All it took was a walk with Lloyd. I walked around the side of the house and I saw something that reminded me some unpleasant feelings. You know what that was? It was a patch of grass with a little bit of snow on it. It was the same spot that these photos were taken last year – probably at this exact time.
Last December was awful. On December 1st – My cat Tike passed away. On December 10th, Riley, my golden retriever passed away. There were also some other things that happened in that same period of time that I won’t go into detail about – but didn’t make those 2 events any easier to deal with.
I have always loved animals. Growing up, I realized how fast people can come in and out of your life- in the worst way. I’ve gone through many friends because I can’t tolerate bad people. But your pets? They would never shitty things to you. So naturally, I have always had a deeper friendship with pets than most people, and to this day – I feel the same way.
I will tell you the Tike story first. I got him when he was kitten, one of my clients found him on the side of the road. A product of abandonment. Someone just left some kittens in a box and drove away. I don’t even know how someone could do that. So my boyfriend at the time, Jeff and I decided to take him. Jeff and I broke up in June of last year and I moved out. Jeff kept Tike because my sister’s dog, Sako, has a huge hate on for cats and I didn’t want anything to happen to him. Plus we have had cats here before, and they have gone missing.
Jeff had contacted me one day to tell me that he was no longer able to look after him because Tike was spraying all over the house. I went over with some extra litter boxes and Tike was no where to be found. He didn’t greet me at the door like he usually did. I found him in the litter box laying down. I picked him up and noticed he had lost SOO much weight. I called the vet, they did some blood work, and called me back the next day to say that he had anemia and needed a blood transfusion immediately. If not- he was going to die. The vet proceeded to tell me that there was something else going on with him: He either had cancer, feline leukemia or feline AIDS. And to find out WHAT that was – would be costly and treatment would only prolong the inevitable.
I decided to hang out with him for a couple days, and we took him in on the Thursday morning to have him put down. I had prepared myself that I would be in the room with him when they were going to do it. When I got there, they asked if I wanted to be in the room and I decided I didn’t think I could do it. So they took him in the back, while I stood in the reception area. And then I heard Tike let out this terrible noise. I really wish they would have given me the heads up because that was a sound no fur-mom ever needs to hear.
I brought him home to my parents house to have him buried here. This is where the story gets terrible.
During all of this, our family dog, Riley – was having some issues. It appeared he had lost control of the muscles that keep his bowels intact. He would be laying on the floor and crap would just fall out. It was a gaping hole – and you could see inside. He would try to hide it by eating his own crap. It wasn’t necessarily a mess – you would just find some surprises on the floor and I would pick it up so my parents wouldn’t see it. But I wasn’t always around, and I would lie about how often it was happening. But they knew.
Riley started distancing himself. He would lay outside in puddles in the cold and he would be all wet. I felt really bad for him. In the mean time – my dad had dug a grave for him outside. He wanted to do it before the ground froze. Do you have any idea how hard it is to see a grave for your dog while he is still alive? So we had to dig another one for Tike.
I knew the end was soon, so I called a friend, Kristine Hannah to come out and take some pictures of Riley.
After Tike passed, I purchased a book called “Going Home” by Jon Katz. It was about dealing with pet deaths and it made me feel so much better. He talked about giving your pet the “perfect day”. Jeff and I had booked a trip for Mexico- we were leaving on Friday December 9th. The day before, I took Riley for a walk – I told him how thankful I was to have him in my life and how much I loved him, etc. When I came back from my walk, I told my parents that I wanted them to put him down while I was gone. And they did.
Its been almost 1 year – and I can’t even say that I feel better. The sting is still very much there. Sometimes I will think of them, and start to cry. But they have taught me something so important: Spend time with ones you care about, and less time on the things that you don’t.
I made a video for Tike – but haven’t been able to make one for Riley yet. If you want to watch: here is the link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7sQGgQUWMI&feature=g-upl