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KayC

Living with Loss

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KayC

We did make it to the park today, I didn't take him on the trails, I was afraid that'd be too much for him, but instead we hit the pet section where he got to sniff and pee on everything.  He stood up in the truck on the way down and enjoyed looking at everything (it's ten miles away) but on the way home, he laid down, he was tuckered out.  

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foreverhis
23 hours ago, KayC said:

on the way home, he laid down, he was tuckered out

And I bet he was happy to be tuckered out.  He wouldn't have cared about going on the trails, however much he loves them.  Arlie would only have cared about having an adventure with you.  Our furry babies have such simple needs and they give us so much in return.

It sounds like a good day for you both.  Such a gift you have with each other.  Are we luckier than most, do you think, to have found deep and lasting love in our lives?  I can't help but believe that to be true.

I hope you two are having another good day today.  I'm sending you big hugs and love.

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KayC

foreverhis, I appreciate you and everyone else who has responded on this thread, it helps to know I'm not walking totally alone on this journey.  I guess that's why it helps so much to have this forum here, otherwise I would indeed feel alone in this.

Arlie is doing well considering the state of his body.  He's sweet, he's happy!   He's been giving me thoughtful kisses lately.  Yes, we are luckier than most to have found deep and lasting love.  I have that consolation even all these years later and it sustains me long after his death.

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KayC

It's been six weeks since his diagnosis, today is the first day he didn't finish his breakfast.  That scares me.  One of the signs the end is near is nausea, vomiting, losing weight.  I left it for him and told him he could have it later if he wants.

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Beatriz

Hi, Kay here I am checking on Arlie. One of my cats was on meds for nausea for months and it helped a lot and he gained weight. It is hard to try and think of ways I can be of some  help to you, dear Kay, you are so knowledgeable and wise. All I can say is I care and am thinking of you both. Love, Beatriz

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KayC

I can't stop the cancer between that and the Colitis, but I hope to help him with his comfort and pain until it's taken too much from him, and then euthanize him.  I have no idea how I'll live after that.  I know everyone here knows what I mean, grief can feel unbearable.  One day at a time...

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AJWCat

@KayC - I know it's unimaginable. But if I've ever met a "survivor" in real life or online, I will tell you, it's you. And I know that sweet Arlie, would not want you - with all the wonderful love and care you've given him - to suffer. That said, let's not worry about that now, I hope he is eating again okay and that just today you two have a great day. (And kitty, too.) 

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foreverhis
5 hours ago, KayC said:

I know everyone here knows what I mean, grief can feel unbearable. 

We do know, Kay.  We who know this kind of pain understand that while it doesn't actually kill us, there are times it feels like it could and maybe should.

Please, you have been such a beacon for so many of us, remember to keep reaching out during this impossible time.  It's all too easy, for me at least, to continue to put my own needs behind the "brave face" shield society expects.  I so often put the needs of others ahead of my own grief, pain, and despair, and I suspect you might too.  And please ask your minister for guidance and prayers.  Does your church do a prayer circle at services for those who are ill or going through difficulties?  If so, would your minister include Arlie in it?  Do you think that might give you both comfort?

I'm sending you more hugs and love today with a prayer that you and Arlie have more good days together.

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KayC

Arlie was listless and just laid there all day, spirits not up.  Just the night before he was chasing me around the house!  He has his ups and downs, I have to expect that.  And it was hot, will be much hotter today, will be hot all week.  He's enjoying the cool air outside right now, he's in his doghouse since 2:30 am.  

He's still eating, even if it does take a bit of coaxing in the morning.  I'm thankful for it.  He never had so many treats!

I don't know that they'd do a prayer circle, but they are praying for him, and for me too.

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foreverhis
17 hours ago, KayC said:

I don't know that they'd do a prayer circle, but they are praying for him, and for me too.

Excellent.  It doesn't matter how or in what way as long as it's happening.

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KayC

He went out at 2:30 am again this morning, it seems to be his time...got his breakfast and supplements over with. What I go through to get him to eat!  I know when he quits eating, he's done...I'm done.  Last night I cooked up a package of beef patties with barbecue sauce, wrapped them individually and put them in the freezer.  I had juice left in the pan, got the fat off, then put some in Arlie's food for a treat.  He loved it!  This morning, he wasn't so impressed.  It's mornings he feels the worst.  :(

 

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KayC

I took Arlie to the park again yesterday, he loved it!  He seems to be doing better since I started him on hemp oil.  He's more alert in the evenings and seems happier, like he's feeling better, and he hasn't been waking up in the night.  Yesterday he drank less than a gallon of water for the first time in a long time.  Day by day.  A friend gave me some CBD oil, which I'll save for if/when the hemp oil ceases to help.

