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About Johnny

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  • Your relationship to the individual who died
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    Sumter, SC

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  1. KayC, Thinking of you and Arlie every day now. My prayers are with you both.
  2. KayC said "I don't want him suffering so I can keep him longer." I've been fortunate to have three of the most gentle, loving, wonderful companions in my adult life that I could have ever dreamed of having. Wubi was my first dog as an adult and he was born under my house on Dec. 12th, 2000. He was a part of a litter of three and I showed them to some kids and I think that was a mistake because when I went to look for them the next day, they were gone and my heart dropped to the pit of my stomach. I sat down on my porch feeling utter despair that they had been taken and had my head down on my knees when I heard a little peep and out of the corner of my eye I saw just one lonely little guy wondering around all by himself. He was a beautiful red short haired Lad/Chow mix. His Dad was a yellow Lab and his Mom was a miniature red Chow. I fell in love with him and named him Wubi which stands for "Will You Be Intelligent". He lived to be eight years old but passed away due to "Bloat" or gastric dilatation volvulus which is what Marley died of in the movie. I took him to the emergency Vet and they told me they made a small incision to relieve the pressure and he was responding well and wagging his tell and standing on his own when all of a sudden he had a heart attack. He was about to have surgery and I was hoping for the best as he appeared to be responding to the treatment but it just wasn't to be. I was totally devastated and found myself afterwards wondering around outside aimlessly and I even filled his water bowl before I realized what I was doing. He was my first and holds a special place in my heart forever. I had him cremated so he remains with me always. Four days later I adopted Stretch. He was a beautiful black Lab who grew to be 110 lbs in just four years. He was never sick or hurt for a single day in his life. He got a small bump on the underside of his belly and it looked like an insect bite that might be getting infected so I immediately took him to the Vet to get checked out. He turned out to have Mast Cell cancer and in just three short weeks he had the tumors almost everywhere. He had tarry black stools for two weeks and gradually became weaker and weaker. I tried to remain hopeful for him because he was still eating and even on his last day he managed to eat some chicken and rice I cooked for him. I knew that I had to do something when he was standing on the porch and he was so weak that his legs were sliding out from under him. I got on the phone with the vet and she said to bring him in and we would decide what to do when I got him there after she had a chance to see him. I knew that it would be selfish of me to keep him when I knew he was just hanging on for my sake. I loved him way too much for that. My neighbor Mr. Strange asked me if I would like him to go with me and I was grateful that I didn't have to take him alone. The vet said he had stage IV Mast Cell Cancer and the tumors I could see on the outside were nothing compared to what was on the inside. He was so anemic that his gums and his little pee pee were almost white. I understand that this is the hardest thing ever. He took his last breath in my arms. I am grateful that I was with him at the end. I could not stand the thought of leaving him only to come back home and find that he had passed away alone and in pain. There was no way I could let that happen to my precious little boy. I am so sorry and my thoughts are with you and Arlie.
  3. Gwen, I love it that you refer to them as your kids. When Rene'e was with me I used to shout out "Daddy's Home!" when I came through the door after work. They would run to the door to great me tails just a wagging so hard with excitement. And I would reach down and give them a good scratching and ask them "Where's Mommy?".
  4. Gwen, Strider is definitely a bed hog. Little girl Arwen prefers to sleep at the foot of the bed. Strider always wants to lay across the bed and just looks at me like "Where are you going to sleep"? I think the peanut butter is a great idea. KayC, Strider does like green beans and he will eat other vegetables if they are mixed in with meat. Ya know, I have been thinking a lot about this topic and how hard things are going to happen to us and we have to feel the additional pain of facing them without the one person we loved more than anything in the world. Sometimes I find myself doing things just because I think that Rene'e would have liked it and I don't know why because she is gone. Rene'es starter was going out on her car and although I didn't need to have it fixed right away I couldn't stand the thought of their being something wrong with it so I had it fixed right away. I was sick a couple of days with a upset stomach and I turned into a huge baby. I had to force myself to go to the drug store to get something to try to make me feel better. I got sick twice on the way there. I had a bout of diverticulitis once which landed me in the hospital for six days and I just narrowly avoided having to have surgery. I still worry that I will have another inflammation which could lead to an infection and I do not know what I would do then. It is tough to try to take care of yourself when you just can't find the motivation anymore. I know that being negative about the future doesn't help. I hate it when I know that it hurts my Mom when I tell her I am not able to see my life getting any better. It is just so hard to understand everything that grief puts us all through each and every day. I do try to laugh and I know that people care. Everyone is very nice to me at work and I know it's their way of trying to tell me that everything is going to be alright. There is just no stopping the pain sometimes and I know we all grow very tired of hurting.
  5. Had to stop giving him ice-cream sandwiches though. Vet said he needs to watch his weight.
  6. KayC, Thank you! I have been watching Strider closely and I haven't noticed anything unusual when he has go. He seems fine but I will not know for sure if he is truly better until I take a sample of his urine to the Vet with me again on 8/6/19. The Vet said it sometimes takes awhile for the antibiotics to start to really work. She put him on a different antibiotic the last time I took him in to get checked to see if he was improving. I am hoping for the best. If she finds blood in his urine again she said she will need to take some X-rays to see if he has gallstones. It is challenging as well for me to give Strider his pill. He is getting smarter and when I mix it in his wet food he somehow manages to eat it all without swallowing the pill. Now, I have to cut up a hotdog and feed him pieces of it in rapid succession to trick him into swallowing the piece with the pill in it. Also found that putting it in a ball of cheese works well. They are so smart! Love the picture of Arlie and I can see why you were hooked at first site. I also saw a picture of Strider on the computer and I was hooked. I love his markings. Strider showed up at my Dad's when he was only about six months old. He was in a bad way. He showed up at my Dad's house in the 100 degree heat of June in 2012. He had no food, no water, lost with no identification. My Dad showed me his picture and I went and got him the very same day. He was ate up with fleas so the first thing I did when I got him home was give him a good flea bath to kill all the fleas and took him to the vet to get checked out the very next morning. Turned out that he had tape worm from the fleas and he had the red mange because his immune system was weak. That very first night he slept with me in the bed and I know that was probably his first night of peace without all those terrible biting fleas. My heart went totally out to him and he has been spoiled rotten ever since. He is an inside dog and he has slept with me every night until I met my wife Rene'e. He has never spent a single night outside since I've had him. Now that Rene'e is gone, he is back sleeping with me again in the bed. He is so spoiled rotten. I even used to buy him his own box of ice-cream sandwiches. His favorite!
