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KayC

Living with Loss

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KayC
On 7/29/2019 at 10:32 AM, foreverhis said:

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.

Last night he ate his homemade food but didn't finish his dry food.  I knew I needed to add something with flavor that would entice him but not bulk it out either...that's when I though of it!  I crushed up two Doritos and mixed it in, perfect!  He gobbled it down with gusto!

He doesn't seem to be feeling well today so I stayed home with him.  He's sleeping but I did get him out on a walk with me and he got to see the sheep and goats so that made him happy.

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KayC

foreverhis, Joy, AJWCat, I appreciate your caring responses.  It means more to me than you know.  

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+Jeffrey+

KayC, you and Arlie are still in my thoughts, of course. I too have been dealing with a lot in my life lately. I lost my older brother on July 6 to heart disease. He had been quickly going down hill these last couple of months and had to be put in hospice. He was only 56 years old.

Just wanted to let you know I haven't forgotten you and your sweet Arlie. I will continue to keep you two in my thoughts and prayers. Now you go give Arlie another big hug for me.

Hang in there, KayC! 

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KayC

Jeffrey,

I'm sorry about your brother, that is so young.  :(  My husband had just turned 51 when he died of a heart attack, we hadn't known he had heart problems until that fateful weekend because the doctor didn't take his complaints/symptoms seriously.  He'd attributed it to Diabetes six months before when he had a heart attack (he'd passed out when driving), the doctor told him "If you think I'm going to give you disability, think again!"  He hadn't asked for that, wouldn't have wanted to be disabled!  He was a hard worker (welder), his boss wouldn't adhere to his lifting restrictions...turns out they should have put him on disability, he might still be here today.
Sometimes there's not much to understand about life.  I lost my sister 1 1/2 years ago, repeated Pneumonia (she was quadriplegic so susceptible).  She was on disability and the gov't caseworker had threatened to kick her off the health insurance and move her from her foster care family.  I had to fight them and stand up for her, and I'm glad I did.  

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JoyR

Hi Kayc ,

How are you doing today? Has Arlie been an angel today? Or mischievous thinking of the treats he's been getting lately. 

I have you guys in my thoughts and prayer. I'm alittle curious if I'm out of line let me know I will stop as well. Have you thought of momentum's , scrap books, videos and  picture albums for yourself. Have you been taking videos of him as of now? Of his dog walks,feedings, lazy moments sleeping, and greets thru the door. Or too much?

Just have you guys in my thoughts and wondering how you both are feeling ? I'm sure being on this forum also has moments you may feel alone in your thoughts but give so much. It alot of different people with grieving stories that energy can also get you down I'm sure. But I do feel happy seeing your photos across the board meeting and greeting. I don't see how you do it. I'm following lead as best I can as well. 

But back to you guys is Arlie eating well,exercising and emotionally are you ok and feeling well is important. You two need each other very much physically and mentally. 

Ttyl

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JoyR

Such a cutie fella! He's adorable. :D I'm happy you posted a picture now I have a visual of him. My sister loves huskies. Their bark is enormous compared to mg Louie's screech of a bark. He swears he's big like others but ain't nobody paying him no mind.

I hate to see Arlie go. Even the thought of it. That's why its good for lots videos and pictures. I personally like the videos as it shows them alive and moving . It's those videos that'll be most rewarding then the picture. Thanks for sharing

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+Jeffrey+
5 minutes ago, JoyR said:

Such a cutie fella! He's adorable. :D I'm happy you posted a picture now I have a visual of him. My sister loves huskies. Their bark is enormous compared to mg Louie's screech of a bark. He swears he's big like others but ain't nobody paying him no mind.

I hate to see Arlie go. Even the thought of it. That's why its good for lots videos and pictures. I personally like the videos as it shows them alive and moving . It's those videos that'll be most rewarding then the picture. Thanks for sharing

I loved taking photos and videos of my Lady G. I have a nice collection of them, but I wish I had taken millions more.:D Those videos and pictures still bring tears to my eyes at times, but they also make me smile. You can never have enough pictures or videos of the ones you love, and that goes for both, people and pets. I agree, take plenty of them.

Sorry for your loss as well, Joy.

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KayC

@JoyR

Huskies don't bark unless they have a mix breed in them, they do "Husky talk" and they can howl.  Arlie can bark because of the Golden Retriever part of him, and he does "Husky talk" because of the Husky part of him, but he didn't get the howling part.  Husky talk is very tonal, he has amazing language skills, different tones for different things.  I can totally understand him.

