Tag Archive: dogs


And Then There Were Three

Today we sadly had to put down my oldest dog, Sammy. We got him from the pound 12 years ago, and he’s been a welcoming face home everyday since. He was 16 this year and things were definitely becoming difficult for him. He developed really bad vertigo yesterday and could hardly stand up. Apparently this is something that can happen with older dogs, and occurs seasonally. The vet said he could possibly return to something close to normal in about a week, but he wasn’t eating and was barely mobile on his own before this anyway. We decided it was the right time and took him in this morning.

I will definitely miss him. I’m mostly sad I was so worried about him dying for so long that I never took him out to do anything. I feel like I didn’t do enough with him or for him. Growing up we weren’t allowed out to play unless my mom went with, and she was always tired after work, or had extra work to do, so we never got out just to go on walks. I think Sam was definitely happy with us but I still feel like he could’ve had more adventure. He’s been a reliable constant in my life for many years now and I will definitely miss him. I think I’ll probably miss the way his tail would wag in a circle the most. Whenever he was really excited his tail would just go completely around in circles like a propeller. I’m glad he’s finally at rest though and I think it was definitely his time.

The house feels really quiet without him. He had a little trouble staying the right temperature so he was always panting, and any time he wanted to get up and move there was always a bit of stumbling while he got his bearings. And you could always expect to find him laying in the middle of the floor. Without him here the house seems a little bit bigger and significantly quieter, and it’s something I’m not at all used to. He’s been a part of my life since I was 10. He used to sleep on my bed when we first brought him home. Me and a big black lab curled up on a little twin sized mattress. My life is going to be really weird without him.

Mostly I’m writing this to just say thanks to him for everything. Thanks for being my best friend, and for always being there when I needed you. You were mine, and I was yours. Always.

 

My new job is going really really well. I’ve been there for almost exactly a month. Maybe a month and two days if I remember correctly. I’m very overqualified so I have a lot of time on my hands. I’m treating this position like the character Andy Sachs in The Devil Wears Prada. My boss is slightly similar to Miranda Priestly, in that she gives you very little time to get a project done, and she has very high expectations but doesn’t give you much in the way of instructions. My shift supervisor struggles with that a lot and she and my manager often bump heads because of it. So far I’ve handled everything thats been thrown at me pretty much flawlessly, and I’ve also done a few smaller projects that my manager doesn’t know about. I just recently finished compiling all of the files for a store manual, since our store was the only one that had a copy of it and it was extremely outdated. It was handed off to my manager for review yesterday so we’ll see what she has to say!

in other news, we almost put Sam down last week. His health has seriously declined over the last two years and he’s had this awful tumor growing on the back of his neck. He regularly scratched at it to the point that it would start bleeding profusely. I came home at least 5 different times to a small pool of blood on the floor, with drips of it throughout the house. My mom has been refusing to take him into the vet on the grounds that she can’t afford to take care of him, which has infuriated me to no end. Finally I told her I was taking him in with or without her, with the intention of putting him down. She came with and the vet said he was actually just in a lot of pain from arthritis and his tumor was infected. They told us years ago that it was benign and we didn’t need to worry about it, so we never had it removed.

We took home a weeks worth of pain meds and antibiotics to try out, and if we didn’t see his health or mood improving we would put him down. He recovered very quickly and the vet advised I give him a bath. I did but it irritated his infection and he scratched it open more than he’s ever done before. So I decided enough was enough and I took him in to have it removed myself, since my mom refused to do anything about it. He had the operation done yesterday and has a very large cut on the back of his neck to show for it. Believe it or not it actually looks better than the tumor. He’s been very subdued because of the pain meds he’s on, but he’s definitely getting his personality back and I expect he’ll be much happier once he’s healed up. We have to keep a T shirt on him until the wound has healed so he doesn’t scratch it open, and so far he hasn’t touched it. He hasn’t eaten today but he did drink some water this morning.

All of our dogs were actually due for checkups, so I took all four in at once the day before Sam’s surgery. Everyone needed their shots updated and we also got flea meds and some chew sticks to help fight plaque. It’s been an unbelievably expensive couple of days, but everyone will be happier and healthier, so it was worth it.

