Year’s Reflection

Dixie National Forest 12/2016

Dixie National Forest 12/2016

As the year is nearing the close, I can honestly say I am not the same person I was 12 months ago. I have changed in many ways I have never thought possible. I grow every year, but this year was incredibly traumatic, painful, and reflective of how far I’ve come.

Nappy, my very happy boy!I started the year by meeting an incredible guy. Literally, on New Years, I found Rob. I found him and kissed him, and stole his heart. He’s the most incredible, self sufficient person I have ever met, and he has big dreams. Guess what? I do too. The more I learned about him, the harder I started to fall. He’s amazing. He’s done amazing things, has really great stories of parts of his life, and has taught me so much about what is possible in this life. It has been an absolutely crazy journey, but I am so in love with him, and together, we can move mountains. We can do anything. The problem is we want to do EVERYTHING! We have gone through intense good times, but also heavy traumas and very deep, dark things. But we are going through it together. So, here’s to many more years to see what happens! Hopefully, the hard parts are subsiding, and we are building a fruitful foundation for the years to come!

I sold the house I bought with my ex husband all those years ago. I fixed it up with help from my friends, and sold it. I learned how to do drywall, do mudding & taping, painting, flooring, I laid cement, and learned to use many different kinds of tools I didn’t know how to before.

Upper Setting near Mirror Lake, Kanab, UT 06/2016

Upper Setting near Mirror Lake, Kanab, UT 06/2016

I learned how to take care of my own landscaping. And I learned more about all the legal hoops you have to jump through when you do something like get married or get divorced. It’s all ridiculous, but I learned more about everything. I learned more about the processes for buying and selling property, commercial buildings, licensing codes, how city ordinance works, and what to do when things get tricky.

 

 

I lived in a 900 sq ft studio where I shared space with my 5 dogs, and all my business visitors. Clients and dogs alike were invited to the only space I could call my own (which wasn’t even mine). My bed sat next to my kennel room. My Jedkitchen was in my living room. But I managed, and I kept up a positive attitude. I was forced out eventually, and I moved to a loft above my friend’s tack room on her ranch for several weeks after a house I had an offer for fell through 4 days before closing. She was incredibly generous, as I really thought I would be living out of my truck, while continuing to train dogs to make a living. That family is one of the sweetest families I know, and every single one of them are beautiful. I thank them from the bottom of my heart that I didn’t have to live in my truck for weeks while I found another house. I had a roof over my head, and a safe place for my dogs to live.

This gave me a brand new appreciation for being grateful for what I do have, and cherish the things and the people that I used to take for granted. Most of the time, not on purpose, but now I see the world much differently. I love more, I cherish more, and I don’t take running water, electricity, money, or life for granted. Material things mean little to nothing to me now. A ‘rich life’ means a happy lifestyle to me. That’s all I want. I don’t care about what I have, how much money I make, or material possessions. I just want to be happy, and live an emotionally, spiritually, and mentally rich lifestyle.

Moab, UT 10/2016

Moab, UT 10/2016

I found a house, and I moved in to this old, cottage-type home I fell in love with in May. Yes, it’s a project house with a shit ton of landscaping and yard work, but I loved it. I had help moving in from my friends, my clients, and my family (Rob’s included). It was an emotional experience, because moving into this house meant all the shit I went through before now is over, and I could leave all that baggage behind me. And I did. Slowly, I let it go. I didn’t have to continue to move every few weeks/months and I could start rebuilding. The work I had planned on doing on my house was quality work. I want to take the time to fix ‘er up and make ‘er mine. A few months later, Rob officially moved in with me. We are so happy, and this just felt right. Not rushed, and not because it was more convenient, but because it was right. We are together because we want to be, and no other reason. That’s the way it should be.

Horsetail Falls hike, Alpine, UT

Horsetail Falls hike, Alpine, UT

This house has many problems that we knew about, and a plethora of even more we didn’t know. It’s old, so some of the issues are because of wear and tear, old materials, and things that are outdated. But some of them are because of how things have been updated, band-aid fixes, or shoddy work on the house. We will slowly fix everything, and update what needs to be updated. The yard work in itself could take us years alone.Redoing the work others have done will also take years. That’s ok. We have all the time in the world. Life is what we make it!  No rush. This isn’t a race.