It's too late for videos, he lays around the house sleeping now and sometimes doesn't want bothered.  He's going downhill now.  Nothing mischievous anymore, although I have a lot of memories.  He was a handful as a puppy, even though I didn't get him until he was nearly one!  He chewed up everything.  He has been such a fun dog, so goofy, so much personality, has a great sense of humor and always loved to play peekaboo by hiding his eyes in the couch, he thought I couldn't see him and then he'd pop his head out, grinning as I exclaimed, "Oh! THERE you are!"  He really thought he pulled one on me!  :D  He also had a game he played by laying on my bed, dead serious, eyes straight ahead, arms straight ahead, then I'd put my arms straight ahead next to his, then he'd rotate his whole body, arms straight ahead again, and I'd do it again, then he'd flip the other way, all the while, very serious about this, I'd put mine next to his, and then he'd jump down and run around the house!  There was another game we played, I'd try to grab his snout and jiggle it before he could get my fingers...he never hurt me, was gentle with it, but we've done that for years, sometimes I'd win, sometimes he would.  He's just so fun and smart!  But his playing days are over with the cancer now I'm afraid.  :(  He doesn't feel good.  Right now I'm waiting for his SAM-e to kick in (it not only helps the liver and joints but also mood elevation) and we can go for a walk.  I give him his hemp oil with the evening meal, it helps him with pain and sleep well.
 

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JoyR
19 hours ago, +Jeffrey+ said:

You can never have enough pictures or videos of the ones you love, and that goes for both, people and pets. I agree, take plenty of them.

Sorry for your loss as well, Joy.

Thanks so much Jeffrey. Yours as well I'm sorry. 

Yes I'm always taking photos and videos now I was never like that before. But realizing how special the moments were to me afterwards it became a eye opener. I make it my business to record a video or picture or anything. We never know who will need them. 

Can you imagine this who are left with just a memory in the mind.? No actual pics/videos. Awful 

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JoyR
3 hours ago, KayC said:

He doesn't feel good.  Right now I'm waiting for his SAM-e to kick in (it not only helps the liver and joints but also mood elevation) and we can go for a walk.  I give him his hemp oil with the evening meal, it helps him with pain and sleep well.

Aww he's a bundle of joy. Still take videos even if it's him being lazy. You have so many memories. Just to see him being peaceful will still comfort you I'm sure of it. 

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KayC

This is not the way I want to remember him, he clearly is not feeling well.  :(

 

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foreverhis

Oh, Kay, I hardly know what to say.  I hope what I'm going to write doesn't upset you further.

It's not the same, but when I was with my husband day and night in the hospital, it was so hard watching him leave me bit by bit.  And it was hard for him knowing inside that we weren't going to get to the next treatment.  He kept trying because he didn't want to leave us.  It hurt so much watching him fade.  The thing is that I wouldn't trade that, even with the almost impossibly painful images and memories, because I was there for him, loving him, comforting him, helping care for him until his very last breath.  I will carry that with me always and it will always be hard to bear.  But it was my place to be there and no one else's.  It was my love and our life.

So while I don't want to remember him that way or have those memories, they are part of the whole.  It's the price we pay for true love.  But as a year has passed, I'm starting to be able to bring him back to himself in my mind.  The first time I saw him sitting in the orchestra with me wondering, "Who's the cute new guy?" and the first time he kissed me in the kitchen of my apartment and the first time we spent the night--the whole night--sitting and talking (and yes, kissing and cuddling) and the day he asked me to marry him.  All the big and little memories are starting to creep through the painful, devastating ones I live with now.

So it is for those of us who love with our whole hearts.  I wish I could take that pain away for you, but all I can offer is comfort and understanding.

Please know we're here for you day or night.

 

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JoyR
16 hours ago, KayC said:

This is not the way I want to remember him, he clearly is not feeling well.  :(

 

I understand. Im sorry  I know it hurts seeing him going through health issues & not being able to make it better or full recovery is very stressful.

I see you've been doing everything you can to help Arlie. I can tell you're heartbroken already. Sorry Kayc . 

 

 

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KayC

My son has Croup, got it from his daughter, messed up his work trip and his vacation/camping trip with the guys at work, he still sounds barky, adults rarely get it but he started with an ear infection and figures that got his immune system down.  Anyway, he told me he wants to be here for me when "it's time" and said he has an auger to loosen the soil for easier digging, and can take Arlie to the back yard in the pickup if we use the neighbor's driveway and cut over (we have permission)...the pathway is haired over with ferns but he thinks we can do it.  I feel much better now that I know I'll have him with me and he is the other person who lived with Arlie for a time and knew him well and loves him.  Now to get a vet in Pleasant Hill to agree to do it even though he hasn't been their patient...I don't want corporate VCA to do it. 

