Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Februaries are always long and dark. This one in particular has overwhelmed us with grownup problems. Money is nothing because money will come back some day. But the kind of grown up problems that hurt your feelings, lay off your friends at work, kill projects that you'd really cared about, take up your personal savings for what would have been good things, and kill your dog... those are the doozeys.

But the world is churning out its demands as always. Moreover, I've got my hand in so many things that none of them are making progress. Nothing is moving forward. And this feels awful. It's got to stop. But I need help figuring out how. These are days when I really really really miss my little buddy. I know she wouldn't have the answers I need, but tonight I would have come home and held her and rocked back and forth until the shouting in my head had stopped. And she would have been happy about it.

I want to know when I'll start to feel a little peace again.

Here's a picture of the back of a Queen Anne's lace I picked this summer while waiting in a Meijers Parking lot to see some hot air balloons float over.

Queen anne's lace is my favorite flower..

Sunday, February 20, 2011

death and taxes

I feel like I only come here to write when I'm mad lately. But I guess for the most part, lately I've been mad. I need some springtime, badly.

Today is Sunday. I've spent the whole rainy day home alone (I mean totally alone) and it sucks. I'm sorry but it's been over a week now and I just can't believe my dog is gone. I keep half pretending she's with my parents in Michigan and that I'll be going to get her soon. This is bullshit and I feel like it shouldn't have happened. Though there's nothing to indicate that we could've stopped it. God. I don't know. I'm so mad.

Just filed taxes for 2010 and it looks like the refunds will cover her medical bills. So, terrific. Really, I am glad for that although it would've been nice to spend that on our wedding.

I did spend some time hunting down songs for our wedding playlist this morning and that was fun. I should probably uh.. find a dj.

The last thing I really want to do right now is have a party, but Zach says that maybe in 5 months time I'll feel a little differently.

The title of this post is so dorky.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

It's really something when the groomer calls to tell you that they're all crying because they heard your dog died. I guess she was one of their favorites. I guess I didn't realize what an affect our little girl had on other people. I always knew she was awesome, but maybe I didn't realize just how unique and special she was. And now I feel even more sad. Because maybe I didn't fully appreciate my magic little doggie when she was with me. Because maybe I spent too many nights working late at the office. Or maybe I just looked over the top of her at something else when I was home.

I hear it's warm out today, though I've been in my windowless cube for most of it. Good for melting the ugliness away. I love snow when it's new, but this is the kind of thing that remains through most of March, so I welcome a good thaw:


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

day 5

Ok. I owe an update. It's been a few days. On Sunday we gathered Fannie's things (holy difficult) and donated them to PAWS. And that felt good. We wandered through the corridors, looking through glass at adoptable dogs and cats just for the sake of looking at them. Dogs are great. Paws is a wonderful & pleasant place.

Last week I had ordered some special vitamins for her off the internet and they showed up in the mail yesterday afternoon. I will be going back to Paws to hand thse off these as well. I hope they can use them.

Tonight I'll drop off the chewy sticks she got for Christmas to the puppy downstairs. And some of her tennis balls. She was never into tennis balls anyway.

I've moved a couple small things in the house to make the gaping holes less obvious.

Things seem to be getting a little easier day by day and I don't know how I feel about it. Yesterday I cried about 7 times at my desk. Today only 2. Now make that 3. I need to shake the feeling that I'm forsaking her by having good days. The weather is going to be 60 degrees on Thursday and my pup would want me to still go out on a long walk without her, so I'll try to do that too.

Everything hurts.

I've been kind of throwing myself into researching fish tanks, and well, it does help a little. It's something for Zach and I to do. Fish. How cliche.

Monday, February 14, 2011


Worst valentines day ever.  I miss my funny little valentine.  Everything is making me mad. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Low ceiling

I hate mornings now.  It's like every new day when  I realize she's not in the bed I have to go through the pain of realizing she's gone all over again. 

Note to self:

Once your pet has died, do NOT read any more about the disease.  You will definitely read things that will make you doubt yourself.  Stop.  Stop. Stop.  You read more than most people and probably knew more than the vets at that point.  Yes you maybe should've contacted Dr. Dodds  out in CA right away rather than waiting until we realized nothing was working, but as we knew it, the vets were doing everything correctly.  You went with what you knew at the time.  You had read so much already.  Fannie probably would have never responded to the medications, but maybe the surgical procedures wore her out and made the battle end more swiftly.  At the time you knew this was the pretty standard course of action and we had to do it to figure out what was wrong.  I don't know.  But you put a lot of thought into each decision that was made.  You tried very very hard for her.  Please stop researching now.  You are only hurting yourself.  You did not kill your dog.  You did not kill your dog.  You did not kill your dog.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Moving forward.