We have a bedroom, 2 bathrooms, the dog house, and the kitchen that are under construction all at the same time (we didn’t plan it that way…obviously). We are working on fencing projects, landscaping, and flooring all at the same time. Big projects are a constantly here, and it can be overwhelming, but we are trying to make the best of everything, and not let it overwhelm us. I feel it’s a direct relation to our life right now, and even though there are projects, all of them are repairable.

I have also had quite a lot of trauma this year. I have lost 3 of my personal dogs (Jed, Napoleon, and Marshall), 2 client dogs, and a foster dog. Plus all my friends who have lost animals this year. heather and marshallIt all hits me so hard, and it seems I’m so sensitive to loss now. This year was incredibly traumatic. I have a passion for life, but my heart has been broken over and over this year. It feels like it won’t ever totally heal. I want a lull in the disasters for a while. One thing after another, it keeps crashing. Devastating chaos keeps hitting, and before I’m able to fully recover from one, another one happens. It makes me want to stop working, and spend all the time I have cherishing the ones I do have. I wish life would allow that.

My heart has been broken so many times this year, I feel like it doesn’t know how to fully heal anymore. Happiness is a dream. It’s like something that if I try hard enough, I may see it again. Not that I’m unhappy or miserable, but I have an overhead gloom over everything that taunts me with ‘What’s Next?’ questions. What happened in this universe to cause all these things to happen? What energy am I putting out to allow this to continue happening? I started learning about energy transfers and similar things several years ago. I didn’t believe I was putting anything out that would cause these things to happen to me. I felt like a victim. Terrible things have happened. But I don’t see myself as a victim anymore. I see it as I need to learn something. I need to learn what energy I am putting out, and make it more positive, so I attract more positive events in my life. Happy, positive events, rather than chaotic, traumatic ones. That’s my take away. I’m working towards a more uplifting, happy life. I don’t want complicated or hurtful anymore. I want to do away with the negative. Not a New Years’ resolution, but a goal. I want to focus my energies on spreading positive, happy vibes. So, when life gives you lemons…Fuck the lemons and bail! Haha, no, I want to go with the flow of life, and accept even the bad things with grace. I want to be and let be. Make lemonade… anyway, you know all the metaphors, you know what I’m saying. I want to be able to roll with the punches! Ok, I’ll stop. I’m done!

Goodbye, Marshall

marshallhatLife is a precious gift. It can be taken away so quickly. I hold my family a little closer today, as our sweet Marshall unexpectedly passed away last night. We are devastated, and it still doesn’t feel real. I keep expecting to hear his little feet on the floor pitter pattering as quick as he can to come to me if I called him. He wasn’t sick, he wasn’t old. He was taken far too early. He was one of my best dogs, and the best ‘little’ I have ever had. I never thought I would have a little dog, as I’m into the ‘tough’ breeds. But then Marshall came to me for training and I fell in love with him. I told the family if they ever didn’t want him or couldn’t keep him, that I wanted him. I never expected to hear that a year later, they were moving and couldn’t take him. So without hesitation, I took him and he was immediately a part of my pack. I didn’t foster him, or even try to adopt him out. He just belonged with me. He was an amazing dog, and brought so much happiness to every person he met. I never expected this would happen so soon.

homedepotmarshallWe buried him under a tree in our front yard. He will stay here forever, and bring nutrients to the trees, the soil, and the earth. His body has returned to the planet, and his soul is now on a journey to wherever else it needs to be. He’ll always be with me, and I’ll have all the beautiful memories of him to remember him. I want to remember my bright, happy Marshall. I want to remember all the silly, cute things he did. The house feels very dreary today. Our hearts are breaking, and our souls cry. I wish this didn’t happen.

marshall

I remember the way he would sit or lay on top of the big dogs to stay warm.

I remember how fast he would run back to me when I called him. His recall was always awesome.

