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kayc

Living with Loss

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Thank you.

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Yesterday Arlie didn't want to go for his walk, I had to coax him.  In the afternoon he was listless until I mention going to see Sammy (his golden lab friend whom he hasn't been able to visit for 1 1/2 years+)  that perked him up, he enjoyed playing with her but was worn out last night afterwards.

He's drinking so much!  About 1 1/2 gal. water/day.

I can't sleep, I keep worrying about him.

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Day before yesterday was hard, yesterday was better, I guess this is a journey of ups and downs, one day at a time.  I pray I will know when it's time.  I don't want him to miss any good quality of life but neither do I want him to suffer unnecessarily...I guess one is the price for the other.

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Last night I got a card from the church...it says When there are no words...there are always hugs.

I love how they even found one with a huge dog!  :)

 

Me & Arlie.jpg

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Yeah, I noticed that too, cute!

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Oh Kay, I am so sorry to hear about Arlie. I haven't been on the site for awhile and didn't see your earlier posts. And your friend - or former friend - ouch! That really hurts when people say these things. I think it's because they feel badly and don't realize they are making you feel better in order to feel better themselves. Only you know what's best for you and for Arlie. I am so sorry to hear this; I know he has meant the world to you and that he's really been a support and wonderful companion to you through all that you've been through.

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He had a really good day yesterday, that's what I live for now.

As for my ex-friend, I don't think in the 44 years I've known him that he ever tried to make anyone feel better, but rather his arrogance shows through loud and clear:  he feels his way is the only and best way and that's what his point was about, he wanted me to handle things his way.   I've chosen a different way of handling it and don't answer to him or anyone else, it's not up for debate, I just don't don't need someone like him in my life, particularly at a time like this.  It's overbearing and overstepping.

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2 hours ago, kayc said:

...particularly at a time like this. 

You are right - this is such a very personal decision with such potential to affect how you feel later, making decisions for people or beloved pets who are near the end. For anyone to tell you what you should be doing is overstepping, and it shouldn't be up for debate . No one but you can tell you what to do, because only you will have to live with the consequences. These end-of-life situations are so heart-wrenching as of themselves, and we know that grief is around the corner. The last thing you or any of us need is to have someone push us into something we'll regret later. You know from all your years here that people are able to take some comfort from knowing they did the best they could for their beloved at the end.

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What he was suggesting wasn't something proven effective anyway and it's too far gone for that.  He's not a candidate for usual treatments, his liver barely functioning, I have him on liver supports and am monitoring him...I pray I'll know when it's time, I really don't want him to suffer.

It's bad enough that when you lose them, you second guess everything and question yourself with all the "what ifs".  You don't need someone else casting doubt on your care for your dog.  I love Arlie more than anything in the world.

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2 hours ago, kayc said:

I love Arlie more than anything in the world.

I know you do...I really feel for you.

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I don't get people.  My DIL glibly announced that my little sister said Arlie had bitten her.  She has only been at my house once since I got Arlie, when he was still a puppy, I was there, he never bit her.  Why do people start stuff, as if you don't have enough you're going through, just when you least need it?!  Have to wonder why my DIL had to say anything at all. It's been very upsetting to me...sure, slander a dog who is dying of cancer and can't defend himself.  Decided not to respond to it but I can't say it didn't anger me.

People's drama aside, Arlie had a pretty good week.  I chased him around the house a couple of laps (in slow motion), he doesn't have the energy and stamina he used to but he had a willing spirit!  I love this dog more than life!

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I have a niece who says that years ago (when she was little) my Saint Bernard Tammy bit her. I was there, too, and I know for a fact that this never happened, but she still believes it. Why she has a need to believe it is beyond me. Maybe she's mixing it up with something else that happened to her with another dog. I've decided that there's nothing I can do to repair her false memory. You know your Arlie, Kay, so don't allow anyone' else's comments to pull you down. Just bask in the love you share with him, and make every moment you have together count . . .

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I talked with my son last night, apologized for reacting defensively, he said he didn't think I responded wrong at all, that we know it's preposterous.  My son lived with me during summer & Christmas breaks from college in those early years, so knows Arlie better than anyone besides me and Jim.  It soothed my heart.

Arlie has slowed way down on his walks but is still eating and holding it down.  A friend's dog died from cancer yesterday after having it a year, she'd lost a lot of weight and couldn't crouch to poop, did it while walking.  I don't want Arlie to suffer like that.  I pray I'll know when it's time to let him go.  My sweet baby, I love him so much.

Marty, I know St. Bernards, they are wonderful gentle spirits.  Much like Golden Retrievers.  You can't find a gentler dog.

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My Saint was a surprise gift from my father, Kay ~ many years ago. One of his patients had to let her go, so my dad took her and brought her to me (with no prior warning!) Of course my family welcomed her and fell in love with her. I don't know if you've read it, but you may appreciate the Obituary for A Very Beloved Dog that my father wrote when his beloved Moose (a Saint Bernard - Collie mix) died. His description of her "double thoroughbred ancestry" is priceless: https://www.griefhealingblog.com/2013/03/memorializing-cherished-pet.html 

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Thank you for sharing that Marty...and my old vet used to call Arlie "Moose" too because of his size.  I love these gentle giants!

Your father sounds as special as James Herriot!  I think some of the best people are those who know and love animals.

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3 hours ago, kayc said:

I think some of the best people are those who know and love animals.

So do I, Kay. So do I. ;)

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We did make it to the park yesterday, 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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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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I did coax him into eating all his breakfast, I added some chopped sausage to entice him.  He's eaten every meal he's been given so far.  I ordered some Hemp oil for him last night.  Some swear by it, it won't cure anything but might help with his comfort.

His mood has been amazing.  He's my sweet boy, I've always loved, still has his wonderful goofy personality.  It's going to kill me to lose him.

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12 hours ago, kayc said:

I did coax him into eating all his breakfast, I added some chopped sausage to entice him.  He's eaten every meal he's been given so far.  I ordered some Hemp oil for him last night.  Some swear by it, it won't cure anything but might help with his comfort.

kayc:  When I found out my Maddie had bladder cancer one of the pet food stores, Mud Bay, here in Tacoma suggested should she begin to refuse to eat to try canned green tripe.  I mix a couple of large tablespoons in with cooked ground turkey and some veggies.  The smell is not pleasing to humans, but she loves it and so far she is still eating well.   I too have begun CBD oil in the hopes of keeping her with me as long as I can.  Each day is a blessing.  My heart is with you and Arlie.  Hugs, Dee

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Any dietary changes affect his Colitis, another very real concern.  We're in a Catch-22 between the Colitis and cancer since you treat them differently yet he has them both.

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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!

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