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JoyR
40 minutes ago, KayC said:

I took Arlie to the park again yesterday, he loved it!  He seems to be doing better since I started him on hemp oil.  He's more alert in the evenings and seems happier, like he's feeling better, and he hasn't been waking up in the night.  Yesterday he drank less than a gallon of water for the first time in a long time.  Day by day.  A friend gave me some CBD oil, which I'll save for if/when the hemp oil ceases to help.

Oh that's really good news Kay. I heard about hemp oil benefits. So Arlie was drinking a gallon water a day . Wow that's alot. Good he's feeling better and moving around. I'm sure you enjoyed to see him that way. 

Kay thank u as well for kind words and support. Means alot to me. Yesterday as not great but I'll be fine. You be strong and enjoy Every moment with Arlie. Ttyl

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KayC

Thank you so much, Joy.  The vet had told me his water intake would increase with the cancer progression, it started almost right away, sometimes 1 1/2 gal./day.  Yesterday only about 3/4 gal...I don't know how hemp oil can have such a great effect on him but it seems to be.  I've bought the highest mg and enough for four months.  I don't see how he's still here since his liver was barely functioning over seven weeks ago but maybe the SAMe and Milk Thistle are helping.

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KayC

This morning was the first time I haven't been able to coax Arlie into eating.  He just isn't feeling like it, adding a bit of catfood or gravy didn't even entice him.  :( I am so worried...if/when he quits eating, it's all over.  I can try him later today but what do I do when I have to go out of town to the doctor or something?  I won't be here to try again.  I am just heartsick.

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KayC

 

Well I waited 2 1/2 hours, and added some chopped up polish sausage I'd sauteed, he ate it with relish!  I added an egg with a little polish sausage to his dry food and he ate all that!  It's going to be a challenge to get him to eat his breakfast, but as long as I can get him to eat, he'll be good for a while more.  I may have to start feeding him later as he seems to not feel as well in the morning, perhaps nauseous...that'll be hard on the days I have to leave early, like tomorrow.

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JoyR
3 hours ago, KayC said:

This morning was the first time I haven't been able to coax Arlie into eating.  He just isn't feeling like it, adding a bit of catfood or gravy didn't even entice him.  :( I am so worried...if/when he quits eating, it's all over.  I can try him later today but what do I do when I have to go out of town to the doctor or something?  I won't be here to try again.  I am just heartsick.

I'm so sorry Kay. I hope your little one gets better. I can tell this is really worrying you. I've lost my beloved Cutie-pie right after she had her litter. I had her for only four years. And the stress losing her had me feeling sick. So I can imagine your worry. 

They give us so much love and it hurts to be unable to help them sometimes. But I think as long as you're showing Arlie all the love and tender care this alone is relieving to him. My heart hurts to hear this. I'm a huge animal lover. I love them

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KayC

So I found out that the black spot on Arlie's tongue is indicative of the kidneys not doing their job eradicating toxins...if a dog is born with the black spots, it's pigment, a birthmark, but he wasn't it has been there a few months...the vet never said anything about it, so much for thorough exams.  

This is getting harder the further it goes along.

My "little one" is huge, he has feet longer than mine!  :D 

He's not going to get better, it's downhill all the way, it's getting harder.  But Thursday will be eight weeks from diagnosis.  I need to start looking for someone to "take care of it" when the time comes so I can have a plan in place.  God this is hard.

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JoyR
1 hour ago, KayC said:

This is getting harder the further it goes along.

My "little one" is huge, he has feet longer than mine!  :D

Awe, he's still your baby.I can understand how hard it is to witness him deteriorating right before your eyes. I think you're doing everything right and are handling this extremely well considering what you've been through. 

Arlie has been with you through everything and it's been a long road and he was there to help you through the process. 

Even though the reality of what's to come is out of your control. It's going to be a new journey for you and I'm hoping you stay positive as you've been and are able to tell us how you're feeling.  

You've been a huge support of others especially myself and I would love to return the favor and will be here to listen and help however possible. 

It is true of a statement you made to me about coping with grief. My only comfort is being supportive of others. It's really helping me alot. 

My dog has a few dark spots in the belly area and i don't think he was born with it either but since you pointed that out about kidney failure I would definitely be mentioning it to  the vet. I thought it was because he was getting older . 

Thanks Kayc

Thank you

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KayC

The vet article I read about it specifically said on the tongue.  As long as I can continue having him eat and his stools are normal, I will enjoy another day with him.  It's getting harder and harder to get him to eat in the morning.  I would imagine he's gained weight since I've been having to use sausage and eggs to bribe him into eating his food.  I wonder that now he's holding out to see what I'll give him if he does!  :D  That's okay, I really don't mind, I know these last days are temporary and if he puts on a couple of pounds, so what? He was slightly underweight at last weigh-in.

You and foreverhis responses mean a lot to me, it makes me feel not so alone in this journey.  My own family isn't even asking about him, although I talk to my sister Peggy almost every day so she knows play by play.  Oddly enough, my church family has been so wonderful to ask about him, pray for him, etc.