I remember how when the other dogs were eating, Marshall would clean up the pieces they missed. No one minds, and he never tries to steal food from out of their bowl.

I remember how he would try to sneakily crawl up underneath the blanket to snuggle on the couch.

Chasing Jane around the loveseat in the living room.

Always walking nicely on or off a leash, never had a problem listening.

When you corrected him for something, he would stare at you with one paw held up.

marshallhorsesWhen he curled up in the big dog beds by himself and his tail was resting on his nose, like he was hiding.

When we all went camping, and he found the sunniest little spot to rest while we were all cooking breakfast.

How everyone who met him instantly loved him.

When I would let him sleep with me in my bed, and he could curl up right behind my knees.

jinxmarshallHow he loved to sit right in between the big dogs’ paws, like he belonged to them.

How he was the perfect size to sit with you and make you feel better.

He wasn’t really ever scared of anything.

He had no issue putting any size dog in their place if they were being pushy or rude.

How he loved to drag around the biggest bone he could find.

That time we went to the Farmer’s Market and Rob put him in his camelback because he was tired.

marshallgrassHow everyone thought he was a puppy.

How he loved people so much, he would just start walking with them.

How he just looked extra cute no matter what he was doing.

His eyes were too big for his face.

The time I took him trail riding, and he kept up with the horses like it was no big deal.

How he was amazing with kids and all other dogs.

He was awesome with all animals. He never tried to hurt chickens, cats, kittens, or even little rats.

He was the ‘Marshall’ of the dog yard. He was named after Eminem, but to me, he was literally a Marshall. An authority figure.

He really was the best dog.

squishesmarshallI’m really going to miss him, the house won’t be the same without him. I only had him several years, but in that time, he left his pawprint there. For such a small dog, he had the biggest presence in the best way. His spunky, happy personality is what I want to remember.

We will build you a little memorial in front of your tree, and plant flowers there in the Spring. You have no idea how many dogs you helped, and how many people were touched by you. You have made a huge impact on the world, and I will never forget you. You can never be replaced. I’ll do my best to keep my chin up and put on the smile, because I know you wouldn’t want me to be sad. In fact, I feel like you would be curled up with me right now, trying to cheer me up.

I love you, Marshall. So much. Be at peace now.

marshalltail

polymarshall

RIP Napoleon

Nappy and Heather

July 2013

My stomach is in my throat, and tears stream down my face as I’m grieving the loss of one of my oldest partners. Napoleon was my first dog, and my sidekick for the last 7 years. He helped me see the love of training dogs and helped me make the dream of owning my own business a reality. He was my demo dog for my clients and my service dog for working through PTSD. He taught me to be softer and how to ‘wait’ for what I wanted rather than to increase the amount of pressure I was applying. He taught me to trust, and he taught me what the human-dog relationship was all about.

The loss of my dog is that of the same as a loss of a child. An innocent, pure soul who we helped become something in the world. My heart is broken, but I feel it all throughout my body. Words are hard to form, and it’s difficult to get anything done. To find the motivation to even move or talk. This is a deep, deep loss and it feels like I left a little piece of heart in the vet’s office.

Milkbone NappyNapoleon lived with my mom since I broke my foot at the beginning of April ’15. She fell in love with him, just like everyone who met him. He was an amazing friend, and I enjoyed doing everything with him. He was an “American Dream Dog” as one of my client’s described him. After he had some training, he always listened, he was spot on with every command, he was 100% off leash reliable, and was polite with other dogs. I used that example with a lot of my clients because I believe any dog can be your “American Dream Dog” once you achieve this type of relationship with them. This won’t take the dog out of the dog, or change who they are.

I feel I have this type of relationship with all my dogs, but the one I had with Napoleon was different and special because he taught me this was possible. He taught me about living a life with a dog is one of the most fulfilling adventures. He was the reason I was introduced to Heather Beck from K9 Lifeline, and that started my entire journey on the path to becoming a dog trainer.
He stuck with me through flooding in my brand new house, the journey of me figuring out how to handle my PTSD, anxiety, depression, and my bipolar swings. He was there when I needed to get away from the world. He always greeted me like I was the best thing since sliced bread. He went through my divorce with me. I used him to help with evaluations and dogs who needed help. I used him as an example for nutrition, obedience, and behavior stories.

