Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Upside of Death

I wanted so much to feel better this weekend and to let go just a little bit more. I didn't. I know I need to. I know that's what's best for The Kid and for me. But, I can't bring myself to do that. I feel like I need him more now than ever. I want to look into that sweet face and know that everything will be ok. I know that I need to be able to do that for myself. I can't. Not yet anyway.

I think to myself, if he'd died just a few months later. After the mishogos in my life passed, I'd have better coping skills. Intellectually I know that isn't true. There's never a best time to die. It's not like you wake up and say today would be the perfect day to peel. Ga'head, die.

I am riddled in, and burdened with insurmountable guilt for not letting go and for wishing he was here. I want so much not to feel this way. I just can't seem to find my way past the grief.

I'll spend hours and days just thinking of him and disecting the past, wishing I could have just a bit more time. Maybe if things were easier at the time of his death or during this time in my life, his death wouldn't have ripped me to shreds.

I don't have the answers to any of the questions I had on August 1st when he died. I just know that when I'm at home, I'm surrounded by his things and it brings me comfort. I know that letting go terrifies me. Until I know why I guess it is what it is until it isn't what it is anymore. I know that's very Who's on First of me to say. Still. It's pretty damn true.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Letting Go... Not

My dog has been dead since August 1st and today is November 7th. I vacillated between sadness and anger for about 6 weeks. Now, I'm just angry. Angry.Angry.Angry.

I'm angry at him for dying. He wasn't supposed to die. That was never the plan. Intellectually, I knew he'd die. I just never really believed he'd die. He struck me as invincible. He's not supposed to be dead. He's just not. But, he is and I cannot get past it. I can't let go.

He was the one person I could count on to be there -- always. He was my continuity, my friend, my son, and my muse and now he's dead. No joke dead. He's sitting in a can cremated dead. Dead enough fah'ya?

I'm angry at myself because I can't let go and I feel that undermines the life I gave to him and ultimately took from him. I worry that he's not resting peacefully or has reached his final destination because of my total inability to let him go and move past my anger.

I wish I could get past this. I wish I could feel better. I wish it could hurt less. It doesn't. I wish that I could just hang out with him for 5 more minutes. I wish I could stop crying. Life is a big ugly mess and it is meaningless without the kid. Or, today is just a bad day.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

My Beautiful Son

Email to the Vet

I am trying to make sense of what happened. I know I need to let go and I will. But, I have to understand what the fuck happened. It was all too fast and nonsensical for me not to. I say to myself, Katie, let it go. He's gone. Nothing you can do will bring him back. That's all well and good and quite true. Still, I have to know what the fuck happened and going forward I want broad sweeping change. Read. You'll see what I'm talking about.

Dear Dr. B----e:

Thank you very much for your time. I appreciate it. My name is KS. You did a bone scan on my dog SS on July 25th, 2007. On August 1st, 2007, seven days later, he was dead. He died of abdominal sepsis due to a tear in his stomach. He was 8 years old and in great health. His labs a few weeks prior were proof that his vital organs were in excellent shape.

This email isn’t meant to inflame, rather it is my hope that you will see it as preventative care for future dogs that you treat. I’m not going to try to sleuth out what really happened. But, I know in my heart that you killed my dog. When he walked out from his procedure, he was completely disoriented and certainly wasn’t the dog who walked in a few hours earlier that day for his scan. He wasn’t himself. Part of his spirit died that day. I had never seen him in that state before. SOMETHING HAPPENED. Something went wrong. I will never know what that is, which is unfortunate, unless of course you’re willing to tell me. He was up all night gagging and retching from the intubation or extabation. Again, something that’s never happened. I called your office and they said that that happens sometimes and that if it didn’t cease, to call. It did cease, only to be immediately replaced by vomiting. I believe that the gagging and retching all night is what caused the tear and ultimately led to his demise.

My hope, Dr. B----e, is that you will proceed with more caution and most importantly, knowing that in the intubation and extabation process, if a repercussion can cause gagging and retching, that some type of medicine should be given post-procedure to prevent that from happening, period. Period. PERIOD.

