You made me whole
Bear took the broken pieces of my heart and held them tight till they were healed. He put me back together when all the world seemed determined to break me apart and keep me broken.
For a long time that was all I needed. I healed. I found peace, and joy, in his faithful, unwavering love for me.
You were the next step. You crawled into my lap and put your head on my chest and my frozen heart, that heart that only thawed for Bear, that heart that was so wounded and guarded, opened up. I loved you from that moment. I knew you were mine, and I was yours.
You opened up my world. We went on adventures – okay, so they were only car rides where we got lost and eventually found our way home, but as long as you were in the back seat, it was an adventure. I told you stories, I sang to you – no one else would listen to me sing! I smoothed your fur, I teased out tangles, I cut out mats, even when you didn’t like that much. I know I wasn’t the best mom, but I tried – and I always always loved you.
There was never a night or a day that I didn’t promise you I would never leave you. I kept that one – I was with you until the end.
And every night I told you “tomorrow, and tomorrow, and all the tomorrows……….. until there are no more.” I didn’t want Monday to be the “no more tomorrows.”
Oh, my baby. ………..I don’t know how to be without you any more. People keep telling me to get a puppy. I don’t want a puppy. I want you.
Posted in dogs, Max
Tagged dogs, grief
There’s a new angel tonight at the Bridge
Run free, my sweet boy.
Find your friends and play bitey face
And let me know you’re okay now
I will love you forever
Posted in Max
Tagged dogs, feelings, grief
I fear the end is near. My Max, my precious angel, is not acting at all like himself. He’s restless, and panting, and even after a pain pill, he just won’t settle. He has little interest in food, except for a slice of cheese. I’m at a loss. I don’t know what to do, I don’t know if he’s leaving us, or if this is just a bump in the road.
I lost it tonight. Sobbed, curled up on the sofa, till the Bear came and held me and soothed me. I know he’s hurting too. He told me to stop acting like Max is already gone. I’m trying so hard, but it hurts so much, I can see that he’s not well, that things are not right, and I don’t know how to fix it.
I’m grieving, before he’s gone. I’m mourning his loss, and we haven’t yet lost him. I’ve been preparing myself for this for the past year, when you have a big dog and he hits 10 years, you know that time is short. But it wasn’t supposed to be like this. We are the lucky ones, the miracle puppy, who beats the odds. And maybe, if we get through this night, we’ll still be the miracle.
Pray for us.
Yesterday, Max was feeling the effects of chemo. He was tired, no appetite, little joy. This morning, it seemed the same. And then I mentioned a walk, and a ride, and suddenly his breakfast seemed marvelous and necessary and he ate every bite, ran for his toy and headed for the door. Not long after we got home from our long ride and short walk, he escorted some deer to the edge of the property. My dog was back to being my dog.
I check his gums obsessively. Do they look the same as they did yesterday? Are they just a touch paler? Pale gums mean there’s a bleed somewhere. Is his belly distended? That’s another sign of an internal bleed. Dr. Dave said his CBC count was down a touch, he’s slightly anemic, and wants to do blood work again next week. I’m insisting that if it were truly something of concern, he wouldn’t wait two weeks to retest. Max’s gums are a touch paler than I’d like, but still more red than pink. His belly – I can’t really tell, since he was shaved for surgery, he’s been looking chubby to me anyway.
In my heart, I pray for a miracle. I pray that nothing is going on that I can’t see. I pray that he’s going to be the one to beat the odds. Part of me is afraid to believe – and yet I still pray, I still send it out to the universe that this dog is healed, that this precious angel is fine, that there are not months left, but years. I will speak the words, and write the words, and pray that the universe, the higher power, God, the Goddess, all will hear and make it so.
Let it be so.
Posted in dogs, Max
Tagged dogs, health, prayers
Max update – he’s doing really well. His appetite is great, his energy level is good, he’s snoring in the kitchen, next to the fridge, because food may appear from that magic box at any moment and he wouldn’t want to miss it. Every day has been a good day, full of treats, and rides, and walks, playing with friends, making new friends – everywhere he goes – being loved. His life hasn’t really changed with a few words from the vet, he only knows that every once in a while we take him to the vet and they’re “mean to him.” (Dr. Dave’s words) Other than that, he just thinks Mom is more emotional than usual, if that’s possible, and he’s getting lots of love.
