“She Ain’t Heavy, She’s My Lexi”* Part 2

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scaled (Photo credit: wader)

After you read the title, you may be humming a tune…I was. Because I sang that song all day, I wanted YOU to enjoy/suffer too. You are welcome.

After writing and posting “Weight Watchers https://hibernationnow.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/weight-watchers-for-dogs/ For Dogs”* Part 1, yesterday, my husband and I sat down to a humble dinner. Lexi had her (small) portion of dog food and hubby and I had scrambled eggs with cheese, ham and toast. With kids in college, dinner is SO much easier. I had a few bites left over and of course Lexi looked at me lovingly. Those big brown eyes pooling into liquid love, I stroked her red-auburn face. Sometimes, Lexi, with her coloring can look like a fox or a deer.

Then, I remembered that tomorrow was, the “weigh-in” and Lexi’s dreams of leftovers were over, “Sorry, Lex, not tonight, we have to go to Stephanie’s tomorrow”(emphasis on Stephanie) but I did save it for her and said if all went well, I would give it to her after the weigh in. They had made such a fuss that I had taken it seriously. I mean, honestly, it’s like umm, some people, yeah, people hiding that Almond Joy or Kit Kat in the back of their bedside drawer for when they really want it, hypothetically of course. I mean, I really wouldn’t know, why would I? Right?

We drive to the vet and for some unexplained reason Lexi adores going there. I have no idea why. Callie, my first dog, used to hate it. Lexi, drags me there (literally) and to my embarrassment pulls me so hard that we pass the vet’s office door and they all see me through the glass door being dragged by Lexi who I could NOT control. I was mortified. When I finally enter, the Doctor, who I refer to as Slick, and the office staff are laughing and making remarks, and I just keep my head low. The Vet says “Having fun out there?” and they all giggle while I decide to inspect the zipper on my winter jacket very carefully.

Lexi is incredibly strong and strong-willed and all the things I taught her in the past, seem to have been forgotten. Enough said. They take Lexi back and she is walking like an angel (NOT pulling the vet technician), I buy the heart worm medicine and the receptionist calls back to have them weigh Lexi for the correct pill (done by the dog’s weight.)HA! The moment I’ve been waiting for.

Lydia says she weighs 35 lbs and she’s GAINED 10 lbs in a month.. WHAT? Not a chance. I know my dog. She is sleek, not an ounce of fat, in fact she may be so skinny she couldn’t be a super model anymore (okay, that ‘s a little extreme.) Most of you know, I’m not demure in situations where I think my dog or family member, friend or I have been wronged. (I’m a Libra) I raise my voice and say “That can’t be, You MUST be wrong.” Stephanie comes out, THE STEPHANIE, Weight Watcher Leader For Dogs and I said, “Stephanie, she was 45 lbs. last time.” ‘Oh, Steph said, casually, “I guess it wasn’t recorded but she looks really good.”

The excitement and pride I felt were gone. Lexi didn’t even get a sticker or a lollipop (oh right that used to be my kids when they were little) I didn’t get one either. They didn’t even care enough to write down the last weight?! I told Lexi we both had done a great job, took two, okay three, low-fat biscuits from the jar, (for future training) and headed home, AND she didn’t even pull me (hard.) I warmed up the leftover eggs from the night before and the toast and gave it to Lexi. I don’t care what the vet’s office thought, I know she deserved a treat.

*WW for dogs, a Parody*She Ain’t Heavy, She’s My Lexi*Parody

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*Weight Watchers For Dogs?

LexiI brought Lexi, my dog, to the vet a few months ago to get her nails trimmed, something I know I can’t do. She is a very willful and strong dog, I can barely give her a bath. After they were finished, the vet technician came over to me, sat down beside me and said grimly “Lexi needs to lose 2 pounds AGAIN.” My first thought was to laugh heartily and say “Who doesn’t?” but the look on her face prohibited even me, which as my kids can tell you, is very, very hard.

