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Please Tell Me This is Just Hypochondria and Nothing More

I can say it, I’m a hypochondriac.  Most of the time.  I worry about things that are out of my control, I fret, I freak out and I imagine the “worst case scenario” in most situations.  I’ve never been a “glass his half full” sort of girl.  So of course, any possibility that I can jump to conclusions, I will.  My hope is that this time, I’ll be wrong and all of my worst fears will not come true.  I have to hope, I have nothing else to do.

On Saturday, I took my best friend of 13 years to the vet.  Okay, my best friend isn’t human.  So, sign number one that I may not be “all there” upstairs.  But if you had any idea just how amazing my best friend is, you would understand.  Anyhow, my worst worries about the appointment for a routine check-up were that a) my dog would be an ass and b) that there is always a chance that my dog could have heartworms or worms.  For a 13-year-old dog, I’m thankful that is all I typically have to worry about.  It could be worse.  He could be dead, he could have some type of disease, a billion things could be wrong.  Thankfully, we have been pretty fortunate.

As Bowser was getting checked out, his veterinarian went to check his mouth.  I wasn’t paying too much attention until I saw Dr. Carr open his mouth again.  The look on her face told me that something was wrong.  Then, I heard what I would never have imagined I would hear.  “Bowser has a growth inside of his mouth and it’s pretty consistent with aggressive Melanoma (cancer).  We need to get that removed and biopsied as soon as possible.”  My heart sank and bile rose up into my throat.  I did the best I could to hold my composure while she explained everything and while she finished up his exam.  The doctor asked me to go out to the waiting room and sit while she prepared a quote for surgery to remove the mass and to have it sent for a biopsy.  I sat there stroking Bowser’s scruffy neck while I waited for Dr. Carr to come back out.  In my head, a billion things were running through and I kept thinking back to the fact that when he was at the vet in late August for a dental exam and a broken tooth, there was no mass there.  Dr. Carr had confirmed as much.  I already was jumping to conclusions and I had convinced myself that the cancer had to be aggressive to have appeared that quickly and to have already turned his mouth black.

The doctor came out with the estimates for surgery and we discussed the options and I promised to call her soon.  Bowser was already scheduled for boarding there while I’m out-of-town for a seminar so I told her I would think about how soon we could get him in.  If you’re a pet owner, you already know that surgery and pet care doesn’t come cheap.  But while animals are expensive, the love and companionship that they give makes everything worth it.

I loaded Bowser up in the Yukon and I headed home.  As much as I told myself that I wouldn’t cry, I felt the tears running down my face as I shifted into gear.  I didn’t even make it out of the parking lot before I broke down.  Eager to comfort me, Bowser stood with his front paws on the console and he stuck his cold nose in my neck.  While normally he paces and runs around the car like a moron, he didn’t do it this time.  He stood on the console until I got onto the highway and then he laid down in the backseat and he watched me.  Bowser never lays down in the car… ever.

When we got home, I tried to not be sad because I knew that my 2 youngest kids would be sitting in the living room waiting for their beloved pooch to come home.  I got Bowser inside and the boys attacked him, eager to give hugs and to ask him how things went.  As I motioned for Larry to come outside and I sent the boys to their room to play, I saw Paris give Bowser a kiss on the head and then he walked off.  I told Larry what happened and he of course, told me not to worry because we didn’t even know anything for sure.

It’s been 2 days since I heard the vet tell me that my BFF could have cancer.  Two days and still I tear up at the thought of him or what we are about to go through.  I haven’t had time to write in months but really, it hasn’t just been because of the time, it’s just as much about emotion as it is anything.  Right now I am filled with so much sadness that all I really want to do is curl up in the fetal position and type until my fingers are numb.  I have so much to say, so much to tell the brown mutt that stole my heart so long ago but he would never understand.  All he understands is that the trash can is filled with pure heaven, his family loves him and spoils him and that candy tastes amazing.  His little brain could never comprehend just how devastated I am at the thought of him suffering or even worse, of him being gone.  And he sure as hell won’t understand how I am sitting here with all the contents of my trash can at my feet and that I haven’t yelled at him yet.

I wonder if I even fully understand just how much he means to me.

Bowser is scheduled for surgery next Friday.  If you are the praying kind, please keep him in your prayers.  If you don’t pray, we can use all the well wishes and luck in the world.

