Archive for the ‘Grieving’ Category



I needs it.

So: Amethyst is coming over tonight for dinner. I’m making nachos. Well, technically, I’m making queso blanco dip and buying guacamole and beans and chips, and she can make her own damn nachos. 🙂  Amethyst is one of the coolest people I know, and I feel sorry for anyone who doesn’t know her awesomeness.

I get to go buy a new doggie bed for Miss Emmylou Who. We used to have 2 beds, but one of them went to the cemetery with Scout. We put the other one on the patio so Emmylou can lounge in cushioned comfort while she watches the world go by and barks at the poodle who lives across the way. That means we need a new one for her to lounge on inside. (Every time I try to type lounge, it comes out lunge. Is that the universe telling me I need some exercise?)

I get to go buy new towels. The temporary housing people arranged for someone to rent us housewares, and a whole bunch of lovely white towels were included in the package.  But almost all of them got ruined in Scout’s final hours. 😦  So I have to buy more. (Question: What do they do with all this stuff that they rented to us once we move back home? Because everything was new and I can’t imagine them taking the dishes we’ve eaten off of for however long and renting them to someone else. Guess I’d better ask the temporary housing people.)

I get to do laundry, but that’s no big deal. One of the benefits of having very little clothing means it doesn’t take long to wash it, dry it, and put it away.

I get to visit with the incomparable Izzybella at some point this weekend.

I get to watch this online seminar I signed up for.

I get to read.

I get to walk Emmylou and watch her play with the other dogs.

I get to sleep.

I get to get a pedicure. (I think I’d better shave my legs first. Just a thought.)

I get to watch scary movies and shows about hoarders that Joe doesn’t like so I don’t watch when he’s in town.

I get to write a book review for Quirky Girls. See, I’m participating in the R.I.P. challenge hosted by Stainless Steel Droppings. And I’ve got book reviews of all kinds of scary books going up this month, mostly on the weekends so I don’t butt into the schedules of the other awesome quirky girls. And this book I read just because I love the author so much: Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst. I met her at a World Fantasy Conference in Austin 5 or 6 years ago, and fell in love with her coolness.  So if you want to know what I think about her latest book, please go visit us at Quirky Girls; I’ll have the post up by Saturday morning.

I get to get up and meet my family for breakfast Saturday morning, if I can get my lazy tuchus out of bed by 6:15 so I have time to drive to Fort Worth and get to the restaurant by 7 because my Dad has to work this weekend, which really sucks because it’s supposed to be his weekend off. And I miss seeing my parents every weekend. I had gotten very used to that before the dang fire, and now it’s all messed up. The alarm will be set. But I make no promises.

And maybe I’ll get to have a nice long chat with Jehara. We talked for like 2 1/2 hours last weekend, and it was lovely. She restores my soul. She loves me so much, so unconditionally, and she’s cool to boot.

Ooh! And maybe I’ll go to Half Price Books! I think I have a 15% off my entire purchase coupon in my desk drawer. Hang on—nah, it’s not there. I have no idea where I put it. Maybe it’s in my other purse.

Do you know how weird that sounds? My other purse? Right now I have 2. Well, okay, I have 4, but one of them got the handle chewed off by one of the dogs, and the other one I accidentally spilled Gatorade in when I stuck a bottle in to bring to work and didn’t check to see if the lid was tightly closed (it wasn’t), and now the brown and tan bag is brown and tan and pink. Not a pretty look. But I did salvage a fair few of my bags from the house, and if I can get the smoke smell out of them, then all will be well. Otherwise, I shall be shopping for handbags, because I change handbags like I change my socks.

But the point I’m trying to make is, I’m going to have a relaxing weekend doing whatever the heck I want. The strain of caring for Scout was so overwhelming, and I think both Joe and I felt completely drained. I need some rest. So does my husband. He’s on an assignment for work; however, he basically just has to be in the town this afternoon and Monday morning. Other than that, his time is his own. So I’m hoping he gets some rest as well, goes and sees some music, eats some good food, and comes home feeling a little better about life.  We’ll miss Scout, just as we miss Molly and Stan, but we’re glad he’s no longer suffering. And I cannot deny I’m guiltily glad that I can rest this weekend.

