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my dog is not well
alz+
Posted: Tuesday, September 27, 2016 10:45 PM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3526


Heidi cut one foot a month ago, while it was healing her other foot seemed to become a problem too. Went to vet today and had it xrayed, diagnosis bone cancer in right shoulder, spread to lungs, very aggressive cancer.

They want to amputate her leg this week to "end the bone pain" and we don't think that is a good idea. vet said she is 13 and sent her home with pain medicine. 

My dog is my best friend, she has helped me negotiate the world since husband adopted her 8 years ago. How to help her die well?

My  life of being free to walk and roam has hung on her shoulders. We are figuring out what to do.

she has developed a lot of pain over past 3 days, told it will be worse very soon. My daughter is here and very helpful.

winter is looming bigger than ever.  very sad here and kind of laying low. dog is on bed now snuggled into Keeper's arms.

****

I was part of WRAP study on ALZ and they called today, asked if I will fill out a long questionnaire on being diagnosed, symptoms, etc. Something to do to help the cause.


BlueSkies
Posted: Wednesday, September 28, 2016 1:26 AM
Joined: 2/24/2016
Posts: 1096


Alz+, I am so sorry to hear about Heidi.   She has been such a loving and loyal companion to you.   I know you must be devastated with the news.   I have lost my share of beloved pets and know the heartache that comes with such news.  It's time to shower her with lots of love and special attention.  I am sure that you will make her last days as comfortable as possible.  When it's time for you to intervene you will know.  When your that close to a pet as you are to Heidi you will instinctly know what to do.  I send my love and prayers to you both.
Iris L.
Posted: Wednesday, September 28, 2016 2:09 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16102


Alz+, I am so sorry to learn about Heidi's new diagnosis.  It's terrible for an animal to be in pain.  I'm sure you will do all you can do to relieve her.  When the time comes, you will release her.  It's good that your daughter is there with you.  I will pray for you, your daughter and Heidi.


Iris L.


jfkoc
Posted: Wednesday, September 28, 2016 9:01 AM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 17264


We depend on our dogs for so many things. The thought of being without them and their unconditional love is devastating.
Agent 99
Posted: Wednesday, September 28, 2016 9:50 AM
Joined: 6/7/2013
Posts: 2165


My heart is breaking for you and Heidi.  CHaos and I are thinking of your family and sending licks and bear hugs.
Dawn831
Posted: Wednesday, September 28, 2016 10:51 AM
Joined: 10/30/2015
Posts: 262


I am so sorry to hear about Heidi's cancer. I would agree that amputation is not a good idea. I spent many years working with dogs and saw many people put their dogs through amputations or chemo an an attempt to save or prolong their dogs life only to have to say goodbye in a very short time anyway. Snuggling on the bed sounds like a great option to me.
Unforgiven
Posted: Wednesday, September 28, 2016 11:09 AM
Joined: 1/28/2013
Posts: 2551


I'm so sorry about Heidi.  I know how much she means to you.  Snuggles and pain pills are the best alternative in a sad situation like this.  All I can offer is virtual hugs.
alz+
Posted: Wednesday, September 28, 2016 12:20 PM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3526


thank you for kind words and advice - all of you know more about how much my dog allows me to walk and go places and sleep or spend a night alone besides being my best friend.

Keeper is devastated, we are helping each other through this remarkably well.

microwave blew up so trying to find replacement, guess buy one online? half price model I like on home depot.

 about dog's anxiety and pain - we gave her the vet pain med last night because she was in distress and her eyes looked wild and confused but she did sleep.

at 4am I got up with her and she kept telling me it hurts so I  gave her 1/4 mm cookie (I was gifted a dozen last week) and she slept, then woke up wagging and went to park with Keeper and ate. She is relaxed now. She had a paranoid reaction to vet meds before so this might give us all another week or 2.

I know this will hit me in a few days, can't seem to climb out of my distress hole of anxiety. Also got vertigo coming and going.

Your words, from each of you hit me just right. People just do not get brain overload no matter how how often I explain it.

Our 15 year wedding anniversary today. Poor Heidi. Such a great dog.

will check in again in few days.

love you all so much!


Lane Simonian
Posted: Wednesday, September 28, 2016 3:11 PM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 4564


I was very sad to hear the news about Heidi.  What a beautiful, wonderful dog--intuitive, kind, and loving.  You, Keeper, and Heidi will be in my thoughts.
Iris L.
Posted: Thursday, September 29, 2016 3:10 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16102


Although this is a sad time for you and Keeper, you have made it to 15 years!  Fantastic!  And Heidi has been there with you both for most of those years.  You all are quite a team.  Rejoice in the time you have together.


