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11 Years Ago

Monday, October 28, 2013

When I met my husband 16 years ago, he had a dog named Camer (Cam for short). She quickly won my heart. Of all the dogs I have every seen, she had the most facial expressions of any of them. She rolled her eyes when something silly was said with the best of us. She was my constant companion and confidant.

About 12 years ago, I noticed some changes. Cam was drinking more water and going outside more. It wasn't a great change, but it was something I noticed. When I would ask the vet, he reasoned things away. Okay, he was the one who went to school.

On Sunday, Cam was fine. On Monday, she didn't eat. I took her to the vet on Tuesday. I really can't remember what he said or did for her. My mind has blanked that out. On Thursday, she didn't move much. She had an accident in the house. On Friday, I took her back in. She didn't fight me like she usually did when I did that. The first thing she did when the vet came in was wet all over the exam table. The doctor grabbed the stick that tested urine and put it in the urine. It quickly changed the ugliest color. I had been right all along: she had diabetes. So, she was kept overnight and given insulin.

When I got up the next morning, the first thing I did was call. The vet got on the phone and told me that the insulin did absolutely nothing for her. She wasn't any better. Her kidneys were shutting down. He said they could try to give her a larger dose of insulin. I knew in my heart that it was too little, too late. I had to let her go.

I was so devastated. This was my baby, my friend. I could possibly have given her a few more years or at least a little less suffering if I had been more insistent with the vet and followed my instincts. I went into a bad depression.

I struggled the past 11 years to get rid of the depression and the guilt. I have made great strides. I still think of my buddy. It's the good memories that come to mind now. Many of them I laugh out loud at. One of my favorite memories was the time that we were told at the last minute that my oldest daughter couldn't stay with her dad past the day she graduated. So, we had to get the beast of the truck that we had working well enough to make it from Huntsville, Alabama to Detroit. The dh was busy working on it, getting aggravated and just being cranky. I got in my van to go to work. I barely got in and sat down when Cam jumped in my lap. She was coming to work with me. She wasn't staying home with a grouch. He started yelling at her to get out of the car. The more he yelled, the more she took her front paws and wrapped them around my neck. She was bound and determined. I couldn't help but laugh.

I swore then and there that I wouldn't get attached like that to another animal. That didn't last long! I have had many more animals that I have gotten attached to and had great times with. Like my daughter told me, if I don't give myself the chance to have another animal in my life, I am missing out on a lot of love.

This has shown me that life goes on. We still have good times and bad times, ups and downs. But if we give up on living, we do miss out on so much. I read an article the other day bout a lady out west who went to seminary school and is now a pet chaplain. She ministers to people who are going through the hard decisions of letting a pet go and people who have just lost one. She gives grief counseling, does memorial services, and is just there for these people. There aren't many of these people in the country. I'm thinking of doing this. Lots to think about.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    You write beautifully! When I think of things like this, I try to remind myself that our pets -- our loved ones -- would only want us to look back on our memories of them with joy. Forget the sorrow and regret, and just remember the best of times. I think that's what you're doing, and I think that's what Cam would want you to do as well.
    1597 days ago
  • JUSTA123
    1603 days ago
    So sad :-( I will be DEVASTATED when any of my kitties pass on. It is so hard to lose such a close companion. (And some people don't realize how close we can be to our pets. But to us, they are family members.)
    1603 days ago
    Well, what a nice thought... cuz people who aren't pet lovers, certainly can't understand when you lose a pet, it's like a family member and you do grieve..... what a thought.... My Buddy send you a big wet slurpy kiss!!
    1605 days ago
    I lost my cat of 21 years just before I moved here. I was determined not to get another cat but took a chance and now have my wonderful Keeper.
    1606 days ago
  • SLACHETKA103145
    I miss each and every animal that I have come in contact with and that includes my dairy herd...the laughter that each brought....the sorrow of losing...and what role each played with me....but looking back I see the circle of life in a way that I really asn't expecting and have been able to take this and use to help me grow and most of all cope with where I am right now!!!!!

    I am sorry for your loss and I do understand that we all grieve differently....I am here if you need to talk!!!!!

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    1606 days ago
    I am sorry if I do not grief with you about Cam. Right now I am loosing my Mom. She has always been the ROCK in our family. Two years ago she suffered from TIA, a series of mini strokes, that is as devastating as a major stroke, this lead to dementia. July of 2012 her left lung quit working. Soon in August of 2013 she was placed in hospice care. currently 98% of the time she sleeps and usually wakes only for meals.

    Mom, if she makes it will turn 80 on January 7th of 2014.

    Mom has been there for me during the many ups and downs of my bi-polar illness. Without my Mom's love I would not now be living independently in an apartment in a 'normal' community.

    I too have lost 5 dogs and two cats which in their own way were amazing animals. 4 of the dogs were after I became bi-polar. Their unconditional love helped me become stronger and better able to one deal with my illness and two deal with the grieving of someone you deeply love.

    I wish for you success, if you decide to go into this field of work. The grieving process of loosing a loved one is very complicated and a caring person like you does almost always help!!!
    1607 days ago
    I have many cats, but i lost my baby a year ago...she was always w/ me, & i still miss her so much...ty for writing this!
    1607 days ago
    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. They forever leave their pawprints on out hearts. Your daughter is right you would miss out on so much love if you never got another animal.
    1607 days ago
    The loss of an animal is tough to take. Like humans, we take them for granted and think they will always be with us. Your daughter is right tho. It's well worth the grieving process to have had a loyal animal.
    1607 days ago
    I am so sorry to hear about your dog! It is just like loosing a family member! I am so sorry to hear about your lost!
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    1607 days ago
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