CGCnappyJust like all dogs, he has all kinds of happy, silly stories. I’m trying to remember them all, but the hurt is too much right now. Give me time. I feel this in my bones. My muscles hurt everywhere,  my head is going to explode, and my heart is in pieces. I hurt everywhere and all I want to do is sleep. But I have to be strong. The world keeps turning, and he wouldn’t want me to shut down. So, I’m working. Slowly, but I’m doing what needs to be done, and I’m teaching. I may break down in front of everyone, but I’m not stopping.

I don’t hide how I feel very well because it’s exhausting and takes way more energy than just being honest. So I’m being honest. My heart is broken and I’m on a roller coaster of emotions. I’m raw and fragile and I’m not a rock. I can’t be anyone’s rock for a while. I need to take care of me, and I promised I would be strong.

dirtynappyIf I didn’t make the decision, he would hang on as long as possible to be there for me, and he would be happy about it until the very end, regardless of how he felt. Rob told me Nappy would tell me when he was ready, and so I made the decision that as soon as I “heard” that, I would make a decision and I wouldn’t waiver. So, on Saturday night, he showed me. It was really hard all day watching him, and that night, it was unmistakable. I didn’t know if I would see him again when we went to sleep. I made the decision I would call as soon as everyone had a chance to say goodbye.
NappyHappysept2015This dog was very special, and helped me get over a lot of baggage. And maybe, he did his job. He helped me release a lot of things I was hanging onto and taught me how to handle emotions a little better, how to let things go a little faster, and how to teach everything I learned to others. And I absorbed that information, so his job was done and now it was time his soul went elsewhere and helped others learn.

I don’t believe in a Heaven or Hell. I don’t believe in God or Satan. I believe that when we die, pieces of our souls go where we are most needed. Usually to another broken soul, or to a new life. Napoleon has a pure, happy soul. He helped me realize I am also in charge of my own happiness, and external influences shouldn’t affect my happiness. I am in charge of my state of mind, and I can fight anxiety, frustration, anger, and sadness. I can choose to be happy. Right now, I am choosing to grieve the loss of my friend. Don’t worry, Poly, I’ll be happy again.

I miss you so much, and I’m so happy you chose me for a few years to teach me everything. I’m lucky to have had you in my life. You’re so special, and I hope your soul finds peace and happiness wherever it goes.

I love you, buddy.

Nappy 2013

December 2013

This Old Dog

Napoleon, December 2015

Napoleon, December 2015

Napoleon and Mia -June 2012

Napoleon and Mia -June 2012

It’s never easy when your kids are sick and there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s never easy when it’s your dog and they can’t tell you how they feel either. You know they aren’t doing well, but you can’t ask them what’s wrong. Your heart breaks, but you have to be strong for them. They stick with you for everything, and they love you no matter what. You sometimes lash out against them when you are upset, but they love you right after anyway. You teach them how to behave.

So when they are sick and you can’t do anything, it breaks your heart. At what point do you step in and start interfering? In the wild, animals would suffer for days, weeks, months, sometimes years until the reaper finally takes them. It’s “humane” to step in and prevent that from happening, right? Isn’t it? It feels like the “right” thing to do, but you don’t know when it’s the right time to make the call. You don’t know when. Unless they tell you. But listening to them say they are done is painful too. Because then that responsibility is yours alone. You have to take on the choice and make it for them. You would want that done for you, wouldn’t you? To be put out of your pain, or prevent the suffering from getting worse.

