I thought I would give an update on how we are doing around here....
We are ok.
Humphrey's death clobbered me and I am still grieving. I do not think that I have been hit as hard by a dog's death as I have been by his. He was my boy..... I think the trust that he gave me and the patience I learned from him were such life lessons that he went deeper into my heart. I have had a bit of the blahs and have fallen back onto the Diet Coke crutch, which is something I will be working on (avoiding emotional eating and Diet Coke consumption), but I can only handle so much at once. Going to Georgia for almost a week really helped, but I will still tear up at certain times of the day or when the silence gets to me. It turns out he was a fairly noisy dog. Snorting, sighing, barking to get your attention, and the such which kept the noise and energy level fairy high around here for a basset hound's house anyway.
Bacall is a much quieter dog. I never knew how quiet until now. It's been interesting to figure out how to interact with her without trying to replicate the things I used to do with Humphrey. I have never had one on one time with her, Humphrey was always in the background. She will sigh or give the basset hound equivalent of an eye roll when I do something that is not her style. Adding to her grief, and she is grieving, while she was at boarding, she managed to get an infection on the skin on her neck and has been one sick little camper the past week. She is on a steroid, antibiotics, and a cream to help fight the infection. Since the early part of May, she has lost 6 pounds. Fortunately her appetite is starting to come back and I am seeing glimpses of her sunny personality.
Once Bacall is feeling better, I will be adding another dog to the mix. Not a puppy and probably not a Basset, but I don't get to decide, Bacall will.......
I've decided to deal with myself with a bit of grace with everything that has happened lately and not beat myself with those negative comments that pop into my head. I have not exercised with regularity and the Diet Coke issue, so I have gained a couple of pounds... grrrr. I am now recognizing it and getting back on the wagon, so maybe that is the lesson of all of this.
Just keep moving forward.
And forgive yourself if you just need to stand still for a bit to catch your breath....
Monday, May 26, 2014
Thursday, May 8, 2014
Humphrey lived in a house full of women,
and often was teased for it. I would ask him if he wanted his nails done and he would just sigh....
I would leave the tv on for him on sports when I left the house just to get some manly energy in his life.
We are now a house of only women.
Humphrey is no longer with us.
On Wednesday evening, he was hanging out in the front room with me when he suddenly ran out of the room. I could see him when he stopped. He looked scared, then it happened. A bigger event, whatever it was, that had him scurrying back to me. The only problem, his back legs no longer worked. He was dragging them. I got to the floor next to him and his fur was still standing up near his tail and his upper body was just quivering. His back legs had no movement at all.... It was like he had been shocked by a massive electrical bolt. I've been describing it to people like this, Humphrey had a 'Spinal Seizure.'
I sat with him just petting and comforting him for about 15 minutes to see what would happen, per experience from his seizure this past fall, but in my mind, I think I knew immediately that this was different, but my heart did not want to believe what I was seeing. He did not improve. The quivering did not end and you could see pain beginning to creep into his eyes. A call to the vet occurred next, but guess what? My normal vet was closed. It was 7pm. Emergency Vet time......
It was time to go, even if I really did not want to, but I knew I needed to....
My amazing neighbor helped me get Humphrey into the car. 80 plus pounds of Humphrey was never easy to move, but this time H could not help me at all and there was no way I could of done it alone. It was a gesture of compassion and kindness and I will be forever grateful. My mom and Bacall joined me on the drive to the Vet.
I knew before I left the house that Humphrey would not be coming back..... It is the hardest, yet the most important, part of having pets in your life. This moment of compassion. Of letting go...
You see, dogs have hearts that will not give up on you. If they have a choice, they will stay with you. They will suffer pain as long as you still love them. They will not give up.
The vet, whom I had never met, came in and agreed that there was no coming back from whatever had happened and the compassionate and right thing to do was to end his suffering.
I had one last responsibility in the gift of having Humphrey in my life....I had to let him go.
He died peacefully in my arms...
with Bacall near by.
We are now dealing with the silence of his missing presence.