The suckiest day ever

Friday, April 25, 2014

I'm sorry that I've been so absent. Maddie's condition has been weighing heavy on my mind and I've been trying every conventional and alternative treatment I can to make her better.
I had to finally accept the fact that while she seemed to be making progress a few weeks ago, she started slipping again. Her cough had gotten much worse and I would wake up in the middle of the night to her coughing and fidgeting because she couldn't get comfortable. I would reach down and pet her and she would let out a little cry and put her head on my leg.
In the last week, she was unable to walk at all. I would stand her up and she would fall right down again. To see her sitting in her bed, she seemed happy and would bark hello when I got home or to beg for a cookie. But she couldn't walk. I carried her everywhere and she seemed in pain when I picked her up which she hadn't before. She cried when she tried to stand up because her body just wasn't cooperating. I walked her around the neighborhood in her stroller but I think going over bumps bothered her because she would cry when we got to the end of the street and so we had to come home.
I made the gut wrenching decision to let her go and I called the vet Thursday morning to make the appointment. I thought I had it together until the reception at the vet's office said "hello" and I just lost it. They were able to take us late that afternoon and since it was a sunny and warm day, we spent the afternoon outside on a blanket and were joined by the neighbor's small children. It was a beautiful last day together.
My friend Bobby was kind enough to take us to the appointment and he came in the room with me while we said our final goodbyes. Maddie loved her Uncle Bobby. For some reason, there's been a lot of turnover of the front desk staff at the vet's office and the new people seem pretty clueless.
This girl with multi-colored hair walked in, muttering an "I'm sorry" and then asked me how I wanted to take care of the bill. Maddie just growled at her which was hilarious because Maddie never growled at anyone! Bobby and I looked at each other and laughed through our tears. It was like Maddie was saying. "Hey! We're having a moment here."
I told them that I assumed that I would be billed like the last time and she walked out muttering "I'm sorry" again. The vet came in and apologized profusely for her asking me that and then said something about "lots of new people."
The vet and the vet tech were beyond compassionate during the whole process and my Maddie passed peacefully in my arms. She really was the inspiration for writing my book because she showed me how dogs live in the moment and all they want is someone to love them.
I was blessed to be able to be that someone, even if only for a short time.  

Monday Morning Millie

Monday, April 21, 2014

"Digging in the dirt? No, I was eating a chocolate bunny. Yeah, that's it..."

SO close!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I know it's been a while since I updated you on my Kickstarter project. Yes, remember that project I started back in the fall??
For those of you who are new to my blog, I'm a huge advocate of senior dog adoption so I wrote a children's book about the joy of loving a senior dog. It follows the path of a little boy named Oliver to finding his new furry best friend.
It's taken far longer than I anticipated but I take the blame. It was a bold endeavor to think that I could focus on this during the holiday season and get it out in time for Christmas gift giving when the whole process was so Greek to me.
I had never worked with an illustrator before but Jay Schwartz was such a professional and so great to work with. He did a fantastic job interpreting my vision and bringing in some great suggestions to make my characters come to life even better than I imagined!
One the illustrations were done, it was on to the actual typesetting of the book. Again, I was clueless to the whole process so when my first proof came back and I was asked what I thought of the font, I had no idea what to compare it to so it took a while to get everything just right. I got my final printed proof in the mail today and it's FABULOUS!!
I'm so excited to get it in print and into the hands of my Kickstarter backers and the general public! At this risk of sounding boastful, I think it has a great message and I'm hoping that it makes people think twice before they choose their next pet.  
I should have the books in hand within two weeks.
Two. Weeks!!
Sophie's beside herself with excitement!

Monday Morning Millie

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Look who had a birthday last week? My sweet Millie turned 12!

Of course, I don't know exactly when she was born but I go by the day she became mine three years ago. I adopted her right after my mother died because I needed another little old lady to care of. She is the happiest little girl, a far cry from the timid beagle laying on the floor of the county pound.
Happy Birthday, my Silly Millie!

Thanks, Mom!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Since any sort of treatment for the mass in Maddie's chest seems illogical at this point, I've decided to focus on her joint pain and how it's limiting her mobility. I've started her on new meds, continued giving her joint supplements and added in the equine/dog supplement, all in hopes that she'll maintain some degree of mobility and decrease her discomfort for whatever time she has left. 
It hasn't been working.
I thought it actually was for a few days but she's really taken a turn again since Monday. Today, she couldn't even stand up. Every time I lifted her up, she would fall down again as soon as I let go. She couldn't even stand to go to the bathroom. I took this picture of her before I took the other dogs out for a walk tonight. She barely lifted her head.
If you've been following my blog for a while, you know that I totally believe in spirits and signs and Divine intervention, for lack of a better term. Well, I've got a lot going on in addition to Maddie's condition so I've been feeling completely overwhelmed and stressed. I make sure to keep lots of tissues next to the bed, in the kitchen, on the coffee table, in my car and in my pockets for the tears that I can't seem to hold back lately.
As I was out walking with the dogs tonight, I felt something brush against my leg and I figured that I had stepped on a branch or something but there was nothing there when I looked down. I shot my head around to see if someone was watching me or something because it just felt "weird."
But there was no one, so we just kept walking.
When we got home about 30 minutes later, I went into the family room where I had left Maddie but she wasn't there. I assumed that she had tried to get up and fallen down, so I looked next to the armchair but she wasn't there, either.
She wasn't in the kitchen or the dining room, both which would have been a big feat for her to get to based on the obstacles along the way; hardwood floors, crumpled rugs and chairs to walk around.
Finally, I walked into my bedroom, which is on the opposite end of the house, and there was Maddie sitting up on my bed, just looking at me like, "Hey, where ya been?"
The fact that she was in my bedroom meant that she had to walk all the way from the family room, through the dining room, down the hallway to my bedroom and then climb up four steps to get into the bed.
She. Couldn't. Even. Stand. Up! 
Shit. Where's my tissue??

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