My dog meant everything to me. He was my son. A joyful, kind, gentle and good soul. I loved him with every ounce of my being and now he’s gone. He should never have died. Never. I can’t get the time back that I have lost and will lose as a result of this horrific tragedy. Out of respect for his LIFE, and for the time that you took from us, I beg you to consider exercising extreme caution and preventative care post treatment.



Seeking Bouviers Purchased by Galbraith Bouviers

Shags died too young. I posted in yesterday in an effort to find other Bouvier owners who bought their dogs from Galbraith Breeders. Even though they were AKC approved, they weren't reputable. I just want to know if other Bouvier owners experienced the same health issues that I experienced during Juice's too short life.

What I posted:

Owners of Galbraith Bouviers Please Share your Story

Reply to:

Galbraith's Bouviers
Dave and Joan Galbraith
PO box 547 Nuevo, CA 92567
909-928-9225 e-mail address

I bought my Bouvier des flandres from Galbraith Breeders 8 years ago. He died a week and a half ago. He was much too young and died of abdominal sepsis. During his much too short life, he was born with giardia and terrible stomach issues. He was also born with inverted eyelids.

I would like to know if other Bouvier owners who specifically purchased Bouviers in the late 90's or early 2000's, lost their Bouviers too soon as well. I think this breeder is now out of business, but there is no question in my mind that they were not a reputable breeder.

I just need information, please. I'm not going after them or anything like that, I just want to know if anyone else lost their beloved bouv too soon and experienced the same issues I did.

Thank you very much,

Friday, August 10, 2007

Louie Schwartz

Louie Jew, Jewcifer, Hagamuffin, Shagamuffin, Buglette Wuglette, Super Bug, Dori, Shags and Shagaboombas, were my kid's nicknames. He joyously answered to all of the above.

On August 1st, 2007, I put my beloved Shagamuffin to sleep. I am assured he did not suffer. That he felt relaxed and tired. He was a mess. He had abdominal sepsis. It came on fast, 24 hours and he was gone. They say he was not in pain. His spirit left and had been dwindling two-weeks prior to his departure. His eyes closed as effortlessly as they opened when he came into this world. I am grateful that I was there when he took his first breath and I was there when he took his last. He was my first dog. My first pet. My first born son.

I don't know who I am without him or how I will exist on this earth without this child. He saved my life. He was my lifeline when I needed one. He was lovely, sweet, kind and good. He lived an abundant canine life, filled with great friendships, delicious food and treats, summer camp for canines, the very best health care money could buy and he ran like the wind to play catch with his rope many times a day. He's been across country so many times and stayed in more hotels with his mama than you can imagine. He was fearless. Gentle. Incandescent and the greatest gift and joy I have ever known in my life.

I didn't know my heart could love like this and break the way it has. Well, I did know, I just didn't realize the human-to-canine crossover. I have to remind myself to breathe. I have to remind myself that I did the right thing. That I acted in his best interests. That the choice I made doesn’t make me a monster. Rather, it meant that I love him that much.

I wondered and still do, did he know how much I loved him? How much he meant to me. Did he feel loved on August 1st when I ended his sweet, beautiful life? Does he know how grateful and lucky I feel to have shared eight years with him? Does he know that I will never forget him? Oh, how I worry about that.

I love him so much and my heart is so broken. I am in agony. I don't know how I got through that August 1st. I suck at saying goodbye, especially to my sweet Juice, a beautiful, perfect soul who brought out the very best in me and taught me so much about life. About myself and about what it's like to be a dog.

It seems that no matter how many Rokeach candles I light. No matter how many tears I shed. No matter how angry I get. No matter how many times I question my decision, none of it will bring him back. He is gone and I might never be the same Jewgirl again. I am forever changed because of his life and his death.

I remind myself daily that if I didn't love him as much as I do, I wouldn't feel this much pain. It doesn't help. Maybe one day it will. Until then...