Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sweet Lizzie

Went garaging this morning with my friend Marcia. Had fun, bought a few things. But that’s not what I’m going to write about today.

Our sweet, sweet Lizzie dog died yesterday. We found out in October that she had a tumor on her spleen, and there was a fifty-fifty chance that it was malignant. Even if it was not, that kind of tumor can start to bleed internally, and the animal dies. We had to decide whether to do surgery.

Lizzie was nearly 13 years old, which for a dog her size was quite elderly. We wanted to give her the best chance of a happy life, however long it would be. The decision was not clear to me. So I did something that some of you will think is crazy, but I’m very glad I did it. I used an animal communicator recommended by a close friend to talk over the situation with Lizzie and find out what she would want.

It was a fascinating session; all our pets got into the conversation. In fact, our cat Noll insisted on talking first, because he wanted to demand “more food that tastes better.”4MO3 sm Lizzie communicated that she did not want the operation, and after more discussion with my husband, we decided against the surgery. We knew that her time could be long or short, but that we would just enjoy her every day as long as we could.

Perhaps the most important part of working with the communicator was that Edward was able to know what was coming. He was appalled. He had absolutely no idea that Lizzie would not always be with him. He’s five years younger, and has been with her every day since he was nine weeks old. 101_0125

We had four more wonderful months with Lizzie. She was happy, energetic most of the time, truly in great spirits. She was a little creaky at times because of her age, but has done great.

Yesterday turned out the be the day we hoped would not come, though we knew it would. Lizzie collapsed when she got up, and I knew at once what had happened. We sat with her, talking and crying. She was calm and not in distress. When the vet’s office opened, my husband called to consult, and because the process she was going through could have taken many hours and become worse for her, we decided to take her in. The staff at our vet’s were so kind. It was a hard thing to do, but we had to let her go to sleep forever.

All of our pets, mine and yours, bring so much to our lives. To live with another species so closely gives us the opportunity to expand our awareness of the world. The laughter they bring would be enough, but they give us so much more. Absolutely no one is ever as glad to see you as your dog.

IMG_0426aLizzie was a pound puppy who went through some hard times in her first 3 months of life. To her last day she was anxious that someone else might get her food, though I promised her every day that I would never give her dinner to a cat. We did a lot of training with her to overcome her issues. She was the smartest and most sensitive animal I have ever lived with. She always knew exactly what everyone around her was feeling. I’m not sure if she was psychic, but nothing escaped her attention. When our cat Buster had cancer, he underwent two surgeries, and we were told that he was cancer free. After a few weeks, Lizzie started inspecting his surgery site several times a day with her nose, and I was sure that she had detected a new growth. The vet assured me that it was just scar tissue. But Lizzie was right and the vet was wrong.

We have so many wonderful memories of her. I don’t think there was a day she did not make us laugh, and if there is a more priceless gift than that I don’t know what it could be.156_5618

So we are sad today. Edward is taking it hard. But we have no regrets. I believe we made the right decision four months ago. Of all the gifts our pets give us, one of the greatest is that they teach us about dealing with death. It’s in the contract from day one, and as hard as it undoubtedly is, it’s something we must learn.

This morning I decided to make a cup of tea to drink while I read my email. I took a clean mug out of the dishwasher, filled it with water, and put it in the microwave. When I took it out, I found a small black dog whisker on the rim of my mug. I choose to see it as a little hello from my Lizzie.

Lizzie in NV

35 comments:

  1. what a great gift Lizzie has given you...

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  2. My heart goes out to you and the whole family. It's never easy to let go but it sounds as though you are already remembering all the good things. When we lost a dog when my oldest was 6 years old, we talked about "ten good things about Milo" at dinner and he came up with number 10: Just because he died doesn't mean he wasn't a good dog! which I thought perfectly captured the grief, the anger at a death and remembering the good times. Take care of yourself.

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  3. I am so sorry you lost your dear Lizzie. Losing a pet is so hard, but it helps to know that you gave her a wonderful life and she knew that she was loved.

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  4. Such love they give us and in return we learn to let them go with dignity! I understand about the communicator although I don't know one I believe in it. When Charlie had a tumor and we did surgery he and I talked it over. I promised him no more if it grew back. So far so good but if it comes back I will stick to my promise. I am sorry for your loss but know she has brought you much joy! hugs, Linda

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  5. O, my sympathy and hugs to you and your family (two- and four-feet)! You made the right decision (hardest one to ever have to make).

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  6. I am so sorry for your loss. She was so blessed to find such a loving home and in return blessed you royally.

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  7. I'm so sorry to hear that. I know how much you love the pooches. = (

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  8. I too am sorry to hear about Lizzie. Funny you used a communicator. I have a gift certificate from an animal communicator to use. Will be interesting to hear what my 10 year old girl will have to say.

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  9. I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful Lizzie.

    May many more happy reminders from her find you.

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  10. I'm so sorry for your loss. My mother lost her pup--a black lab/"mutt"--this past summer, at the (very) ripe old age of 16 years, 3 months. I'd love for her to read your lovely post, but I think it's still too soon for her. And you're right: no one is ever as happy to see you as your dog.

