A Bittersweet Christmas Season

This has been a rather bittersweet Christmas season for me. There have been times – like the other day – when I could put aside the commercialism of the season and just sit back and enjoy it. And then there have been days when I just wanted the year to be over already. Most days have been somewhere in between.

I wrestled for weeks over whether or not to decorate the house and put up a tree. Last Saturday I decided not to; but then on Sunday – when it was icy cold outside – I decided I wanted a little, tabletop tree after all. Only problem was that the decorations are all in the attic and I hate going up there. So we decided to look for one of those little, pre-decorated trees. We had some food shopping to do, so we went to the grocery store and lo and behold, they had a small, potted tree decorated with a strand of mini lights and some mini ornaments, standing on a display table. It caught hubby’s eye and he called me over to check it out. The rest of these little trees were packaged in tall, plastic tote bags with a set of mini lights and tiny ball ornaments. So what the heck. Why not? It took us all of fifteen minutes to decorate it.                                                                                                            

And that’s about as “merry”as I’ve felt since the Christmas season began with the Macy*s Thanksgiving Day Parade. (Which I missed for the first time in I don’t know how many years this year. But it was worth it. We had a great time with hubby’s sister and brother-in-law.)

So, as you know from previous posts, my sweet Shadow and I have been missing our beloved Callie for months now. We do our best to enjoy each day, but sometimes our grief just overwhelms us. I have more tearful moments than not; and Shadow just mopes around and refuses to eat. This not wanting to eat “thing” has been going on sporadically since Callie got sick. In September, you might remember, the vet was concerned enough that he ran bloodwork and took some X-rays. He couldn’t find a thing wrong and gave her the “all systems go.” Soon after that, Shadow started eating regularly again. But right around Thanksgiving, she started being finicky again. At first it didn’t really bother me. I figured she was just missing Callie and after some fun out in the yard she’d be back to “normal”.  And she was. But by the 7th of December, her reflux had been really bothering her again, so I brought her to the vet to check her out again. There was nothing visible. The sore on the back of her throat had cleared up and gone away completely. And by last Friday (the 18th) she was being totally impossible about eating, so back to the vet we went yet again….

The vet and I talked about everything we could think of that might be causing Shadow’s latest finicky spells. The reflux seemed to be getting better, or at least less frequent. But the disturbing thing to both of us was that this last finicky spell had caused her to lose three and a half pounds in only eleven days. So, after deciding to change her dry food to one for sensitive tummies, and doing a thorough hands-on exam, the vet said “let’s get her in on Monday for an ultrasound on her spleen, liver, kidneys, etcetera. I want to be absolutely sure I’m not missing anything.”  

So, yesterday, Shadow spent about four hours with her “Uncle Steve” and his staff getting prepped for and being ultrasounded (sp?). She had gained nearly a pound since Friday’s exam, and around one-thirty, I got the best news I’ve gotten from Dr. Steve in months….

“There are absolutely no tumors or other abnormalities anywhere.  I was able to get a great view of her spleen, liver, kidneys, and the rest of her abdominal area. You can come get your sweet girl as soon as you’re ready.” 

We talked about other questions I’d mentioned to him, too, and made some changes in her routine; but those were minor compared to the great results of the ultrasound. Now, even though Callie’s physical presence is still sorely missed, hubby and I can rest easy that our sweet, loving Shadow is definitely still healthy. Perhaps the rest of our holiday season will be much brighter now.

So, on that note let me close by wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa (sp?), or whatever holiday you celebrate at this time of the year.  And a happy Tuesday to all!  (Finally, a bit of the spirit of the season is starting to surface!)

23 thoughts on “A Bittersweet Christmas Season

  1. easyweimaraner says:

    It’s great that you got good news … you deserved it after all that hard & sad months… I hope so much that the new year has better news for all of us, 2015 was a haunted year somehow :o(

  2. Jodi says:

    I’m so glad Uncle Steve didn’t find anything. You are still struggling with Callie’s passing so why can’t Shadow? Everyone grieves differently and who is to say that it’s not the same with our pets?

    I’m sure Callie is smiling down on you all and please you decided to celebrate, just a little. πŸ™‚

  3. Patricia says:

    That’s really good news about Shadow! It’s so hard to celebrate Christmas, or any holiday, when we are missing someone. I hope somehow you will find some merry and brightness today and every day to come.

  4. Jan K says:

    I am glad and relieved for you that you finally got some good news. I hope it can help you all to relax and enjoy the holidays at least a little bit….I think Callie would want that for you. Enjoy that pretty little tree and each other knowing that Caliie’s spirit is with you.

  5. Sue says:

    What a huge relief that the vet gave Shadow an all clear. I share your feelings about the holidays this year and though I look high and low my holiday spirit is missing. As is my sweet Jeffie πŸ™‚ Sending you love and hugs, as well as hope that 2016 is a year filled with only joy for you.

    • My Golden Life says:

      Thank You, Sue! Love and hugs right back to you! I was actually thinking of you this morning as I wrote the post. Blogville has lost way too many furry friends this past year. It has truly broken my heart several times. So I’m sending out positive energy into the universe for a much happier 2016 for all of us.

  6. Groovy Goldendoodles says:

    Sending you many doodle hugs. I relate to your emotions and I am thrilled to hear the good news about Shadow. Wishing you all that you need this holiday season. Celebrate it in your own way. Merry Christmas friends…

  7. Sand Spring Chesapeakes says:

    Yeah good news! I love your little tree, I have a little tree that is norman’s tree and I too didn’t feel like decorating but I brought out Norman’s tree. And of course I brought out Gamblers Naughty stocking. Have a wonderful Chrismas and remember all the great Christmas with Callie before and she is with you in spirit.

  8. savedbydogss says:

    So relieved for the good news! It took us a while to put up a little table top tree this year too; maybe it’s the weather or other things, but the season just doesn’t feel like it has in the past this year. I’m hoping for all of us a year of better news and events lies ahead!

    • My Golden Life says:

      Thank you so much! At the beginning of last week, it was icy cold here in the mornings. I was happy. Then BOOM! it warmed up again. It’s supposed to be 72F tomorrow. Ugh!

      Amen to (at least) “a year of better news and events…ahead”!!

    • My Golden Life says:

      Thanks Linda!! I hope so, too! She’s been stressing me out with this finicky business! I know she doesn’t like the treadmill much, but I think I’m going to have to start making her use it (again) anyway. We can’t even play in the yard with the weather we’ve been having.

  9. K9s Over Coffee (@K9sOverCoffee) says:

    I’m glad you got those grand news from your vet!! It’s quite possible that Shadow is still grieving along with you and that it’s the cause for her loss of appetite. Have you tried adding some freeze-dried or dehydrated food to her regular meals? Maybe the new flavor might entice her to eat a little more again.

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