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Now then. Iím feeling some things and Iím not quite sure how I feel about them so Iím putting them up here so I can process a little. I should at least say thank you for the birthday thoughts and messages. Thank you I had a nice day. But thatís all Iím saying for now because Iím not it a happy mood. Sorry about that.

So we went to see my family over Easter and Iíll write that up another time. The most important thing at the moment is telling you about Rosie, my auntís Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Sheís 10 (by the way Yuki turned 10 this year). Rosie would turn 11 in June I think.

Iíll just put it out there so you wonít have any hope. Rosie is dead.

We went there on Sunday. Theyíve been having some work done on the house. Itís a bit different and I donít like that but the house has been the same since I was little so things had to change eventually. Itís not really a big deal, it has little to no impact on my daily life so I have to just get used to it. Thatís life never mind.

Rosie was curled up asleep in her bed wrapped in a blanket. They tell us sheís not well. They think somethingís wrong with her back legs. Like what? Itís not exactly clear but I can relate to general back leg issues because Yuki has, what I call, a hitch in one of her back legs. Most noticeably when she runs one leg seems to skip a little. Itís hard to explain really. It just doesnít look right but it doesnít seem to bother her that much. A few years ago one of her front paws seemed to lock up when mum was walking her so sheís been prescribed a daily joint supplement and we also give her a joint chew. I recently picked out a dry food that claims to promote joint health in salmon flavour (because beef and turkey are regular flavours she has and I thought sheíd appreciate the change). We usually give her wet food with a mixer (which is basically a dry food but is apparently different from a regular dry food and itís just an accompaniment to wet food) mixed in. We donít want to suddenly change her food so we give her the new dry food occasionally. She can be quite fussy and doesnít always eat her wet food so we give her a small serving of fresh food if she hasnít eaten for a day or so. Sheís a husky that doesnít always have a lot of exercise so itís normal for her to not want to eat sometimes. So thatís the other reason I got her the dry food. Itís something a little different and we can give her a snack sized amount if she hasnít been eating. Also, as dry food, Iím thinking it wonít go bad, especially in the summer time while the wet food can go bad in a day at times. Canít be 100% certain on that though because Iím not experienced with dry pet food, our pets have always had wet food for their regular meals. But Iíve digressed.

Thinking that Rosieís problem could be a joint issue like Yukiís I inquire about any joint foods/supplements she might have. They donít give her joint treats or food. Sheís fussy with her food. Well there are just some ideas. Maybe theyíll consider it.

My other cousin and her baby Simon (heís nearly 2 now) were already there. He had to be kept away from Rosie. Heís a toddler. Heís a grabby creature and Rosieís cautious of him as it is but if sheís not well then itíll be even worse for her.
Oh. Forgot to mention. Rosie had cancer too. We saw her at Christmas and her head had been shaved and had a big red X drawn on it. I honestly thought for a second that a child had gotten hold of her and decided to draw on her but no. She had a lump in her jaw. It was revealed to be cancer and she was undergoing chemo for it, hence the X. Poor old thing. Iíd taken a bag of small dog treats for my cousinís two Cavaliers and planned to give one to Rosie too. I asked if she could eat alright and the answer was yes. She could eat perfectly well, even biscuits. I gave her one and she ate it fine. Iím always reminded of how old Rosie is getting when I see her with the younger dogs. They scamper around while sheís a bit slower and looks like sheíd waddling/shuffling in comparison.
But despite the treatment and her age she seemed good at Christmas.

Apparently she was fine on Wednesday when my cousin took her out with her dogs and had them groomed. She was like a spring chicken.

No oneís quite sure what happened until Saturday/Sunday. In the morning sheíd been howling and my aunt stayed with her, so she was pretty tired, sheís in her 80ís afterall.

I, feeling like hanging back from the rest of the family, decided to keep a regular eye on Rosie and protect her from the baby. Well heís a toddler now. I put my bag by her bed to act as a little barrier and she ended up being walled in by bags. She didnít seem too happy about that. I sat with her and stroked her now and then. I tried to give her a little water. I always carry bottled water in case I get thirsty when I see the family and if Rosie looks like she needs a drink. I didnít have a convenient container so I poured a little in my hand (thatís worked for Yuki before but the difference is that she knows me and my scent so I think that helps but Rosie doesnít. She didnít seem interested) My cousin handed me a little chicken and Rosie livened up a little and ate the chicken. It was quite arduous because I had to break it up into tiny pieces (because sheís a tiny dog) and she kept snuffling it out of my hand. I wondered if here eyes were going or if her jaw was acting up. Apparently she seemed to be in remission for her cancer so that was good.
I got her to snuffle up a little water because I put a little water on my hand and then put a tiny piece of chicken on it.
A little after that she got restless and I considered that she might need to pee so they took her in the garden and I got to see the problem. Definitely not her legs. Even if I hadnít seen a lot of vet programs Iíd still know it wasnít her legs. It was her balance. She stumbled around and fell over herself quite a lot. She did pee though. If it were just her legs sheíd limp or skip or waddle or drag. It was her balance.
If a four legged animal has a problem with itís balance then itís serious. I didnít want to upset the family by saying what I was thinking. Especially since they couldnít get to a vet until Tuesday because of the bank holiday Monday. Either thereís a problem with her brain, spine or maybe sheís had a stroke (which affects the brain). Cavaliers can have a predisposition for heart problems. My cousin tried to have her on her lap for a while but she got restless. Tried to put her upstairs away from the noise of the family. Not having that either so she was allowed to go back to her bed. But she started barking and howling on occasion and it was breaking my heart, and I know it was doing the same to the others. She seemed to quiet down when I sat with her. When I got up sheíd start again a little later. But when I stayed with her longer she still did it. Sheíd get restless and tried to turn in her bed but would fall over or stop half way so I started trying to support her little body when she moved to make it easier for her to move. We considered that she could be confused but I think she was also frustrated. Normally when the family go over sheís all excited to greet them at the door and she couldnít do that now. It made me sad because I wanted to make her feel better but didnít know/couldnít give her what she wanted. I figured that she wanted her family. I am family but Iím not Rosieís family, the people around her every day that she feels happy with. I wanted to tell them this but I knew it would upset them and I might be wrong. She might not calm down if they sat with her anyway. In the end my cousin picked her up again and sat with her on her lap for the rest of the evening. Rosie fell asleep again and seemed comfortable at least. Later on, when it was quieter, I could hear her snoring.