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  11. Oh, sweet Lizzie!
    She was a wonderful, lovely, friendly pup, and I mourn with you....
    I think that it was the right thing to do to talk to her to see what was best for her. Hugs to you, Steven, Edward and the cats.

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  12. So very, very sorry to hear about your loss of Lizzie. It's so difficult to lose our loving and faithful pets that give us so much joy. I totally understand how you feel. We lost our awesome cat Rosco just a bit over 3 years ago and he was 22 years old. If you would care to read his story here is a link to it: http://mamasu55.blogspot.com/search/label/Rosco
    Even though at first it doesn't seem possible, it does get easier, but even after more than 3 years I think of and miss my buddy Rosco every single day.
    We are so fortunate to have had these wonderful critters enrich our lives.
    Hugs to you and your family :)

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  13. Thinking of you both and Sweet Lizzie too. I love my pets like my kids. I know this is hard. Lizzie looks like she was a wonderful fun dog.

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  14. So very sorry. We have had a few pets pass in our life and each one is very hard. My thoughts are with you.
    cathy

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  15. :,O( Sweet kisses for Lizzie.

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  16. I'm so sorry to read about Lizzie's passing, but it sounds as though you gave to her life as much as she gave to you. She had a wonderful life with very loving humans and I'm sure she knew and was very grateful for the difficult thing you did for her at the very end. xx

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  17. beautiful post.

    You give your animals a wonderful home, and in return they enhance your life...
    Smile at the memories, the best you can.

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  18. O.K., so the tears are streaming down my face as I type this. Boo, my rescue kitty, is sitting behind me,looking out the window, chattering to get out to eat some birds. Boo and his brother, Steve, came into my life after my beloved cat, Ernie, died 2 years ago. Many, many pets have come and gone in my life. I remember my daughter in tears, when she was little, telling me she didn't want to have any more pets because it was too sad when they died.
    They teach and give us so much. I cannot imagine never having a pet but we pay dearly since their lives are so much shorter than ours. Time lessens the hurt, as you know, and the wonderful memories are worth the pain of this difficult time. I am always amazed when I meet some very lovely people who don't have animals. They are missing out on so much, aren't they?
    On a lighter, happier note,I love the picture of your cat in your fridge. Is this a regular happening at your house?

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  19. With tears in my eyes, just know that our cyber arms are around you and your hubby. Our animals mean so much to us. We never forget them.

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  20. So sorry about Lizzie. We really get attached to our critters, don't we. Dori

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  21. 13 years of doggie joy! That is awesome - I'm sure she is just romping around in Heaven. It must be hard - we got our first dog (a rescue)3 years ago, and I can't imagine life without him. I need to ask - what kind of dog is Edward? Our Zeus looks exactly like him, and we have no idea what breed he is - we've been told Rottweiler mix by the vet - he could be Edward's twin!

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  22. Wendy asked about Edward's heritage...he is a Springer spaniel, Rottweiler & shepherd mix. Thanks to everyone for your lovely comments.

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  23. Oh I am so sorry for your loss! I am very saddened by this news and send very sincere cyber hugs your way. Losing a pet is difficult. You did make the right decision and I'm glad your other pets were included so as to know what was happening. I'm going to go hug my doggies right now and try to stop these tears.
    Tammy

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  24. So sorry for your loss.
    Our furbabies add so much to our lives.

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  25. Awwww...soo sorry about your sweet Lizzie!!! My Maddie is like one of my kids, I can't even imagine how hard this is!

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  26. I'm so moved by your post. Both Lizzie and your family are blessed to have each other. I'm sending hugs for all of you, especially Edward as he navigates his life without Lizzie by his side. Thank you for sharing both the happy & sad events of your life.
    Hugs,
    Del
    ;o)

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  27. My thoughts go out to you. My cocker spaniel Freckles also had a tumor on her liver that would bleed every so often, but then she would recover. One day she was unable to walk because it was so huge. We also then needed to make the fateful trip to the vet..but at least I was able to hold her in my arms when she went to sleep. My husband and I cried all the way home. She now rests under a rose bush and everytime they bloom, I think of her.

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  28. I'm so sorry to hear about Lizzie! It sounds like she had a great life though.

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  29. Losing a pet is so hard! But what would be harder is to spend life without them. Bless you for putting so much thought into the right thing to do.

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  30. My heart goes out to you, the mister and the other fur babies. Tears burn my eyes as I read this loving tribute to your precious Lizzie. My dear friend has something similar happen with her 13 year old Bea and had to say good bye unexpectedly.
    Even though you stood by Lizzie's decision, you had to find the courage to say goodbye. I wish I could hug you all and thank you for giving your precious Lizzie a wonderful lifem she gave you wonderful memories and love in return.

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  31. I'm so, so sorry to hear about Lizzie's passing. You were all lucky to have each other and my heart aches for the pain that I know you are feeling. My husband and I had to make the decision to help two of our furry family members make their transition from this world over the past six years and while it may be the right thing to do, it is never easy. Love to you all...

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  32. So sorry to read of your sweet Lizzy's passing........May you find comfort in good happy memories......xo

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  33. I know the pain of losing one we loved so much. You and Lizzie are in my heavy heart.

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  34. I'm glad you told me to read this at home. I've been such a mess since my little girl died. Does the hurt ever go away?

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