After suppressing my laughter and pretending to look chagrined, she informed me that Lexi needed to start adult food mixed in with her puppy food and go down from 3 meals a day to two. My first thought? Good luck to us! That dog, lives, breathes and does anything for food. She, absolutely, takes after her human parents. I think I will give her less food for lunch time and wean her off it that way. Come on, a girl dog does have to eat and I took her on an extra walk today. It’s so beautiful out that I will take her to the dog park later and she can run and play with the other dogs just like she did yesterday.

Were vets always like this? I don’t think so and I know it makes sense to keep them healthy but we’re not talking obesity, we’re talking two pounds. It’s the winter, harder to take her for long walks when it is so cold. Not a good enough excuse? Fine, I will also decrease her food, poor thing.

At least this time it was only two pounds and I didn’t get yelled at like I did last time. When she was a pup, we took Lexi to a (horrible yes, you, Peter)) puppy training class where she learned nothing except how to sit (which she already knew.) The instructor bribed the pups with a huge amount of treats and Lexi gained ten pounds in a month. I am not kidding. When I went to the vet after that, I didn’t say a word but the technician started yelling across the room, standing up and shaking her finger at me saying: “No, no,  no- way, she’s FAT.” I was a little offended on Lexi’s behalf. She may have gained a few pounds but saying it across a crowded room was embarrassing. At least for me. I totally blame that stupid trainer, I knew I should have gotten my money back. Damn.

Now, Lexi looks fine, she looks sleek. I want her weighed this time. We’ll show old Weight Watchers For Dogs what we have done. And we didn’t even count points or calories either. So there. I’m bringing her in tomorrow, I’ll let you know how WE do.

*this has nothing to do with the Weight Watchers Corporation, it’s a parody for dogs.

What Makes Me Cry

old dog

Imagining myself in the future with my old dog, in the veterinarian’s office. My dog is older than she is now and very sick. She can’t be cured and paying thousands and thousands of dollars for treatments that will just prolong her pain and make her suffer is not what I want for her. It’s been hard enough to look at her these last few months and hear her whimper in pain, I cannot see my beloved dog suffer. I made a promise to her. They are ready to put her down, that’s the easiest, kindest way of saying it, I know. The vet and his assistant said I could wait outside, that it would be easier for me but I know in my heart I can’t do that. I adopted this puppy when she was six weeks old and she looked into my eyes then, wide eyes with expectation and she crawled on my lap, snuggled and never left. I promised her I would never leave her; how can I leave her now when she needs me the most? I’m sobbing but I go inside the office and I go around to her head and look into her eyes and tell her how much I love her and how much joy she has brought into my life. “My girl, my sweet girl” I whisper between my tears, ” I love you so much.” The vet looks at me and asks me if it’s okay to inject the needle into the IV. Part of me wants to scream “no!” but I have no choice, it’s time. I don’t want my dog to suffer anymore; we have been suffering together for a while now. I nod my head and it only takes moments before she inhales deeply and then is silent, her body still, frozen. I break down and sob hysterically and they let me have a moment alone with her. I’ve never loved an animal like I have loved this dog. She was my girl, my baby and I feel lost without her. I made a promise that I would not let her suffer and while I know logically that I did the right thing, my heart has been shattered and I feel overwhelming sadness and pain. I’ve truly lost my best friend, and it’s killing me.

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Simple. Sweet. Joy.

Happy Day

It’s been a long time since I’ve had good news so when I got some today, I wasn’t sure how to handle it. It took a moment to process, I think I was in shock. It took thirty seconds to register, settle in and then feeling came back to my body. Dusty old joy  spread through my body in seconds, like warm, milk chocolate melting in your mouth.   I had been subconsciously waiting for another bad thing to happen since I had known nothing else in a very long time. I had prepared myself for more bad news; after all when you have had month after month of bad news every single time without a break, that is what you expect.

