Posts

, ,

What if?

I used to be really good at being funny and write about funny stuff.  For as long as I remember, I always had sentences dancing in my head that I could not wait to write down. I remember a long time ago, like a century ago, when my 2nd grade teacher kept me in the classroom alone to write what was called in French “a redaction”, like a short essay because she thought my parents were writing it for me. They did not.

Anyway, my brain has always been very busy with words, and then Jackson died in September 2016  my brain went MIA, like frozen. And then, I was only able to write when something bad was happening. I love to be funny, and where was my darn sense of humor? MIA? Hello, I want it back.

So this post is not sad. Some could think it is, but it’s really not. I am GOOD!

This is just what I experienced in the last three months.  I always had kind of a sixth sense. Knowing things before they happened or feeling things which were not tangible.

Years ago I remember having a dream about a dog and seeing her sleeping under one of my trees in my yard, and leaves falling over her body – except that it was Spring and as far as I know leaves don’t fall in Spring, right? – I emailed my friend who was in France and he answered me back the same day to let me know that his girl has passed away the day before. That’s me… I can’t give you the lottery numbers but I feel things before they happen.

So, yes if you read previous posts, you must know that at least one of my dogs came back after he crossed the Rainbow Bridge. His name was Zeus, and then I  fell in love with another black lab. His name was Jackson. His death at 6 and half destroyed me for a long time.

And then, there was Maia. Maia has never been my heart dog. We were girlfriends but we got so close. Three years of chemotherapy and cancer will do that to you.

I deliberately chose to put Maia to sleep on December 18, 2017 because I wanted her to leave before cancer took over her body and I was okay with it. It was my choice.

And that’s when the story started….  Last January, I went to pick up her ashes in Virginia, and I was okay.

I was driving on the beltway, listening to some French music, and then the music stopped, and Maia started barking through the radio, and it was not a happy bark, like Zeus years ago. I almost got into an accident, because she did freak me out!

Maia was not my heart dog, but she sure is around even though she is not here physically!  Every morning, when she was alive, she was by my front door waiting to go to the pool with me. When she passed, she was still by my front door. Every morning,  she was there. It was just like a black cloud by my door. I can’t describe it better than that. A foggy black shape by my front door.

But it did not stop there. If you know me, you know that I have a Zeke in my life, and my Zeke is contained to my kitchen when I am not around, with a live cam monitoring him. I check on him on a regular basis. Hey, one day, I was having a manicure, and when I checked on him, I saw him ripping off one of my kitchen cabinet doors. I never screamed so much at him, but he did not care. I never left a nails salon so fast with only one hand done. When I got home, he was still chewing on my cabinet door….

So, that day, I saw something on his dog bed, and I could not figure out what it was, so when I don’t know…. I rush home. It was Maia’s ashes. Her box stays in my bedroom on a shelf, and it’s heavy…. Another day, I came home, and when I went to my bedroom, all the cards and notes that friends wrote to me when she passed were all over my floor. Those cards were safely stored under her ashes at all time. And I am not even talking about Maia’s barking at the pools. Kelly heard her too. Frustrating bark when we were in the pools area.

What was she upset about?

I was at loss and emailed the animal communicator I used on Maia a year earlier and who was amazing. At the same time, I talked about it with one of my clients, Zoey’s Mom, and she gave me a suggestion, and yes, Maia, I am so sorry for being so thick! She told me “Maybe Maia wants to be with you the way she was before. Maybe she doesn’t want to stay home when you go to the pools.”

The same day, I went home and got an email from the animal communicator telling me: “Maia wants you to take her to the pools every day the way you did it when she was alive. She belongs there.”

So…. every day, I take my girl to the pools. She stays on my desk by the computer. Every night, she goes home with me, and goes back to my bedroom. Since I have been doing this, she has been quiet, so I do believe she is now at peace. What she did not get was that location did not matter, it was just geography… Wherever I was, she was with me. How could she have missed that? It’s just geography. But every morning, I carry her in a bag, and every night I take her home in the same bag. Maia’s wishes….

I am finishing writing this post today, March 31st. It was the day she was diagnosed with Lymphoma 3 years ago. It was a long journey…. And the journey goes on.

 

 

 

 

 

,

Today is a good day to cry….

I had a rough year, I mean, you really have to try hard to beat me on that one, and I am not into competition, believe me, especially not when it concerns my kids, four and two-legged ones.