The day we brought him home. Fat Napoleon! May of 2011

The day we brought him home. Fat Napoleon! May of 2011

Every time for me is different. This isn’t the first time I’ve been in this position, nor the second or third. I’ve been here a lot. This seems harder for some reason. I’m losing my very first dog. He’s been through a divorce, a horrible breakup, job losses, me starting up my business, the sale of my old home, the purchase of a new one and everything in between, and he’s been my guinea pig for so much that I’ve learned. I made so many mistakes with him, but he was also the reason of why I even got started in the first place. He was my service dog. He got me through an incredibly difficult trauma, but also taught me I can’t use dogs to replace human relationships, and I needed to be strong for him. Weakness in a leader isn’t a good trait. So, I learned to be stronger. I learned how to protect myself, and how to handle my emotions and my bipolar better. I am the person I am today because of what he taught me.

Napoleon and Me

Napoleon and Me – July 2013

I’m watching him get old. Not only just get old though, but literally lose motor function every day. You see it in his eyes. You see it when he looks at you. And I am seeing what he’s showing me. I’m not being selfish here, I’m deciding what I want to do for him. Which course is the right answer for him? What can I do for him to make him happy at this point? The doctor thinks it’s a brain tumor at this point. Called him today and gave him an update on some changes since we started treatment. If it was what we originally thought, this wouldn’t be happening. We thought it was because he had distemper as a puppy. We thought this treatment would help. Every day, I visibly see him getting worse. It’s not a slow progression anymore.

Everybody

Right to Left:
Mamma (RIP), Marshall, Dante, Napoleon, Jinx
Dec, 2014

I want to be fair to him. I want to make the right choice for him. I’m stuck, I don’t know what to do. So I’m getting information. I won’t just give up. I don’t do that. But I want to make whatever decision is in his best interest. And I have a feeling I know the answer, but I’m not ready without all the information. The doctor said to wait until after the weekend so we can see if the new treatment is working. So that’s what I’m doing. I’m waiting. I hate waiting…

Napoleon and Jed

Jed (RIP) and Napoleon, hanging out while I shower.
Jan 2016

Christmas Cycle

PK9 Dogs

A few of my kids all curled up

thorinChristmas day started with white, beautiful snow on the ground outside. A lot of it – almost an obscene amount which made me glow with happiness since I LOVE snow and I love that we had so much. Especially on Christmas. I started a fire in the fireplace and watched the snow fall outside. I watch this particular serene beauty blanket the world. It really does look like peace on Earth. Dogs are snoring, asleep curled up in their beds. Dirty dishes in the sink, wrapping paper littering the floor, and I’m curled up on the couch in my comfiest pjs with my coffee. These are the little moments where I miss having someone the most. To curl up, drink coffee in front of the fire with the sleeping dogs, watching the snow. That’s my vision of a perfect Christmas. I better get used to having these alone from now on.

dishesI don’t miss the bullshit, it’s not worth it. Loneliness hurt < Betrayal/Trust broken hurt. Not worth it. But these are the moments where I really love spending it with someone special. These moments are the ones that tear me up inside and it takes a while for me to sew myself back together every single time. This wasn’t supposed to be this way. Not just anyone, but THAT person. Once I feel the hurt and the loneliness set in, the feeling immediately after is hurt and anger and betrayal. Seems I have a lot of that in my life. Seems people love to make me feel this collection of feelings. So, I’ll deal with the loneliness and I’ll compartmentalize these into a box that will remind me to leave my heart there. I have a hard enough time letting people in. Trust takes so long for me… then if it’s broken, it takes years to get it back. Just ask my ex napoleonhusband. He made one mistake that really hurt me years ago, and it took me a little over 2 years to be able to trust him again. It’s not my place to talk about the details of what happened, it’s his story too. After all that’s gone down between us, he’s still one of my best friends. I trust him. I don’t want to put myself out there to trust new people, it just seems to remind me every single fucking time why I don’t bring new people into my life. So, I’m sticking with the friends I know and who I know I can trust. I’m done with taking risks on people. I’ll meet people, sure. But they aren’t getting any pieces of my heart. Emotionally, I’m putting all that into a box. Doesn’t stop me from randomly crying about it though. I can’t stop it, don’t tell me to. Bipolar doesn’t work like that. ‘Just be happy’ doesn’t work for us. Sorry.