And since I’ve been so responsible with all of the dogs I felt I deserved a treat, so I went out and bought 72 stepping stones to make a pathway from our patio to the staircase in the garden. I’m still about 15 bricks short, but I have to wait until I deposit my paycheck until I go buy those. Even though its not finished it has made a dramatic improvement to the yard. It cuts the lawn almost completely in half and covers the most damaged part of it, so it makes the lawn look healthier than it is. We’ve been talking about putting in a pathway for years but my mom has never “had the funding for it”. She regularly uses that as an excuse to not do things, since so far this project has only cost me $87.51, and we spend twice that on eating out every month. Once all the bricks are down I think the total cost will be right around $120.

My mom and I have continued to grow more and more distant over the last year. I have a really hard time talking with her because she says no to almost every idea I have. I think of her more as a roommate than as a mom at this point. I don’t trust her to make good decisions so I don’t go to her for advice on anything, and I haven’t talked to her about how I feel about anything since I was probably a child. I’m really mad at her for how she’s handled Sam’s health. Every time my sister and I brought it up my mom automatically made it about her and how she didn’t want us to deal with her in her old age the way we were trying to deal with Sam.

This whole Sam thing has been very stressful for me though, and she hasn’t really seemed to realize that. I would rather have put him down than have had him suffer through like he was doing before we took him to the vet. He will be on the equivalent of ibuprofen for the rest of his life to combat his arthritis, but I suppose that’s fine. He does seem happier, and I had forgotten what he was like when he was playful.

I’ve grown really close to two of my coworkers from Starbucks, but I still feel very isolated and alone. I’m at this really annoying stage where I make enough money that I don’t need anything from my mom, but I don’t make enough money to move out and be entirely independent. I’m hoping a newer, better position comes up in the company I’m working for and that I can hire into it quickly. I’m technically supposed to stay there for a year but if something better comes up then I’m not sticking around.

Anyway, I really have to get going. I start work in an hour and I have to run to the bank. Thanks for reading!

An Update From Home

I’ve been home for just over a week now. I have to say, I’m not enjoying it. My house isn’t any messier than it has been in my entire life, but after living for a couple months on my own in a room that was immaculate and completely devoid of clutter, its driving me crazy. My first night back I stayed up until 2 AM rearranging the kitchen and the cupboards. You can’t find anything you need in this place and there’s stuff EVERYWHERE. My mom is genuinely a hoarder. We got in an argument this morning over moving a bookshelf from one side of the room to the other! It was finished by my mom saying she couldn’t afford to do anything and that she’s loosing her job soon (and I’m not exaggerating when I say she’s been saying that since we moved into this house 5 years ago). We were supposed to go for a walk today but she decided to shut herself in her room after telling me my opinions were “bullshit”.

That opened the way for a very nice breakfast with my sister though, and I do actually appreciate that. We talked about how crazy our parents are, and I apologized for being awful to her a couple years ago. It was nice to be able to talk about things again.

I’ve also stopped shaving, something I’ve only done once before. I’ve got three weeks of relative aloneness, so I figured now would be a fun time to see what I look like with facial hair. I normally could shave twice a day if I needed to, so its coming in fast. The longest I made it last time was 10 days, so I’m hoping to break that record this time, haha. I’ve also started going on walks! I feel bad not being able to play with the dogs all the time because of the weather, and even when we are playing its not like they’re getting constant exercise. So for the last three days I’ve made sure to do at least a half hour walk around the neighborhood with them. I almost didn’t go today because I was out of the house for so long running errands with a friend, but I decided i might as well go tonight. It was wonderful getting to see the city after dark! I live up on a hill but there are buildings in the way so I don’t get a very nice view from my house. There’s a nice street a few minutes away though and it has a great view of the valley and the hill on the other side.

I’m glad to be back home with my dogs, but living with my mom is definitely a bigger struggle than it was before. I’ve got a few big projects to do around the house this coming year, so I’m hoping I find a decent job to cover all of the expenses, haha. I did tell you I was going back to my old store right? So I’ll be working a few days a week there just to give me a small amount of income, but I’ll be looking for something bigger and better on my days off. Getting stuck at Starbucks is the last thing I want.

