I suppose I’m back. Have to start somewhere anyway! My hiatus (in writing, running and cycling) was all sort of related. If I don’t ride or run, well, I don’t have as much to write about. And I haven’t been knitting very much either, so there was one less thing to write about.
I’m done with PT, and I’ve started running again. I’m not back on the bike quite yet, but that’s mostly due to laziness and not feeling like doing the necessary bike maintenance that I need to do. A little is also due to not wanted to over do it too soon.
Other things that have kept me from writing lately- all three of our pets have died in the last 3 months. Since this is my journal, I’m going to write about it. I know I promise to keep my journal positive, but I think I just need to write about this for therapeutic reasons. So, if you’re still reading, thank you.
First, Basil the cat was no longer able to fight his liver cancer. He was strong though, and lived a full year longer than the vet predicted! Over that year he even gained back a lot of his weight that he had lost, and figured out that he actually still could hop up on the counter and steal pizza.
Three days later, we had to bring Stella the dog to the emergency vet since she was wheezing and her body temperature became very cold. It was too late though, and she died not too long after they began treating her. She had fluid around her heart and a coagulation disorder of some sort, and her heart gave out. The emergency vet at first asked about poisons, which Stella would have had no access to (at least to our knowledge), but then said that it could have a mass in her heart or any number of other things. All we know is that it seemed to happen very fast, but my guess is that Stella could have been sick for a while and just never let us know. We were absolutely devastated and shocked, as we thought we were bringing in a very sick dog, not a dying dog. She also didn’t seem “old” to us, rather she still acted like a puppy. Our regular vet called us the next day and said it sounded like cardiomyopathy, which is common in her breed. She was almost 10 years old, so I guess she wasn’t a puppy anymore.
Lastly, Jezebelle, the cat I got at the shelter with Basil (they came from the same household, but not necessarily the same litter), started becoming sick over the last couple of months. Her appetite was not good, she had diarrhea, ended up with a urinary tract infection, etc. I treated her for all these things, and despite the care, she still did not eat very much. Her liver began to fail, and at this point the vet did an ultrasound. She had already had a lot of blood work that didn’t show too much. Well, she had a mass in her abdomen, possibly her pancreas. It was too painful for Jezebelle for the vet to press too hard, so she was unable to get a good view. Jezebelle was not a good candidate for anesthesia (it would have likely killed her) and she was around 16 years old, so we elected to just care for her the best we could and make her comfortable. I learned how to do subcutaneous fluids so she wouldn’t be as dehydrated, and we gave her pain medication. I let her drink skim milk (she had stopped drinking water) which she enjoyed, and found a brand of fancy cat food that she would eat the gravy from. Last weekend she ate better than she has in months, but when I came home from work on Tuesday it was obvious that it was time to euthanize her. It was very hard to do, but it was the right thing to do. Her quality of life was not what it once was, she had essentially stopped eating and drinking, she was starting to have trouble breathing, she had become incontinent over the last week, and then Tuesday night she had a seizure or heart attack or something bad that I did not want her to have to suffer through again, even if she could fully recover from it. The vet agreed that it was the best thing to do at that point.
I am obviously devistated, but I know I’ll start feeling better at some point.
Well, there is a happy story in all of this. About a month or so after Stella died, we decided that life without a dog is just not the same, but also that it was too soon to get another dog. So, we will be getting a puppy in February. This puppy is in absolutely no way a “replacement”. Any pet owner who has lost a loved pet can tell you there is no such thing as a replacement. He or she will be a new friend for us. We had two criteria for our new pup. It couldn’t be a white bully breed dog. That would just be too painful for us and we might want to compare it to Stella, which would not be fair to anyone involved, especially the new dog. Second, it should have the potential to be a good trail dog. So, I did a bunch of research on dog breeds that would be good running, biking, hiking and camping buddies and decided on a vizsla. You can be sure there will be updates and photos as they become available .
In remembrance of Basil, Stella, and Jezebelle.
Basil napping. Jezebelle is napping right behind him.
Basil napping again. Jezebelle is not napping with him, which is unusual. Maybe she just woke up. You can see her two colored eyes in this photo (one blue, one orange). You can also see what a butterball she was.
Surly Basil, with an almost equally surly Jezebelle. Basil was often surly. Due to the reflection, you can’t see what handsome green eyes Basil had.
And last but not least, three pictures of the lovely Stella Bean, wondering why I have the silly camera pointed at her face.