I was planning on writing on this blog several times a week. I know that I have been absent for the last week and I plan on starting up again next week on a more regular basis.
We had to put our beloved 12-year-old dog, Stella, to sleep yesterday. She had a tumor on her ear for about a year. It was nasty, smelly and gross. But, it never mattered to us because Stella was our fur baby. You take the good with the bad when you love someone. I cleaned her ear regularly until she wouldn’t let me and then we had the vet clean it. Two weeks ago, I took her in for a check and cleaning and the vet told me that with the exception of her ear, she was in good health. Every visit to the vet felt like Russian Roulette. Would this visit be the time that I find out that tumor had caused further illness with her? When a loved one has cancer, you know something is always lurking. This week proved that fear to be true. We always had the option of having the tumor removed, but she had surgery in the winter of 2017 that was too hard for a dog her age. We decided that we were going to let her go peacefully when her time came. That’s not to say that I don’t second guess that decision now that she has passed.
Tuesday night I came home from work to find that Stella was on the couch wheezing, she did not want to go outside, play or eat. My husband and I figured that a senior dog is entitled to a bad day. However, we both knew something was wrong. Eric slept in the family room with her that night to monitor her and reported to me Wednesday morning that she had a rough night. She refused to eat, but drank and went out. We thought maybe a stomach bug? Hopefully, just a stomach bug. By Thursday she had gone 3 days without eating so I bought her a can of her favorite, very expensive, wet dog food. She refused it and that is when I knew she was very sick. An x-ray confirmed my fears, my beloved dog had something in her lungs that was putting her into distress. More tests were possible, but the writing was on the wall. When you love someone you set them free, so that is what we did. In all honesty, saying goodbye to that dog was the hardest thing I have ever done. I take comfort in the fact that her last breath was without struggle for her and we were with her for that. I was always afraid to watch someone I love die, but it wasn’t scary, it was peaceful. I hope she knows that we did what we believe was right for her.
Stella came home in December 2005. My husband brought her home on December 23rd. He bought a Santa hat, put a bow around her neck and rang the doorbell for our daughter Hannah to answer. Our 6-year-old daughter (who is now 19) opened the door to her father holding a 9 week old puppy. A bit Hallmark movie for me now that I think about it, but at the time it seemed perfect. The memory that sticks with me about that night is Eric putting her down and her immediately peeing on the floor. She was so scared to be away from her mom, but she settled in quickly and became a part of the family. I am so sad that my children, ages 20, 19 and 15 likely have no memory of life without her, she was such an important part of our lives.
Last night and today have been incredibly hard. Stella was my shadow and her absence has created a hole in our house that will not easily be filled. We have 2 other dogs, a beagle and black lab mix. They are sweet dogs and I love them, but everyone, including my family, know that Stella was always my favorite. I make no apologies for that, she just was.
Two weeks before she got sick
Now on to happier things. My husband bought chickens today. I won’t lie, I wish one of them would magically turn into a Golden Retriever, but I doubt that will happen. Our hope is that these four chicks produce 8-12 eggs per week. Honestly, I don’t know anything about chickens so as far as I know these birds could be turkeys. I am a little concerned that they seem to be flying in that box. I was under the impression that chickens can’t fly. Should be an interesting summer. I will be able to write about our bees in a couple of weeks.
Livestock in the suburbs