Anyway, my neighbor has invited me over for a movie, so I’m gonna head out! Jus thought I would write to let you all know I’m doing well. I feel like I don’t write those kinds of posts very often so its nice when I get to!

The Circle Of Life

Three days ago I decided it was time to get rid of my goldfish. I decided on the ‘temperature shock’ method, per a site recommended by Emily. The weather was cold enough that the garbage bin full of water (which we use for holding weeds during the summer) was partially frozen over. I took some ice from our freezer and put it in the garbage bin, to cool the water down a little bit more, and then went and got my goldfish. A minute or two later they had succumed to the cold. In the end I really do think its for the best. I couldn’t sit through another day of watching them slowly dying from all of their diseases. I’m struggling with Sam, who has been completely out of character for the last week. He and Buttercup escaped from the yard at 7 o clock at night about a week ago. Sam’s been pacing the house constantly, and his only form of breathing is panting. Today he started circling me, to the point that he was almost constantly touching me while he walked. He’ll trot around the house at random times, as if he’s just been scolded and is being chased, or like we’ve just put flee medicine on him, and he spends as much time outside as possible. When it was really cold last week he would go and lay in the frosted grass for so long that the frost would melt, and a dark imprint would be there for the rest of the evening. And he has been glued to me constantly. Normally he hates laying on the bed with me, but he’s taken to jumping up and practically sleeping on top of me. He’s sleeping on the couch downstairs a lot more, and has abandoned his usual spot in front of the front door. His erratic behavior is driving us all nuts because we don’t know what to do. I may be taking him to the vet tomorrow if they’re ok with my mom calling in to give her credit card number.

In other news, I bought two new fish yesterday. They’re Dwarf Gouramis and are really pretty. They’re a little timid and scare easily, but I like them. I also moved over the 4 Zebra Diano’s from the half gallon aquarium and put them back in the 25 gallon tank. I can’t remember if I’ve talked about all this, but I got them right around the same time I got those shrimp, but the shrimp didn’t like them and one jumped out of the tank to get away. I moved them to my half gallon tank and they’ve been there ever since. Anyway, I left the tank where it was and figured I would put my moms beta in there, because this tank has a light, whereas hers does not. I looked in there today and found little baby fish swimming around! They’re practically microscopic. I’m amazed they survived, given that I had to take 4 fish out of there a couple days ago. And I don’t know what they’ve been eating, because they don’t go more than half an inch from the surface and I haven’t put any food in there in two days. I’m going to research what to do to take care of them tonight. I’m so excited!

To Kill A Goldfish

My goldfish have been sick for months. They have velvet, worms, a blood disease, and their fins are beginning to split. They are slowly becoming less active, and there’s nothing I can do. I’ve tried half a dozen medications to get rid of their various ailments, but nothing worked. The male is just over six inches long, including his tail, and the female is just over five inches long, including her tail. To give you an idea of their size, they’re about the size of my iPhone 4S. They are technically too big for their aquarium already, even though I just bought it a few months ago. I changed all of the water out a few weeks ago, and before the end of the first week the water was back to being so murky and green the fish weren’t visible if they went to the back of the tank. I have been struggling with their health and what to do with them for months, and its come to a point that I can no longer just sit and watch them die; if only for my mental health. I’ve been talking about it with M and J (the neighbors roommate) for a while, and M thinks that if I flush them I’ll only feel worse, while J thinks that dragging out their death would be cruel. I’m to the point that I agree with J, and so I finally talked to my mom about it tonight.

She talked about what options I had (flushing them, releasing them into the lake [which I was completely against for fear of spreading their antibiotic resilient parasites, and potentially harming the ecosystem] etc.) and seemed ok with the idea of letting them go. I’ve had these two for over 5 years, and even though I never named them, I have come to love them. Which is partly why watching them slowly disintegrating is not something I’m capable of doing. But when I tried to flush them tonight, my mom became extremely mad and asked if I would do the same to Sam or even her if the situation arose. She wasn’t happy with my answer. I think that at a certain point, if a being cannot speak for its self, is dying a slow and painful death, and could be put out of its misery and save months of agony for everyone, it should be done. That may be awful, but I know that if I were the one who was sick, I would want to be let go of.