When we got home I looked up what could cause loss of balance in dogs. Itís not good. The best you can hope for is a bad ear infection. I hoped that was all but I was doubtful. Mum said sheíd call on her day off to see how things went.

Well. She called today. Rosie was given some medicine and sent home (I guess while waiting for test results but I canít say for certain) but she didnít improve. It was neurological but we donít know exactly what. She wasnít drinking so she was put down. Better that than suffer.

She did well.

The average life expectancy for a Cavalier is 9-14 years so she slotted into that statistic well, especially since sheíd had cancer.
Incidentally the average life expectancy for a Siberian Husky is 10-13 years. That statistic scares me. Sheís 10 now.

Iíve been preparing myself to hear that Rosie died since I saw her walking (stumbling) around on Sunday. Iíve had time to get used to the idea. I only see her a few times a year so it doesnít affect me much but Rosie is quite special to me. Having her there when we see the family makes me feel more comfortable. If Iím feeling bored or anxious I can focus on the dog. Just watch her walking around or stroke her or feed her a tiny piece of food for sitting on command. I didnít feel as comfortable with Rosie as I do nowÖ.did. Itís only after I got my own dog that I felt confident with Rosie. Itís not like I had a phobia or anything. Itís just that I know how to interact with the dog better. I know what my dog does and doesnít like so I have a guide for how another dog (in this case Rosie) would react to me. But yeah. No more Rosie. Iím not sure how things will be the next time we see the family. I say it took me about a year to get over the death of my cat, Henry, because it was about that long before he stopped showing up in my dreams on a regular basis. Once in a while he pops up but itís usually a random cat that looks nothing like him and dream logic just makes it him.

I always remember that he told me that he was dying because he was meowing a strange meow Iíd never heard and didnít look very well. Similarly Rosie barked a strange bark and even howled a little, which the family said was out of character for her.

So. We got that sad news today. And then we got some more news which has hit me harder. Iím not sure if Iím angry or sad or just quietly accepting.
Mum wanted to go and get some more of Yukiís joint supplements from the vet so she called up and he said that he had something to tell her. Ominous. Could he be retiring? He is also in his 80ís after all.

Yes. It turns out that he is but not out of choice. Heís been forced to retire. Is no longer a vet, can no longer practice vetinary medicine, cannot give treatment or dispense drugs and is basically just an average human again. If he does try to practice he leaves himself open to being sued (which I, personally, think is a bit silly. I donít think that you go to his surgery if youíre the type that sues. In my mind people who sue are the kind of people who can afford to sue and are therefore flashier people and flashier people would go to a flashier surgery. Then again Iíve watched far television so I donít know how the real world works.)
Why?
Iím sketchy as to the details but the way I see it you need to fulfil a certain amount of extracurricular study (to put it into secondary school terms) and, being old, he just canít fill that requirement even though he does do some and tries to stay current he just canít meet the targets that have been set out. So heís had to come to a dead stop. I feel like it would have been better for all involved (mainly me because Iím a selfish creature) if he could have been allowed to wind down and step back gradually. Ideally over a few months but thatís unlikely. Even just a couple of weeks would be better than a dead stop. Even days would be better than nothing. It just feels unfair.
Itís hit me more than Rosie dying because this affects us. His surgery is conveniently located for us and heís been our family vet for maybe 40 years. Weíve never been to another vet. We donít even know how close another vet is to us. Itís always been reassuring having him there because even if itís just a small problem we can go and be reassured. Iím not exactly happy if I have to go to the surgery suddenly but Iím perfectly okay with it. I know where it is, how to get there, the layout of the building and I know the staff. I also know that our vet and his staff are there because of love for the animals. It doesnít feel like a business and it doesnít feel overly clinical so I feel comfortable and safe and so does my dog. Just thinking that our vet wonít be there anymore is actually very upsetting. Even if the surgery stays and we just get a new vet it wonít be the same. At the moment itís the uncertainty that is distressing me. If he had to sell out to a vet chain? That would be worse than if the surgery closed. It may be convenient for pet owners and might even be better but going into a chain intimidates me. Do they retain the same staff or are staff likely to get switched around? I like the same people. I like the familiarity. Having to interact with strangers for any reason causes me great anxiety and to trust the health and happiness of my beloved pet to a stranger. Especially since the dog makes me feel more comfortable, even if itís just a little, with my social anxiety.

It also disturbs me that this has happened now. My dog is getting old. She is likely to have problems in the next few years and the thought of not having our old vet to turn to worries me.

I know change has to happen whether I want it or not but sudden change distresses me. I can handle things much better if changes are gradual.

Edit: 3-4 hours later and now I know how I feel about it. Sad. Depressed? Iím not 100% sure I can call it depressed but if I stay sad I can definitely get there pretty fast. Just sad for now.

Updated 04-05-2018 at 06:09 PM by Bluebiird

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