Friday, June 02, 2006

NB: This was wrote over the past few weeks but I just didn't feel up to posting it at the time. So here it is in all it's long-dragging-out glory...

Okay. I admit it. I have been deliberately ignoring this blog because I just really had so much stuff swirling in my head and I just didn't want to "deal" with it. When you write it out, it's really quite unavoidable and so I'm much happier just burying myself in "busy" and pretending it doesn't exist.

The bigest part of it is Isabella. I've been warring with myself over this whole mess and kept going back and forth on it. Even though I know logically it was the right thing to do and have reassurances from Nic and our vet that it is the right thing to do it was something I really struggled with.

I'd go back and forth, from having accepted that it was the right thing and feeling quite calm about it to raging against it and how unfair it all is that I can't fix everything and crying my eyes out over the prospect of facing life without Isabella. Even up to the point we were going to the
vets I was arguing back and forth with myself and wanting to scream at them to stop and run out the door with her and away from it all. Which of course would have solved nothing but I wanted to run far, far away and hide my little dog from all the things that could hurt her and hide myself from having to be a responsible adult who had to face reality. In reality I was just standing there shaking. Nic said I looked very out of it and he wasn't sure he could even reach me if he'd tried at that point.

In the end though, yesterday at 6pm, we sent Isabella to the Rainbow Bridge. She was rescued at about 4 years old by the place I volunteered at. I knew she was mine the instant I saw her eyes. She was so scared but underneath was a sassy, spunky, bossy, little diva! It took her a long time to accept humans could be anything other than awful but she was tough even if she didn't look it. I don't know many people would have been able to do so well in the same situation. She was the head of my pack, a true alpha-bitch and ruled with a velvet-clad iron paw. Cade was her fellow couch-jockey and Sierra was 'her' puppy. They'll be lost without her to run their lives. We let them all have a chance to see she was gone so they'd understand what happened. They sniffed her gently for several minutes. Cade bowed to her a couple times which is something he does when he's uncertain. Then he crawled in Nic's lap and leaned into him whining. Sierra laid down next to her and rolled over extending her paw, which was her posture for letting Izzy clean her ears. We buried her beneath the roses and lit candles for her. I am sure she was met at the Bridge by my Brianna (my Collie), my Himalayans and the dogs of my childhood who will show her where the liver-treats and other goodies are but we will still miss her bitterly.

I am still in shock I think. It doesn't seem real. It feels like she should come in from sunning herself in the backyard and demand treats at any moment. I feel as numb inside as I did when we were at the vets. I feel sick with missing her. I just stared and murmured to her as the vet shaved her leg and gave her the first muscle relaxant so she wouldn't be stressed... just like I was standing beside myself, watching it all happening and wanting to run around screaming. I felt like I'd been given the ketamine and valium and it was my muscles that wouldn't respond. Today I keep saying things and including her. Nic said it was time to feed the two dogs and I almost corrected him without thinking and said, "aren't you forgetting someone?" When he called me out to see the grave he'd prepared for her, I stopped halfway as I was going to close the bathroom door so she wouldn't sneak into the cats food. When I go to call them from outside, I still call three dogs names. It's reflexive and it hurts like it's happening all over again
every time I do. I'm a complete scatterbrain, I just can't think and running around trying to get out of the house and get all of his things today I just kept running back and forth, picking one thing up, setting it down, forgetting where I put it when I went to get the next.

I went to a Mothers Play Day event Friday, helping to man the MAAP stand. Which mostly meant standing there, playing with Laurent and talking with everyone else. I'm so glad I had that becuase I don't think I could have faced being alone with the baby in a house where she wasn't. When I'm upset, he starts screaming. At the point she actually died at the vet he burst out wailing like a lost soul. The whole way home from the vets he was just wailing heartbrokenly and wouldn't be soothed for anything. He's so empathic that way.

Princess Isabella Catriona, Vanquisher of Evil Yard Invading Doves, Master
of Food Sneak-Thiefing and Ruler of All She Surveyed. Rest peacefully my
It was one week ago Friday and it seems like forever. I've thought about
blogging during that time, sometimes something will happen and I'll think
I'd like to write about it but then I also want to keep it just to myself.
Grief is such an intensely private journey, I'm not sure I know the right
words to capture my thoughts. I feel like my writing is disjointed, jerking
and halting, sputtering out in fits and starts and not making any sense at
all. But then, that's how my thoughts are at the moment so maybe it's only

It's weird not to have three dogs... it's weird not to see her when I think
I'm going to. I've been avoiding the front garden where she was buried
because I cry every time I go and see the flowers over her grave. Cade and
Sierra adjusted quite well, they were a bit clingy for a few days but didn't
wander around looking for her, so I think they understood. They both slept
in the bedroom with us for three nights before they felt okay enough that
they voluntarily slept in their usual spots again. That was fine, I think
we all needed eachother close by after.

