Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Loss of a Loved One

I am so sad to report that I had our beloved companion, Maggie Mae, put to sleep this morning. Even though it was the kindest and most loving thing I could do for her, my heart is still wrenched with grief. I am truly hoping that posting this will prove cathartic for me. As for Maggie, she's in a better place.

Maggie had been slowing down over the past year. We attributed it to her 13+ years of age. Recently Maggie lost about 25% of her body weight. She began eating less and less last week and not keeping it down. I took her to see Dr. Rick Leininger yesterday and he took some x-rays and ran some tests. Dr. Rick said he would have the test results this morning and would call me.

Fearing the worst, I spent as much time as I could with Maggie, who had become pretty lethargic. We sat on the couch together and she got a lot of attention. Her water intake had dropped and she was taking almost no food. She was frail and weak on her feet, but would still go into the yard to relieve herself.

Maggie Mae went on five road trips with us. What a great companion she was. We would let her sleep on our bed in the motel room. Maggie would always wake us when/if she needed to go out during the night. Knowing that it might be her last night, I took her to bed with me and let her sleep on Linda's side of the bed (of course I put down protection in case of an accident). I got up at 3:15 a.m. for a "comfort break" and Maggie was gone. I got dressed and found her on the couch, sitting where I usually sit.

I sat with her through the rest of the night. My stomach was churning in anticipation of Dr. Rick's call. Maggie just laid there. Dr. Rick called around 9:00 a.m. Maggie's liver output was blocked and it appears she had developed liver cancer. After discussing the test results and Maggies prognosis, I couldn't come to any other conclusion except to let her go and not have her suffer any more. Honestly, with her not taking food and very little water, she couldn't have lasted much longer and would have been even more miserable. So, I decided to have her put to sleep.

Dr. Rick explained the process as essentially an overdose of IV anesthesia. It only takes a few seconds and the dog's eyes do not close. He gave me the option of dropping Maggie off, or staying and being present. Dr. Rick recommended that I drop her off. He said he has received feedback from clients who stayed and witnessed the event, that they wish they hadn't. Watching left an unpleasant memory associated with their beloved pet. He assured me that Maggie wouldn't know the difference.

Dr. Rick alerted his staff to be on the lookout for me. So, I wept a bit and petted Maggie, then loaded her into the car. I kept petting her all the way to Dr. Rick's office. I parked and cradled Maggie in my arms. One of Dr. Rick's staff came out to take Maggie. I kissed her on her head and said "goodbye". Then, I sat in the car and blubbered for a few minutes before heading home.

I had told Linda that I hoped I pre-deceased the dog. Didn't work out that way.

Oh, you say, and where was Linda during all this. Bless her heart, Linda left for Texas on Monday morning. Maggie Mae and I drove her to the airport (so she did get to say "goodbye"). I'm actually glad Linda wasn't here for this. It's been really hard on me, and would have been more so for her.

We have wonderful memories of our Maggie Mae, who was actually a gift from a fellow Rotarian, the late Dr. John Quick. Maggie was accused of killing his parrot. It was the feathers in her mouth that gave her away. We were so lucky to have her come into our lives.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A Photo of the Photographer and Her Photo

So what has Purple Bicycle been up to lately? Well, obviously, not
much Purple Bicycle blogging and not a lot of PB Riding. This was
taken at the opening of a photo show at The Morgan Hill House. I had 3
photos accepted and this one, my favorite, actually ended up being
sold (my first sale of a photo). It is of El Toro Mountain with Llagas
Perk Pond and California Poppies in the foreground.