Iris L.


julielarson
Posted: Thursday, September 29, 2016 4:41 AM
Joined: 9/30/2015
Posts: 1155


Alz I am so sorry to read about Heidi, I know how important she has been to you and how much you must love her. I will say Reiki for her and for you. Big hugs to you.
The_Sun_Still_Rises
Posted: Thursday, September 29, 2016 6:53 AM
Joined: 7/24/2015
Posts: 3020


OMGosh, nothing is worse than when you are forced make tough decisions you beloved dog....I am soooo sorry.  Our fur babies sure have ways of weaving themselves into our hearts and souls.  All my love and sympathy you guys...and I cannot even begin imagine you fear of what this means you future.  I just want say, Alz+ you are an incredibly strong and resourceful woman...even if it does no feel like it, you are.  I know our brains can be slow see options...and as much as it feels like the end of your world...you really will find a way.  Trust in you self, trust in the universe. 

((Hugs))...love you.

<3


llee08032
Posted: Thursday, September 29, 2016 7:18 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4406


(((((Alz+))))),

So sorry and sad to hear Heidi girl is ill!I know you, keeper and daughter are smothering her with love and tender care. I agree that you will instinctively know when the time comes. Heidi has been by your side...I feel your pain and know what a partner, best friend, comforter and blessing that she has been to you. Find some comfort and peace in how loving, kind and gentle you have have been in caring for her and what a good life you have provided. 


llee08032
Posted: Thursday, September 29, 2016 7:28 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4406


(((((Alz+))))),

So sorry and sad to hear Heidi girl is ill!I know you, keeper and daughter are smothering her with love and tender care. I agree that you will instinctively know when the time comes. Heidi has been by your side...I feel your pain and know what a partner, best friend, comforter and blessing that she has been to you. Find some comfort and peace in how loving, kind and gentle you have have been in caring for her and what a good life you have provided. 


Jo C.
Posted: Thursday, September 29, 2016 9:21 AM
Joined: 12/9/2011
Posts: 10043


Dearest alz+ and alz's husband, I just saw the message about Heidi and am stunned by such deeply sad news.  Over time, I actually felt as though I got to know Heidi, she is so very special.  What a beautiful and loving companion; she is surely "good people."

There are not words sufficient to say how sorry I am; my heart goes out to the both of you who have been Heidi's loving family for so many years.  She has been blessed to have been loved and cared for by the two of you and she has given back her love and faithfulness in return in so many ways.

I am sure that Heidi feels your love and that you will know when the time for her to leave becomes merciful.

 Please do know I am thinking of you all and that I send my heartfelt sympathy to you.

 J.


alz+
Posted: Thursday, September 29, 2016 11:36 AM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3526


friends here - love you all!

Iris, about making it 15 years of marriage, you are right about how incredible that is.

Heidi has relaxed using the cookies, someone made her DOSE sized cookies yesterday and gave them to us. the tumor is actually bulging out from her shoulder already.

last night I slept on couch with her. slept is the wrong word. had long cry and she comforted me with her paw. exhausted. I remember when L lee went through this with her dog. just breaks your heart.

the vet encouraging us to do the extraordinary measures. I want her pain free until,, as some of you have pointed out, the time comes and we know it.

My problem today is that not sleeping and needing to focus more on her is going to make me go down hill and be unable to help at all.

what a choice. Keeper said he will do night shift and nap short times during day and I  should pick up the other time. Dog is getting a bunch of cuddles from my daughter.This could go on for a month or more.

GUILT for not being able to be superwoman here.


The_Sun_Still_Rises
Posted: Thursday, September 29, 2016 12:36 PM
Joined: 7/24/2015
Posts: 3020


Oh hun, you still the superwoman...you have no idea the strength and grace that you exude others looking on.  I have never known a strong woman who feels herself strong. 

Yes, the disease sucks when you really need be there for someone else...because rising up for another really does cost one in getting worse.  Remember, the worse is temporary, and will restore normal when it over and you no longer under such stress.  And it OK make that choice...put youself under stress seem worse for someone you love, like Heidi. 

I am so glad hear that you husband and daughter are starting rally around you...and help. 

You and Heidi were what encouraged me get Bodhi, and I would feel remiss if I did no do same favor you...and even though you no where near ready for another dog or even think about one at the moment...I do get that you are fearing you will never be able walk again...like next summer...but I just wanted remind you that there are a great many dogs out there who would be more than happy fill in, when you ready...so that you life no over yet.  I hope you receive that in the spirit I am intending it...as a comfort...help you be present with Heidi now, and no have worry about you future fears. 