Last year, I learned that Maia, my then 9 year old black lab, had Lymphoma, and had a month to live if I chose not to do anything. So, Maia and I chose to fight cancer. I almost lost her last July, when her temperature sky rocketed to 105.5 due to an allergy to antibiotics, but then she bounced back, and with the right oncologist, we made it through the six months – six long months – of chemotherapy. She is now in her 10th month of remission, but I don’t brag about it. I am so afraid to jinx it. I bought months ago a pink rubber bracelet from The National Canine Cancer Foundation and I never take it off. I am not superstitious, and I do walk under ladders, but I guess when it comes to my dogs, I am superstitious.

After Maia, came Jackson who suddenly was diagnosed with heart disease at 7 years old, and is currently doing well. Crossing fingers, toes, paws and whatever is available to cross.

Then Sammie, my little one, my fierce big dog trapped in a small body lost his fight to heart disease. You see you pick your poison: you have heart disease so you take meds which are going to screw up your kidneys. He died of kidney failure a month ago. 14 years with that little devil, and suddenly, despite of six other dogs, the house feels quiet and empty.

And then came Lola. Lola just turned 10 on May 28th, and we celebrated her birthday with roasted chickens. Have you ever met a dog who did not like roasted chickens? Me neither.

STA70214

Lola, it’s a long story. I got her when she was 6 weeks old, and she drove me freaking crazy. It was not her fault. She was taken away from her Mom far too early, and had no skills, like she was on my lap, and suddenly she was peeing on me. Yeah, seriously!

But we grew up together in many ways even though I think she really considered my daughter, Jessica, like her Mom. Jessica was with me when we picked her up, and she has a special relationship with Jessica. We went together to visit Jessica in college when she chose to go to Delaware…. Lola was and still is my best buddy, the girlfriend who is always there for you. She is also my crazy girl who must have been a fish in another life.

When she was three months old, her mission in life was to retrieve every leaf from the canal when she went swimming. That was my girl. Gosh, that dog loves to swim. So, when I decided to build a swimming pool for dogs (because swimming is the best thing you can do for your dog at any stage of his/her life), I was smiling…. I thought Lola was not going to believe it that she could go swimming every day of her life if she wanted to. And the pools opened, and Lola went swimming. She is a strong swimmer and can swim non stop for a good 20 minutes. I always joked that she would drop dead before stopping…. I guess this is a lab thing….. until yesterday.

 

IMG_1269

Yesterday I took her to the pool, and after 5 minutes, she just stopped, bumper still in her mouth, but trying to get her breathing back. Yesterday, I knew right away, that something was off. Last night, I spent my time on the computer googling…. lung cancer in dogs. This morning, I went to my vet, asking for the whole nine yards for Lola, because I don’t think I have ever been an ostrich in my previous lives, and I wanted to know. I knew it was bad. Walking her in the morning with her daughter Sophie, for the last few weeks, she was panting right away, and I attributed it to the heat, but…. this morning it was cool and she was still panting….

X-rays were done, and there is a mass in her lung, just one apparently…. Primary lung cancer is rare in dogs. Only 1% of dogs with cancer get that shit. Most of the time it’s secondary, meaning the cancer started somewhere else, and then spread to the lungs. It doesn’t seem to be the case, so maybe she is in the 1%. Her lymph nodes are nowhere to be seen. Call me paranoid but with Maia’s lymphoma, I check out my dogs all the time.

If it’s primary, there are options like removing the lobe, but it also means breaking her rib cage. Do you have any idea how it feels to break your rib cage? I am not sure I want to know.

I had an appointment for Maia for her regular remission check up this coming Monday with her oncologist, so I just called, and I will bring both girls this coming Wednesday instead and we will go from there.

Last time I felt that way was when we had to put our horse down. I will never ever have another horse, but it felt like being skinned alive…. That’s exactly how I feel right now. This is Lola we are talking about, my lovely, sweet girl, my tomboy during the day and love bug at night. It hurts so much than I can barely breathe. Today, I am giving today to myself to cry and cry. Tomorrow and the following days and weeks won’t be about me, but about her. But today I am selfish, and today is all about me and losing my best friend.  Tomorrow and the following weeks will be about fighting and doing the best for her, because she deserves the best. She deserves dignity. She deserves love, and she deserves respect. I love her to the moon and back and I will do what’s best for her. I can always deal with me later on. But today is the only break I am giving to myself and then, tomorrow we will start fighting.