Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Darkest Day

I'm one of those weirdos that sees magic in what some would call coincidence. As Thursday came to a close, I thought about how odd it was that the Universe seemed to want to give me the day off that day.

A longer teaching gig was shortened on Wednesday. I was so stressed but ended up running errands with Mabel until 9:30. She did not like late cuddles...they were never long enough for her. I made her mad when I got home and realized the other school district had been calling and calling and knowing they must really need help, I logged on and took a job with them. I had two to choose from and quickly surmised that the one that started at 6:40 in the morning was a 20 minute shorter workday. I took the job, we cuddled and I was up at 5:30...Mabel Lou was grousing. She hated me working away from home and I've hated it too!

I drove to school and the secretary told me I wasn't on her roster. Huh??? I logged into the computer to find my job was actually Friday! Needing money and not wanting to drive home and make Mabel Lou upset if I had to leave again, I checked my messages...the better paying district had been calling all morning! I called into their system...over and over and over. It would not let me in for 20 minutes! Finally, I got in and... all assignments were booked. Feeling like such a loser, I went home.

My girl was thrilled to see me. It was a dreary, damp and chilly morn. We curled up on the sofa and napped for hours! And that was the beginning of our end.

Mabel made a valiant effort to give Otto Rotto a good tussle a few days before she passed. 

Mabel's Acting Weird ... Again!

I got up and started cleaning the pool. Mabel was out in the yard with me, eating grass. Par for the course for her. She ate grass every day of her life. I always joked that grass was her favorite vegetable!  I noticed her coughing....not trying to throw up, just clearing her throat. I thought a piece of grass went the wrong way.

I came in to try and list some beads. Since I have a taller desk chair, Mabel can no longer spin me around when she thinks I've been working long enough. So she scooches closer and closer until I can no longer put my legs down! She did this over and over... and then she started trying to puke. I rushed her outside, thinking she just needs to puke and all will be fine. But nothing came up. I worked for about 30 minutes and went out to get her. I was surprised she wasn't on her bed. I thought she might be sunbaking on the side of studio.

But as I called her, I heard something by the pool. She had dug a hole under the prickly palm where Mallory hatches her ducklings! This is strange. And still, she was trying to heave.

As I'm am a neurotic pawrent, who thought nothing of going to the emergency vet in the middle of the night only to be told my dog has gas, I try to restrain myself from that these days. My finances won't allow it. I phoned Hank and Sue's mom and left her a message to "call me and assure me my dog is not dying." Little did I know...

Mabel and Otto at the pond almost two weeks ago


I kept puttering in the pool, decided to get lunch. As we waited outside the restaurant, I curled up on the floor of the jeep with the girl. She was not a happy camper. Still gagging! We get home and I had to beg her to get out of the car.  She pooped and I did a happy dance. "There! That's got to make you feel better!"

I situated my lunch on the floor so I could read my ipad... and then something my brother in law had said during Mabel's last weird stomach ailment popped into my head. Bloat. But he always told me I would know... they hurt; they complain a lot. I found myself on the ASPCA Bloat page. Symptoms were:
  • Distended abdomen
  • Unsuccessful attempts to belch or vomit
  • Retching without producing anything
  • Weakness
  • Excessive salivation
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cold body temperature
  • Pale gums
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Collapse
I didn't know about her gums and she wasn't collapsing but... every thing else was there. I called our vet to be sure they weren't closed at lunch, threw my food on the kitchen counter and raced out the door screaming, "MABEL! GET IN CAR NOW!!! "

Waiting for her waitress to bring her an order of pancakes a few weeks ago

This Is Not Good

I rushed in the vet and they took her from me. No kisses like every other time she's had a procedure. Xrays confirmed bloat but didn't show the twist in the stomach. My vet told me we would know in five minutes if he could get a tube down her. Fifteen minutes passed. Half an hour.  Somewhere in there the date slapped my brain. May 8th. Maggie May died on May 8th. Oh no. They move me into a private room. If it were good news, they would have told me in the lobby. This is NOT good.

