Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Wednesday's Words for October 30, 2019

There are several reasons why I write.

I began writing when I was ten or so, and even then, I understood that it wasn’t something that I had chosen to do. It, had, more or less, chosen me. I didn’t fully appreciate how that could be so, until I learned my father had been a writer, though he never was published.

Another reason I wrote, was to make my up own world, after the death of my dad. The world I was in wasn’t all that great, and writing became my escape.

Before I achieved publication, I had been given a second chance at life, through open heart surgery. With that realization came the sure and certain knowledge that I had to make that second chance count. I needed to make writing the focus of my life. I learned, through application and prayer, that I had actually been given another reason to write. I was to become transparent. To share with others what I had experienced, to touch others, to let them know they were not the only ones going through what they endured in life—that they were not alone.

None of us is alone, and while knowing that is good, feeling that is easier to accomplish when we can read the words of someone who, either through essays, or through created characters in fictional stories, shows us that they’ve been there too.

That was a big build up to this week’s essay because this one is very hard for me to write.

Our wonderful Mr. Tuffy has left us. He’d been sick for only a couple of weeks, and we’d been to the vet twice, and he while he seemed to improve, he relapsed. We went a third, and final time, and had x-rays taken. The result was the discovery of a tumor. He’d lost weight, he didn’t want to eat any more, and he was—well, if not in pain, he was in great unhappiness.

Euthanasia was the second to last thing we wanted to do. The last thing was to have him suffer any more than he already was. He passed this past Friday morning, in the arms of his daddy.

This hit us both hard, but it especially devastated David. They had been practically inseparable since Tuffy came to us in February of 2013. He was this adorable, little ball of fluff that fit in the palm of our hands. Tuffy truly became our third baby. In fact, in place of a crate, we used a playpen during those first months. He was his daddy’s best friend, and earlier this year when we got our scooters, Augie doggie and doggie daddy, as I called them, made daily excursions together to the park. They had such fun, and both of them always came home with smiles.

We have, my husband and I, suffered real tragedy in our lives, with the passing of a granddaughter and then, a few years later, her daddy, our son, Anthony, in 2006. There is no equivalency here, and of course we know that. But human emotions are tricky things. And I am here to tell you, it’s okay to grieve, and grieve hard for a fur baby. The toughest part for David was knowing that the expected lifespan for a Morkie is 10 to 13 years; David had been very pleased to find that out when we first got Tuffy, and he looked forward to all that time with the little guy. Sadly, Mr. Tuffy only lived to 6 and a half of those 13 years. And, of course, his passing was sudden. From that first visit to the vet to the last, was just ten days.

The vet didn’t expect this, either, because there are several conditions that a Morkie can develop, and the professionals believed he had been suffering from one of them. When the blood tests that first day showed he had an infection and low protein, we all—the vet included—thought the antibiotics would do their work, and at first, they seemed to. But by the end of the week, we knew they hadn’t, so another process was tried, but then he began to fail. Over Thursday night he developed respiratory problems, and we returned to the vet the next morning for what we soon knew would be the final time.

We’re both seniors now, David and I, and we have our own health issues. Tuffy had grown into middle age with us and was happy with the activity level we could provide him. We won’t, of course, acquire any more pets of our own. As it is, there’s a veritable herd waiting for us now at the rainbow bridge, beginning with the very first pet we ever had as a couple. Over the years? A conservative estimate would be that we’ve loved 12 dogs and likely just as many cats.

Soon, we’ll leave our deep mourning behind and focus on the endless joy Mr. Tuffy gave us. And he did give us endless, boundless joy. Helping us through this time are my daughter’s chihuahuas. Of course, they knew from the beginning that something was wrong. Pets usually do. And they’re a comfort, a soft warm body or four to remind us, gently, of the one who’s no longer with us.

Their attention to us is almost as if Tuffy, on his final day, told his best buddies to look after us for him.


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