On the weekend, Nic took care of Laurent a lot which gave me some room to
just grieve and really process everything. He asked when I was going to
change ehr webpage or update it and I just told him I didn't want to change
it right now. Just for a little while I want that to be the same. I'll
think about her at the oddest times and I'm still catching myself doing
things like I did when she was here even though she doesn't need me to do
them anymore. I guess it will be awhile before I get fully used to that
idea. Little things get me, like we went to a park the other day and took
some pictures of the dogs and myself and Laurent and I just sat thinking for
awhile that these were the first photos without Isabella, the first photos
she wouldn't be in, the first time she wasn't with us at the park, the first
autumn leaves she wasn't snuffling around in and I felt her absence so

It hit me how changed our family is and I've also been going through what I
go through every time there is a loss in my life... remembering all the
others who have gone on before. So I've been thinking about my other pets
that have departed but also about the people absent for our lives. Grandpa
for one, it's stunning to think he's been gone since January... I keep
thinking when Laurent does some new little thing that he will be amused by
it and it'll bring a smile to his face. It's hard to think L will never
know him the way Nic did and it's hard to think of the stories he knew that
won't be shared. It's the same thing with Nic's mum, though I never met her
in person and we only talked on the phone when I'd call Nic and he wasn't
there or was busy for a few minutes. I miss her for Nic's sake, for my own
and for Laurent's. She would have loved him so much. And I have so many
questions I'd like to ask her, so much of the time I wonder if she felt the
same things as a new mother that I do now and what Nic was like as a baby,
when he got his first tooth, how she dealt with nights he was fussy, if she
loved to bury her nose in his sweet baby hair and inhale that lovely fresh
baby scent like I do with Laurent. Little stuff I suppose but important
too. I'm sad that Laurent will never know his grandmother except in stories
and photographs.

There have been good things going on... in the midst of it all life does go
on. We finally got two new bookcases from Ikea... we've needed them since
forever and I'm so chuffed with them! I've got new nappies for Laurent on
their way, two simply nights, an ericas and a very baby. There was a
miscommunication with the order so we're also getting a surprise nappy with
that. I also got a neat batik tye dye one that's green for nights and a
littlesquirt, some boosters and wraps from baby behinds, plus another
cuddlebuns one which has trains on it and makes us the owner of the very
first Cuddlebuns Quick Dry in Australia! LOL So we're almost full time
cloth (using sposies maybe 1x every couple of days when the laundry takes
too long. We've only got enough to last for 1 day so it means a wash a
night and we don't always make it fully dry in time for morning. But the
new ones that are on their way (sounds like I've ordered them all at once
but it's been over a 2 month period really) should go a ways to making it
every 2 days and then we'll keep going till we have enough to wash a full
load once every 3 days.
YAY! The nappy fairy came for us today! She brought three orders, all on
the same day! So now we've got two new Simply Nights, a Nappy Chappie
Sandman (wow... incredible boosters on that!), a velour VB, a dinosaur VB, a
lovely courderoy Erica's and a VBasic Bamboo. Plus the choo-choo train
Cuddlebuns we're picking up today.
WOOT!!! Nappy fairy lands again, this time with two Simply Nights... one is tie dye rainbow red to blue and the other is done as a water melon with the back end green and the front end watermelon color with little black 'seeds'! So friggin' cute! ^_^'
In less stunning news, I almost got ran over by a tram while crossing the road in Melbourne. Seriously, I had to jump out of the way and knock on the drivers window. I was like two inches in front of him and the little green dude was on the cross walk thingie so it's not like I was where I wasn't supposed to be... SHEESH!
L has been, as usual, utterly adorable. His big thing at the moment is feeding himself. He seriously chucks a hissy fit if I try to feed him, grabs at the spoon and happily feeds himself. He'll let me load it, no problem, but just don't try FEEDING him 'cuz he can do it all by himself! LOL It's messy but it's so darn cute it's worth the mess.

Meanwhile, Cade has responded very well to the Metacam we put him on for his hip/soft tissue injury. I refuse to entertain the idea of Rimadyl but Metacam we've had a good reaction to in the past and the number of problems with it (and personal problems) have been far less. Superstitious behaviour on my part perhaps but eh... go with what works. On the other hand, we do need to speak to his vet to see if we can find something perhaps a little less costly, as the Metacam is about $60 for a little bitty bottle that lasts about a month. We'll use it if necessary but it can't hurt to see if there is something comprable but less exxy or if we can get it somewhere else less expensively. That's at least a couple extra seminars a year right???
Training wise, I've been reading a lot of theoretical stuff and right now I'm tired enough that my head is kind of swimmy with it all. I need, I NEED to be better about the practical applications though. (IOW getting off my dead butt and training...) Sierra has been doing better about LLW but then it all went to pieces when I went to pick up some kitten kibble the other day and she was a total idjit with all the distractions... including the 6montholdish lab/kelpie cross who wanted to pllayyy almost as badly as she did.