Saying Goodbye Is Always Hard…

If you are a  long-time reader here, you know that I have more than an abundance of pets!  That’s because have a soft spot in my heart for most animals.  Back in 2004, I tried to rescue all of the homeless animals at the local animal shelter–and then some!  At one point, we owned 21 cats, 5 dogs, 2 rabbits, a hamster, and a parakeet!  Our pet food bills were quite shocking in those days, and Ed was just about ready to jump ship.

Fast-forward nearly nine years later, and here we are–aging folks, left with aging pets!  Ed and I have already said “good-bye” to several of “our dependents” over the past several years.  These days we’re left with only 13 cats, 2 dogs, a parakeet and 6 chickens.  I’m not sure of the age of “Tweety”, our parakeet, since he, too, is a “rescue”, but I’ve had him for over 8 years.  He has to be living on borrowed time.

Several of our pets were older when I adopted them, so some passed away after a relatively short time.  Some of our younger pets developed  illnesses which cut their lives short, as well.  Such is the life of a pet owner.  Throughout the years, the area surrounding our home has become a virtual pet cemetery, with an assortment of  occupants.

No matter how many pets we lose, it never gets any easier.  After the initial shock of losing a pet has worn off, I always try to concentrate on all of the good days we had together, and the joy we brought each other. However, this doesn’t help to fill the empty void that losing a pet creates–even when many are still left!

Honey Bun

Honey Bun

A while back, I wrote about our struggles with our pet rabbit, Honey Bun.  Honey Bun  had been with me for over eight years.  I’m not sure how old he was when I got him, but he was already big.

Near the end, Honey Bun eventually became paralyzed in his hind legs, and remained that way until his death, about 2 months later.  We did the best we could by Honey Bun, but we were relieved (for him) when he took his last breath–the day before Ed’s 63rd birthday.  Not a day goes by that I don’t miss that old brown rabbit, especially when I visit the carrot patch!

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Eugene’s the gray cat, who’s looking at the camera

We lost one of our cats, named Eugene, to cancer, last year, too.  Eugene struggled with eating for a long time because the growth affected his throat.  We tried to make sure he had some soft food to eat, and let nature take its course.

In his final days, Eugene found a hiding place so he could be alone, but Ed found him, and took food to him.  Then Eugene found another hiding place, which Ed wasn’t able to find.  We assumed he’d gone off and died, as cats often do.

For several days Ed worried about Eugene, and said he just wanted to be able to give him a “proper burial”.  Then, one day I went out to the cat cafe'( a structure Ed built to feed the cats on), and lo and behold, there lay Eugene, dead, underneath it.  He was nestled among some junk that had been stored there.   (Eugene had been dead for a day or two, which is how I managed to spot him.)  Eugene had come home to die, and in doing so,  granted Ed his wish to give him a “proper burial”.

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Ethan (in younger years)

2013 isn’t looking so good for our old hound dog, Ethan.  He was one of a litter of 10 puppies that were dropped off at the shelter, along with their mother.  Each puppy was named after a cast member of the reality show “Survivor”, hence the name “Ethan”.

Ethan is about to celebrate his ninth birthday, but he suffers from a variety of issues, and is not in good health.  We’re not positive, but we suspect he, too, may be a victim of some kind of cancer.  A couple of weeks ago, Ethan was really sick, and I just knew the end was near for Ethan.  After a day or two, he rallied and is still with us.

These days, Ethan spends most of his time basking in the sunshine on cooler days, or resting in the shade on the warmer days.  Ethan LOVES to eat, and for the moment, his appetite is still good.  He knows exactly what time supper is supposed to be served, and he will loudly remind us if we run late!  Ethan is a bit lazy, and has always laid down to eat his food.  The day Ethan starts refusing to eat, we’ll go ahead and get the shovel ready.  It will take quite a hole to accommodate that dog!