christmasmorningAnyway, my family came over, and we spent the morning together. I love spending time with my family, and I wish I had a little more flexibility to go visit them sometimes, but with my business, I can’t leave the dogs that long. And holidays are one of our busiest times because people go out of town. I love what I do, but I’m in the process of trying to make big changes so maybe I can go on vacation sometimes, or take a full day off, or visit my family. I feel a little guilty because Christmas snuck up on me this year, and I didn’t get any gifts for my family. I still plan on getting something really nice, but it’s hard because my dad has EVERYTHING! And gift cards are too mainstream. Anyway, I’ll figure it out! I was also invited to spend Christmas dinner with a client who has turned into a friend. I love her and her dog, and she gifted me a super awesome Jack Skellington shot glass. It means a lot, considering she wanted to keep it, and she absolutely loves it. I love Jack stuff, and she always finds the coolest little NMBC knick knacks!

danteI know I’m going through rapid cycling, because I’ve been really happy, and then really sad within a few minutes of each other. Went snowboarding on Christmas Eve, and that whole day I was off. I didn’t enjoy myself, and would rather just drink coffee, listen to music and watch everyone else ride. So, I did. That’s a rare occurrence when I don’t want to be up there on the mountain. Same thing though-snowy mountains with snow falling, Christmas Eve, and I’m by myself. First ‘single Christmas’ in about 10 years. It’s a much different feeling than I have ever had on Christmas. As I said, I better get used to it since I’m done with letting people in. No, I’m not self wallowing, just reflecting. Don’t feel sorry for me, I’m not asking for sympathy. Just want to explain feelings, and maybe someone else feels the same.

jinxAnyway, I have a showing for my house in a few hours, so I do need to clean up the wrapping paper, do the dishes, and sweep up all the dog hair. So I better get to it. Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.

 

snowboard

Working Through Complicated Emotions

europe-after-storm

Over the horrible suicidal hump again.. It always ends, but in those moments, I’m worthless. I hate how it’s never the same. It’s never after a ‘high’ or a specific time of the month, it never comes at opportune moments when I don’t have 1000 things going on, and it never lasts the same amount of time. It’s unpredictable.

But now I’m over that hump, and I’m “fine”.. if I person like me can be fine. I’m training, I’m working, I’m cleaning, and I’m focusing on the things that make me happy and feel like I have a reason.

I wish there was a pill I could take that would get rid of the lows while I could still feel the highs. But it doesn’t work like that. I have to suck up, buck up and bear it. And in those moments, I am at my most raw, vulnerable state. I focus on every negative thing that is happening, and I can’t see how much people care about me. I only focus on hurting. It’s blinding, I feel like I can’t breathe. Like there’s a weight on my chest and it’s going to crush me at any moment.

My newest dog helped me quite a bit this time by giving me the support I needed to work through the panic, the pain, and the feeling of being totally lost. The last time I felt like this was almost 5 years ago. It hasn’t been this intense in so, so long. I forgot how powerful this feeling is and how much it hurts. Last time, I didn’t call anyone. I just did it. This time, I called my mom.

then-it-hits-youI got news my divorce was final. I was already overwhelmed, depressed, stressed, and anxious. And then I got that email. It floored me. So many complicated emotions. I couldn’t handle it. I called my mom, and had a panic attack on the phone. I grabbed my dog and she stayed on the phone with me the whole time while I thrashed around and screamed and cried and held Thorin. He just laid there and let me grab him, and thrash, and he handled it. My mom stayed on the phone with me the whole time. I was in the ‘red zone’. The most dangerous place to be mentally. This time, I asked for help. I couldn’t function, I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t work. My mom was there for me the whole time and didn’t leave my side once. I vented and cried and screamed and let her see me at my worst. It’s been a very long time since I’ve been in this place. And fuck, I was wishing so badly a jet engine would fall on my house and crush me. I wanted my house to spontaneously combust or fall into the Earth and take me with it. I just wanted to end the horrible feeling.

