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.