My regular vet, not the one doing the surgery, came in and told me there was too much dead tissue to tack her stomach up. This was something the surgeon likes to do so bloat never reoccurs. I sent a text the Rottrover's mom and asked her to join me. Minutes later, the surgeon comes in. "Is she still alive?" I blurt out.

"Yes, but her stomach is dead. It went too long without blood flow. I've taken a needle to it to try and find something to save...but there's nothing. She can't live without a stomach."  

"Okay," I said calmly, resigned to the inevitable.

"Do I have your permission to eu...."

"Yes, yes," I interrupted him. Shaking my head NO, I say, "Yes."

They brought me forms to sign my friend arrived I asked to see Mabel  down the long hallway through the hospital rooms and into the surgery suite we went all a blur. As the surgeon steps aside, my eyes lasered onto May. My sweet Baby May.  Her eyes were open, her tongue was ajar. I collapsed on her head wrapping her in my arms. I sobbed and whispered sweet nothings. I instructed her on how to behave around her sisters who passed before her. I reminded her that her sisters both came to visit me after they passed and that I expected the same of her.

I pulled back, leaving snot on the side of her face and realizing I had a string of hers attached from her nose to my boob. I blew my nose and grabbed her feet to breathe them in, three long deep breaths of their precious earthy smell.

The Aftermath

The rest of the day was a blur. Calling friends, telling my mother her baby was gone. Blog announcement, prepping my daily blog to give me a few days off.  I forgot about blog feeds on facebook... the comments there overwhelmed... and I was worried about the less than 10 I would get here! OY!

Bart and his mom came walking in the back gate and amazed me. Bart is trained to not lick humans. But he knows I love kisses and will give me one...just one. He came over and licked and licked my face... he sniffed my t-shirt all over... Mabel's snot on my boob and her blood on my sleeve. Then, he made a bee line to the prickly palm that Mabel had tried to build a place for herself to die. He stayed there...sniffing, then scratching, then kicking and sniffing some more. Finally, he peed all over that spot! Then he made a beeline to the 2nd spot Mabel had tried to curl up and repeated it all. When he was done, he went to her bed and curled up with a deep sad look on his face. He didn't look for her...he just KNEW.

Watching him, I thought of all the events that conspired so that I had the day off. I'm horrified that Mabel could have been all was bad enough that I was here and could not even realize how sick she was. And the thought of finding her under one of those prickly palms is more than I could bear. I was supposed to spend that day with her and be with her until I had to let her go.

I've got so many pics of my girl I've never shared...this blog could go on about her for years. And it very well may. 


Millie and Walter said...

My tears are flowing again for your sweet Mabel Lou. I'm so sorry for your loss.


Dexter said...

I hope that sharing your story helps with your grief and also helps other dog moms and dads to know what to watch for. You did everything right and thank goodness you were home to take care of her. I am so sorry that your beautiful girl is gone from your life.

Mango Momma

Linda@VS said...

I learned to love Mabel through your words, then loved her even more after I met her in person. I'm so glad I had the chance to do that and so sorry for the trauma you and she both must have experienced on her final day. It's so very hard to lose these beautiful, loving creatures, but you and I have both been there more than once. We both know Mabel will live on in your heart. If there are creeks in Doggy Heaven, I imagine Mabel has already checked them out.

Duly Inspired said...

I have so enjoyed getting to know Mabel through your words and wonderful photos. You described her personality and I'd smile at your stories and think to myself how lucky that sweet dog is to have the life you give her. It's so hard to lose our best friends but I am happy that the world worked its magic to give you two her final day. I'm sending a big hug, and lots of love.

♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

the tears are flowing again here. We do believe you were meant to be there with her. We are so sorry she had to leave, but she knows how much she was loved. We hope you will continue the blog in hermemory. She may not be here to give you more photos, but whe will forever be in your heart and in those of so many friends. We are so happy you were able to have the Rottrover Mom there with you. Soft woos and gentle hugs from all of us.

