Tuesday, June 2, 2009

When it Rains it Pours

I've known in my heart for some time that we were going to have to say goodbye to Lu Lu before too long. Because I am the one home alone with her every day I see it all. It has been difficult because what the rest of my family sees is in part and for some of them there are long periods between what they see. Sometimes they argue with me because they haven't wanted to believe that she's as bad as I say she is. It always makes me feel horrible and like they think I am pushing her to die when I am only trying to prepare them.

Last night Chai Tea called to check on Lu Lu. She has always loved dogs and practically memorized a dog encyclopedia that my mom gave her. She got upset with me because she feels that we are hurting Lu Lu by waiting to put her down. She doesn't understand that I need to have the others in agreement, or at the least, in acceptance. I, too, am worried about Lu Lu being in pain but not showing it.

I went to see the vet today. I typed everything out which is what I do when I see the doctor and when we see the counselor. She explained that we know for a fact that Lu Lu has kidney disease and that her blood work showed that her kidney function had deteriorated in January. Even though she does not act sick all day long we know by the fact that she dry heaves and/or pukes every day and has periods where she is obviously not feeling well that things are not right. She explained that kidney failure is very painful and that the kindest, most loving thing to do would be to let her go.

I know all this but it is hard when she acts normal a lot of the time. I called Mr. Macchiato who was at a business lunch. His response was to disagree and argue. I made an appointment for tomorrow (they are slammed this week and I didn't have a lot of options if we wanted to be there, which we do). When I told Frappy she got very upset. Of the kids she is the most attached to Lu Lu. She wants to be here but I didn't think she could come home before Father's Day. She told me she could come home on Thursday night so I drove back to the vet and got the only appointment I could on Friday which is at 1:45 pm. Hopefully, there won't be a conflict with anything Mr. Macchiato has going on at work.

I am very upset. I feel that I have been put in a really crappy position. Mr. Macchiato wants me to be the one to talk to the vet but then doesn't like what I have to say. I've had one kid upset with me because we weren't moving on this fast enough and then two others that haven't wanted to even believe that she is sick.

We had to put Eve down 2 1/2 years ago and it was bad. I had to make that decision and Mr. Macchiato couldn't even go with us because he had to give a deposition up in Denver. He wanted us to wait but she would have died on her own and she was struggling. It was the right thing to do for her but it made me feel so bad to have to do that and then to have my family upset with me made it worse.

It is true that I liked Eve more than Lu Lu. It is true that I like Benny more than Lu Lu. But, the fact is that just like I loved Eve and love Benny... I love Lu Lu. There is a difference between love and like. I often do not like things about the people I love. It doesn't mean that I love them any less. It is the same with our dogs. Having to make the decision to put Lu Lu down and convince my family that it is the right thing to do is killing me.

Paco died four days ago. For eight years I bitched about his squawking. I said I was going to kill him countless times. I said I hated him countless times. I even called bird rescues and the zoo trying to get rid of him. And I even thought about ways I could kill him. I spent his last week desperately trying to save him saying to myself that I would never complain about him again if he pulled through. Each day that he survived gave me hope until that last night. I knew he wasn't going to. I was surprised when he was alive that morning. Then I found him dead and hour and half later...

I love dogs and yet... I don't. I don't like the way they smell. I don't like dog hair everywhere. I don't like my backdoor all scratched up. I don't like our ratty backyard with all the holes and bald spots. I really don't like old dog breath. I don't like the stress they bring when the weather is bad and I have to deal with mud or snow. I didn't want another dog after Eve died. I wanted to just have Lu Lu until she died and then not ever have another dog. I especially never wanted to have another furry dog that sheds.

The day I saw Benny I was with Chai Tea at a horrible pet store that has since gone out of business. We liked to look at puppies there because there was no way we would ever buy a puppy from that place so it was "safe." I saw him... he was asleep with his ear hanging over his water dish. Chai Tea tried to get me to hold him. Gosh, I didn't even want to look at him. We left. The next day Mr. Macchiato and I were running errands and we often went in there since the store was right by our bank. I had not told him anything about being there the day before and had been trying to forget about it. I can't remember now if he suggested we go in or if I did. Whatever the case, it is something both of us suggested doing on a regular basis. I went straight to him and scooped him up. Then it was Mr. Macchiato's turn to resist. We bought him the next day. To me, I was telling Eve that she had been worth every inconvenience.

I still think about Eve every day. I call her my once in a lifetime dog. In so many ways, putting Lu Lu down is harder for me than losing Eve. I feel bad because there are things about her that have always annoyed me... the way she always gets frantic and scratches the doors, how she barks and scratches the fence, how she doesn't really like or play with dog toys but will destroy them just because Benny likes them, and how bitchy she can be. She's busted out our front door and bit dogs being walked in front of the house twice. Losing Eve made me terribly sad. I did have some regrets about being frustrated with all the dog hair and making her stay in her crate so much that last month before she died (she smelled AWFUL)... but, I know she knew how much I loved her. Lu Lu... I feel bad because I've talked often about what a horrible hag she is.

