December 15, 2009
I wanted to share with you the story of Squiggy the mixed breed cat who was hit by a car in September 2009. The words below are from Tracy, Squiggy's owner, who describes what happened:
We adopted squiggy from a shelter when he was 2 months old. He acted more like a puppy than a kitten. Likes to play fetch, hide and surprise you!!
The accident happened on 9/14/09 There was a knock at the door, a woman said she'd hit my cat and believed she had broken his leg, said sorry and promptly left. I found Squiggy in the bushes where he had dragged himself, could not get that image out of my head when I closed my eyes for weeks. It took 15 mins to get to the ER ( longest car ride ever) at which time he had already gone into shock and his breathing very labored.
The preliminary vet exam showed multible fractures & breaks. His back was broken in two places. He was bleeding internally. Initially we were told he'd be paralized with no neurologic function as they couldn't get any pulses in his lower extremities. They stabalized his breathing and were able to get faint pulses back. He was put on pain medication, made comfortable overnight.
Next day we saw Squiggy, he licked my hand and looked at me and I knew I had to do all I could to save him. He was operated on shortly after we saw him. The neurosurgeon told me it would be a long road to recovery with pins in his toes,leg & pelvis on one side of his body and no bowel or bladder function. We would not know if that would return for weeks or if he'd walk. He fought hard to get through this horrible ordeal.
Nine weeks later he's not only walking & climbing up on the bed, bowel & bladder function have returned. We hope Squiggy will be with us for a lot of years to come. He has of course used up about 7 of his 9 lives!!!!
I was very distraught when Squiggy was injured and every person I spoke to at Embrace treated me like family with kind words of encouragement and lots of help submitting my claim. The claim was processed quickly. Thanks Embrace, you helped us to save Squiggy's life.
Sadly, we got this update just 4 days later.
Unfortunately my story doesn't have a happy ending. Squiggy had a bladder infection that couldn't be controlled. He went from great one minute almost dead the next. He spent the last two weeks in the hospital where I thought he should stay till the infection was gone but no amount of medicine could fix him. I really thought if he stayed in the hospital he'd get better I'm heartbroken! I took him home and put a christmas collar on him wraped him in a christmas blanket and buryed him in a spot under the bay window in front of our house where he loved to hang out and watch the world go by. Thanks for everything.
Tracy's coverage included an annual maximum of $10,000, which Squiggy needed in totality.
RIP brave Squiggy.
March 30, 2009
It's been a week since Barnes moved on to bigger and better things and slowly the hole in our lives starts to heal. It's going to be a very long time before I don't look for Barnes in the bathroom when I get up in the morning and on the bed when I turn out the light to go to sleep. Sometimes I feel he's still there, but he's not.
I dropped by the vet's office today to pick up Barnes's ashes to put on the shelf beside Simon, his litter mate (RIP Aug 21 2004). One day this spring, we'll plant a hydrangea in a sunny spot and use Simon and Barnes's ashes in the base. They both loved going outside so it only seems fit to have them lounging under a bush together, just like the good old days.
I also dropped off all the left over cans of low protein cat food we'd tried on Barnes over the last few months. Our vet assured me that they would go to a good home - likely a shelter that could use the food for their older cats.
Lily doesn't seem too affected, although very confused that I moved her food bowl from her old "subordinate" spot in the kitchen, to her new "head of the family" spot where Barnes's food used to be. We will probably adopt another cat later this year to keep her company, but for now, we're showering her with love and attention and appreciating her joy at the spring weather (exception was the snow today - no-one was very excited about that today).
Time for spring and new life and sunshine to grace our lives...
March 23, 2009
As you may know, my cat Barnes has dealing with his kidney disease for a while now - for nearly six years - and he has been doing pretty well all things considered.
As with chronic illnesses like this, he's had his ups and downs but a couple of months ago, he was definitely on an up, galloping around the house with Lily, his little "sister", shaking off the winter blahs.
But then in the last month, his appetite dropped off and he started to loose weight and things started to go down hill from there. I've been hydrating him with sub-Q fluids and we have been working on his food, trying to get him to eat, but to no avail.
Early Sunday morning (yesterday), he retired to the basement and only came up because I carried him. Then he couldn't jump up on the bed. Then last night I noticed he'd stopped drinking - a very bad sign for a cat with kidney problems.
