Sunday, April 02, 2006


I stayed up way too late the past few nights and have been sort of mentally bogged down because one of my dogs will most likely have to be put to sleep in the next week or so. We've tried pretty much everything with no real success and not any good options from this point out. I'm really struggling with it because I have worked SO hard with this particular dog and there is a sort of bond that is there that isn't with the others. Not that I love her more or them less... but I guess in so many ways her journey has just been entangled with mine in a different way than theirs. I promised her when I rescued her that her nightmare was over, she would never have to suffer again. Unfortunately this is one time I can't fix the problem and when I think of all the little moments and all the work and breakthroughs and little things like when she curled up with me while I was pregnant for the first time and started to allow petting... I feel all the more like a failure for not being able to fix it. Even though logically I understand, on an emotional level I feel like I should be able to do something because she is depending on me to. We went into the vets after they closed last night to have a chat. The vet pretty much said that I shouldn't feel bad, I've tried everything and DH was agreeing and I know they mean well but... yk?

Several years back before I started college I was working at a vets office. At one point we had one of the techs bring in their dog, a very aged golden retriever, to be put down. He was very old, trembling on his stiff legs and even the effort of standing up was obviously taxing. His tail gently swished as he looked up at everyone. Everyone stroked him, softly so as not to cause pain to arthritic joints. Hanna told him what a good boy he was, how much she loved him, that it was okay to go and she understood and we all helping him to lay down on the thick pad of blankets we'd arranged. He relaxed into our hands, turning himself over to gentle touches and soft words. The way he acted and the way he looked, he knew. I know it's anthromorphizing but looking into that dogs eyes at that moment, I can't believe anything else. With the support and care of everyone he laid his head on her lap and sighed deeply before his body relaxed and the shot was administered. Later it was time for the vet and I to take him out of the room and she (the vet) was crying. I wasn't and she asked if I wasn't sad. I told her I didn't find it sad... sad was for dogs who died alone and unloved, dogs who hurt and suffered with no one to care. This dog, I had looked into his eyes - he was ready to go. He'd lived a wonderful life and loved it but now he was tired and his bones hurt and breathing hurt and he'd held on as long as he had for Hanna I think. He'd made his peace and he was content to leave this earthly plane surrounded by friends. He would still be with her though not in body. I felt we'd done the last kind thing we could for a dog who'd given his all. His death was gentle, loving, respectful, dignified. We should all be so lucky. I found it touching and was honored to see this old fellow exit this life with the quiet strength and a staid sense of dignity he'd lived with and while I was sad for Hanna, I wasn't for the dog... he'd lived well and died well.

I've met other dogs like that... with my own Bria, she was quieter around the time and I'd left to get her some of the tinned food that was tempting her tastebuds this week, only to find her dying when I arrived back. She'd held on until I returned and passed away in my arms. She too was ready I think, though I definitely wasn't and would have done anything to be able to heal her. When I look at Isabella, right now I just don't see a dog who is done living life. She's not ready to give up just yet and because of that I think I'm not ready.

Nic has been really sweet about it all. He knew how much it has been bothering me and has brought me bouquets (yes, multiple) of roses and just been overall considerate and comforting as possible. I'm still going to talk to one last person. This was actually advice from my vet. I love my vet... she is a really wonderful person as well as a wonderful vet and we have a similar sense of (warped) humor. She doubts he'll know anything and I know too but I have to check anyway. Even if it's a 1 in 100000 chance, I have to know beyond the shadow of a doubt. She told me she knew I was that kind of person and I should talk to this guy if only for my own piece of mind. She's right, it would haunt me forever if I didn't.

At the end of it all we were talking a bit about the other dogs. She was asking after Sierra, who a few months back had a dental abcess for no apparent reason over the single most difficult to opperate on tooth in her head. We opted to give antibiotics for 33 days. Si pranced into the vets office to show it off and gulped down her medications cheerful as you please with only a few cookie crumbs to 'hide' it in. The vet told her she ought to be ashamed of how easy she was to medicate. See, my dogs never go in for normal problems. No colds or fleas or anything like that. Oh no! My dogs aspire toward the bizare, unusual and just plain weird instead. The time before Cade managed to have an *cough* penis issue. (Don't ask...) Every time we see her she likes to tell me, "Amanda, your dogs are just Special!" This time she told me, "You know, you really need to get a normal dog." I replied, "Well, I have Sierra...she's kind of normal." Then she reminded me about the medication, so I had to tell her that Sierra took the entire rest of the 33 days worth without even the pitiful cookie crumbs to hide it in. Okay... so my dogs really are "Special!"

On the up side of things, I'm coming along pretty well with my first knitting project... a scarf for L. It's a really nice teal-ish blue color which matches the color of blue in his eye. (For anyone who doesn't know by now, his left eye is half brown/half blue and his right is all brown, so that's not a typo!) I want to try and make a bunny face by fulling, which is like felting except not with loose wool. Then I'm going to embroider it on one end of the scarf. Cute eh?

Another really neat thing is that Nic has been doing a lot of extra stuff at work and apparently his boss has noticed this and gave him a $100 gift certificate! OMG!!! I could hardly believe it and decided that instead of spending it on purely practical stuff (bills, groceries etc.) we could use it just for stuff we wanted instead. So I got Laurent some really cute socks and a beanie hat with a tassle that matches the scarf I'm making (!), a pair of bunny ears on a headband and a sweet little plush bunny as well. I got myself a little mobile phone holder with a kitty embroidered on it which looks just like our Tache! We got a bit to eat as well, which we usually don't do because it's too expensive when we can do it ourselves. And we've still got about $40 leftover and I know Nic wants to get some Warhammer stuff but I also want to see if I can get some new socks and t-shirts for him as well at Target.

I've been absolutely awful about training the dogs, just clicking a few things they already know here and there. I'm just way too tired to try and think any harder at the moment. L has been... well, I don't KNOW what he's been. He's been refluxing a lot more lately. He has these awful smelling burps at times. He's not sleeping well at all. Every 15 minutes he wakes back up crying and arching his back so we're rocking him round the clock and not getting any sleep ourselves. We're seeing the chiro Friday and if she can't fix it we're going to go to meds for the reflux and see if that makes a difference.

Dinner yesterday:
Nic's Beef WOSAOGS
aka Beef with oyster sauce and other good stuff

500 g stir fry beef (or cut a rump steak into strips)
2 cloves garlic, diced
2 cm piece ginger, diced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
50ml light soy
1/3 - 1/2 cup white sugar
30ml oyster sauce
1/2 cup water
pinch chilli flakes

Peel and dice garlic and ginger. Peel onion and slice thinly. Put aprox 2 T oil into medium fry pan and saute onion, garlic and ginger till just coloured. Add beef strips, aprox 500g worth, brown. Add light soy, oyster sauce, water, chilli flakes and white sugar. Boil till sugar carmelizes and bubbles up. WATCH CAREFULLY! You want to stop just before it carmelizes, as it will finish carmelizing/thickening as it cools. Too much makes it bitter and acrid. Serve with rice and miso soup on the side, garnish with spring onion. If you like your dishes spicey, saute the chilli flakes with the onion, garlic and ginger in a well ventilated kitchen.

Dinner today: Roast leg of lamb with rosemary and thyme, with fresh garden salad and camomile tea- super yummy and one of my favorites... it's dead easy, you take a leg of lamb, chuck on some olive oil, toss on some crushed garlic cloves, a bit of black pepper, some salt, rosemary and thyme and roast! YUUUUMMMMMMMM...

I Love My
( . .)
(") (")
Baby Bunny!

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