Gosh. That hurts to see pictures of her. I need to keep writing so that I can move that post down the page and not see it every time I come here. I'm in a lot of pain. This is going to take a long time to heal. And I'm dealing with a lot of guilt though I realize it's probably unnecessary.

This is my nightmare: Fannie had severe separation anxiety for as long as we've had her. I worry that by having left her at the hospital for the last four days, we might have made her feel like we had abandoned her. I realize that if we had kept her at home I would be dealing with a different kind of guilt. If I'd not let her stay at the hospital I would've hated myself for not giving her the round the clock care and monitoring that she needed. So really, it was a no-win situation. I would feel guilty no matter what I did. But I still can't seem to shake the thought that during her darkest hours we may have broken her heart by leaving her. If she had passed without us being there, I probably would require mental help right now. I mean, maybe more so than I already do. It worries me so much that I feel like I might get sick.

But I just have to know that guilt is normal. I have to know that everyone goes through this. I need to hang in there and not beat myself up and keep making the right decisions to keep myself healthy.

Things that are making me feel worse today:
- Looking at photos (oddly enough, this made me feel better yesterday).
- Thinking of her last days (if I could erase this from my memory I would, but some images are burned into my mind now).
- Thinking of gathering up her things and letting go of them (even the awful princess costume).
- Throwing out her medicines.
- Thinking she might see these things happening, and think we don't love her anymore.
- Talking to her in my head.
- Writing her name in the tags field of this blog post.
- Accidentally dropping a piece of food on the floor and realizing I have to pick it up.
- Listening to any music. Seriously. Just stop it, world.

Things that are making me feel better today:
+ Talking to PAWS about donating her things to other dogs. They are willing to take them when I'm ready.
+ Cleaning my house. Seriously, I don't know how or why, but doing dishes and laundry are helping me. Not so much washing her blankets, but that had to be done too.
+ Watering my plants.
+ Browsing the animal rescue sites, knowing that there are other animals out there that need us. Dreaming of some day getting to the point where I could help another one. Wondering if that dog is out there already and just waiting for us to heal before presenting himself.

I'm also thinking it might be time to rescue some feeder goldfish again. I think it could be good to have them in the house. Watching them swim is peaceful & therapeutic. Their existence might make our house feel less lonely. And it could be helpful to get into the routine of taking care of them. Yes, I know goldfish die easily, but not so much if you put them in the right environment with the right amount of oxygen, and that is what I'd do.

Also, I should probably get dressed and leave the house.

Friday, February 11, 2011


I've been trying to put together some of my favorite photos of Fannie, but it's hard. There are so many.

It is over.

Over the last 24 hours her condition had declined significantly. She waited until we were there this morning with her. We signed the paperwork to have her put down and end her suffering and while the vet was away getting the supplies, while we petted her and talked to her and looked into her eyes, Zach's hand on her belly, her breathing slowly stopped and she was gone.

I'm so thankful for the support we've gotten from friends. It has really truly helped us over these last two weeks. This is so hard and will continue to be hard for a long time I'm sure. I don't know what to do with myself.

And Fannie,

I am so grateful that you held on and waited until we were with you. I am so grateful that you went peacefully and on your own. That was one last great thing you did for us and I won't forget it. I'm trying to take comfort in the fact that we did everything we possibly could to give you a fighting chance. I will never have doubts or regrets. You are by far the sweetest little thing I've known. Your love for me was so humbling. I never knew what I did to deserve for a little thing like you to be so crazy about me. I will try not to remember you as sick. We had a great five and a half years together. I will remember you as silly, energetic, docile, loving. I'll remember how great it was to get home from vacations and business trips and be reunited with you. And I'll remember falling asleep, you curled up at my belly as if we were spooning every night. I will remember waking up to your stinky feet in my face. I'll remember your kisses. I'll remember how your bald bottom would change colors when you were excited. I hope you know how much we all loved you. I think you do.

