Friday, July 4, 2014

Friday, July 4, 2014

I've talked about pet sitting and dog walking before and mainly post the happy, feel good shit but there is a down side to it.  Being detached from the animals that we care for in a sense that we don't live with them day to day, we can see things that other people can't see when they are so close to the situation.  I wish that animals lived forever but sadly they don't.

I say this all thinking of Miss Audi.   She's about 10 or 11 and she's a German Shepard.  She's absolutely a sweetheart.  I first met her not long after I started working, about two years ago and I thought she was rough then.  She has arthritis and her back end doesn't want to cooperate with her front end.  It's sad when your body fails you and your mind and spirit are present and young.  The owner first told us that she can in fact walk on her own and climb down the back deck but man, I didn't to risk her falling on my watch, so we had an understanding where I'd ask her if she wanted to go out and I'd then see if she felt like getting up and moving on her own.  The hardest part for her is getting up from a laying down position and laying down from a standing to a laying down position.  If she didn't look like she could do it on her own, I didn't force her.  I feel like we had/have this unspoken understanding.  I'll help her as much as I can but leaving her with a morsel of her dignity.  And so I help her in and out, whatever she needs.

This time around, her pet parents have gone to be with their son for his wedding and Audi isn't in the best of shapes.  She cries in pain and this holiday has fallen over the Canada Day holiday, which means fireworks are rampant.  She does not like them and wants to hide or find a safe place.  Panting, unsettled, anxiety and just a complete mess.  My heart shattered seeing her so upset.  Since a week ago yesterday, I've been doing the bedtime visits, so I usually head over to her house (not far from mine at all, just around the corner) and spend at least a half hour with her.  The half hours usually spill over into over the amount of the paid visit but honestly, I don't give a shit.  If there's an animal that needs me, or if I have to stay longer than I'm paid for, so be it.  I don't do this to make money at all, I do it because I just love animals with every fiber of my being and I have so much compassion to give them.  It's also therapeutic working with animals, I find.  It's not for everyone, there are times where a dog has gotten into the garbage and it's been strewn all over the fucking place or a dog or cat gets sick, diarrhea, whatever.  Again, I just take a deep breath and do what I need to do.  Audi fell Monday night sometime while she was pacing and anxiety-ridden.  She had an accident and fell in it.  So what I did was worry about her first, got her up off the floor and cleaned up and then I cleaned up the mess.  No big deal some paper towels couldn't fix.  But it broke my heart to leave her because she was a basket case with all the booming and snap, crackle, popping from the fireworks.  I stayed with her an hour or so and felt terrible leaving.  Tuesday she was also terrible, our actual Canada Day.  Wednesday and yesterday were big improvements.  Last night I went over to see her and from the door, I could see her peacefully sleeping on her blanket.  She just looked so tranquil I didn't want to disturb her.... But I did and I got a tail wag from her and gave her some pets and kisses.. She was actually being a bit silly, she kept throwing me her paw or nudging me if I stopped petting her.  She was the best last night I've seen her in a week.  It was really touch and go on Tuesday because my boss was trying to reach the owner, who we thought was out west in BC.  I think she flew out to BC but then the wedding was in Trinidad so no wonder she wasn't answering emails or her cell.  But all Tuesday and Wednesday, every time my phone buzzed, I thought it would've been my boss telling me she made contact and that Audi wasn't well and what we're we to do.  Here's the thing... I know first hand when you have a old dog, you don't want to see them age and most often, you ignore the signs.  You may make promises to yourself that you'll take the animal to the vet and then somehow when that day comes, the animal seems better, seems more perky, zest for life.  And then you relent and cancel the appointment.  I know just how hard it is to say goodbye, I really do and honest to pete, I have no idea what I'll do the day that comes for my two boys (I'm starting to tear up now, dammit!), but the greatest gift you can give your companion is to let them go peacefully, while they have a shred of dignity left.  I know that living with it, you don't always see the signs, nor do you want to.  And I think that's the case here, because she has SO MUCH spirit and life in her eyes....that's why this is sad, because WE can see she's not well and she's declining in health, but I'm not so sure the owner sees it, or wants to.  And I get it.  So it's just tough.  Its hard not to get attached to them, they become extended family in a way.  For instance, Storm.  God I love(d) that boy.  The parents are going through an ugly, nasty divorce and so the wife took the Lab and left the husband with the two cats.  I've been to the house since she left with the dog and the house just feels so empty.  So empty.  I can only hope that he's being treated well even though his pet parents are going through a nasty divorce.  So while he didn't pass away, it feels like he has because none of us are sure we'll ever see the old boy again.... He had TPLO surgery on his back legs and so he was pretty stiff as Labs and Goldens get when they're older but on one occasion, I went over and he got so excited to see me he was jumping and bounding around like a puppy.  Well, the next visit some hours later, when I walked in, there was no Storm.  I called out and nothing.  I thought, "Oh fuck please no, don't be gone (as in passed away)" and I'd peeked around the kitchen and saw him by the front door, laying on his big bed, wagging his tail that I could now hear thumping against the wall and he couldn't get up because he had over-excited himself and thus overdone it and his bones were sore.  I picked the boy up and took him outside because I felt so guilty for being the cause of his temporary soreness/stiffness.  The previous visit he just got too wound up and now he was suffering for it.  I think that weekend was the last time I saw him but man, I'll never forget him.  I always drive by his old house and think of him.....  We've also looked after blind dogs that need to be fed away from other dogs, animals that need insulin.... It's so rewarding though, it really is and I can't say enough positive things that this "job" has given me.

Anyways, I guess I'm rambling now.  I just wanted to share about the pet sitting and that even though I love it immensely, it's not always unicorns and rainbows. 

Life is just so fucking precious and too short my friends, appreciate each day we have our capacities and dignity.  Life passes us by far, far too quickly so enjoy it while you've got it.


I'm doing things a bit ass-backwards here, but here are some pictures from the dog park last night before I went to see Audi at 9:45 p.m.  Enjoy. :)

 None other than Stella lol


 And.... Going home :)  Happy, tired puppies!

 And one very tired Baxter after we came back from the dog park :)

Have a great weekend and Happy Independence Day my friends south of the Canadian Border ;)  Tah-tah for now! XOX

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