My Heart Is Broken, Again

It’s shattered into a million pieces, again. My second Golden Girl, my sweet Shadow, joined her sister and best friend, Callie, in Heaven a week ago. It’s been hard, so very hard to write this post. I’ve been going through life in a fog this past week. So many parallels between Callie and Shadow and their end-of-life stories. Those parallels keep creeping into my thoughts and make me realize how spiritually connected they’ve been from the beginning.

Spiritual connectivity aside, Shadow’s final three and a half weeks on Earth were hard on her – physically and emotionally – the pulled groin muscle in her right rear leg hurt. It hurt a lot. She didn’t want to get up off her dog bed. But once she was standing and walking, she seemed happy to be at least somewhat active.

Her favorite times were always those spent in the backyard with all of us. As the days passed, she stopped eating and then drinking. Her kidney levels were a little elevated when we did her senior blood profile; but the vet wasn’t all that concerned because of the meds she was taking for the pulled muscle.

What concerned us was her not eating. We tried an appetite stimulant, without success. Our only option was to put Shadow on fluids overnight to jumpstart her appetite and kidney function. The next afternoon she seemed to feel better but was still not interested in food. So we opted for another 48 hours of fluids and meds.

The follow-up bloodwork showed very little improvement in some values and none in others. Our poor, sweet girl was in renal failure and too tired to fight any more. And Callie – bless her – kept her sister going until we could return to be with her in her final moments.

As we did 3-1/2 years ago with Callie, we did all we could to help Shadow fight for her life. We have no regrets about her treatments. We only wish the outcome had been different.

Our sweet girl is reunited with her ever-devoted and loving sister and best friend. My mental images of their reunion give me great comfort and allow me to smile through my tears.


The Cost of Faith

This blog post by my dear friend, Millie, says it all for me. Faith is what has kept me going at times when it felt like all hope was lost. There is a line from the original version of the movie “Miracle on 34th Street” that brings it all into perspective for me: “Faith is believing in something even when common sense tells you not to.”

Moments with Millie

Recently, speaking with a friend over some challenges I said, “Have faith. I feel it always works out in our best interest!”

To my surprise she answered, “Faith is like hope…it isn’t always available.”

I don’t resonate with this. Faith has allowed me to walk blindly into places without fear. It has grounded me to let go of expectations while trusting in Divine guidance. It has removed anxiety and desperation. But…that’s just me. Faith and Hope are Mystical. And I choose to believe.

Faith is not an ability to foresee the outcome of a situation. It isn’t the holding on and believing the far circumstances of every tomorrow. Faith is the anchor that holds certainty even when it doesn’t look good. It is taking every single step blindly while knowing that the Universe has your best interest. You aren’t in control so let go and let God! ~m.a.p.

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Just One More Day…

Just one more day my sweet little girl….

Just one more day of having that evil, plastic, white, collar thing around your neck.

Just one more day of having to be on the leash out in the back yard.

Then you can go back to playing “keep away” and “catch me if you can”. And we can all go back to relaxing and enjoying playtime. And I can put away Callie’s larger crate; and you can sleep in your own crate again.

Thank you to BlogPaws for hosting the Wordless Wednesday blog hop!

Shadow’s Dental is Done

We had a busy morning around here yesterday.

I had to drop Shadow off at the vet’s by 8:30 am for pre-op. And to keep Ducky from waking their daddy on his birthday, I had to take her along for the ride.

Shadow wasn’t happy about being at the vet for the third time in as many weeks.  Especially since I wasn’t staying with her for moral support. But I told her Callie would be watching over her, which helped her relax a bit.

When Ducky and I got back home, Ducky was walking all around looking for Shadow with her tail down and half-way between her legs. 

I was getting her breakfast ready, but she came in the kitchen several times. I swear the look on her face was one of deep concern. “Where’s Shadow, Mom? Why didn’t you bring her home?” The same look I got from Shadow the morning Callie went to Heaven.

After she finished eating, I let her run around the yard for a few minutes so she could digest her food some. Then I took her to daycare. She needed to play with her friends to get her mind off Shadow. 