Shakespeare once wrote, “Parting is such sweet sorrow…”, but, in my opinion, there is nothing “sweet” about parting through death.  It’s the unfortunate downside of loving something– or someone.  Saying goodbye is always so darn hard!

Published in: on January 29, 2013 at 10:08 am  Comments (6)  
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Random Thoughts On Tuesday…

Whoa!  I do believe fall may have officially arrived in our neck of the woods today.  For us, this means lows in the upper 50’s and highs in the mid-seventies!  The cooler temperatures feel so nice for a change, and I hope they stick around with us for a while.  This cooler weather makes me want to go out and pick a pumpkin!

Snakes alive!  We’ve had three snake sightings within the last few days–and one of them was a rattlesnake!  The rattlesnake was sprawled out in the dirt lane leading up to our house!  Unfortunately, Ed was on his way home from work when he discovered the snake, and didn’t have anything to kill him with.  The snake slithered off into the woods–and I hope he stays there!  Next, our oldest son found a small snake in his yard on Friday evening.  He called Ed to kill it for him, but when Ed saw that the snake wasn’t poisonous, he refused.  Over the weekend, Ed caught a quick glimpse of a third snake who was hiding among a pile of trash on our property.  Ed spotted the snake as he accidentally tossed him into the fire, along with a pitch fork full of trash.  Wow!

Some of you may recall me mentioning my brother-in-law’s plight last week.  He was released from the hospital, still bearing a PIC line, and requiring IV antibiotics every six hours.  He was having to drive 17 miles (one way), at 2:30 in the morning so his wife could administer his medication in the nursing home parking lot!  Not an ideal situation, to say the least.  Well, God works in mysterious ways.  Some much-needed help came to my brother-in-law– in the form of my husband!  Ed felt compelled to lend his brother a helping hand, so he’s sacrificing a few hours of sleep per week.  When our sister-in-law has to work nights, Ed has volunteered to get up at 2:45 a.m. to administer the IV medication.  One week down, two more to go!  Ed’s a bit sleep deprived, but he’ll make it.

Yesterday the weather was overcast and a light drizzle of rain fell off and on.  I hated to do it, but I got dressed, put on some make up, and made the trip to town–to buy some light bulbs and a pair of animal toenail clippers!  I don’t travel to town much these days, since it costs nearly four dollars for the gas  just to get there, but I  really needed those light bulbs and toenail clippers!  On the journey to town, I encountered a dead deer on one side of the highway–with its leg torn off, no less, then I saw a dead chicken on the other side of the highway.  The chicken had fallen off of a chicken truck (bound for the local poultry plant)–only to be run over by a car!  Talk about a run of bad luck–and there is nothing like the sight of a little early morning road kill to start the day off on a bad note!  

When I finally made it to town, I had to go to three different stores searching for my particular type of light bulb.  The light over our kitchen table requires small based,  40 watt candelabra bulbs.  Sometimes it’s frustrating living in Small Town USA, and trying to find what I need!  Worse yet, in two out of three of the stores I visited, the clerks were rude!  What ever happened to customer service?  (I’m convinced it’s dead!)  I purchased my light bulbs and clippers, without so much as a nod from the cashier, much less a “hello”…

In case you’re wondering what I need those animal toenail clippers for, they are for our aging rabbit, “Honey Bun”.  Since he became paralyzed in his hips, a couple of weeks ago, I noticed his toenails needed trimming something awful!  He also needed a bath to clean him up a bit.  Ed and I took care of the bath on Sunday.  After Ed got home on Monday to help me, “Honey Bun” got his manicure…Oh, the things we do for love!

Last, but not least…yesterday I mentioned I had been doing a bit of sewing.  What a deal that turned out to be!  The sewing part was fine, it’s the threading of the needle that was the challenge!  By wearing two pairs of bifocals I could actually see the eye of the needle, but getting the thread to actually go through that needle was quite a chore!  I’ll leave you with this thought–Now I think  I know why more elderly people don’t sew much 🙂

Published in: on October 9, 2012 at 9:36 am  Comments (8)  
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