Sunday, September 15, 2013

An End and a Beginning

Yesterday was my 43rd birthday.

It was a nice low key day spent with my best friend, his beagle and my Squeaks.

The day before that was my last day at my job at CA.  I had been in that job for 8+ years and I am very good at it.  Leaving won't change that.

However it was time for a change.

As such, tomorrow morning, bright and early, I start my new as a Technology Architect III at a new company.

I am excited and scared and sad.

I don't handle change very well, even ones I put into action.  But I know that this is something I need right now to grow professionally.  However, I will miss all of the co-workers I leave behind.

They were my family in as much as they could be.

So here is to the end of a year for me and a work era and to the beginning of a new year and new path professionally.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Your 'Mom' Still Misses You

A year ago today I lost the best thing that ever happened to me. Many people on my feed may not understand, but many of you will and, even better, many of you knew him.

Yes, I'm talking about my little monkey boy, Cliff the Mutt. I got him when he was 4 months old and he was mine and mine only from day one. He is why I support rescues, why I volunteered at the Humane Society and, with Oscar the Dog, why we walked in the Human Race very year for the Healdsburg Animal Shelter.

He and I were a Pet Assisted Therapy team. People that hadn't moved or responded in weeks would smile, or reach out a hand, or speak when they saw Cliff. They didn't care about the chick holding his leash and that was okay.

He brought such joy into my life and helped me through more pain and sadness than 15 pounds of fur and squeaky monkey noises should ever have to for a person. I wouldn't have made it through any of it without him there with me.

He let me drag him on planes to visit sick in laws. He traveled every where in the RV. He went on the Jet Skis with me (VERY unwillingly but always safely). He slept through my driving. Many a road trip to Tucson happened with him in the passenger seat.

Lastly, with his health already failing, he let me move him halfway across the country so I could have a new start in a new place. It would not have gone as well without him.

Its hard to believe that he's been gone a year already. The Squeaks keep me busy now, but I think of Cliffy every day. A part of him ended up in my Ru Ru. He has the same white check on his belly. He squeaks and sings when I get home like Cliff and he lays under the desk when I'm at the computer and snuggles with me at night.

So Cliff may be gone, but his soul is still here and his memory will always be with me. His eyes are my FB timeline cover photo and always will be. Because he always saw people for what they were, I was no exception. He loved me unconditionally and I still try to spend a bit of every day making sure I still deserve that.

I love you and miss you so much Cliffy Mutt.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Still Here, Still Missing Him

Cliff the Mutt has been gone since May 1st.
 
There is not a day that goes by that I do not think of him and miss his sweet face and his little monkey sounds when I get home. 

He was cremated and now he is part of this.

I think it fits since he left paw prints all over my heart that will never fade.

It is still hard to believe he's gone.  I still reach for him at night and expect to see him when I open the door and I get home from work.

People around the apartment complex ask about him and I have to explain again and the pain begins anew.  

And that is okay.  It is okay to miss him and hurt because he is gone.  As little as he was, he was a huge part of my life.

While he can never be replaced, I can say that there is a pair of mischief makers in my house now that are a helpful distraction.

Please say hello to Cinna and Ru, a.k.a The Squeaks.

This is a sibling pair (girl/boy respectively) that I found while I was out at dinner with some co-workers on April 29th.

Yes that is right, 2 days before Cliff passed.

I was not planning on keeping them.  They never met him.  I immediately started looking for a home for them.

Cliff passed and I was not ready to have new pets.  I tried postings at work and at the vet and the local pet stores.  They were only 6 weeks old and I would not let them be split up.  See they were found with 4 other siblings that same night.  I was the only one that took two home.  Could not find someone to them separately or together that night and with Mama Cat missing (and probably dead) I was NOT leaving them there.

Now we are 6 months down the road and those tiny little things have grown (especially Ru) and have taken over my life.  

Ru is a whopping 9 pounds and still growing.  It is such a good thing that he is so sweet.  He looks like a sleek miniature panther and then he meows and the ruse is up - yup he's still a kitten.

Cinna is a petite little 5 pound thing that is absolutely fearless.  She loves her brother and walks all over him, and he lets her.  

He is very protective of her and they have only been separated once.  I had to take her in for a followup for her spay and it was the first time I left him home without her.  Well I left him with my neighbor so he wouldn't be alone.  Turns out Ru meowed constantly and kept looking for her.  When they get boarded at the vet, they are together.  They had their surgeries together.  They are always together except at dinner time.

Ru has to eat in the closet because he keeps stealing Cinna's food.