Dragging out these fishes deaths isn’t going to do them any good. Its certainly not going to do them any good. If Sam gets to the point that he is no longer able to walk, or if his heart condition gets so bad that he’s not able to breathe, I will put him down. I will let him go, because it would break my heart to watch him suffer. And the same for my mother.

Because these fish are so messy, I have to do water changes every day to keep the water clear (I did that for a few days and my mom got mad and told me I had to stop wasting water). I have been instructed by her to let these fish die slowly, even if it takes months, because they should be allowed to go when its their time and not before. My trouble is, how can I be this emotional and say that these fish shouldn’t be put down before their time, to put them out of their misery, but still eat meat. How can anyone call this sort of thing murder, and then eat meat? It’s all the same thing.

I’m tired of having dying animals. Its destroying me, having creatures at the end of their lives. To have spent so many years with them, and then watch them slowly decaying away; its unbearable. I’m a person who enjoys setting up ecosystems to watch the prosperity that they create. The monotonous march to death that occurs towards the end of a creature’s life is not where I am suited. My mother does much better with those kinds of things, as she does with those who are already dead. I’m the other end of the spectrum though, and that’s what makes this situation even harder I think.

So I’ve come to ask all of you what you think I should do. These may be ‘just fish’ but the ethical dilemma I face is something that may very well occur again during the course of my life. Do I sit idly by, hating every moment of it, while a voiceless creature dies a slow and agonizing death, or do I end their lives “early” and save them months of pain? Do I kill my goldfish?

I Wonder If My Life’s A Movie

I have been debating writing a post for some time now. I’ve put it off because it would’ve just been more complaining about how depressed I’ve gotten again, and how tired I am of school. Which unfortunately has been all I’ve ever blogged about. Instead I’ve signed on to write about the only other thing I ever talk about, lol. Ghosts.

Tonight my mother and I were watching Downton Abbey (I can’t tell you enough how much I LOVE that show), when suddenly Sam sat up and began staring at a spot near the ceiling, above the… oh, I’m embarrassed I’ve forgotten what its called. It’s a glass cabinet meant for displaying little trinkets… bother. Well, Sam was fixated on this point on the wall, which is something he’s done before, but usually its a point very near the ceiling above the bay window. He’s never paid any mind to this particular point on the wall before though. And he actually stood up to get closer to it, and made a kind of small noise, which is something he’s NEVER done. Buttercup became interested in what he was doing and looked to see what he was fussing about. As soon as she did she immediately went berserk. She barked like mad and started jumping around; running around the living room and climbing on the furniture to bark at this point on the wall. Her hackles were raised and everything. It was like a scene straight out of Poltergeist. – Curio! That’s what that cabinet is called! A curio cabinet. I feel much better now, haha.

The other dogs joined in the barking as well, but neither Kira or Peluchi seemed to know what was going on. Eventually we got the dogs to calm down, but Sam continued to stare at the spot for several minutes more. And he’s broken his habit of sleeping by the front door until my reading lamp has been turned off and just come straight upstairs with me. Normally he waits until he knows I’m going to sleep before he comes upstairs and hops on the couch. Buttercup has been getting more and more anxious with the other dogs over the last few weeks. You have to be careful how you handle her because she’ll attack the other dogs if you’re not careful. Something’s going on in our house, that’s for sure. This morning I was standing under the dinning room lights and one of the lights clicked like it usually does at night when we’re going to bed. I don’t know what to make of all this activity…

And I must apologize for staying away for so long, because I’ve just realized I’ve very rudely forgotten about my guest writer. I hope he forgives me. I’ve been in such a bad place for the last few days I’d forgotten all about him. I’ve barely been speaking to anyone and have taken to sleeping odd hours.

Bother. Every creak and moan this house makes tonight is going to set me on edge. A few days ago I stayed up until 2 in the morning because of the energy in the air of my room. I didn’t feel any single entity, there was just a lot of energy and it put me on edge. None of the shadows stayed where they ought to either. Needless to say, my reading light was on until well into the morning.

Anyway, I must be off. I’ve got to go check my email and see if that man hasn’t wrote me a nasty letter by now. It’s been long enough, he certainly has the right, haha.