March 17th 2012 5:55 pm
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I came to visit my mom in a dream. I knew she was missing me pretty bad. In the dream I told her that everything was OK and that I was happy. I also told mom that I would be there whenever she needed me and that she was not alone.
When mom woke up she knew that it would be OK. Mom still gets very sad but she felt that she needed to open her heart and help other dogs in need. Mom knew that Chingu had been fostered by two families before he found his special place with her. Mom decided that she would foster and had heard that she could with the local animal shelter. Mom had heard the process could take awhile and signed up today anticipating that it would take a few weeks before she would even be asked.
Mom left the shelter and was about to leave town when she received a phone call. The shelter told mom that a dog's foster home had just fell through because the foster's family dog had been picking on this little dog.
Mom wasn't sure she was ready but the shelter was in need and she knew someone had helped Chingu and she knew she needed to help pass on it on. So mom turned around and went to meet her new foster.
Mom met the little girl and took her home with her. Mom made her her very own page - her name is Molly.
I may not be there physically but I'm there in spirit with my mom and foster sister. I taught my mom lots of things so that she could help other dogs and help them find their forever homes.
February 18th 2012 6:59 pm
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Chingu passed away today. It was very hard but after consulting with the vet and observing him over the week it was clear that he was not himself and he was beginning to have more and more periods of confusion.
We had a beautiful week together and on Friday I took the day and we took a road trip. It was rainy but we saw the Bison and took a little hike. I was able to tell him all the things I wanted him to know and I made sure he really knew he was loved and cherished everyday (although I hope he felt that way always in our home)
This morning we cuddled together and I told him how very proud I was of him and how much joy he brought into my life and I sang him his bed time song.
Chingu passed quickly and both his mom and dad were with him and he was calm and not afraid. I miss his presence in the house and still listen for the jingling of his tags.
So I guess I'll close his journal with the poem the Rainbow Bridge. It really is a beautiful poem and I hope that Chingu and I will meet again in the life after this one.
The Rainbow Bridge
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....
February 12th 2012 4:38 pm
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I know it has been awhile since I've posted and I haven't kept up regularly for a long time but I wanted to post this so that those who have helped support me with helping Chingu with his fear-aggression issues would know how much we have both appreciated this.
On Saturday Chingu bit my boyfriend pretty badly on the hand. Luckily no permanent damage was done but the bite was bad and very easily could have resulted in permanent nerve damage or the loss of a finger or two. The bite, sadly, was unprovoked and occurred after Chingu walked up to him and placed his head on his lap (which he always does when he wants to be pet) and my boyfriend began to pet him. We have both worked very hard to read his body language and Chingu gave none of his usual signs and he just lost it.
Unfortunately in recent months I believe his cognitive function has begun to diminish. He has begun to have accidents in the house (which he never ever had before), he becomes very restless at night, and will cry and whine continually at night in his sleep. The times when you can see that lost look in his eyes has become more frequent and it now appears that he forgets sometimes who his mom and dad are. He has also been snapping more and there have been recent nips which are increasing in frequency.
I am going to have him looked over by the vet (although he just had a check up) just to check everything but ultimately I know that the time has come to make the decision I had so hoped that I would not have to make, although I knew that I would.
Almost 2 years ago when he bit me we had a discussion with the vet about his behavior and how to help him. I put him on Prozac which has helped to ease much of his anxiety but she warned me that with his Canine Dementia more than likely the day would come when he would become too aggressive and I would have to make the choice.
Chingu has made so much progress and I am so proud of him for all the hard work that he has done and these past 20 months or so in Texas have been great for us. Most of all I'm so proud that he was able to not just love me but able to learn to love and trust my boyfriend (aka Dad). I didn't think in the beginning he would ever be able to trust another person besides myself but Chingu was able to open his heart and find a bond with another person.
However, he has begun to have less lucid periods and more periods of fear and confusion. I don't want our last memories together to be of fear and pain. I want them to be of happy times filled with peace, love, and warmth.
We're going to spend the next week together and then I will make arrangements to have him go to sleep at home where he feels comfortable and safe.
This will be a week of eating steak and liver and all things tasty. It will be a week of dancing, and petting, and lots of walking. It will be a week where my angel can do as he pleases and I will take every opportunity to tell him how much I love him.
This is not an easy decision but it is no longer a question of if he will bite but when and the risk has become too great.
However, I don't think of this is a failure. I believe were it not for the dementia that all the work we've done would have turned him around for forever, but as he slips more into the twilight of his life he is unable to forget behaviors of the past. That is not his fault and that is not how I want him remembered. I also know that he does not want to hurt me or his dad.
I want to thank everyone for the support they have given us and especially to those who shared their stories of inspiration. Several people have written us telling us that Chingu's story has given them hope about their own dogs' issues with fear-aggression. I hope Chingu's story continues to give people hope because having him as my best friend for the past 3 years has made me a better person and has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Chingu has taught me so much about love and forgiveness and I will forever miss my friend.
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