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KayC

It's not that I won't remember this time as special...I don't want a video of him at his sickest.  I wish I had videos of him when he was younger, healthier, having FUN!  But I don't.  Because cellphones don't work at my house, I haven't gotten caught up in them like others and it's not instinctive of me to "get a video" or "take a photo", I wish I had, but I didn't.  I do have pictures over the years.  

I took care of my MIL who was bedridden with cancer for nearly three years.  She was my best friend and I watched her suffer, losing her bit by bit.  So much of this reminds me of that time.  Even though that time was incredibly hard (my kids were 2 1/2 and 1 when we started that journey), it was also special and I don't regret anything during that time.  I did my utter best to make her comfortable.  It was hard for us as a family never getting away and the kids having to be quiet so they didn't disturb grandma, but we did what family does, we were there for her.  I cooked, cleaned, hosted out of town relatives, made her comfortable, and appreciated Home Health workers that helped out.  I was her link to the outside world.  My FIL was there for her at night.  It's a time I can't even describe, but to those who've been through it, they know.

Some people think I'm overboard in caring for my dog this way.  They don't understand how close you get when it's been 10 1/2 years of just him and me.  And I don't care to hear what they think about it.  The last thing I need is more insensitivity, more people with inappropriate responses.  (I even have an article about that!  LOL)

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KayC

I'm really going to need all your support in the next few weeks.  :(

It's going to be sometime within the next couple of weeks...he's having a Colitis outbreak now.  Between the cancer and Colitis dietary is in a catch-22.  What I use to entice him to eat is having its effect on his Colitis and what helps his Colitis feeds the cancer.  In other words damned if I do, damned if I don't  No matter when I do this I'm going to go through the "what ifs", I'll think, "I could have him here with me one more day" but at what price?  Him suffering?  He's laying around looking sad today.  My son can't do it next weekend, he's supposed to let me know when he can.  

I also asked about cremation options...Paul told me he read a study about that and you can't be sure you're getting YOUR animal's remains back because they cremate them in batches to keep the cost down, otherwise it'd cost the same as it costs for people, I'd always wondered about that.  So that means we'll bury him in the back yard.  I would like to do it in the front yard because that's where he spent so much time, but too many tree roots there to get a grave of that size.  He's a big boy.  But it's his resting place, not where he'll look out and see what's going on, so it's okay for that, I guess, and at least I can visit his grave any time and look out my patio door and see, and maybe I can plant something there...I'll order a gravestone for him too.  This is all so hard, I've been crying all day, I don't know how I'm going to do this but I only know I have to do what's best for HIM, not me.

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foreverhis
8 hours ago, KayC said:

It's not that I won't remember this time as special...I don't want a video of him at his sickest.  I wish I had videos of him when he was younger, healthier, having FUN!  But I don't. 

No, I definitely wouldn't have wanted videos of my love in those last few months.  It's hard enough carrying the memories.  Because you cared for your MIL, you already know how hard it is to have the memories and images.  I can't imagine anything harder than going through that with our soul mates, but it has got to be devastating regardless.

We don't really have videos of my love or me.  We just didn't do that sort of thing.  Well...I did sneak record a video of him years ago to show him what I meant about his snoring from allergies and why he needed to talk to the doctor.  We have lots of pictures, but a surprisingly small number of the two of us together over so many years.

I got desperate to hear his voice one day.  I felt like I couldn't hear him in my head and got really upset.  So I thrashed around on the computers until I found a bunch of short videos he had made of our granddaughter in her first 5 weeks.  The videos were of her (and the cat at times), but he talked to her and about what she was doing and what was happening.  He showed our daughter how to do infant massage to stimulate the nervous system and he "showed her the world" every day, including making some videos while he would walk her around.  He talked and talked and talked.  It felt so good, and yet was so hard, to hear him strong and healthy 11 years ago.  Right then I so wished we had taken some videos of us years ago, not just our girls or other family.

How frustrating and painful for you that doing something to help one condition makes the other worse.  You know you are caring for Arlie in the best possible way, so none of your choices can possibly be wrong.  Please, Kay, don't second guess yourself.  You have to look at each day, each hour and do what's best for him right then.  That's all any of us can do.

I'm so glad your son will be able to be there for you.  I've been terribly concerned about you being alone then.  Not that it will be any easier, but you will have support and love.  You know we will be here for you through it all.  We know caring for Arlie the way you do is what's right.

Big comforting hugs to both of you.