Oh, and my nickname for him is "Little Boy", you're right, they are our babies.  People have laughed to hear me call him that because he's so big, but he's not as big as he used to be, he used to be 140, last weigh in was 106, that was 7 1/2 weeks ago.

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JoyR
1 hour ago, KayC said:

Oh, and my nickname for him is "Little Boy", you're right, they are our babies.  People have laughed to hear me call him that because he's so big, but he's not as big as he used to be, he used to be 140, last weigh in was 106, that was 7 1/2 weeks ago.

"Little boy" that's cute. I can visualize how funny that is to call him that if he's been 140 pounds. 

My goodness. What breed of dog is Arlie? German Shepherd? 

And I agree, he is probably looking at you wondering where are his sausages and eggs. In his mind he's throwing the bowl if it isn't what he wants. 

My "Louie" Maltese will actually turn his bowl over with his nose and walk away. I literally warm his dog food or cook his food or else he won't eat it. Very bougie dog. He refuses to touch anything resembling dog food. I trick him by mixing. 

But I think you will all the time needed with Arlie before he goes. Seems he is still being strong for you. And when he knows you're ready is when he'll be ready. Just my thoughts.

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foreverhis
1 hour ago, KayC said:

I wonder that now he's holding out to see what I'll give him if he does!  :D 

...

Oddly enough, my church family has been so wonderful to ask about him, pray for him, etc.

 

I'd bet he is chuckling inside just a little and wondering what goodies he might get if he looks at you with those sweet eyes and waits.  He's no dummy!  Whatever makes the two of you happy is all that matters.  If extra goodies with his food helps, then that's a good thing.

I don't consider it odd in the least that your church family would be there for you both.  My whole life I was taught that animals have simple, innocent souls.  Not that they're human, but that they are part of the whole and that they do matter.  I'm sorry that your family isn't there for you, but it's good that you do have support from people who care.

I think about you both every day and check here to see if you've posted an update.  Every time you're able to post something good, I smile and feel a little uplifted.  We will be here for both those good days and through the bad as well.  We who have had special furry babies know how hard this is.  I'm sending you comforting hugs that today will be another good day overall.

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JoyR

Well said Foreverhis. Our fur babies love us so much. Innocent souls is perfect description. They love unconditional. No limitations. Everyday you walk through the door expect to be greeted with love. Cuddles and enjoying their attentiveness when around them. They follow you everywhere and are genuinely concerned and seem to know when you're not well. I can't explain it. My Louie seems to know when I'm sick,upset heal tuck his tail, when Happy he wags  and at night he sleeps with me and snuggles right up under me,and some part of his body has to touch me. It's only gotten that way after my bf past. Before he would lay wherever. 

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AJWCat

I've been traveling (for work) @KayC just got all caught up on how Arlie is doing. Lots of ups and downs as I figured. It's hard to believe it's been 8 weeks already since the diagnosis, hopefully you get more time. I know you don't want to push him to hard though.

(I've almost been on the forum now two years since we lost our cat Aug 12 2017.)  

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KayC
On 7/29/2019 at 10:24 AM, JoyR said:

"Little boy" that's cute. I can visualize how funny that is to call him that if he's been 140 pounds. 

My goodness. What breed of dog is Arlie? German Shepherd? 

And I agree, he is probably looking at you wondering where are his sausages and eggs. In his mind he's throwing the bowl if it isn't what he wants. 

My "Louie" Maltese will actually turn his bowl over with his nose and walk away. I literally warm his dog food or cook his food or else he won't eat it. Very bougie dog. He refuses to touch anything resembling dog food. I trick him by mixing. 

But I think you will all the time needed with Arlie before he goes. Seems he is still being strong for you. And when he knows you're ready is when he'll be ready. Just my thoughts.

Haha, I got a kick out of what you said...your dog is similar to mine in spite of size!  Arlie has ongoing Colitis, had all his life, I can only give him up to 50% of his diet in dogfood and that only one brand and the rest is homemade, it takes me about 1 1/2 hours to make a batch, I literally weigh and measure everything, brown rice, meat, 8 vegetables.  Lately he's been balking in the morning...today I had to make a new batch (oh and I have to heat it for him too! :D)  so I ran Kielbasa through the food processor to cook with the other ingredients and it seemed to work well.  It chopped it finer so he gets flavor in every bite.  Plus I'd been adding it too his food which resulted in overeating, which made it hard for him to get it all down because he was nauseous to start with.  I think this will work much better as I measure out his packets when I'm done cooking it all.  It's important he eat the whole packet to get his hemp oil and probiotics down him.  He's been an angel about letting me cram his SAM-e and Milk Thistle down his throat, followed by a treat.

Yesterday I cried, I just couldn't be stoic any more, it really hit me that I'm going to lose him.  He looked up at me (I was laying on the floor with him) and gave me a thoughtful kiss.  My dog, consoling me over his death!

Arlie is Siberian Husky and Golden Retriever.
 

Arlie at Paul's.jpg

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