This morning, when he could hardly walk, we knew it was time to say goodbye to the old fellow and I held him in my arms as he was put to sleep. He looked at me with his lovely green eyes just being with me as he passed on.
Thank you Barnes for your friendship and love. We will sorely miss you.
Lily and Barnes visit our new office
Update on Barnes
I Heart Barnes
Lily and Barnes at the vet
September 30, 2008
On the same day I heard the sad news about my friend Yvonne's dog, Carmel, I was "friended" on Facebook by Nadine Rosin who has written a book called The Healing Art of Pet Parenthood. I guess it was meant to be.
We emailed back and forth a little on pet loss and Nadine highlighted the following passage from her book:
"And then there was the inevitable, “So when are you going to get a new dog?” or after three weeks one friend asked, “Aren’t you over it yet?” and “You were lucky she lived as long as she did, you should be happy about that” and so on. Soon I learned that I could take better care of myself by screening all my calls and not even returning some of them.
What I learned was this: there is only one thing to say, in my opinion, when someone loses someone they love and that is, “I am so sorry. I love you and want to help. Tell me what needs doing that you can’t handle right now.” That, and like all the grief books say, be there to listen.
If they want to tell you the death story forty times, let them. That’s how you can be there for them and support their healing. That’s how I knew I must be there for my friends in the future when they lost someone.
I wondered why we aren’t taught about grieving in school, why as adults, we still don’t know how to deal with it or behave with others who are dealing with it. Death’s loss, the one thing we know for certain we must face, and yet most of us are clueless when it comes to helping each other through its devastating wake."
copyright 2008 Nadine M. Rosin- all rights reserved. Wheatmark Publishiing
May not be reproduced or retransmitted in any form without written permission of the publisher.
Such excellent advice for all of us.
Nadine has also put together a video about the loss of her dog who died of cancer and is the inspiration of her book. Check it out below - it's a very touching piece about a very characterful dog and a woman who doesn't apologize for loving her dog in both life and death.
September 29, 2008
My blogging friend, Yvonne DiVita, told me the sad news that her dog and companion Carmel passed away last week. Yvonne guest blogged about Carmel amongst her other pets as part of my Me, My Pet, and I series.
Carmel came down with bloat, also known as gastric tortion, that was just too far gone to recover from.Yvonne blogged about Carmie's death here - it's a very touching read.
From all of us here at Embrace, we send Yvonne and her family many hugs and heartfelt thoughts and prayers through this difficult time.
[Tomorrow, I'll continue on the theme of pet loss and how you can support your friends and family who have lost a dear one]
July 17, 2008
[get out the Kleenex, this moving story is likely to get you going]
A month ago, we received this desperate phone call from Suzie who told us that Pixie, her beloved Cavalier King Charles spaniel was hanging on to her life by a thread after experiencing "dry drowning" when playing with her daughter in a kiddy pool all afternoon.
She told us that after coming into the house from playing all afternoon, Pixie started coughing and wretching and became clearly in severe distress.
Suzie jumped into the car with her kids and drove to the emergency clinic 45 minutes away with Pixie in her lap and two minutes away from the hospital, Pixie's heart stopped and Suzie was administering CPR while driving with her.
Finally at the hospital, the veterinarians were able to revive Pixie but she died the next day on life support, not even 1 year old.
Suzie and her family have been struggling to make sense of what happened to Pixie and as part of their grieving, Suzie wrote a poem for Pixie that she shared with us. Here it is.
For Pixie by Suzie Vaughan
Your body held against my chest
long auburn ears fanned out in rest.
I look upon you long and deep
your image in my mind to keep,
and blink the tears that blur my view
of my last chance to gaze at you.
I long to feel you stir and wake
and watch you stretch and see you shake
and wag your tail and romp with me
but now you’ve gone where I can’t be.
I plant a kiss upon your head
and place you gently on your bed.
I do not want to lay you down
to dig the red clay Georgia ground,
my tears to loose the stubborn dirt
each spade-full filling me with hurt.
But you deserve a proper grave
and my children need to see me brave.
Now one last time I hold you close,
caress your fur and kiss your nose,
but your fading warmth says you’re not here
so with a sob and many a tear,
reluctantly I lay you down
with part of my heart, in the ground.
Thank you for your loving heart
your gentle soul, your happy bark.
When I, too, go beyond this place
I eagerly will seek your face.
Then I will hold you once again
my precious dog, my loyal friend.
Sometimes sharing the pain can mend the heart.