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Losses and additions - two interesting weeks

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Losses and additions - two interesting weeks

Postby lmcjaho » Tue Sep 13, 2005 2:07 am

Looking for a title vague enough to make you open the thread and take a look but not too vague to force you to ignore it...

Just wanted to share some personal crap with y'all (don't know why, hardly know you :-? ) that has happened in the last two weeks...

Lost my grandmother week before last to a long battle with Alzheimers complicated by cancerous tumors in the brain. Was kinda strange because I had said my goodbyes two years ago when she went in the hospital because the tumors put her in a coma. Doctors said she wouldn't come out of it and wouldn't live out the weekend because she couldn't eat or drink and with her other conditions it didn't make sense to put her on artificial means - but the feisty old wench defied them all by waking up in the middle of the night and going to the bathroom on her own (scared the crap out of my aunt who was on "deathwatch" at the time and fell asleep in the visitors chair only to wake up and find the bed empty!!!) and then holding on for two more years despite numerous relapses with the whole coma thing. She didn't want the grandkids seeing her as she was once the Alzheimers hit (she was lucid enough at one point to realize what was happening and she specifically ordered her own kids not to bring the next generation to see her anymore) because she wanted us to remember her the way she was before all that. I am glad I went to see her in the hospital that time because it helped me get over (to some extent) an aversion for hospitals I developed as a teen when 3 different relatives I visited in hospital died within 2 days of my visit in a 6 month stretch - but at the same time I wish I had heeded her wishes because as much as I would like to remember her the way she was 5 years ago the image of her wasted frame (was small to start and lost a lot of weight on top of that) is really the only one that is clear in my mind now...

A week later my wife and I had to take her horse Romy (official registered name Fairy Tale Romance) to a specialist vet because of ongoing problems she was having. Her mobility was all f****d up and she was unable to put on weight. We got her in February as it has been a lifelong dream for my wife to own a horse. She was a thoroughbred race-horse in her youth, actually winning a few Gs for her owner in a couple of races before something happened (we don't know what) and she was retired. From there she ended up at a stable that was eventually closed down by the SPCA (or some similar organization) due to terribly abusive and neglectful treatment of the animals. At the time of the seizure there were 40+ horses there and of that only 15 were deemed rescue-able - the rest were so badly gone that they were put down to stop their misery. When we got her she had been in recovery for about 1 year and she was looking good with the exception of still being about 200lbs underweight and out of condition. We paid $1000 for her, brought her here to Montreal to a stable 20 mins from our house and my wife started working with her 4 times a week to build up muscle in the hopes of turning her into a decent horse for pleasure riding. Despite plenty of quality feed (the stable owner is a great guy who puts a lot of effort into maintaining the health of the horses) and love and attention from my wife, she still didn't put on the weight. Not only that, but over the past few weeks she started having mobility trouble, stumbling often, dragging her feet, crossing her back legs when trotting and stuff like that. After a few visits (and more than a few $$) from our vet couldn't solve the problem we made an appointment at a local university veterinary hospital to see what could be done. After what I would have to say was the most extensive physical examination I have ever seen (1 doc, 2 interns and 4 final-year students spent over 2 hours on it) we found out that she had severe neurological problems which were most likely irreparable even if we had deep pockets, and with our current financial situation there was really no choice but to euthanize her as she was a danger to herself and anyone caring for her at this point. Needless to say, my wife took it hard - although better than I expected...

So much for the depressing losses - here's the uplifting part that anyone who has read this far (and I thank you for doing so) was hoping for.

