Thursday, April 19, 2012

Moving forward...

So, even though Leroy is no longer with us in the spiritual form, I have decided to not give up on my blog.  I am actually considering finally pursuing my long time desire to write a book, I am thinking it will be called "Letters to Leroy" I have always had a few ideas out there, but always felt there were so many "dog books" out there, how can I join the ranks, or compete with what is already written? But..stay tuned, I have an idea in the works that will be different than the other been there, done that, dog books. I want to keep writing about the process of coping with life and loss of your pets. Though sadly Leroy did lose his battle with Lymphoma, I would say that we kicked that cancer in the ass with his and I's determination to beat the horrific side effects of weakness, illness, and more that comes with cancer. I have to say that Leroy never suffered more than maybe one day, and for that fact it wasn't even a full day, it was the Tuesday before he died that he had the weakest point I had seen yet. It was strange though, as it was almost as if he knew his time was up, he gave me a wonderful afternoon of helping me feed the horses, staring at the cat (which I got on video) and even ate my crazy concoctions of food that I often made for him. That wednesday morning that he died he seemed perkier than I had seen him in a while. I went about my morning as if nothing was wrong. This is something that I struggle with, had I known he was going to die I would have spent more time on the couch with him, you know, all those thoughts you have if you could change what you would have done. I know that's not the case, and it is a small fraction of how I feel. Leroy has always had his own agenda his entire life. Though we were both so reliant on one another, he had the most independent spirit of any animal I have ever met. The morning he passed away we had a vet appt. at 9am with Dr. Emily. I asked him if he wanted to "go for a ride" and he leaped off the couch, waited patiently, wagging his tail, at the door. He trotted, head up, ears flapping in the wind, to the car. I turned my back to open the car door and I felt him hit my leg. He was on the ground, I thought I had tripped him as he was struggling to get up. I knew in a moment what was happening and I started to scream his name. His eyes locked on mine, I held him, watched his toungue turn purple, and he died in my arms with my head on his. All I could say was he was perfect, even while dying, he died the "perfect" death. I know I am SO lucky to have had this experience with him. I never had to make the decision, he did it for me and for all of us. It was beautiful in it's own right. We took him to the vet to be cremated. It was amazing, even in death he was so beautiful and the cancer had not robbed his beauty of it's shine and luster. He actually grew more beautiful, his coat more shiney, and his eyes a deeper, more soulful brown than I had ever seen them. When we laid him down on the blanket in the vet clinic, he was curled up, eyes closed, and looked like a puppy again. It was amazing, even the technicians commented on how he looked.

I as a vet tech, have seen a lot of death, more death than I care to remember, but I can honestly say this was the most amazing experience I have ever had regarding another animal making their transition. I have had a week to process it all, I am not going to say it has been easy, I can't even say it has been hard. There are no human words that convey the pain that comes with losing a pet or a family member. My body literally feels like it has lost a limb, the nerve endings are still there but the appendage is not. I still hear his nails on the hardwood floor, I thought I heard him whining in the house while I was teaching a lesson the other day, he is all around me, yet not here in form. I have cried the hardest and longest I have ever cried, and I have done so 2-6x a day, I feel as if he is on the other side of a door, so close, yet impossible to get to. I have never felt this feeling in my life and it is a very frustrating, hurts to the soul and beyond sort of feeling. There have been so many firsts without him. This past weekend was the first road trip without him. His ashes came with us, his dog collar was on the rear-view mirror, I thought I would spread some ashes on the coast, but I could not let him go yet. I always thought I would be creeped out by having somethings ashes nearby, but they are in a beautiful wooden box right next to my bed, along with his collar and tag that says "Leroy". Every morning I touch his collar and I know he is there somewhere. I went to the beach without him, that was awful. My heart physically hurt, and I never knew just how big that lump in your throat could hurt, but it was crazy, there were thousands of sand-dollars washed up on the beach, they were all broken except for one, a beautiful purple sand-dollar. I found a big shell that I will use to scoop his ashes when the time is right. We came home to an empty house, his beds all around, the smell of him still on his blankets. It's crazy, I sleep with his stuffed animal. All of these things I would have normally thought were kind of crazy, but my point of writing this is to let everyone know that this is normal. However you need to grieve is however you need to grieve. Ride the process out, cry so hard that your body hurts, then cry some more. I have kept visine in stock for over a month now!! Today was the first day that I was in my car without Jeff and Percy and it hurt so much to not have my pal with me. I came home to the empty house, usually Leroy, even when he was sick, would race me to the door, run in the house, grab whatever toy he found first, then happily settle on his bed and just stare at me while I do homework. At this moment I am sitting on the couch for the first time since he died, on my computer, he has always been right next to me, one of my hands on his warm body, and one hand on my book or laptop. Today his side of the couch is empty, and I am forcing myself to deal with it. Writing helps, knowing that even if my words reach one person who is faced with the losing or loss of a pet or loved one, is therapeutic in and of itself. I am not trying to wallow in sorrow, nor have anyone feel sorry for me, I am moving forward, not on, but forward. I felt today for the first time that I need a dog in my life. I have Percy, but he is lonely too, and he is "Jeffs dog", his jobsite dog. I need my soul dog, and I trust that Leroy will lead me to him or her and the right pup will come to me for the right reasons. I am going to keep up with this blog, it may be about random things, it may still just be about my Leroy, who knows, but in honor of him, in therapeutic ways for myself and maybe others, I feel the best thing to do is the only other thing I know how to do besides ride horses, and that is to write.
My beautiful pup lounging while I taught lessons, the day before he died.

Ha ha ha...we called him the "lounge lizard"

His last day, staring and pointing at the cat...Leroy never suffered or lost his spirit to cancer.

Leroy making peace with the kitty on his last full day with us.

I think Leroy finally figured that kitties were o.k, to just look at for once.

The second to last picture I ever took of Leroy, the night before he died.

The last picture of Leroy, the amazing thing was the morning he left this earth, he had this toy with him on the couch, when we got up to go for a ride, he dropped this next to the door. I didn't even notice, when we came home from bringing his body to the vet, this toy was the first thing that greeted us when we walked in. He knew what he was doing leaving me his toy. I will cherish this toy forever. <3

No comments:

Post a Comment