You are by far, one of the strongest women I know.  Hang in there, try no feel guilty...you did no ask for Alz, some things are just beyond you control...and sometimes the best any of us can do is be there support each other (like you supporting Heidi). 

My daughter send her empathy as well.  You are in our thoughts and prayers.  Dogs are so divine, they live only love you...and will do so no matter how much it hurts.  There no love in the world like a dog's love for you. 

((Hugs)) and all our love. 


w/e
Posted: Thursday, September 29, 2016 12:56 PM
Joined: 3/7/2012
Posts: 1710


I've been out of the loop for a while... Just read your news. I taste your tears.

Heidi's body will move-on to the beyond-beyond. Electro-magnetic particles wandering freely amongst the stars. Sniffing this and that. Discovering this and that and the other... Her faithful and unconditional love shall remain in a corner of your heart for ever. I know you know that.

Courage, dear friend.


Mimi S.
Posted: Thursday, September 29, 2016 1:01 PM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 7036


Dear Alz+,

My sympathy to all in your household at this time. Heidi has been such a faithful companion. You will know when it's time to let her go to her reward.


The_Sun_Still_Rises
Posted: Sunday, October 2, 2016 3:07 PM
Joined: 7/24/2015
Posts: 3020


Keeping you and your family in my heart and mind.  Hope you are doing ok, and remembering that you are much loved. 

<3


Veterans kid
Posted: Sunday, October 2, 2016 7:00 PM
Joined: 10/17/2014
Posts: 1245


I am so aorry

Heidi is a family member.  She has been so loving a good to and for you...and you to her as well.

Keeping you in my rhoughts and prayers- and sending you endless hugs and Little Debbie's 

Always B VK


llee08032
Posted: Wednesday, October 5, 2016 8:33 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4406


Thinking of you and sending prayers your way. Love you Alz+ and Heidi!
alz+
Posted: Wednesday, October 5, 2016 9:08 AM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3526


yesterday Keeper drove me and dog to Lake Superior. most perect day of year, sunny, flat lake, empty beach, lots of rocks.

the dog swam retrieved her 1 stick (if you throw it again she thinks you can get it yourself) and strolled around sniffing things.

I was frozen and exhausted - frozen when my body does not respond to desire to get up and walk or move) but I did get up and collected 2 buckets of rocks. the still water waves washed tons of gorgeous rocks onto the beach and while wet you can see the details in them.

Keeper and dog sat back in shade and my mind was focused totally on the waves and rocks for an hour or more. sea gulls, great chains of clouds, an old woman who used to volunteer at thrift shop was there with her daughter who came after she had a stroke and we were both being revitalized by that lake breeze and sand under our feet.

I read each of your posts and took much from them to heart. The need to react quickly and appropriately to the dog's pain or needs is present but my abilities are much fewer than ever.

Sun reminded me that when I get drained and lose some functions that they may very well come back when the crisis is over and the exhaustion leaves. And if it does not, I have had 2 years extra of learning how to love and be loved in return.

I still grieve not putting these thoughts into a pack of written journals, the little things I figured out, conflicts resolved, how to deal with things that can not be resolved, peace that is found and peace that eludes me.

ALZ is one long lesson in learning to let go, of falling backwards into the uncertain and unknown, learning humility, how to be grateful for what was and what is now. Helping my dog now is to stay calm and be present for her and to know she is not grading me. She knows more than anyone in my life how I am not quite ... sturdy or fully in charge anymore. She may be the only being in my real life world who accepts me and knows how to comfort me. 

sometimes I forget how good it is to feel the hurts and cry them out.

there is the part where I see Keeper's patience worn thin and wonder how soon before I will be someplace else, with paid people to look after me. It could be a huge relief.


alz+
Posted: Sunday, October 9, 2016 11:25 AM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3526


julielarson wrote:
Alz I am so sorry to read about Heidi, I know how important she has been to you and how much you must love her. I will say Reiki for her and for you. Big hugs to you.

 

**********
Julie, can use another Reiki ... this could be a new full time job working with people with dementia or animals in Pawspice.
Heidi's right front shoulder is bulging and she has been having mild seizures, checks to make sure I am close 24 hrs/day like she knows she needs protection.

(I have always suggested jobs for people, since I was a child! if you want would you share how you came to learn reiki and what it is like to "send me" a treatment here?

