Wednesday, June 13, 2012


I've got to admit, this is the beginning of a hard month for me. It was exactly a year ago that the first signs of Jasper's illness started to show up. Oh, to be fair, there were signs there before - mostly weight loss - but he was still in the "healthy" weight range according to the vet so it was chalked up to a normal aging process. I guess that's true anyway, kidney failure is bound to happen at his age.

But a year ago today, he stopped eating his dog food. Flat out stopped. He'd become a picky eater for a few months (only of dog food, he ADORED all people food) so I'd been getting creative, adding more and more high calorie canned food to his kibble until we had a 80/20 ratio and that was working until last June.

It started off so innocently, he stopped eating dog food so we started making our own dog food. He went to the vet for a normal check up and we talked to him about how to do it. We took Jasper along with us that day when we went out to lunch and everything was so normal, he was complimented by the other diners on how beautiful he was and how well behaved. We had a fun time at lunch. It's a nice memory of the last normal day.

We came home that day, took him for an evening walk and he was sick. He continued to be sick over the weekend so we called the vet on Monday and he said it was to be expected when switching diets. I needed to go to Florida to celebrate my mom's birthday with her and was then going to stay out there for our 25th anniversary party. I flew away with misgivings because my boy was not feeling well but things seemed to be getting better (even though my initial thought when this all started was - this is not going to end well.)

I love being in Florida and so I flew out a couple of days before I was really scheduled to be there just to have a few precious moments to myself in a beloved place. The year before I had spent a few wonderful days by myself after my mom's birthday and they turned out to be the last carefree days I'd had in a year so I was desperately hoping to find that peace and happiness again.

Unfortunately it wasn't to be, I had one wonderful night of sleep, got up the next morning looking forward to a relaxing day by the pool until I got a phone call from T that he'd spent the night in the emergency vet, Jasper had kidney failure and was currently at our vet on IVs. I needed to come home immediately and even then it might be too late. And that was the beginning of the end. I flew back right away, didn't even get to see my mother and had to cancel our anniversary party. Jasper made it through the next couple of weeks but he wasn't the same dog I had left when I flew to Florida. His body was there but his spirit was already out of the door except for a couple of tantalizing flickers that were apparently designed to get our hopes up before crushing them forever.

There's something almost comforting about being able to think to yourself "this time last year we were together." Comforting until you get to this part, the part where your memories stop being sweet and start hurting, when you only have the bad parts to recall.

So I'm not looking forward to my memories for the next month. Luckily there are plenty of things going on to distract me, the ongoing (and emotionally draining) search for jobs, my mother's upcoming 90th birthday which has been its own roller coaster of drama, the Laura Ingalls Wilder conference I've been working on for the past year which is coming down to the wire and requires more of my time and attention than I actually have at my disposal.

Wow, when I look at that list, I desperately need something fun to look forward to. I'm going to have to work on that!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Pull up a chair on the porch, have some lemonade and leave your comment in my mailbox. Thanks for visiting my little cottage!