After the feeling of utter helplessless, I feel nothing. It may take a few days to get to that point, but then I can’t feel anything. Usually after that, I have deep gratitude for everything and everyone in my life who make me a better person. My mom is a big one. I hope she realizes how much she means to me, and if not, I hope I can show her. She drove all the way to my house that day. And then left at midnight, with an hour and a 1/2 drive home. Then, came out to me the next morning to be with me. To watch me, to protect me. To be there for me when I really needed someone. She was there. I hope I can be there for her as much as she’s been there for me.

I know quite a few people with mental illnesses, disorders, or depression. It seems these people have a trend. We feel everything. And we feel it so incredibly deeply. When we feel sad, we feel our world is being torn apart. When we are happy, we feel joyful and like we can take on anything. When we get hurt, we want to die. When our heart breaks, it’s exemplified to the point where we don’t ever want to feel again. It hurts too much. When we love, we love with all our heart. We would give everything to the people we love. We would do anything for them.

As for the feelings about my divorce… I’m still sorting through them. When I feel I can accurately describe this, I will share. I can’t today.

Mamma

I have some catching up to do. I’m going to backdate this post a bit.

I adopted a dog from a rescue. She was a “hospice foster”. I knew that when I got her. Her name was Esther. She was around 8 years old, a beautiful, gentle pitbull. She was underweight, had poor structure, had a mammary gland tumor, and really bad teeth. She had clearly been used for quite a bit of breeding. I didn’t like this name for her. Esther just didn’t fit her beautiful personality. I renamed her Mamma.

project_k9_rescue_pittie_mamma_pet_lossThis girl came into my life around the end of September last year. She was a sort of impulse decision. Her rescue posted online she only had a few hours to live unless she was pulled. They claimed no behavioral issues, she was solid around people and other dogs as well as cats. Basically, she just had medical issues.

I thought, I have the finances, the resources, and the space. I can help her. So, I pulled her in hopes of fostering her until I found her a forever home. After just a couple days, I realized how hard she was going to be to place. She did have quite a lot of medical problems and she deserved to just retire. So, I decided to keep her. Make her a permanent member of my pack, and have her retire with me.

She had a skin issue, making her super itchy, so when you pet/scratched her, she actually twerked to get more aggressive scratching on her backside. She would wag her tail happily and rub her back all over your fingers. She would look at you with those big brown eyes and you just had to smile.

project_k9_mamma_pet_loss_pitbullsShe played tug, but was too old to have any force behind it. We took her to the park last week, and she played tug and was acting like she was a puppy. She enjoyed herself so much, and you could see her eyes light up when we got there. We got home, and she crashed. She was so tired from all the excitement.

The next morning is when the problems started. She couldn’t get up to go potty, and I had to carry her up the stairs. She had a seizure that morning. Throughout the week, she continued to have seizures, and couldn’t stand all the way to potty. She started to fall, or rest her knees on the ground to squat. She couldn’t do the stairs, and she stopped eating. I decided instead of pumping her full of meds, knowing full well she wasn’t going to get any better, I made the decision. I knew this time was coming, but I didn’t realize it was going to be so soon.

project_k9_park_day_mamma_pet_lossThe whole week, she got to spend time on the furniture, sleep in my bed, eat a cheeseburger, and go on a walk alone with me. Just me and her. She got playtime just with me. And the morning of her appointment, I let her shred her tug rope. I normally don’t allow any of those things. I wasn’t a trainer that day. I was a dog mom who was losing one of her ‘kids’. But I had to keep it together for her. I had to be strong. I couldn’t show her I was weak. Even though my heart was breaking, all she saw was my smiling face, and positive energy. I battled it all morning.

The vet gives her the pink juice… she’s gone before they even finish the injection. She was ready. I ordered a paw print for her. I hope now she doesn’t feel any pain.

I feel sad and heartbroken, but also relieved and happy. I was able to spend the last few months showing her what it’s like to be loved and cared for, and to be part of a family. The love of a rescued elderly dog is very much a different story.

I’m sad I had to say goodbye, but I’m glad she was with me for the final days of her life. Everyone who met her loved her. She loved people. I’m happy I didn’t adopt her out and the new family had to make this decision a few months after falling in love with her like I did.

Goodbye, Mamma. I love you always. Rest in peace now girl, the pain is gone.

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