Please spend some time with Peanut. I think you will like her. She was also sweet and gentle. I can't wait to see you again some day. And please watch over Daddy and I as we try to get used to the fact that you're gone. I already miss you so much. Love. So much love.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

My baby.  This is so incredibly hard.  You've gone downhill so fast.  Please turn the corner and come back home.  They say it's still possible.  We're doing everything we can. 

I hope you heard me tonight when I told you that I loved you.  That you're a good girl.  And we can't wait for you to come home.  Please get better.

How did I forget?

I forgot to mention - no dog cancer!  Bone marrow says no cancer!  

Now we only have imha to battle.  Lets battle.

So many medicines.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Snoopy Come Home

Still in the hospital. After her last transfusion she was put under anesthesia and her bone marrow sample was taken, and a lump removed from her back for testing. After this, her pcv had crashed again. So, third transfusion. After this, her pcv went up to 27, now back down to 23....
Retesting in the morning.
They say she isn't eating. I bet she'd be more likely to eat if she could come home.
But we like that the vet wants to keep her to monitor her. He wants to see this Cyclosporine (medicine #6) kick in.
So do I. But I also want her to come home. I miss my dog. I know she misses us.

Monday, February 7, 2011


Fannie's transfusion didn't hold. Tonight she is back in the hospital. This time for blood transfusion #2, an ultrasound and bone marrow test. The bone marrow test is going to hurt her. Again, I wish I could communicate with her. I wish I could tell her I'm sorry, and that I'm coming back for her tomorrow. I don't want her to suffer, but they keep telling us there's a good chance, and that we need to give her a chance.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

We have on matching sweaters.

Fannie hates this sweater, but she needs it to stay waaarm right now.  If I could communicate with her I'd promise her this isn't forever.


We made it through the night with no incidents.   She is fine.  I am a paranoid freak.


She's laying on the wood floor and breathing heavier than usual.  I have my alarm set for 2hrs 30min from now so that I can get up and take her downstairs to pee, but how am I going to sleep till then? 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Just thinking

I am so grateful for blood donor dogs and their owners who allow them to be blood donors. I promise that if I ever have a bigger dog in the future I will try to get them in the donor program.

Fannie's donor dog's name this week was named Bianca. I wish I could write a thank you letter to Bianca and her owners.

I wonder what kind of dog Bianca is. I like to think she is a greyhound.

Happiness is a clean house and a dog with an appetite

Thru the stress and depression of the last week or so, our house had turned into a pig stye. Well no more. We spent most of today scrubbing showers and sweeping stairs and filing paperwork. And now things feel quite a bit better.

Doggie seems to be having another good day too. She spends most of her time in one spot, just observing. But she is taking an interest in things. Enough that she was up and around and underfoot a couple times while I was cleaning. I've never been so happy to trip over her. : )

Friday, February 4, 2011

And the roller coaster goes upppp......

After my last post my day took a miraculous turn for the better. Melissa & Ivo lent us their car so we could get Fannie to the vet & run errands. Getting dog to the vet in a car rather than carrying her a couple blocks through knee high snow to a cab is just... I can't even compare it. And later that day when I was in whole foods getting her herbal supplements to protect her liver and non toxic baby wipes to wipe her bottom after explosive diarrheas, I almost cried because I was so happy to be out and able to get these things. God I felt like I'd been wanting to get these things for so long, even if it'd only been a couple days. Seriously. So. Grateful. Thank you Melivo!

Oh. The vet visit!
Not really knowing where to park the car and in all the excitement we accidentally ended up at the vet an hour early. The office was oddly quiet and he was able to spend lots of time with us. I think they even did a biopsy of a lump on fannie's back for free, just to rule that out as a potential underlying cause. And for some weird reason when we got there Fannie became kind of peppy. She managed to make a fool of us in the best way by not doing the wheezing we wanted the Dr. to see, and eating like a freaking pig when he put some special food in front of her. And better yet - her red blood cell read at 18%! That's 1 point better than the day after her transfusion! Granted, there's a pretty big margin of error on these reads from what I understand, but at least it's no 13% like on Saturday. This meant no transfusion for now! Fannie gets to stay at home with us!

My poor baby has been poked by so many needles in the last 6 days it's just awful. Unless her behavior takes a sharp turn for the worse, she doesn't have to go back for a full week!

Her mood has been pretty good today. She's still pretty weak right now and she will be for a while, but today her tail has been wagging and she perks up when we're in the kitchen. She chows down on the hamburger & rice that I made for her. And her nose is getting a little more wet. She's started doing her downward dog stretches before we take her out, and the silly girl, in all her weakness still managed to climb all the way up to her favorite spot on the top of the back of the couch when we were gone.

