Rest in Peace, Dusty Man

Every morning of his 11 year life Dusty was up when I got up and running around the house, happy as a clam. Then he would get in my lap and sleep under the blanket until I got ready to get dressed and start my day. Yesterday morning, I got up as normal and went about my morning routine: take my pills, put Zoe out to potty, feed and medicate her, then sit in my recliner to receive the dogs as they come to say good morning. All as usual except Dusty didn’t come running into the living room for attention. I assumed he was sleeping in; the house was quiet and DH was still asleep.

But Dusty never came to say good morning. I opened the door and looked in the back yard but he wasn’t there. He didn’t answer to my calls. I started toward the garage to check there as DH responded to my query from the bedroom. He got up and went into my office/sewing room to check the dog bed, met me coming down the hall and told me to go sit down; Dusty wouldn’t be coming. What? Dusty was wrapped up in his blanket in his bed but he was no longer alive. I couldn’t believe it!. He hadn’t been sick or acting any differently the night before. He was happy and energetic and loving, the same as any other day of his life. And then he went to sleep and didn’t wake up. Unbelievable!!!!!!!!!!!

We lost Bandit January 5th to a brain tumor—complete surprise out of the blue!!!! Then, Dusty left us in another complete surprise situation. As DH said, it was the best way to go if it’s your time; just go to sleep and don’t wake up. But the survivors always wish they could have said goodbye, or “I love you” one more time. I hate that the last time I felt his warmth was after his heart had stopped beating. I hate that I’ll never get to cuddle him again or have him lick my face or feel his warm body sleeping in my lap. When we took him to the vet this morning for cremation it was the last time we’d see his beautiful face, the last time we took him to the vet, and the first time he’d never come back home to us happy and excited.

We are devastated! The female canines are very quiet, as is usual when one of the pack leaves us. Dusty was our last male. He was a force to be reckoned with, a joy to be around, 5 1/2 pounds of happy optimism. He filled every room with happiness and excitement. They even loved him at his vet’s office. Loss of his big personality has left a huge hole in our lives so we won’t be normal for a while; our world has ground to a halt. All we can do is love these little girls as much as possible until we all heal inside.


Peepers and Puppers

The top photo was two weeks ago. Bottom is yesterday. The swelling inside my eyeball is still coming down. I don’t have to go back to the retina specialist for a month. I started going every day, then every other day, then once a week, then every two weeks. This is the first time to wait for a month. I think that’s pretty damned cool!!!!!!!!!!! Still on two steroid drops four times per day but he says if the improvement continues he’ll start working me off them. My vision is at 20-60 and we don’t know if it’ll get better or not. Before my cataract surgery in August the surgeon told me they’d get me as close to 20-20 as possible. Four days later I was completely blind in that eye. Five months later and I’m still trying to get my vision back and I no longer go to that first doctor; in fact, he has resigned from the practice. I wonder if he messed up more patients than me.

This is what the right eyeball looks like inside. This is where I’m trying to get now.

Still working on getting Zoe’s digestion back to normal. Poor baby has had a lot of issues the past couple of months. We’ve changed food, put her on probiotics, 3 stomach medicines and now oils. Currently she is doing great; I hope she continues. She’s only at 3.5 pounds so it doesn’t take much for her to lose ground. The vet said not to let her lose any more weight.

Mimi is failing bit by bit. She will be 17 years old next month. She’s getting grayer, weaker. Her hearing is gone, eyesight dimmer and dementia shows its face occasionally. She has spells with her breathing where we’ve wondered if she’ll survive the hour. Still she comes to us for attention, gives back love and licks, and cuddles closer and closer. We carry her, cuddle back, whisper sweet nothings in her ears, take her on car rides, give her treats, and whatever else we can think of…or she can.

All our fur babies are aging; some more than others. (But so are we.) We know we can’t keep them forever, and, at times, think it’ll be better when we don’t have such a large pack to deal with in our advancing years. But I don’t want to hurry up the process. Each of them are their own dogs. Each has their own idiosyncrasies, foibles, personalities, auras. They’re all loved immensely, cared for distinctly and extremely, spoiled to the nth degree, and are parts of this family. This week we celebrated three of their birthdays; we were behind. Khandi’s birthday was December 4th, Dusty was October 1st, Gypsy was August 18th. So we made 2 trips to Petsmart, one ride down Seawall Blvd., trips through the Starbucks drive through, and ordered more toys from Chewy. I don’t know who had the best time: them or us??? It’s been a good week for all. Even in the midst of buying medications and going in for doctor visits and testing, there was fun to be had. That’s the excellent part of having pets. No matter what happens their love is unconditional.