We got a new puppy today! We have a 3-year-old Rott male (Diesel) and a 14-year-old Shepherd/Airdale mix female (Nicky) already, and my wife was concerned that with Nicky getting up there in years that we should start looking to find a new companion for Diesel. Our plan was to get a female Rott with possible intentions on breeding them in the future, and we wanted to get her while Nicky is still around as she (despite being fixed without ever having a litter of her own) has SUPERB motherly instincts and we felt it would be easier for Diesel if he had another dog around with Nicky (the dominant one) still there than if we were to bring in a new one after she has passed on and he's alone. Answering an ad in the local Classifieds we went to see a pair of females tonight, with their parents on-site. The father in particular was a beautiful example of the breed, nice a big despite being only 1.5 yrs old and still having some bulking up to do, and the mom although small had really nice coloration and both had a fantastic friendly attitude. After it was all said and done we ended up coming home with our little Jade (first female Rott we owned was named Ruby and the wife wanted to keep with the theme) - a 9 week old little bundle of energy who got along fabulously with the other two at first sight. My wife is so happy, which makes me happy, so despite the fact that we are financially in a bit of a bind these days I do not regret dropping the $400 on her today. Besides - the cash was my winnings from my big $$ league last year (league pays out at the beginning of the next season), so it's free money right?

Anyway, thanks for reading this far, just felt a need to get this out I guess...
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Postby dream_017 » Tue Sep 13, 2005 8:15 am

Sorry to hear about your losses. My condolences to your family.

On a happier note; congrats on the new dog. ;-D
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Postby Cornbread Maxwell » Tue Sep 13, 2005 8:36 am

Sorry to hear about the loss of your grand mother and horse, but it sounds like little Jade is a nice addition to your family. ;-D
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Postby Redskins Win » Tue Sep 13, 2005 9:03 am

Thanks for eloquently relating your thoughts. Congratulations on your new addition. My condolences for those that passed.
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Postby Homeless » Tue Sep 13, 2005 9:33 am

3 of my 4 grandparents died before I was born, the 4th died when I was 10. I really would love to have had grandparents. Im glad you got to spend so much time with yours and im sorry for your recent losses. I also hate or hated hospitals, same kind of deal, bad childhood experience, so getting over what can almost be called a phobia is another positive to be drawn from your relationship with your grandma.

Great news on the new dog, really good for your wife and you. ;-D
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Postby Cornbread Maxwell » Tue Sep 13, 2005 10:41 am

were in the same boat Homey - 3 of my 4 Grandparents died before I met them and the 4th was an invalid until I was about 10.

Not having grandparents did suck - but Im making up for it now by surrounding my family with grandparents pretty much daily. My children will know what its like to be spoiled by grandparents - thats for damn sure. ;-D
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Postby NittanyLions » Tue Sep 13, 2005 4:25 pm

:-/ Im sorry to hear what you're going through. I can relate, I never knew my one grandparent. The other 3 died right after I started getting attached a few years back.

But congratz on the new puppy, Im trying to get myself a dog ;-D
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Postby Tiki » Tue Sep 13, 2005 7:32 pm

Sweet name for the pup! Love Rotties! ;-D
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Postby lmcjaho » Tue Sep 13, 2005 11:47 pm

Thanks all...

I orginally wasn't planning to relate the losses, one being kinda personal while the other seeming somewhat trivial in the big-picture sense with all that is going on these days, but when I started to write the post I realized that the new addition to the family seems much cooler to me in contrast to all the negatives of the past two weeks than if we had just gone out and bought her with nothing else having happened recently. I figured it was worth relating to you all in that manner as a result...

I was lucky to have known all my grandparents for at least a few years (benefit to my parents getting married and getting busy while still young I guess) - but it's hard watching them grow OLD and deal with all these problems. As much as it hurt when my Dad's father died 15 years or so ago, it was at least a quick thing (heart-attack in his sleep) and not a drawn out battle like this most recent one. Since my Mom's dad is now also battling Alzheimers (truly a very difficult disease to watch a loved one go through) it strikes me more and more how lucky he was to go quickly and relatively painlessly like that...

Back to the good stuff - I can't believe how well behaved Jade has been so far. Only 24 hours with us at this point but she is a very quiet puppy who doesn't cry or whine constantly when she is put in her room (using our master bath to keep her in now in case of "accidents" as tile floor is much easier to wash than hardwood or carpet ;-D ) and so far has been pretty good about confining her bodily waste activities to the backyard - only two pee and one poop episode indoors so far and those were all just as much our fault as hers probably...
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