Ok so I did what I said I wasn’t going to do. I said things like:
“It’s different this time around.”
It wasn’t. All a lie. I’ve come to a stark realization. It’s never going to be a “different” go-around. I am going to battle obesity my entire life. That being said lets go into what really happened. I haven’t watched what I’ve eaten for almost a year and have ballooned back up to 237.4 pounds, only 4.6 pounds shy of my all-time highest weight of 242 pounds. Hard to admit but it’s true.
I did have one big extenuating circumstance that affected my eating, or should I say comfort-eating.
I lost my dog last year. MY man, the favorite (I had two dogs, and yes I admit to playing favorites), the Bubba Lou Doo..
I lost Watson to cancer 3 days before Christmas 2012. December 21st was touted as the day the world would end, and while humanity didn’t come crumbling to an end that day, my world ended. It started with a limp in the beginning of December. Being a 15 year old yorkie I assumed he injured himself jumping off their bed (a small toddler bed). I took him to work with me and xrays commenced but we didn’t see much except possibly a hairline fracture by his elbow joint. His leg was splinted and I took him home. Over the next week he got progressively more painful until I was ripping the splint off at 1 in the morning because he was so uncomfortable in it.
Something wasn’t right. Dogs with splinted legs can develop a bit of weakness in their affected legs because the splint is essentially what is bearing their weight, so their muscles can atrophy a tiny bit. Most dogs do not walk on their legs immediately after a splint is removed but regain function within a few hours to a few days.
Bubby wasn’t walking on his left front leg 3 days after the splint came off. Something nagged at my gut that I was dealing with something worse than a simple old-age fracture. More xrays then commenced and the truth was finally showing. Evidence of bone tumor at his elbow joint.
How can this be happening? Big dogs get bone tumors, not 8 pound yorkies!
At this point I wasn’t about to put him through an amputation, and I decided it would be best to keep him as comfortable as possible for as long as possible.
Over the next few weeks he steadily declined. Stronger pain medications were prescribed. One day I thought I noticed a head tilt. I tried to be in denial but the vet nurse in me knew his head was tilted. My boss (his vet) confirmed it.
“Oh Tiffy, he’s definitely got a head tilt. He also has strobismus in his eyes.”
The head tilt and strobismus (eyes pointing different directions) meant the cancer was spreading to his brain.
Well that’s not good news. I knew he wasn’t going to be getting better, but I was hoping for a slower progression than this! It was a week or two before Christmas and all I wanted was to get him through the holiday. Throughout all of this he plodded along in his typical Bubby fashion, steadily accepting everything and anything I subjected him to, and continued to eat like a horse (that dog had a great appetite, he got it from me). Nasty medicine? No problem. Being carried outside even though it was insanely painful? That’s ok mom.
It got to the point where he wasn’t able to get comfortable even after his multitude of pain medications. He would lay down on the couch only to jump up a few moments later and try to lay down again, and jump up a minute later. That’s when I knew.
I scheduled his euthanasia on a Friday when I knew I’d have the next few days off. During the whole experience I went back and forth with my mom about whether or not it was the right decision. She felt it best that he pass at home, naturally. I felt it best he didn’t suffer in excrutiating pain until the cancer completely took over his brain and he seizured to death, or spread to his lungs and he suffocated to death.
If you can’t tell I was a bit passionate about it.
So we went back and forth. I would explain why it was best and she would concede to my opinion, only to ask me the next day:
“Are you sure?”
You don’t do that to someone who is tasked with making THAT decision about their pet. You just don’t.
It got to the point where I actually was second-guessing myself and I finally had to tell her what she was doing, how much it was hurting me and could she please stop it kthx. She did, thank god.
So yes, the day came where I had to take my beloved dog and end his life. End his suffering. The dog who on more than one occasion had literally saved my life when I had not so great thoughts about life and wanted out. My truest, bestest friend in the world from the time I was 15 years old. Yes, I had my dog Lou for half of my entire life, and now I had to let him go.
Upset is an understatement.
The procedure went very smoothly, and finally Watson was at peace. I was fit for a straight-jacket honestly.
I don’t tell this story to make you sad. As hard as it is to put down in words, and it is hard.. I’ve been crying steadily the past oh, 25 minutes, it’s something I needed to do for a couple reasons.
One, it’s cathartic. It helps me heal and boy do I need it, 3+ months have passed and I am no where near healed.
Two, it puts you in touch with my frame of mind over the past several months. I spent the weeks before he died in a food and retail-therapy induced haze. I counted all the blu-ray movies in my tv stand a few weeks back, most of which were purchased in the weeks I was dealing with his declining health.
I have $800.00 worth of Blu-rays sitting on that shelf. Needless to say Bubby and I watched a lot of movies in December. We also both ate a lot of crappy food. Him because hell, he deserved it. And me because I was trying to comfort myself.
I still have one dog, also a yorkie, named Madison. (Maddie, Miss Fidget Foo Doo, Big Bird, Billy Goat, Foo… if you can’t tell my dogs both had about 126 different names)
She is now 11 and seems to be pretty healthy other than some issues she’s always had. She deserves a healthy owner who can take her for walks, and run and play with her. I want to be that person.
So we start over. WeightWatchers as of this past Monday. I did get a pretty rad exercise bike for Christmas and it hurts my knees like a bitch to use it but I will sit my fat ass on it and pedal for 30 minutes a couple nights a week. That’s the least I can do. It’s finally breaking into Spring here in
Siberia Ohio, so I should be able to take Maddie for those nice walks soon.
I won’t say this is the last time, or this times different, or any of that other bullshit. Because life happens, and sad stuff sometimes gets thrown your way. Sometimes you’re an emotional wreck and damn it you need some mac & cheese. What matters is that you wipe the cheese sauce off your face and you keep coming back.