After cleaning the house while hubby finished reading one of his many books, I went to get Ducky at daycare. I left her here with her daddy and went to get Shadow.

Poor Shadow was still sleepy from the anesthesia; and while I paid the bill – and we waited for the discharge instructions to come up on the front-desk computer – she slid down onto the floor. Too tired to keep sitting. Bless her heart.

When we got home, hubby helped me get Shadow out of the car and up the stairs. Ducky was happy to see her older sister, but was very gentle with her greeting. The demon was possessed by an angel. And all night, Ducky was a very good girl.

This morning, Shadow is still a bit “out of it”, but more awake. And Ducky is still being good.

I’m sure Shadow will be more herself as the day wears on. And Ducky will become more mischievous as well. For now, though, I’m enjoying the peace and quiet. (Hubby is still asleep.)

Sleepy Time Pups

I don’t know about you, but I love to watch my dogs sleep.

I marvel at the positions they get into without waking up.

And I always wondered how Callie could sleep like this

or this

without choking. (How I miss my big girl! 😢) But Callie never woke up coughing; and Shadow and Ducky make me smile at their contortions.

Thank you to BlogPaws for hosting the Wordless Wednesday blog hop!

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February is Pet Dental Month

I’m not promoting any pet dental products. I’m just gently reminding my readers that this is a good time to have your pets’ dental health checked by their veterinarian. Our vet – and maybe yours, too – is offering a discount on dental cleanings this month.

Last week, after Shadow’s annual exam, I realized that with everything else we were talking about – including Ducky – the vet and I both completely forgot to check Shadow’s teeth.

So, I lifted her lips and looked at them myself. And instantly felt guilty, like a horrible dog mom. I called the vet and made a new appointment to have him check them. 

The good news is that her teeth look pretty good for a dog her age (12). She has a little calcification, and a teensy bit of gum inflammation near the worst tooth. But the cleaning next week will take care of that; and then I will make myself be a better mom. For Ducky, too.

Who knows? Maybe the cleaning will help relieve some of her reflux as well. Then she’ll be a really happy girl, like in this photo.

Getting Back to Normal

So, now that hubby’s shoulder is mending, he’s only wearing the regular sling instead of the “therapeutic” one with the pillow. And his knee has healed from the bad bruise so he’s not using the cane any more.

Ducky still barks at her daddy whenever he moves, especially if he has the sling on; but she doesn’t have to worry about the cane any more. That’s the best part – the cane really made her nervous and fearful – for both of them.

I took Ducky in for her yearly exam yesterday morning. The vet was pleased with all he saw and felt. She’s at a perfect weight; and aside from a few minor IBS episodes the last several weeks, she’s in great shape. I really think those IBS episodes were stress-related and the vet agrees with me. And, he also said that our little “wild child” has definitely calmed down considerably over the past year since Callie got her angel wings. 

Shadow finally started eating her full breakfast, as well as her full dinner, two days ago. This after dealing with her own IBS episodes – and coinciding reflux – for several months and then her inflamed ACL issue of the last seven weeks.  

Next week I go back to the vet with Shadow. She will have been on leash restriction for eight weeks next Thursday.  I’ve had to stay close to her on the steps to make sure she doesn’t miss one and re-injure herself. And I’ve had to limit her play with Ducky because Ducky plays rough. A bit rougher than I think Shadow’s aging limbs can handle in their current state.  

Hopefully by this time next week, Shadow and I will be back to our fetch and keep-away games in the back yard. And she will be able to run the fence line with Ducky and our neighbors’ dogs. And run up or down the three steps in the house effortlessly. I know Shadow is itching to play and run and just completely enjoy life again.

Happy 4th of July!!

Shadow, Ducky, and I just want to wish all of our friends who celebrate it a Happy Independence Day!

I don’t “dress up” the girls for holidays – and I don’t use photoshop to make it look like I do – so here they are giving me their sweet smiles for the camera.

Stay safe and keep your pets safe!!