I unfriended someone recently and it’s been such a relief. I didn’t realize how much energy it took to be this person’s friend until she was gone.
I finished a project tonight. On to the next – a baby blanket for a friend. It’s been eons since I crocheted or knit a baby blanket, this should be fun. Of course, I had to buy yarn for it because in all the stash, there was not enough for this.
Bear starts his new part time job next week. I am so terribly excited because the hours are from 3:30 to 8 pm, and that means he’ll be working through MASH! I’m thrilled at the idea of MASH free days! It’s the little things!
Posted in Max, my life
Tagged dogs, life
Wondering if we’re doing the right things, wondering how Max really is, wondering if something is already inside him that we can’t see
Wondering if this is his last snowstorm
(If so, it was a good one and he enjoyed it, but oh how I want more)
Wondering if tomorrow will be better
When he turned 9, I started to wonder – how much longer would we have him? When he turned 10, I started worrying – taking note of things he couldn’t do any more, trying to take joy in the things he could still do.
I don’t know how I’ll survive without him.
Posted in dogs, Max
Tagged dogs, feelings, grief
In the State of Denial
Well. Tomorrow – actually today – Max has his first chemo. Today, he initiated play with a 10 month old puppy at the park. When we got home, he helped Dad rake leaves – which involves him biting the rake, Dad throwing leaves on top of him, Max chasing clumps of dirt and weeds down the bank and shaking them fiercely when he reaches them, and in general just being goofy together.
This is not a dog who is acting sick. At all. There’s a flame burning in my heart – it was tiny at first, but it’s growing. A flame of hope. Everyone and everything says this isn’t beatable. But they don’t know my Max. They don’t know how strong he is, and how many times he’s come back from something that was supposed to take him down.
Let me hold onto that flame. Let it grow into a conflagration and burn up all doubt.
Posted in dogs, Max, my life
Tagged dogs, hope, life
I have too much yarn
I need a barn
To store my yarn
I have way too much yarn. I can’t resist it, I go into a store, and I see yarn, and before I know it, I’m petting it and then I think of what I can make with it and then it’s in my cart and on the way home with me. I am not a hoarder. I use yarn, I make things, I just like having more than I’ll ever use. Okay, maybe I’m a hoarder. A little.
I’m making a scarf now for a friend. It will be a surprise and since she’s probably the sweetest woman I’ve met in a long time, her reaction when I give it to her will make my heart light for a long time. She will think I’m giving her a gift, when in reality, she will be giving me one. She won’t know that, she wouldn’t believe it, but it’s true.
So I crochet, and knit, and buy more yarn, and give things away. It’s who I am.
The monster boy is almost back to himself. He’s eating and playing and running around the field. The vet said the incision healed well, his blood count is almost where it should be for perfection, everything looks good.
I’m trying not to hope, but how can I not?
And then I tell myself that he’s 10 1/2 years old and I’ve been blessed to have him in my life for this long.
We’re trying chemo – it seems more as a precaution than a necessity.
In the meantime, he’s sleeping next to me. And life is good.
a road I never wanted to walk
a path that’s so unfair
a dog that’s so very loved, who has given so much joy, brought so much peace and healing
cannot be healed
we can only help him live the last days with joy, give him dignity, give him peace
my heart is shattered
i hear myself telling people that I’m grateful for the time we’ve had, the ten and a half years we’ve had, the so many more years than some people get. And I see myself smiling at him and telling him he’s a good boy because he’s leaning on me and telling me how much he loves me as only he can.
I see how my husband is breaking in two. He can’t fix this, he can’t fix Max, he can’t fix me.
We are Max’s people. That’s how we define ourselves. I am Max’s mom. People don’t know me when he’s not with me. I don’t know who I am without him
I have found friendship and love in places I didn’t expect through this. Some I thought cared have proven otherwise. Some I didn’t suspect have shown me the depths of their hearts.
I know the road before us will be dark at times. I know there will be times when I look at him and think that they’re wrong, he’s fine, he’s perfect. And there will be times of despair. I trust our vet, I trust him and Max to tell me when the darkness overcomes the light and it’s time to let him go. When that day comes, let me mourn, let me grieve, hold my hand, let me cry on your shoulder, do not expect me to be strong and brave. I’ll be strong tomorrow. Tonight, I break.