There is a lot I like about her too. She makes the most adorable faces. I like the way she doinks her ears and cocks her head. She's just so goofy sometimes. She is the best about getting her paws cleaned. She just rolls over onto her back and puts her paws in the air. Her belly is so cute and round. She loves to have her butt scratched and does what we call the butt dance. It disgusts me because she enjoys it a little too much and I don't like to scratch her there... but, I do laugh when everyone else does it. She's so greedy and tries to squirrel stuff away in her crate all the time. I don't know how many times she's had all the bones piled up in there. One time Mr. Macchiato noticed her going up into the kitchen over and over. He went to see what she was doing and she had gotten all our Chinese take out boxes out of the trash and had them piled up in her crate. After we had lived here a couple years I was sitting in the living room and she sauntered in. She noticed the painting hanging above me, that had been there the entire time we lived here, and started studying it intently. She cocked her head to one side and then the other. She looked it up and down. She was cracking me up. Then she sat back and started howling. Oh my gosh, I about died. She is hilarious when she howls. When we first got Benny she howled every time he got upset. LOL!

Sigh... Lu Lu must know I really do love her. Why else would she follow me around and sit by me? This is hard to take so soon after Paco. I'm still startled by how quiet the house is without him here. I don't know. It's hard enough for me to deal with my own feelings about all this without having to deal with people getting mad at me because they don't want her to go. It just sucks for everybody here.


Natalie said...

Oh KJ, I'm right there with you. I love our 14.75 yr old dog as much now as I did the day I put my arms around her neck in our neighbor's backyard and begged my husband to let me keep her (she was 1 then). But she's old now and not much fun for anyone - she's confined to the kitchen and laundry room because she revenge-poops in my husband's room and leaks urine constantly (even with meds). The kids and I are ready to move on to the next dog(s) - Wire Fox Terrier - but my husband says not until she's gone.
It'll kill me to say goodbye to her; I'm ready to do it but then again I'm not ready.
My heart is with you in all of this! Even things you only love a little bit are missed when they're gone.

Flea said...

I love that you wrote all this out. It makes you, and the animals you love, so much more real. Do what's right for LuLu. You're there with her and know what right is. We know you love her.

frappy said...

oh crappy day

Andy and Wendy Ingram said...

It is sad that you are all having to go through the grief and loss of your animals. We love our dog, so we know how hard it would be to lose him. As I was reading your blog, I was thinking how everyone in your family is just dealing with the grieving in different ways and at a different pace. It just makes it hardest on you as a mom. Praying and thinking of you all! Wendy

P.S. We leave next Friday for Swazi and all our support is in (God is amazing) and we are so excited to continue on this journey! Thank you so much for all your sweet encouragment and prayers along the way!

MaBunny said...

Oh KJ, I know that is going to be so difficult. One can tell when reading your post that it came from the heart. If Lulu is suffering, then she does need to be put down. I'll be facing that within this year I am afraid for my beloved Cooper. Actually any pet usually becomes one of the family - if it is hurt, sick or dying, everyone feels horrible, and yes you lose a loved one. Please know that you are doing the right thing by not letting her suffer anymore, you have these last few days to say good bye , and that will be a good thing.

Laura ~Peach~ said...


Chris H said...

So much conflicting emotions mate.. I'm so sorry you are the one who has to do this for Lu Lu.. but you have to help her now. You are doing what is right. {{{HUGS}}}

Just Me said...

I've been in those shoes, and they're excruciating.

I can SO relate to how the annoyances sort of interfere with loving a dog. With Strudel it was the incessant paranoid barking. You couldn't set a glass on a table without setting her off. She acted like every little noise was a harbinger to murder and mayhem.

She was so skittish she couldn't go in a crate. When she went to the groomer, I had to stay with her to take her in and out of the kennel dryer.

But taking her for that last ride nearly broke me. She hadn't been able to get up without help for several days, peeing all over herself in the effort to get her back legs to cooperate. It was horrible to watch. That day, however, I said, "Let's go for a ride?" and she bounced up like a puppy.

I grouch about Duchess and her chronic snot (sinus issues). I get annoyed with how she takes out my knees in an effort to be first. My elderly cats are puking hairballs all over the house, and most of the time it's on somebody's bed. They will not eat hairball preventive.

It's so easy to get caught up in the negative, but it doesn't mean you love them any less. We know you love Lu Lu, which is why you sucked it up and made her an appointment for Friday. You're the one that's with her all day. You're the one watching her most, so it should be that what you say goes.

If Mr. M., Frappy, and Double Shot are able to tag along, ask the vet to explain Lu Lu's condition to them. Maybe then they'll understand and stop arguing, since the vet is a professional and not "just Mom."

Angela said...

I was going to email you. You were so HEAVY on my heart yesterday..now I know why...(((Hugs))

Sandi McBride said...

I guess it's always the "Mother" who is the villain of the piece, my friend...why else is it always "a mother of a job, mother this or mother that...I feel for you, I really do...but in the long run you know you're going to be the bad guy...except to Lulu...who will go to sleep with love and devotion on her face as she closes her eyes...I have had to help several of my furbabies cross over, and I've held them in my arms each time. It's the least I could do for them after all they've done for me...you shouldn't have to forgive yourself for doing the kindest thing...children don't understand till they have to make the call and men are to be forgiven for being men...hugs to you and Lulu...prayers, too