Photo courtesy of FixYourImages.

Photo courtesy of FixYourImages.

Dog Needs Ride from PA to FL After Owner Killed on Interstate

A dog needs a ride from Pennsylvania to Florida after his owner was killed on Wednesday while he was stopped to help a car accident victim.  The dog was with his owner at the time of his death and thankfully, a tow truck driver saved the dog from ending up at the pound.  Now, Rancid needs help to get back to his family in Florida.  Please share their story!!

Yup, People Suck

Well, after over 4 months… I have confirmation that people SUCK.  If you follow my blogs, you would have seen one in the past few weeks about a situation that I got myself involved in and just how much it has taken a toll on my life (and my finances).

Back in May, I was made aware of a family that was going from shelter to shelter and rescue to rescue, asking for assistance with their 2 dogs.  The problem was that the family had lost their home and in an attempt to get back on their feet, they were going to go through 90 days of “transitional housing”.  While in transitional housing, the family could not take their pets with them and because no one in the family was working, they couldn’t afford to care for them properly.  When I heard of the families’ plight and hopes for a temporary foster home, I jumped in with both feet and took over communications for them.  Time was not on my side and I was told that I only had a few days to find a foster or the dogs would have to go to the shelter.  After finding out that they were senior dogs, I was even more convinced that I could save these dogs.

When no foster home appeared, I talked to the family about boarding them at a kennel.  The idea was pretty well received even though it wasn’t their original plan or hope.  I told the family that I would try to get donations and that I would help cover some of the expense as long as they were paying, too.  As documentation of the ordeal and because of a feeling to not trust anyone, I kept the text messages that were exchanged.  On May 24th, the dogs were taken to a local kennel.  The family text me that evening “We just dropped the dogs off at the boarding” and next “we all cried an still crying”.

The next day, I got a message from the boarding facility in which they advised me that the family stated that I would be the person responsible for the bill and I would be paying everything.  At 6:24 pm that evening, while at a race track in LaMonte, Missouri, I text the family with “I just talked to (name deleted for privacy) and she said that you had told her that I was paying for everything.  I said that I would help.  I am concerned.” to which I received “No, I said that you and other people were helping pay for the boarding.  Was I incorrect when I said that?”.  Ugh, really?  After numerous texts back and forth, the family claimed that they were going to help pay, that they never said that I was responsible and that they missed their dogs and couldn’t wait to get them back.

On the 26th of May, the boarding facility told me just how much of a problem that one of the dogs was having with obvious arthritis, which I never knew about.  The response was “Nellie has arthritis in her back legs.  It might be getting worse.”  There was no real concern for the dogs comfort or well-being.

Many months have passed, way more than the 90 days originally promised.  Not once has the family paid anything.  Only on one occasion did I receive a donation towards their care (and that was just in the last few weeks due to my previous blog and the fact that someone felt sorry for me).  And who has paid and is still paying?  My dumb ass.  If you do the math, I am sure you can figure out how much it costs to board 2 dogs for 120+ days.  Don’t make me do it because I don’t even want to think about it.

When the original 90 days were up last August, the boarding facility contacted the owner and told them that the time was up and that the dogs needed to be picked up.  As of today, the dogs are still there.  Yesterday the owners contacted the boarding facility and let them know that they would be picking up the dogs and taking them to Wayside Waifs, a shelter here in KC.  Just exactly what I had tried to avoid.  So, how am I supposed to feel?  I paid (and still am) for 120 days (and counting) of boarding, just so I could postpone the probable euthanization by 120+ days?  What the hell was I thinking?

I am filled with so much despair, disappointment and heartbreak.  For months I have struggled with my own finances, stopped filling my prescriptions, limited my special events with my kids and eventually, I even stepped back from rescue, all so I could take care of 2 dogs for someone else.  All because of one gesture, one simple gesture and thought that I could make a positive impact in someone’s life and that I could indeed, save 2 dogs from the shelter.  The tears well up as I think of how I let these dogs down and even more importantly, how I let myself down.  I always try to believe the best about people but this time, the damage has been done and I don’t know if I can recover.

People just suck.

*If you are interested in adopting or fostering Nellie and Dakota, please contact me.  Both are senior dogs that are 12 years old.  Nellie suffers from arthritis.  Dakota is not recommended to be around other dogs, kids or cats.*

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