I think massage would be helpful to anyone with dementia. I gave my dad massages even during his dying. He loved massages!

alz+
Posted: Sunday, October 9, 2016 11:35 AM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3526


Being in charge, even in a smaller way, of a living being's health and death is difficult for me. I have always had dogs and mostly lived alone, so this is also new to me - to have Keeper handling 80% of everything.

Facing my own losses more clearly in areas where responsibility, understanding, making choices for others is concerned.

First time in my life I am relieved of duty when making the end of life for another call. For now, Heidi is happy. Flushed a rabbit this morning and now enjoying a broiled soup bone. 


The_Sun_Still_Rises
Posted: Sunday, October 9, 2016 7:57 PM
Joined: 7/24/2015
Posts: 3020


((Hugs)), I am so glad you had a wonderful day at the beach.  Yeah, dementia is wonderfully spiritual in its revelations, isn't it...and it is surprising how it can be so there for us...and yet never get expressed.  It almost give it a reverence and a sanctity...I just love it.  It almost feels like moving closer to g-d, and being able enjoy all the flowers along the way. 

You guys stay in our hearts and minds, sending you strength...and patience with yourself. 

<3


llee08032
Posted: Monday, October 10, 2016 10:25 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4406


Alz+, I bet you chose some beautiful rocks. Your collection is growing and growing. I am happy to hear that Heidi is happy and comfortable. I will pray to St Francis of Assisi who used to preach to animals for your dear Heidi. Every day is dear and precious.

I am grateful that I got to hold, love on, talk to and comfort Diesel through to the end. After some of the grief and pain lifted I realized that some humans do not get to die within the arms of a loved one in the merciful way that my dear beloved Diesel did. I still miss him and Boomer! I was Blessed to have two great and wonderful dogs.

May mercy and grace be with you Alz+, Heidi and keeper.



alz+
Posted: Monday, October 10, 2016 12:04 PM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3526


Monday

Heidi is having good mornings once she takes first med. We take walks that are about 50 yards, she seems content with that, is getting more tired earlier in day. Last night she slept snuggled next to Keeper without any pain meds.  ???

She gives me a different look now, and it feels like the look I have given her when on our long walks when I was uncertain what to do, which direction to go. It all falls on Keeper's shoulders.

The body freeze thing, the inability to force myself to clear off deck for winter, to box up stuff to donate, or putting my daughter's address on a box to ship is intense. I think the anxiety and sadness of losing her is leaving me physically frozen. I was this way before I started the cbd oil, now when I take it I still can not move. this is increasing my fear of living another winter in house not cleaned out.

About an hour ago I took an Ativan as my heart was racing and my attempt to force myself to wash dishes ended with me walking away and leaving hot water running.

not even the act of crying is available. I ponder the people who have this illness who are unaware or who cannot express their distress.

when my husband went to church yesterday she and I stayed in bed until he came home, I dared not move. 

news came that my mother had another stroke, she had been leaving messages again. I felt nothing towards her but will send a card...some day.

 Keeper is consulting now with local vets to find one who will help us do Pawspice at home. The lack of understanding about ALZ surrounds me with the vet doctors, people I meet on street, neighbors. My life has become totally Keeper's responsibility - no one near us offers to help. 

I think I am heading to a breakdown, or that I had one already and it is locked inside waiting to break out.

Your words of comfort and understanding are holding me together, even when I do not come to boards I feel my support friends here.

dog just came in, saw me crying, got on bed and snuggled in close.



julielarson
Posted: Monday, October 10, 2016 12:06 PM
Joined: 9/30/2015
Posts: 1155


Alz, I just got your request on here today and I sent Reiki as soon as I read it. I learned Reiki from a master because I was getting out of college in my 40s and I was not having good luck finding a regular job and I thought that what I read about Reiki was interesting and so I called the master I would study under and asked if I could come and learn with her. There were a bunch of us who studied on a Saturday and a Sunday and we learned how to do Reiki and had the power bestowed onto us. It was an amazing experience and what I feel during Reiki is a closeness to the universe and this is something akin to being close to a god of choice. I always had a problem when it came to praying to a Christian god or a catholic god and I have no problem whatsoever saying Reiki all of the time. I do it without thinking about it and with no reservation. It is a wonderful thing in my life and I do not practice one on one anymore but found that I am better with the Reiki prayers sending long distance. I feel revitalized when I say Reiki and I know that when I did it one on one people always feel asleep when I did the hand positions. I however have the opposite reaction in that I get energized when someone gives me Reiki. I hope that the reiki I send to you gives you and your friend Heidi what is needed as I try and keep it open ended to give what is needed by the recipient. Much love and big hugs to you all.      
julielarson
Posted: Monday, October 10, 2016 12:15 PM
Joined: 9/30/2015
Posts: 1155