Here's hoping this trend continues!

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Cannot stop crying. For every success story I read, I find 3 stories of terrible manifestations that play themselves out over the course of years and end with the death of the animal.

I can't believe this hasn't even been a week. I have to figure out how to be fully informed but not allow myself to be absorbed by this. It's so incredibly hard because the disease requires that you observe observe observe for every little fluctuation in her behavior.

I want to know what to expect. I'm terrified that this will drag on and on and fannie will spend more days feeling awful than feeling good. I'm worried that I will make the wrong decisions and try to prolong her life when it isn't worth living.

Anyhow, that doom and gloom aside, here's an update: This morning fannie couldn't hold it and she had an accident on the rug. This is expected. The medicines are going to make her have to pee constantly. Since she's too weak to get around much, I've been bringing her up and down the 3 flights of stairs with a small carrier that the neighbor lent us. It's been a lifesaver. As soon as we're able to get to a store I'm going to need to invest in one of these so that I can return this one.

A minute ago when I brought her upstairs I set the carrier down, unzipped it, and she just sat there for a few minutes, not wanting to stand up to walk out.

We have our next vet appointment at 4:20 today to check her blood levels. Good news would be that her levels have not dropped below 16. Anything lower than 15 would be stressful. Anything at about 13 or lower will probably mean she goes back to the hospital for another transfusion and has to be away from us for another couple days which is really hard on her. Based on the fact that the medicines haven't had much time to start working, and the rate at which her levels dropped from Saturday to Monday, I really expect her to have to go back for another transfusion soon.

I'm trying to mentally psyche myself up for the trek to the vet's office in a few hours.

Here is a picture of the front of our house yesterday morning. As of now, the street still hasn't been plowed and the city has no plans to clear our alley where our car is trapped.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Prognosis: Guarded

You know, I thought about writing some kind of disclaimer on these recent entries. But I won't. This is my blog. And I'll write obsessively about my dog if I want to. I don't even know if anyone reads blogs any more now that facebook has for the most part replaced them.

Anyway, spending the night away from Fannie during the worst snowstorm I've ever witnessed was incredibly hard. With wind gusts up to 60 mph I pictured my poor sick, weak baby fighting to stand up outside, let alone do her business in the blustery snow.

Today for most of the day we were literally snowed in. Our street was impassable and our car will most likely be stuck in the garage in the unplowed alley for days.

We were able to pick up Fannie from the hospital this afternoon. We headed out on foot and by train, and came home by cab. The 8 mile round trip took us 3 hours.

But now we're home.

Even though I feel a little trapped & helpless with no transportation and the state of things outside.

I don't know.

Right now she's laying next to me in her sweater to keep her warm since her blood won't really do that job right now. Her breathing is a little labored and I'm trying not to let that freak me out, because the vets told us that labored breathing is one of the signs of a blood clot, and that for the rest of her life Fannie is at a high risk of blood clots, which we would not be able to do much about... and ugh. That was a long sentence.

I've been reading everything I can on Fannie's disease. I want to be a realist, but I want to know for certain that I've done everything I can for her.

I can't believe she's on four different drugs right now. I hate to think she may have to be on them for the rest of her life.

I can't seem to come to terms with the fact that I'm probably going to lose her to this disease sooner or later. Zach seems to get upset when I talk like this, but I'm afraid of being delusional. I need to be prepared.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


On Sunday Fannie had lost all interest in eating and by Sunday night she was too weak to jump up on to our bed. Randomly her little legs would splay out on the wood floor like bambi on ice. By Monday afternoon I knew I didn't want to wait another 24 hours to take her in for her next checkup, so we brought her in after work.

I'm so glad we did that.

On Saturday her red blood cells were at 13%. By Monday they had dropped to 10%, which required a blood transfusion. At the emergency vet we learned a few more things:

1. Her bone marrow is still working, just not well enough. (That's relatively good news)
2. Fannie has a confirmed case of primary IMHA.
3. There's not an underlying cause. That's kind of harder news. If she had done something like eaten a penny or rat poison, we could've fixed her right up. Easy peasy. But this is not the case, and so it's going to be a trial & error roller coaster to get her back in working order.

She made it through the transfusion and her numbers are up to 17%. This is good. Now we wait to see if the medicines they give her will help her to maintain that level and get better.