Today, there was a new ripple in the water, the new crescent of wave turning over in my mind. The ocean, my image, of all that is good and strong, minus the sharks that are taking bites out of innocent swimmers. Yesterday, just yesterday I was at the veterinarian’s office with my dog, Callie. I found a lump and told the vet that I was not going to leave until he found it, because I couldn’t find it again. My dog was also itching and scratching everywhere like crazy. The veterinarian finally found it and I was with my dog as the doctor pulled out the incredibly long syringe and plunged it into the back of my dog. “If it were any other place, I wouldn’t even biopsy it but since it’s right on the lymph node I want to be safe…..” I nodded weakly. I admit, first I turned around so I wouldn’t have to look at the long needle but then I swung back sharply and held my dog’s paws and looked into her scared eyes. I wanted to be there for her so I kissed her on the neck and held her still.

The doctor told me to call Wednesday or Thursday, Thursday to play it safe but today, a mere one day after the procedure there was a message from the receptionist that said my dog did NOT have cancer. I played the message and then I called the office, just to be sure, really sure. I thanked them about thirty times and I was so grateful that they had called. I hung up and I was silent. Then, I whooped for joy, hugged my sleeping dog and cried. I cried with happiness, a feeling that has been lost to me for such a long time. I understand that I will know sadness again, of course I will, but today I felt happiness, sweet happiness, in the purest form. Thank you. I appreciate it more now, but you probably know that already.

Waiting In A Too Still Moment

Thunderstorm - NOAA

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There are a lot of things going on but except for the doctor’s appointment I had today, with a breast surgeon ( I’m fine) I am waiting for things to happen.  My dog looks unwell, tired and scared, she is not eating. Is it the upcoming thunderstorms she feels approaching or…..is she too old?  She won’t come up the stairs, that is very unusual. I changed my own doctor’s appointment next week because I noticed my dog’s exam with her veterinarian is scheduled for the same day. I will go with her; I have always gone with her, every year for nine years. She needs me and I need her. She is nine and sometimes I look at her and want to quietly weep. My pup. I’ve had you since I rescued you at six weeks old.

I am waiting for test reports to come back, not for myself; the phone is quiet, not shrieking, loud and  jarring as it usually is.  It is never this quiet here.  I feel a pause in the universe and inside myself.  There are no sounds in the house except my fingers clicking on this old keyboard. I am concentrating on the stillness and it feels surreal.

Will it feel like this when both my kids go off to college? My son, is going to college in September; my daughter, my baby, next year. Prom is the day after tomorrow and I am still in disbelief  that time has passed so quickly. Even though I have seen the handsome tuxedo and the grin on my son’s face I can’t believe it is here. I am afraid I will cry when I see the sparkling young couples posing together for their prom pictures. I will bring sunglasses and not let it show although my son only has to take one passing glance at me and he will know. I will NOT let him see.

I could pick up the phone but I don’t want to ruin this eery quiet with unnecessary noise. The silence and solitude, I fear, is meant for a reason. I am breathing deeply. I sip from a small, green Pellegrino bottle, it seems to be the only color in the entire room. I never liked to drink water before but I enjoy this. Maybe it’s because we drank bubbly mineral water, every day, when we were in  Spain.  Our Spain vacation with my husband, for ten days, now seems like a dream I had; it is getting cloudy in detail, in texture, in color, in my memory.

I would like to keep everyone safe and healthy but I have no control. I am  gathering up courage in order for me to help others. I am trying to come from a centered place. I am controlling anxiety by breathing but it is beginning to be hard to swallow. My dog, my son, test results, weather, change is coming quickly, but it isn’t here yet.

It is getting cloudy now, maybe the thunderstorms will come and relieve the awful, suffocating heat. The thunderstorms are supposed to make the weather cooler; I know that but my dog doesn’t. I will keep her near me, my arm around her fur and wait for the storms to come crashing down like glass shattered by a young boy’s errant baseball. Everything can change in a moment, I want to be ready.