I forgot to add that I am a Reiki practioner level 2 and that is why I can send Reiki long distances.
julielarson
Posted: Monday, October 10, 2016 12:24 PM
Joined: 9/30/2015
Posts: 1155


Oh yes and to answer your question about how it feels for me to send Reiki to you and Heidi is that I feel empathy and love. I can feel the urgency of a situation too.
llee08032
Posted: Tuesday, October 11, 2016 7:44 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4406


((((((Alz+)))))),

 Grief does stop us in our tracks. Maybe an explanation of the frozen feeling? What you are going through is very, very difficult. Having been there not long ago I know how you feel and it hurts like heck! 

Our attachment to our pets is deeper than some can imagine. There are so many associations we have with our pets, such as our pets making us feel safe and secure. Our pets calm responses to our care for them make our lives seem normal in the face of an unpredictable world. 

I had a professor joke with me after I was widowed and rescued my dog Boomer, that he represented a replacement of sorts for my husband. I didn't mind the jokes and that dog helped me lift my head up out of a world of despair and loss. Grief is such a strange and complex phenomenon that manifests in many ways and we can never underestimate how strong the impact. You must take care Alz+, and take any other pressures off of yourself that you can. Don't sweat the small stuff now. All that stuff on the deck is not going anywhere. Be gentle and forgiving to yourself. Sending loving thoughts and wishes you way.


Dawn831
Posted: Tuesday, October 11, 2016 10:19 AM
Joined: 10/30/2015
Posts: 262


It just breaks my heart to read about Heidi's decline. You have been through so much already and it is not fair. None of this is fair. I'm such a dog person and know the deep pain associated with watching the decline of a beloved four legged family member. I just wanted to say I am thinking of you and Heidi. The stress you are going through right now due to her decline is huge to be sure, and to be expected.  You are bound to feel it, any loving dog parent would and the anxiety you are going through is normal. Try not to read too much into it and try not to worry about other stuff. Just spend your days doing what you feel up to and don't waste another minute stressing about decluttering your house or sending your mother a card.
llee08032
Posted: Wednesday, October 12, 2016 8:02 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4406


So true Dawn. Just do you now Alz+ and all you need to do to love on and  keep Heidi comfortable. That is plenty on your plate dear friend.
The_Sun_Still_Rises
Posted: Wednesday, October 12, 2016 1:45 PM
Joined: 7/24/2015
Posts: 3020


Sweet Alz+...

I totally get the "freeze" thing...and it has be linked with this disease.  While it can feel like anxiety, I am unsure it is related...but rather feel like (at least for me) the freeze creates anxiety.  It is hard discern. 

We spent a summer like that...needing do projects here.  I am totally stuck.  I know what needs doing...I can tell you all the steps.  I have often described it others my life as...it is in a planning spot in my head, I just can't move it in the doing spot.  Once something gets in the doing spot, I can do it...but I cannot verbalize anything about it.  I am actually shocked at how well I can do some things...as though it is new information for me. 

Now that the weather has turned, we have focus on inside.  Most pressing is our living space.  It used be a zen sanctuary for me...but now daughter and autistic toddler (which in some ways in not much different than dementia grandma, sensory wise)...we are trying, or rather I am, re-create this space for her.  Trouble is, I don't plan as well...I can't picture things in my head as well.  I can see all the countless tiny things I want do, but cannot form a bigger picture...and thus cannot do it. 

Seasons are changing also.  Life for us is changing.  Our patterns are changing.  This never happens smoothly...but rather with a lot of feelings of misgiving...unsureness what we are supposed be doing...and no one really understanding, telling us in ways we need hear, what we do now that we are inside more. 

At least Keeper is stepping up some.  He sounds like he is kind in considering pawspice.  We are such complex mixtures of things.  Everything can be so wrong...all while there is such a beauty and grace our brains in this disease.  I can never quite put words that...or capture that in a way others can see it. 

We really have trust that inner part of us that knows things...that we access, but are no longer aware of accessing.  It can get us through things, the way we used get ourselves through things.  I find, for me, my inner voice is gone...the one that could guide me in times like these...maybe that is so for you as well...can leave one feeling so lost, and not knowing why. 

You must be aching beyond belief...aching in fear of what is coming...yet you seem be handling this all with such beauty and grace....a true mark of a strong woman who has walked through hell and can sell directions. Hang in there my lovely friend.  We are holding you in our love and strength.

<3