  7. Gwen, Little girl definitely has food radar. She is all of 25 lbs and she drives Strider off of his food. He is 73 lbs and he is scared of her. It's so funny to see!
  8. KayC, Arlie's smile is infectious. Wow! Totally irresistible. Here is a picture of Strider from last Christmas wearing his holiday toboggan. Arwen is the little girl of the house. And yes, have you ever seen such a tongue! My precious boy and girl.
  9. KayC, Gwen, and Dee, I am still hoping for the best for my little boy Strider. I took him to the park and we spent the day walking the trails. He is still behaving as if nothing is wrong so I am grateful for that. I am watching him closely when he urinates. The Vet said if he is unable to go it will be an emergency situation and I will have to get help immediately. Never had experience with a UTI before and I am unsure what to expect. I love him so very much. This is another very tough aspect when dealing with grief alone. The punches keep coming but there is nobody around to lend a shoulder to cry on. When I had my wife, I knew tough times were coming but as long as we had each other, everything would be alright. Now, the hard knocks are that much harder. It's easier to stay strong when you feel the love from the one you care about more than anything. Best wishes and prayers for all our fur babies.
  10. KayC, Do Probios help dogs when they have to take antibiotics?
  11. Thank you Gwen, KayC, Mitch, and Dee. I really needed the encouraging words right about now. Rene'e loved our two fur babies. When I think that something might happen to Strider or Arwen I just start to break down. They are all I have at home. I will stay strong for them because I know they need me and I need them. One of my favorite pictures was of Rene'e hugging Strider in the bed next to her on Thanksgiving morning. Strider was not supposed to be allowed on the bed but she couldn't resist letting him stay because he is such a huge love bug. I can still see the smile she had on her face as she hugged him tight.
  12. KayC said "52, you're 52. I was 52 when George died, that feels like a million years ago. 14 years of living alone, growing older. I barely recognize that person in the mirror. The one thing that has kept me going, the one thing in life I love and hold onto these past 10 1/2 years is my Arlie and now I'm losing him too. I'm scared to be without him. What do I hold onto then? How do you live life when there's nothing to grasp onto anymore?" KayC is right, how do you live life when there's nothing to grasp onto anymore? I could not imagine going back to living alone again after having someone so special to share my life with. Rene'e told me I didn't have to live alone anymore. I used to give thanks everyday that I had her by my side. She was my world and all that I ever wanted. I think she knows how much I have been hurting since she has been gone. I was talking to my Mom today on the phone and I reminded her of how big a thrill Rene'e got out of talking to her each day on Facebook. My Mom just broke down and started to cry. I imagined that, through my Mom's crying, Rene'e was trying to tell me how sad she was that I have been hurting. Rene'e made me want to hold on and fight for the life I always wanted; a loving wife to be by my side in our happy home together. I don't know how to not hurt. I can feel myself slipping without her; losing my grip on life and that really scares me. How do you keep living when you feel as if your life is already over? How do you keep fighting when it seems there is nothing left to fight for. I never imagined life this way. Everyone needs to believe that there is always hope. It is so very difficult to live if you are not able to imagine that life is still worth living. I have been hurting even more lately because my dear little boy "Strider", a 73 lb Bull Terrier, had what appeared to be blood in his urine. Took him to the Vet with a sample of his urine and the vet confirmed that he did indeed have blood in his urine. She prescribed him some antibiotics and we are hoping that it is just a Urinary Track Infection and the antibiotics clear it up with time; if not, he will have to have x-rays to try to find out what is going on.
  13. Mitch, I've had a particular difficult time lately as well. I've managed to take care of things on the surface but I've noticed that the interests that used to drive me forward each day are non-existent. I do things because I know they need doing but very little beyond that. I never used to be this way. I would always laugh about a challenge at work and actually look forward to seeing it through no matter how difficult. Now, I find that I am hoping for an easier way. I have started to wonder if I've been giving up a little at a time. I know in truth that the things I am avoiding will have to be done eventually. It is negative thinking at work i my head. I am 52 and I feel like my life is over. Like the best part of my life is behind me and life will be a dull laborious struggle from now until the end. I can feel it pulling me down. This week was hard because July 23rd was the anniversary of the day I went down on one knee and proposed to Rene'e. I spent the day at my Mother's and we had a nice steak dinner together. She gave me a hug and told me she loved me. When I get to feeling too much pain I need to remember I have people who love me. It helped me get through the day but it was hard for me to not tell her about the one year anniversary of my happiest day, the day my wife said she would have me. My family members still need me to be alright and my dogs need me as well. I know this is a much tougher life I have now and I need to get moving too. I just wish I could find that old fight within me and follow my own advice I gave to Rene'e. Once, I told her before, when she was discouraged, that all she had to do was "find one thing in life you really love and hold on to it no matter what." What I didn't tell her at the time was that for me, she was my one thing. I love you baby.
  14. I am humbled by the compassion and love from you good people. Tears are flowing again although they are not tears of pain. They are tears of hope.
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