And yeah, I know I said no more dogs, but I told Joe that I would be willing to talk about it when we’re back in the house. Definitely not as long as we’re in the apartment. But if Joe still wants another dog by the time we move back home, then I’ll consider it. The love they give you is so precious. The sorrow and hurt when they’re gone is agonising. Does the joy outweight the sorrow? Yeah. It does. I mean, it broke my heart when Molly died, but Emmylou just jumped right into the family and took up her own place. And I’m glad that we have her, because being completely alone would seem so empty.


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Scout died last night, around midnight. I’m going to miss him so much.




Farewell, Scout.

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Night One Down

We had company again to dinner last night. I’m training someone from out of state, and thought it would be nice to have him come to dinner.  And considering that it got things off Joe’s mind at least a little bit, I’m even more glad.  We had a pleasant evening.

Near the end of dinner, when J and I got to talking business, Emmylou insisted she had business of her own that needed to be taken care of. So Joe took the dogs out and was gone for a good 45 minutes. J and I were both dead on our feet, so he headed on back to the hotel and I started cleaning up. When Joe got back home with the dogs, he said that Scout was running around and playing and getting loves from all the other pets and their people, and seemed great.  Of course, he then went straight to his bed and flopped over like he’d just seen the end of a very long day.

This morning I managed to get my lazy tuchus out of bed early enough to enjoy a delicious warm morning beverage, walk the dogs, and get them fed. Feeding Emmylou is easy: open up a can of puppy food, put it on a plate, and let her have at it.  Feeding Scout is more difficult–he won’t eat the prescription dog food or the dry food or pretty much anything. But we gave him a little bit of chopped beef and some smashed potato and carrot. He ate all the beef and most of the vegetables. So if I have to buy a pot roast every week to get him to eat, then I’ll do it. I rinsed off the meat and veggies to try to eliminate as much of the salt as possible. And then he finished his breakfast with a shot of lactose-free Ensure. He had lost another 2 pounds from the time he left the vet. Scary.

Joe left to go out of town today; he’ll be back probably on Saturday. I’m just praying that if Scout is going to leave us, that he hang on until Joe’s back. Of course, I’m also hoping and praying that he’s not going to leave us anytime soon.

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Words Fail Me

And yet I’m going to try to write about it anyway.

This year, as I may have mentioned a time or two, has been sucktastic. Husband got food poisoning and nearly died. Our Molly girl passed away. Our house caught fire. The hotel where we stayed soaked us (pun intended) for over $800 claiming that our two dachshunds caused so much damage that they had to replace the carpet padding in our room. Scout’s kidneys are failing him.

Scout spent 5 days at the vet’s office, where they had him on an IV and pumping liquids through him. His numbers dropped, over the course of those 5 days, from an 8 to a 5, still higher than they wanted, but an improvement. And then he came home and we were very happy to have him home. Well, he had his follow-up today, and his numbers have shot up to a 10.

The vet says he thinks that one of Scout’s kidneys is okay, but thinks the other may be cancerous. He added that Scout seems remarkably healthy for such a sick dog.

We’ve had trouble getting him to eat, which, if you know Scout, is unheard of. He is lethargic, just lays around and rests or sleeps all the time. But he is still interested in going for walks, and he comes to greet me and Joe whenever we come home. We’re just hoping and praying that he won’t be in any pain, and that we’ll get to have him around for a while longer. If it becomes obvious that he is in pain, then we’ll have a difficult decision to make.

I love my dogs. You know that. I couldn’t have children, so we have dogs. And they’re my babies. I hate losing them. The pain of losing Molly earlier this year just about did us both in. Then the thought of losing Scout so soon is unbearable. Please, universe, remember when I asked for a break? I meant it. Kthanxbai.

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Joe asked me today how much a person can handle before they just collapse under the weight of everything. My response? I don’t want to know.  I’ll add, though, that were it not for my lovely psych meds, I’d probably have collapsed already.

The last two nights, Scout’s been doing a lot of vomiting during the night. Otherwise he’s seemed fine–low appetite, but we chalked it up to stress. I mean, first we lose Molly, then we adopt Emmylou, then we have the house fire, he spends a night at my Dad’s, a night at the kennel, then the hotel, and now the apartment. That’d stress out any dog!

So I made a vet appointment for him this morning, and Joe took him in. The vet said the blood work indicates that his kidneys are failing. They’re keeping him there and pumping fluids in via IV, and we’re in wait and see mode.

In the meantime, here’s an open letter to the universe:

Dear Universe,

I have had enough. Please quit sending bad things our way.  It’s time for some happy.

Yours very truly,


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Do Me a Favour

Check the batteries in your smoke detectors.