I love them very much and some days I wonder if Ru and Cliff didn't swap souls.  Ru lays where Cliff laid when I'm home or at the computer.  He curls up with me the same way Cliff did.  And if he keeps going the way he is going, he will weigh the same as Cliff (goodness help me).

Either way, I think I was meant to have them and I am happy to have them.  Even when the panther jumps from the top of his condo to the bed at 3 am.  

I wouldn't have it any other way.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A Promise Made, a Promise Kept

Today was one of the hardest days of my life.

I had to say goodbye to the sweetest soul I have ever known.

I got Cliff the Mutt when he was 4 months old.


He was a pound baby through and through, since he was born there.


I was the second family that got him.
And I have been so very blessed for the past 13 years.

He was mine from day one.  Spent most of our first day together (after he got a bath) with him curled up in my lap.

He always slept with me.  Cuddled with me and could induce the BEST puppy naps ever.

He passed his CGC test and we became a Pet Assisted Therapy team for the Sonoma County Humane Society and we worked with Alzheimer patients at Adobe House and Primrose, and infirm patients at Friend's House.


Cliff could bring a smile to everyone.


Since his intestinal surgery last summer, Cliff had been going downhill.  


His heart got worse until it he was diagnosed with full fledged Congenital Heart Failure.


I put him on meds.  He was really good about them.  But it wasn't enough.


After the emergency vet scare of a few weeks ago, I knew we were getting close.


A second bout of Bronchitis certainly didn't help.


Friday night I got the bad news that his heart was still getting bigger and he could go at any time. 


When I got him home that night I told him it was okay; that he didn't need to stick around for me anymore.  He needed to be in a place where he could run and play and be able to breathe.


I asked him to let me know when enough was enough, and he told me.


Spent most of Sunday and Monday night up with him helping him breathe.  His heart stopped once on Sunday night, but he came back to me.


But he wasn't steady and I wasn't keeping my promise to not me him suffer, so I made the call yesterday and took him in this morning.


I love you Cliff the Mutt.  You were the one constant through some very painful years and you brought joy and peace to a lot of people.


I hope you are having fun now with Oscar the Dog, Smokey Cat, Bobo, Norman and Herky.  And I truly hope I get to see you again some day.


Good bye Monkey Boy.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Counting Down for Cliff

Cliff gave me a real good scare a week ago.

Every breathe was a battle, huffing, obviously not getting enough air.

Thought maybe I could wait till morning.  I know he has a bad heart, and it's causing fluid build up.  It is why he is on all his meds.

Ended up taking him to the emergency vet that Friday night at 10pm.

They did x-rays and his lungs were almost full of fluid.  And he has a neoplasia...  Which is a tumor that was not there 3 months ago.

So he did not get to come home that night.  Again, after I promised it would not happen again, I was leaving him alone at the vet.

He spent the night in an oxygen tent and getting IV injections of Lasik to dry out his lungs.

He was better Saturday night when I got to bring him home.

But it is a waiting game.  Every cough is a scare.  How long do I let him deteriorate before I have to make that decision?  The one I dread with every fiber of my being.

So we are counting down.  One day at a time.  Each day is a blessing.  Each cough is a knife through my heart.  I know the sand is running out of the hourglass for the best companion I have ever had in my life.

I love you so much Cliff the Mutt.  

I will have more pets some day, but none will ever take your place.  When you go, a big part of my heart goes with you.


Monday, January 16, 2012

Hunger Strike

I never thought a dog that hasn't had trouble eating ever in his 13 years would go on a hunger strike. But that's exactly what my little schmuck is doing.

As stated previously, Cliff the Mutt spends his days chilling with Jackson the Beagle. Now J Boy has a herniated disk which hasn't given him trouble in a few years. Well a week and a half ago he started walking funny. Not good. Off to vet to get mega steroids to stop the swelling.

Since the risk of paralysis is high, Jackie is on enforced crate rest. He gets out of it to go outside. Cliff has decided he does not like this and will not eat unless Jack is trying to get to his food.

It's been 3 days since he's had a real meal. He's still running around and eating a little bot I'm about to buy a blender and start playing with syringes. He needs to eat and we can't risk J getting getting permanently paralyzed.

Little twerp's managed to put mom between a rock and a hard place. Seems he's forgotten I'm bigger than him and don't mind digging.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

13 Years Ago I got the Best Present Ever

In the form of this at 4 months old

 

I love you Cliffy Mutt. 

I know I don't get 13 more years, but I'll take what you can give me and I promise not to make you suffer.  

You are the best dog ever and in many ways the best being to have come into my life in the past 13 years.  You are definitely the one constant.

I don't know what I'll do without you.

Love, 'Mom'