Hugs and Woos - Phantom, Ciara, and Lightning

Mr. Pip said...

Oh my gosh, yes, you were meant to be home with her ...this is so beautifully written and so filled with love. A beautiful tribute to your special bond. I know she will come back and visit you like her sisters did.

I am so very sorry. I know words won't take away the pain, but please know that we are thinking of you and sending you love and support across the miles.

Life with Wrigs said...

I read about Mabel on Ruby's blog. I am so sorry for your loss. We let our dear, sweet Wrigs go at the end of March (gastric cancer), and it is the hardest thing. Everything changes when they are gone. Hugs to you at this difficult time.


Dory and the Mama said...

Words can never express the loss of a best friend, but we hope you know that Mabel will always live on in your heart thank you so much for sharing her with us...We will always remember her and her wonderful "Queen B" outlook..

Big Hugs being sent from up north.
Beth, Dory, Arty, Bilbo and Jacob

♥Mona + Sissy + Mommy, too♥ said...

So sorry to hear about your loss.
Your family is in our thoughts & prayers.

God bless.....Mona, Prissy, Angel Weenie the Mommy.

Maggie May said...

My heart hurts for you. You are in my thoughts and purrayers during this very difficult time. (((hugs)))
Maggie May

Amber DaWeenie said...

So heartbreaking, especially when our babies leave so unexpectedly. It happened to me too and everything in my world just stopped. My deepest sympathy. Mabel will always stay safe within your heart.

Asta said...

Wun fwee ovew the sweet fields ovew the bwidge Mabel lou..i am so sad that you had to's just not faiw
I am sending healing smoochies fow yoow family's bwoken heawts.

Till we meet at the bwidge

patty miller said...

I have lost a baby 5 years a go and I still miss her. I expect to see her on the other side of the rainbow bridge. I feel your pain.

Timmy Tomcat said...

Very sorry for your loss.
We are purring and praying support
Pete, Timmy and family

Alasandra, The Cats and Dogs said...

We are so very sorry to hear about Mabel's passing. How very traumatic for you. We are so very thankful you got to spend her last day here with her. Purrs of comfort & paws of sympathy

Brian said...

We are so very sorry to hear about sweet Mabel. We send you lots of hugs and all our love.

Cats~Goats~Quotes said...

So sad to say goodbye..
I have asked God to comfort you-I am so very sorry for your loss.
~ Mom Bobbie and The Bunch

Jans Funny Farm said...

So very sorry for the loss of Mabel.

Jan & Funny Farmers

Old Kitty said...

Awwww angel Mabel. We are so so sorry and send you many gentle hugs. Take care

TK and Pip said...

We are so sorry for the sudden loss of your girl.
We are sending comforting purrs to you and your family.
Love TK and Pip

The Lee County Clowder said...

We never noo Mabel, but it is clear she was a much loved woofer. We are so sorry.

Ikaika said...

I am so sorry for the loss of your precious Mabel Lou. Warm light to you and gentle purrs and headbumps from my kitties.

'Kaika's mom

meowmeowmans said...

We are so sorry that Mabel Lou had to fly to the Bridge. We send love, purrs and prayers as you remember and miss your special girl.

Jed and Abby in MerryLand said...

We've been away from the net for a while, but we remember Mabel with great affection. We're so sorry she has crossed the Bridge. But we're happy she found you early in her life and that she had a life filled with love with you. She will be greatly missed. Mama has lost Danes to bloat and knows your pain. We are sure you will be reunited some day.

Murphy said...

We just heard from Mollie. We are so sorry. This is every pawrent's nightmare. We are just very sorry.

Your Pals,

Murphy & Stanley

2browndawgs said...

I came over from Easy's blog. I wanted to say how sorry I am. I understand exactly what you went through. Our Thunder is 3 years post bloat. He was lucky and made it, but so many don't. I am sorry your Mabel did not make it.

Maggie Mae and Max said...

We are just finding out about Mabel Lou's passing. So very sorry. RIP Sweet Mabel.


Janelle, Maggie Mae and Max