Make sure you’ve got a couple of fire extinguishers in various places in your home, and know where they are.

Check the batteries in your carbon monoxide detector, and if you don’t have one, go get one.

If you have a chimney, be sure to get it professionally cleaned by a chimney sweep before you light a fire. Don’t use those self-cleaning creosote logs–I bought one a year or two ago, but after reading about people who tried using them only to have their houses catch fire, I’m so glad Joe didn’t use it.

Have a plan to exit your home in case of fire–know the exit points from every room.

Have a 72-hour emergency kit, including a change of clothes. Keep it in your car and/or under your bed or another handy spot that you can quickly grab it and go.

Keep your cell phone with you all the time, so that if you need to call 911, you can do so without further jeopardizing your safety. If there are any flames that you can’t quickly and easily put out with a fire extinguisher (or salt or baking soda, for a small grease fire in the kitchen), get yourself and everyone else out of your house while you wait for emergency assistance.

And be sure you’ve got thorough coverage through home owners or renters insurance. You don’t want to first sustain a loss and then find out that you have no insurance coverage.

A house fire is one of those things that you don’t ever associate with something that could happen to you. But it can. Please, please, please, be safe. Trust me when I tell you that you don’t want to have the nightmares I’m living and having.

I can’t tag this “lessons learned the hard way,” because honestly, I think we were pretty well prepared. Joe had the fire extinguishers handy, got the visible flames put out; I called 911 and got myself and the dogs out; we have good coverage with our homeowner’s insurance. When I think how much worse everything could have been, though, I get terrified.

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Document things. When you make major or semi-major purchases, keep track of the date of purchase, receipt(s), take photo(s). Keep the photos and inventory list in a safe deposit box. 

One of the things Joe and I are going to have to do is to go through everything in our house and take inventory of everything. Did I mention that it’s July? In Texas? And we have no power in the house because of the fire?  I’m sooooo looking forward to that lovely task. NOT!

However, I will say that we’d be toast right now if we didn’t have homeowner’s insurance. I don’t care whether it’s required by your mortgage company or if you are getting it even though your home may be paid off. Be sure you have homeowner’s/renter’s insurance. You may never need it, but I promise you that it is far, far better to have it and not need it (or even to have it and need it) than it is to need it and not have it.

Joe and I had to do a little shopping last night. I literally have virtually nothing to wear. So I got a few tops and a necklace & pair of earrings. He got some dress pants. The dogs got some toys. I need sneakers, but by the time we were done at Burlington and headed to the Skechers store, we were both beyond exhausted and were cranky and I even cried out of sheer exhaustion. So we got something cold to drink, and Joe got some dinner, and we headed to our temporary home.

The dogs were delighted to have us back, and they were delighted to get taken for a walk, and they were delighted to have their new toys.  We were delighted to see our dogs, and not so delighted to see some of the mess they managed to make while we were gone.

One of the ways I usually lull myself to sleep is by putting in a movie I’ve seen a million times. However, the televisions in the room don’t have DVD players, and even if they did, I don’t have any DVD’s to put in the nonexistent players.  So I turned on the television and channel surfed. Not much was there, so I ended up putting on that Toddlers & Tiaras show. It’s appalling to see what those parents put their children through. There was one little girl who wanted to be an Olympic gymnast, but her mother said she couldn’t because it would interfere with her pageant work. WTF? How can those parents pretend to themselves that their children love it, when the kids are ill behaved, ill mannered, tired, unruly, crabby, and seemingly anything but delighted to be on the stage performing in outfits a cheap hooker might wear, with the teased and ratted hair and obscene makeup to boot? Fortunately for me, I fell asleep about halfway through the episode.

When you’re used to a whole house, living in a small hotel suite feels so confining. But I can’t exactly go out and buy tons of stuff, which is one way I manage to amuse myself. While I do need a few more clothes items and cosmetics to get me through until we know what’s going to happen, I have to be somewhat restrained. And I can’t go buy housewares and home decor, another way I amuse myself. I can’t really go to the movies because I don’t want to leave the dogs alone in the hotel room for too long. I realize the hotel put us in a pet room, but I don’t want them to rip up the carpet, chew the linoleum, pee all over the place, etc. And they will. Trust me on this one.

This just really sucks. But I know that it could have been so much worse, and that it wasn’t I am thankful.

Clover, Jehara, I would LOVE to be on a cruise. Unfortunately, the insurance company does not agree.

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