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Friday, July 14, 2017

A Broken Heart - Loss in the Family

It has been a year since you left us.  I still miss you terribly.  I still look for you.

I remember the day we brought you home.  Your sweet little raccoon face.  David dropped me off at the pet adoption and parked the car with Elsie.  When he walked in the door he saw me holding you and knew that it was all over.  He knew you were coming home with us.

We named you Murphy.  Murphy's law followed you everywhere.  You were a little terror when you were younger.  Poor old man Casey.  You terrorized him to no end.  You just wanted to play and Casey just wanted to sleep.

The house seems empty, I look for you all the time.

Towards the end of your life, we had to sometimes carry you outside.  We fed you rice, people food, wet dog food, eggs.  We would look for anything that you would eat.  Sometimes you would go days without eating.  Every day you got weaker my heart broke a little more.  We never wanted you to suffer.  I still saw your heart in those big brown eyes.  You would look at me and follow me around the room with your eyes.

We lathered you with Young Living's Peace and Calming essential oil.  Once you had that on, your breathing would seem easier and you would rest.  Even to this day, I smell you when I smell Peace & Calming.  I know it made your last days easier.

The last couple of days, I would prop your head up on a pillow and lie on the floor next to you.  I would pet your ears.  You loved to have your ears rubbed.  You would bury your head between our legs and snuggle.  That was your snuggle.

The house is no longer full of large clumps of your under coat.  Holy cow you shed ALL THE TIME.  With the Elk Hound undercoat you could pull masses of hair out of you.  In the Spring the birds loved it.  They would come down on the deck to add to their nests while I brushed you.

You marched to your own drum.  Man, you were pig headed.  You would come when you wanted and ignore us when you didn't want to come.  You were the alpha male.  When we would throw the tennis ball, you had no interest in actually getting it.  You just wanted to be sure that Lucy didn't get it.  You would charge at her and she would drop the ball and lay down on her back to let you have it.  She loved you!  She would lick your face and your ears with her tail wagging a hundred miles an hour.

You could NOT be outside when the kids were sledding.  You would run after them, pull their mittens off and playfully nip at their heals.  When Elsie was a toddler I actually hit her in the head with a tennis ball.  She was running up the hill and you were playfully nipping at her heals.  I meant to throw the ball at you (not hard) to get you to stop.  I hit her instead.  I was never a softball player!  You NEVER hurt the kids.  It was just your way of playing.

You often thought you were a lap dog.  You were 55 pounds of a mack truck like dog but you were a lover.  So many times you would jump up on Elsie and try to lay in her lap.  You would scratch her legs but you would curl up in a ball to be on her lap.

You did learn to love Porter again.  When Porter was a toddler, he would lay on you.  He might have occasionally annoyed you a bit.  You kept away from him for a few years.  Although there were times at night, after we had all gone to bed, when Porter would let you up on the sofa.  You weren't supposed to be on that sofa, but he would be up late and you would crawl up there to snuggle with him.  The last 3 or so years you reconnected with him!  He was so excited.

You loved the water.  When we used to go up to our lake home, you would go out in the water and just lie down.  I am sure you were hot with all that fur and it must have felt great.  You would stick your entire head under water chasing something in your imagination.  The smell of wet dog.  Nothing like it and with all your fur?  It took forever to dry.

One place you really despised?  Vets.  It didn't matter how nice they were or what they were doing, you wanted no part of it.  We routinely had to muzzle you when we would go.  I had to do the muzzling, you sure wouldn't let them do that.  
When you were younger you had a lump on your side.  I took you to the vet.  It was just simply never a pleasant experience.  They looked at it, looked at you, took some samples and I waited.   I waited, by myself in that room and my mind started to go crazy.  I called David and said, "What if it is cancer?".  I waited some more.  I will never forget the feeling in my stomach when they finally came back after what seemed like an eternity.  It was cancer.  Somehow I knew. The big C word.  A dog is part of our family.  What in the world would we do?  Would you die?  

They told me it was one of 3 kinds.  1.  Benign, 2.  Could Re-occur, 3. It Would Kill You.  They had to remove it and do biopsies to find out.  

Your memory is an amazing thing.  When I close my eyes I can remember being in that room with you.  I remember the sounds, I remember the smells.  I remember burying my head in your fur and crying with worry.  You comforted me more than I comforted you.

They removed the mass and then came the dreaded CONE period.  Oh my, you hated it, just like every other dog on the planet.  You were big and clumsy.  Running into doors, walls.  And of course, then, more waiting.  This did not kill you.  It was the second type and it never came back.  You were too strong and stubborn to let it come back.

I still look for you.  I still think of you.  You are forever loved.

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