For the Love of Dog

Last night one of our dear friends lost his beloved dog.  After hearing the news that she was sick, I could think of not much else.  She was showing symptoms of poisoning, the same reactions a rat would have when we are trying to get rid of it, her organs shutting down, bleeding internally.  Rather than put her down as the first doctor suggested, Frank was determined to do everything he could for her.  Even a blood transfusion couldn’t save her.  She died last night.
I am stunned by the level of tragedy in our small community.  Yes, I realize, it is happening everywhere, all the time.  There have been times before where it seems devastating things are occuring all over our close circles.  I have had mine, you have had yours.  But these early months of 2012 have been exceptionally full.  I read callous comments after the fire, that we mountain people should expect such things.  Blah blah blah.  I wrote about that already.  Yes, we all know that to love is to risk having our heart broken in so many pieces that we may never pick them all up.  Right now, for Frank, I would imagine there are no words that will actually help.  What I can offer is to be there in the pain and with the pain.  We will tell him we aren’t going anywhere.  We love him.  It beyond sucks.  Life isn’t fair.  In walking through our fire, knowing that people can be in the shadows with us has made the biggest difference. 
I have been holding my dogs tighter since the news.  Not that I ever hold them that loosely.  I have written much about Tigger and my absolute adoration of every hair on his furry body.  After Jaxson, Tigger is the closest I may come to having my own offspring – the bond that deep.  He can do no wrong.  Chewing up my favorite baseball hat, coating my furniture in dirt and red hair, refusing to eat his dinner which sometimes leads me to hand feed him.  I will take it all.  Honeybee was Frank’s beloved.  She went everywhere with him.  I never knew Frank without her.  How do we go on after such a loss?
Animals will crack our hearts and leave us bleeding.  Only a few days ago, Susan and Dan lost Chloe, suddenly too.  Of course these thoughts occupied my sleep.  David was at a concert finally having some real fun.  When I turned out the lights, I still hadn’t heard the news from Frank so was continuing to pray my ass off as promised.  At midnight, when I heard David at the door, I checked my phone.  A text from Dusty said, “she is gone.”  I told David the sad news, we talked about it for a bit, I don’t know if he slept right away but I tossed and turned with thoughts of Frank and his lovely fiancé Jennifer.  We had just celebrated Frank’s birthday the night Honeybee got sick.  A gaggle of friends hanging outside in the beauty of Colorado eating the best cake in the world made by Jennifer.  We laughed and honored Frank, Honeybee wandered between us hoping for scraps.  She a part of the group as much as any of us.
Now she is gone.  The space she filled will call out for a while.  There will be dog beds, leashes, toys, food – and lots of that glorious long hair she sported.  All will be reminders of her absence.  It will take a while for the reality to set in.  Noises will remind them of her – and have them hope she is there.  For a moment she might be,   until the shattering truth comes crashing back.  Our brain stores these things as favors that end up haunting us.  Today, I don’t want to be too far from Tigger.  As I tossed and turned I worried about ever leaving him.  Cancel all vacations, never let him out of my sight, and don’t let him wander.  Life is full enough of dangers – but poison?  What a horrible thing.  Frank and Jennifer didn’t have poison in their house.  There will be so many questions – the bargaining, the wondering, maybe never knowing.  Rob and Patricia lost their dog Zeke to poison too.  They aren’t sure what he ate but they can only assume there was some poisoned meat along a trail where they hiked earlier that day.  Later in the afternoon, they left the house for a short time, and upon their return found Zeke dead.  Horrific.
Yes, we know they will die one day.  We don’t want it to happen.  We would do anything to stop it from happening.  When it does, we mourn deeply.  But the swift shift of life is almost too much to bear.  My heart is with Frank and Jennifer today.  It’s with all the lovers of pets whose hearts will fracture seemingly into millions of pieces never to be reassembled in the same way.  Tigger is only 2 ½ but can I keep him safe from the dangers of the world?  Yes, I realize this is the question parents have to face every day.  Us childless pet people only know this angst through soft puppy (or kitty) eyes.  Animals trust us.  Yes, their ancestors survived in the wild for eons before but domesticated animals have been ‘’dumbed” down.  They eat what they find and sometimes it isn’t good.  My dogs wander too far and could end up lost to fend for themselves.  We have promised to care for them and keep them protected.  They protect us in return – and promise to squash our hearts in the process.  Would I not experience this love?  No.  I am a dog person.  Always have been, always will be.  I am sure Frank is too.  He will love again, and I hope he will love big again, just like that deep eternal love I found with Tigger.  They are all beloved.  Yet some are our soul mates.  We can’t help it.  It may be predetermined.  It feels that way.  Choiceless, at the mercy – and unexpected.  I swore I would never love an animal like I did Jaxson and then Tigger came along poking his wet nose in my face and daring me not to adore him.
Adore him I do.  And, yes you Roscoe lovers, I love him as well.  Roscoe is a sweet, kind, patient soul.  Yet, I cannot help how I feel about Tigger.  Call it unfair or wrong or whatever you want to call it.  He is my flesh and blood.  He makes a lump appear in my throat out of the blue.  Tears sting my eyes at the thought of life without him.  Oh Frank, I feel your pain.  I am so very sorry for your loss.  I am sorry your heart is in a million pieces.  They say time will heal, and it does.  It heals but never returns completely.  You will always miss and mourn that sweet Honeybee.  I still miss Jaxson.  I cry at his loss – just not all the time.  Just don’t test me with Tigger.

Update from Jennifer:

So here’s the scoop: After a sweet birthday party for Frank on Monday (the day before his actual birthday) and Bee being her usual sweet party-dog self, she got sick in the night. Frank took her to her Vet as soon as they opened in the morning. She was losing blood internally and her condition declined. It got to the point that the vet recommended taking her to the Wheat Ridge Animal Hospital to potentially get a blood transfusion. At WRAH they were able to do ultra sounds, and a bunch of tests in house to see what they could find. What they found was that it was 99.9% Not HGI – which would have been the one ‘curable’ thing. She was dealing with and ulcerated intestine which was bleeding heavily into her intestines. The most likely causes of that, after ruling out several other things, were that it was some sort of cancer, or possibly poisoning. There is no evidence of poisoning and I don’t in my heart believe that was the cause. NOTE: Keep all your antiInflammatory medicines – Advil, Aleve, etc out of any possible reach of your pets!

Most likely, they said, even if we did all the stuff- it would have just ended up being a ‘making her comfortable’ thing. Yuck – not for our Bee. Se was such a brave sweet soul. No yelping, complaining. She just wanted to be a good sweet dog – always. What a gift for my beloved Frank , giving him unconditional love that is beyond human capability in the worse and best of times. Please hold my Frank in your hearts – he needs our love most now. I love you Bee, I love you in my falible human way Frank… I hold you both so gently in my heart…

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