 

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KayC

Last night he had the start of a Colitis outbreak and then at 2 am he woke me needing to go outside.  So I let him out and then got some chicken breasts out and baked them with some barbecue sauce, cooked some white rice and added some pumpkin...his Colitis outbreak diet. I finally get done and go out in the yard as soon as it's light with the pooper-scooper and voila, his stools looked normal!  All that work in the wee hours for nothing!  Oh well, he'll enjoy having something different. :P

My son says he wants to be here for me when I have Arlie euthanized and I told him within two weeks...he laid there looking sad and/or sleeping the last couple of days, he's panting, licking his lips (signs of pain), his belly is distended from the liver not working right, signs of kidneys not working right, glands hugely swollen...it's time.  I don't want him suffering so I can keep him longer.  I bawled yesterday, I just don't know how I'm going to live without him, it's the hardest decision I've ever made.  Harder than divorce because it's someone loving and sweet and wonderful and I don't want to lose him.  Yesterday I made the call to a vet I want to use and they were great...I'd been there with my other neighbor when he went through the same thing with his dog and the place had a comfortable caring feel to it.  Not using VCA anymore.

I'm sorry I've repeated myself, I feel I'm losing my mind!  I've caught my brain not working more than once.

Last night a friend told me to call her if my son can't help and with her son's help (he's local) we can take care of it.  I really appreciate having a backup plan.

Thank you for your reassurances, you can really second guess yourself in something like this.  And of course I know all the "what ifs" are to come...

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JoyR

I understand your pain now. It's better for you to keep your happy memories safe . From reading your replies I see you've been through a lot of heartache , loved ones lost, and now Arlie's health is a hard blow since he has been with you through your toughest times. 

For you this is after so many losses and two of your best friends one your partner and to loose him even the thought of it is a double whammy!. You will have to learn a new journey and that scares you. He's been your emotional support , companion (pet companion) and now what? I get it dear. I'm sorry about your son as well. Is their a cure for croup? Never heard of it. But try and do something to calm you. I can tell this is VERY hard on you

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foreverhis

Kay, I'm just checking in on you and Arlie.  I'm so worried for you both.

Thoughts and prayers just don't seem to be enough, but I'm afraid that's all I can do from here.  Please know that we care about you and will be here no matter what.

 

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catawampus

Hi Kay,

I'm so sorry you're having to go down this painful path. It seems that in spite of wanting as much time as possible with our babies, wanting to have them with us even one more day, the protracted days and weeks of watching them slowly decline is just gut wrenching. When they suddenly have a good day our hearts lighten and the weight we carry is lessened. But beneath the momentary relief the inevitability is always there, the understanding that our time is limited.  We try to squeeze out as much happiness as possible even if that joy is bittersweet at best.

It's so very clear how devoted you are and how much Arlie is loved. It shows in every word you write. It sounds like you are doing everything in your power to make his remaining time as happy and comfortable as humanly possible. I'm sure that just being next to you, getting pets and kisses from you, and all those home cooked meals (when his tummy can manage) is to Arlie his idyllic place. I don't imagine he could ever desire a more dutiful, loving, and generous companion as you. I imagine that when he looks up at you with those soulful eyes, his heart is full and content. And when he is sleeping beside you he is truly at peace.

I wish there was some miracle that would give you and Arlie more time together. Please know that you are both are in my thoughts.

Biscuit's Dad

 

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KayC
6 hours ago, catawampus said:

It seems that in spite of wanting as much time as possible with our babies, wanting to have them with us even one more day, the protracted days and weeks of watching them slowly decline is just gut wrenching. When they suddenly have a good day our hearts lighten and the weight we carry is lessened. But beneath the momentary relief the inevitability is always there, the understanding that our time is limited.  We try to squeeze out as much happiness as possible even if that joy is bittersweet at best.

You described this journey perfectly.  That's exactly how I'm feeling.  But the ups and downs also make you second guess everything.

