish more folks would get into the habit of DOING rather than SAYING. I have always thought looking out for that person would deem more appropriate, as in assisting with little household chores in the months that would follow. In this instance, I would love for someone to stop by and go for a walk with me and my surviving dog, and resume to normalcy as much as possible. This will never happen, because a) People are too wrapped up in their own lives, as well nourishing their own needs, b)Not everyone understands how painful the loss of a pet truly is, and c) not everyone is a dog lover.
I've heard just about every variation of "I'm sorry" there is. It's comforting, but only in the moment these words of comfort are read. I still have to go through the day with one less dog.
Let's just say reincarnation is real. Perhaps if Beatrice took on the form of another being, is she still truly pain-free then? No matter what the life form, there will always be some threshold of pain and suffering. Since there is no way of ever knowing whether she is truly pain-free, I have to cry. I have to be concerned. I have to be worried. I have to wander around the grocery store aimlessly wondering if Beatrice is okay. Where did she go? Did she eat today? Did she go for her walk today? Is someone hurting her? I don't know.....therefore I don't want to eat myself. I cannot comfortably eat if I do not know for certain that my dog is eating. I will never get answers to any of this, therefore I have to cry. Out of fear. Out of love.
This is why we grieve. We grieve because we are selfish, but it's selfish for the right reasons.
I had just lost a cat, Mookie, six weeks prior. I painfully mourn for her as well. Though I love all my animals equally, I felt her time had come. She was 16, and my husband I were the only human caregivers she had ever known. She was under my care from 6 weeks old to 16 years of age. She was a beautiful, calico lady.
Just a day or so after Mookie's demise is when Beatrice started to show signs of decline. Her appetite became greatly curtailed, with only wanting to eat people food and not her regular dog food. I had read somewhere that surviving animals go through major behavioral changes and eating habits as a way of adapting to a changed environment, even if they weren't the best of friends with the loss of their companion. Mookie's demise may have played a part of that, but two weeks went by, and Beatrice still regained the poor eating habits. Off to the vet she went.
No diagnostic tools were used at the time, but the vet did note some concerns about the lesions Beatrice had all over her. It was suggested to get a sample to test for cancer. It was also suggested to transition her to the real dog food and immediately stop with the people food. Well, if all my dog wants to eat is people food, I'm not going to let her starve. I'm pretty certain the vet wouldn't let her human kids starve if they only chose to eat certain foods.
In the couple of weeks that followed, Beatrice started to show signs of improvement, but it wasn't consistent. On her final day, I watched her exit the pet door and out into the yard to urinate. I was horrified with what I saw.....a stream of red coming out of her.
We rushed to the vet and remained cautiously optimistic. Beatrice appeared lethargic, and was ultimately in shock. Being the true, loyal dog that she was, she never really showed it. X-ray images revealed tumors all over the inside of her bladder, liver, and spine, and that the inevitable was about to happen: she was going to die. The vet gave me three options, all of them would have resulted with the same conclusion that my dog was going to leave me forever:
"Beatrice can undergo aggressive treatments that would involve surgery and blood dialysis. But she only has a 10% chance that she would survive the surgery."
"....we could put her to sleep here."
"You could bring her home and make her as comfortable as possible."
Somehow the last option comforted me more than anything. And I know my dog. Beatrice and I had a way of communicating where we totally understood one another 100% of the time. When the vet presented the option to euthanize her, Beatrice looked up at me with a terrified look in her eyes, as if to say, "Please don't. I don't want to die here. If I'm going to die, I'd rather die in the comfort of my own home."
Beatrice's cues that night comforts me in the fact I firmly believe I had made the right choice. While many dog owners deal with the agonizing question of whether putting their dog to sleep was the right choice, I am at the opposite end of the spectrum, wondering if what I did was inhumane. In the eyes of some animal rights activists, I am the evil spawn that deserves to have animal blood splatted all over me everywhere I go. But given the cues Beatrice gave me on her final night, my choice was far from inhumane.
When we brought Beatrice home, I placed her in her favorite spot and gave her some Tramadyl. I stayed up with her all night. She cried and whimpered throughout the night, but never made a sound when I comforted her. As I whispered into her ear about what a beautiful, angel beagle puppy she was, she never made a sound. She only whimpered when I walked out of the room, and/or if she sensed she might be alone. My husband slept next to her all night. She remained alert until the very end, with her beautiful brown eyes following her other furry friends around the room. The gentle whispers continued throughout the night. Damn me to hell if I was going to let my dog leave this earth without her knowing how much I loved her.
I couldn't whisper anymore. I was tired, so I dozed off. I was awakened by a sharp pain between my ribcage, twice. I looked over at Beatrice......and she was gone.
People who are not dog lovers ultimately do not understand how painful the loss of their most trusted companion truly is. It is why I chose to post here in the community of dog lovers as opposed to the likes of Facebook, where only a small percentage of folks understand my pain, and then the rest hide me and would rather post idiotic meme than comfort someone going through a major loss. Facebook is an ideal place in that you get to truly see who is really there for you. I digress. If I'm going to be ignored, I'd rather be in a place where people fully understand my pain. That's good enough for me.
I have nothing but wonderful memories of Beatrice. Most of the time I feel that memories aren't good enough, I want her here to make more memories. It pains me that a wonderful loving dog such as Beatrice was strickened with a horrible illness. Why did this happen to her? The eternal unknown agonizes the everliving crap out of me.
Beatrice leaves behind her pupfriend Buckeye and loyal feline companion, Pookie. I have to be the strong one in that I must go about the daily caring and feeding ritual and care for the remaining furbabies I have left. They are both seniors as well, Buckeye is 10 and Pookie is 16 (he will be 17 in May). Every day I worry for them. I honestly do not know if I have the emotional and physical strength to go through another loss of a pet. But I must go on, and provide the good life that Beatrice always had. Since her demise, I have been on a constant struggle, but I also realize my animals feel a distressing energy, ergo, they reflect. And when they reflect, finding whatever strength there is, is difficult.
Beatrice's goal in life was to make me happy. I will continue to be as happy as I can be, and live life the way she had lived life. If Beatrice is in another form of life somewhere, I don't want her to think she was a bad dog for dying, just because I am unhappy. I will live life and give joy back to the world just as she did, and incorporate all the little lessons she taught me throughout her canine life.
To Beatrice, the bestest girl pal anyone could ever have. I love you now, forever, and always. Until we meet again.
August 28th 2007 12:09 pm
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Help fight the evil and cruel sport against dogfighting!
August 21st 2007 10:19 am
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Wow, I had such a great birthday! The only thing I don't like about it is that I'm now a year older. Plenty of folks have commented that I look great for my age. It appears that I have very little gray on my muzzle. Buckeye is not so lucky, because his muzzle is all gray, and we're both about the same age. I wonder why that is?
My birthday started off with a fun road trip to Indiana. Even though it was raining, it didn't stop me from sticking my head out the window to feel the cool raindrops on my face. I went to Indiana to visit one my favorite humans who is now in a nursing home. His eyes lit up when he saw me. I must admit I was a little antsy, because, like my mama, I really don't like to stay in one place for a long time. I always have to be moving and sniffing somewhere. But he gave me cookies! I was in pup heaven!
We returned home. I think my mama wanted to take me to Petsmart, but it was still raining. So they dropped off Buckeye and I at home and she went about her way. She came back with fun toys and yummy bones to chew on!
It was a fabulous birthday indeed! :)