The Epilogue

The service is done

The tears shed

Ashes stowed

His final bed

Pride in my family

Not the least of which, Mom

Who honored my father

With dignified Calm

Standing Room Only

His life well represented

Laughter the keystone

Not a life lamented

Notes to be written

Soups to be made

We dreaded the after

But we’re no longer afraid

Of the space that is empty

His body departed

‘Cause his spirit is present

We are each lighter hearted

Remember my laughter

Remember my smile…

Remember my loving

Remember my style

I’ll forever be with you

To navigate the way

As you journey forward

I will help lead the way

You’ll never be alone

Nor should you feel sorrow

I’m forever in today

As I’ll always be tomorrow

Okay Dad…we’ll remember

Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.

by Mary Elizabeth Frye

For my father, who is all things. You are here and not there.
In the simple things I love so much…thanks to you.

(But hey…do you think you could tone down the northeast wind a knot or two? And while you’re at it, this shiny diamond, snowy goodness thing you got going on is pretty and all…but could you ratchet back the swirling white stuff too…it is freaking CoLd!)

I love you Dad

Always and Forever

Wait Just One Bone-Pickin’ Minute…

I’ve got a bone to pick and I’m gonna pick it clean.

Then I’m gonna give it to my DOG to finish off.

Yes.

My DOG.

The same one that shared this day with me eating mini ice cream sandwiches and snuggling together in the rear-end of a Jeep

In the Vet’s parking lot…

Staring death in the face with a face full of vanilla and teeth full of chocolate cookie crust (his too.)…

Yeah, that one…Ripken, my beloved 10 year old B’Lab

The subject of my last post celebrating his life and mourning his demise.

Why?

Because my Vet is a douche…that’s why.

Okay, maybe not a douche.

How about insensitive, callous, money-grubbing, gotta pull in the bucks to justify my position as the newest Vet in this practice, A’hole?

Yeah, that’s better.

  • Here’s how it went down almost a month ago (I feel like I should put this to music like Harper Valley PTA or something):

Yearly check-up; three-year rabies shot; lyme vaccine; snap test

Vet says he looks good except…

I’m concerned about this growth, this tumor, in his right armpit

I’ve looked at his records, and I see he was here 6 months ago (for an intestinal problem) and this mass was not there

The fact that it grew so large, so fast, and seems tender to the touch tells me it’s something we need to be concerned with.

Normally, I’d say it’s just a fatty deposit, but not in this case. I believe we are looking at a malignancy here

ME:  Can you give me an idea of how much I’m looking at to find out?  Financially speaking, I need to know

I can certainly give you an estimate for how much it would be to do the pathology and remove the tumor, but subsequent treatment would be expensive

ME:  OK, I’ll need that estimate before I make a decision

Of course

Estimate:  $970 – (nothing specified about what the cost would be to treat the ‘cancer’)

ME:   I hate that it comes down to money, but I can’t afford this

Oh I completely understand.  Take some time to think about it and let me know

ME:  Okay, but I know what my finances are…I can’t afford this

I completely understand, but just think about it and let me know. Take the time you need, but I don’t think you should wait too long

ME:  Okay, I’ll think about what I can do, and I’ll talk to my family, but I can’t afford this only to find out it’s a cancer I can’t afford to have treated

Stopped eating

Stopped drinking

Lethargic

Acute diarrhea (sorry, but it does sound better than the runs)

I was out of town, get a call from my parents that the dog is sick

  • Here’s where we were one week ago:

Not eating still so I boil hamburger and rice – nothing

Not eating so I notch it up to chicken and rice – not much improvement

Only think I can get him to eat are his biscuits…the dog effin’ loves those biscuits

Still not drinking

Still with the D-word adding in that straining would be an understatement

  • Here’s where I was Sunday:

This can’t go on, he’s suffering, I can’t afford to see this through, I need to call the Vet tomorrow

Appointment made for Wednesday for euthanasia based on information known at the time

  • Here’s where I was today – Wednesday – E Day

Get to Vet’s office – packed beyond belief – had to park in another county practically – no sweat, more time to sit and snuggle and eat ice cream sandwiches with the Dude

Go into office at scheduled time, 5:30 pm, alone, to complete all paperwork and pay fee without Rip having to be in there

Told they are waaaay backed up, would I mind waiting?

Ummmm, yes, in fact I WOULD mind waiting.  This is not the kind of appointment one wants to sit and ponder amonst the other four-legged beasts running around.

Told it would only be a moment then…they’d get a room ready right away.  She returns within seconds telling me to go ahead and bring him in.

I do that.  We go to the room.  The Vet comes in…

Aw, and how’s old Ripken?

{I explained the last two weeks in detail)

Oh, so he’s not eating or drinking.  Well, let’s have a look see what a treat does for him

{I watch as Ripken about tears the guy’s fingers off taking the treat.  Maybe I should have warned him about Ripken and those biscuits}

Wow…I have to tell you, this dog is not telling me he’s ready to die.  His breathing is a bit loud and labored, but that’s his age.  But he’s active and took that treat well enough

{I look at him like he’s gone mental.  Was he suggesting I was there to kill my dog for no reason?}

ME:  No…YOU told me that and based on the last two weeks, I believed it.  This is NOT the same behavior of the last two weeks {except the biscuits}

Now, really, I’m not concerned with that growth.  I feel it’s just a fatty deposit and as your dog’s advocate, I must tell you that based on what I’m seeing here today, this is a healthy dog, and in good conscience, I can’t do what you are asking me to do

What I”M ASKING? Do you realize what your comments to me during our last visit did to me? And how those comments lead to my sitting here today, in this office, having spent the last 4 days beating myself up and grieving for him?  Do you think I’m here to rid myself of a loved family member for financial reasons?

I’m only telling you that I can’t do what you came here to do in all good conscience because I feel he’s healthy and just showing his age

{By now, I’m about hysterical, but from anger…}

I am not leaving this office until you do whatever you have to do to prove this is NOT a cancerous tumor; tell me the cause of the last two weeks; and I AM NOT PAYING FOR IT.  YOU ARE.

Of course. I will aspirate the mass and I’ll take a stool sample.  If, you’ll hold him

{Just give me a biscuit dumbass}

Aspiration done, sample taken, Vet disappears, returns 15 minutes later…

I was correct.  That mass is nothing to worry about, for now, it’s just fat

And the stool sample shows he’s loaded with bacteria, which I can treat, with medication. And this bacteria is absolutely the cause of his lack of appetite and lethargy.  It’s common and treatable.

All I ask is that you give him a fair chance.  Let him take the medication for a couple days.  If there’s no improvement, we can revisit it.

What?  A fair chance? You tell me my dog has a malignant tumor, tell me to make up my mind quickly, it’s only $970 to be on the safe side, and you tell ME to give him a fair chance?  Give him pills for a couple days and then you’ll revisit killing him?

That’s all I’m asking.  I can’t stop you from going through with this, but I can’t do it.  I’ll not charge you for anything but the pills and I’ll only charge you what they cost me.

{Lord, get me away from this man before I BITE HIM}

Get me the pills, refund my prepaid murder for hire fee, and we’ll be gone.

He did and we were.

FOR FUCKING EVER!

My Dude…alive and well…despite modern medicine!  When did Vets become like all the rest?

really mom

See Ma..all I needed was some ice cream and chocolate cookie stuff. Oh, and the biscuits…don’t forget the biscuits.
🙂