Arlie had an outbreak of Colitis, that night I prayed for him. 2 am he needed out and my heart sunk because I didn't know if I could get him over Colitis under the circumstances. I never got back to sleep, so I went out to the freezer and got a package of chicken breasts and cooked them up, made some white rice and pumpkin, ckn broth.  At 5 am I went out to look for his poop and guess what!  His stools look normal!  I can assure you, of all the years of doing this, that doesn't happen!  
We set a date, I am going to call the vet when they open, for 8/13.  It's hitting me hard.  I don't want to be away from him this week.  I don't know how I'm going to get through this.  How do I put up a Christmas tree when Arlie isn't there to look at the lights?  How do I throw away an empty catfood can when Arlie isn't there to grab it and lick it out?  How do I go on walks without him?  When I first got him I had a hard time getting used to walking with him because he wanted to sniff and pee on everything and I couldn't get up to my brisk walks.  Now I can't imagine how it'll be without him, I talk to him all the time.  I just don't know how I'm going to do this.
When my son called last night with available dates to him, I had the hardest time writing Arlie's death day on my calendar. :(

Thank you all for your responses.  Yes I have had a lot of losses.  I remember after George died, our cat Tigger took a long hard look at me, as if committing me to memory, then turned tail and left.  I never saw him again.  I got a new cat, Chappy. Then Miss Mocha showed up here.  Our cat King George died 14 months after my husband.  A cougar got ahold of Chappy.  I remember crying out to God, "Can't you leave me ANYTHING?!"  Chappy had been my little lovebug.  I had Miss Mocha for 10 1/2 years before she went the same way.. It's hard when you don't even have a body to bury.  Kitty was dumped on me 12 years ago...she's not exactly loving, she's demanding, paranoid, but I think she likes me more than she lets on.  She's 24.  How long am I going to have her?

I fear I'm losing my mind.

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KayC
17 hours ago, JoyR said:

I'm sorry about your son as well. Is their a cure for croup?

The treatment is rest and because breathing is hard, a humidifier or vaporizer is often recommended with a tent.  He's doing none of these, he pushes himself, goes to work, so it'll take a lot longer for him to get over this than his daughter.  He had it when he was little too, I remember doing all those things for him.  Alas adults have to keep going unlike babies who get the care they need.

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KayC

I had to change the date to 8/16 due to their scheduling.

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+Jeffrey+
2 hours ago, KayC said:

You described this journey perfectly.  That's exactly how I'm feeling.  But the ups and downs also make you second guess everything.

Arlie had an outbreak of Colitis, that night I prayed for him. 2 am he needed out and my heart sunk because I didn't know if I could get him over Colitis under the circumstances. I never got back to sleep, so I went out to the freezer and got a package of chicken breasts and cooked them up, made some white rice and pumpkin, ckn broth.  At 5 am I went out to look for his poop and guess what!  His stools look normal!  I can assure you, of all the years of doing this, that doesn't happen!  
We set a date, I am going to call the vet when they open, for 8/13.  It's hitting me hard.  I don't want to be away from him this week.  I don't know how I'm going to get through this.  How do I put up a Christmas tree when Arlie isn't there to look at the lights?  How do I throw away an empty catfood can when Arlie isn't there to grab it and lick it out?  How do I go on walks without him?  When I first got him I had a hard time getting used to walking with him because he wanted to sniff and pee on everything and I couldn't get up to my brisk walks.  Now I can't imagine how it'll be without him, I talk to him all the time.  I just don't know how I'm going to do this.
When my son called last night with available dates to him, I had the hardest time writing Arlie's death day on my calendar. :(

Thank you all for your responses.  Yes I have had a lot of losses.  I remember after George died, our cat Tigger took a long hard look at me, as if committing me to memory, then turned tail and left.  I never saw him again.  I got a new cat, Chappy. Then Miss Mocha showed up here.  Our cat King George died 14 months after my husband.  A cougar got ahold of Chappy.  I remember crying out to God, "Can't you leave me ANYTHING?!"  Chappy had been my little lovebug.  I had Miss Mocha for 10 1/2 years before she went the same way.. It's hard when you don't even have a body to bury.  Kitty was dumped on me 12 years ago...she's not exactly loving, she's demanding, paranoid, but I think she likes me more than she lets on.  She's 24.  How long am I going to have her?

I fear I'm losing my mind.

Yes, when it comes to losing loved ones (humans and pets) you have been through a hell of a lot more than the average person, Kay. But you made it through each time. Yes, it's hard. It's never easy. But you made it through. And if and when something happens to another loved one, you'll make it through that as well. You're a strong person, Kay. A loving, caring, kind person. We all can see that in you, and your sweet Arlie certainly sees that as well. 

Try and focus on the things you can do for Arlie today, not how you're going to get by without him. Those type of thoughts, which I am guilty of as well, will eat at you and bring you down into further sadness. And you know I am right about this. Keep yourself busy and focus on today! Not the concerns of tomorrow!  You can deal with tomorrow, tomorrow!

And I think you've had some great names for your pets. I've only had cats as pets, and I have given them some of the craziest names you could imagine. And I loved each one dearly. 

Wishing you and Arlie all the best, Kay! Hang in there!

 

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