Life Goes On
There has been a lot of changes in my life in the last few weeks, basically l would have to say 90% are excellent. The 10% l can see becoming a lot worse perhaps in the next few months if not sooner. I don’t know. I am not a religious man in the conventional sense of the word, l have my beliefs and l adhere to them as much as l can. I am no angel, but l am no devil either – do what l can to stay upright on my two legs.
This last year with the shoulder has been pretty damning and l have lost an awful amount of trust in certain administrations – mostly medical – ‘can’t fix it sort of ideology, won’t fix it, you fix it!”
I will be starting a series this week entitled The Positive Brain with the first episode The Baggage We Carry’ and l will explain more about rekindling my own levels of positivity. Many years ago l was considered a highly proficient professional in the motivational training business, and of course it is not that l am negative at this current stage, l am not, l try to keep a pretty upbeat optimism going with my life – at my own concession there have been years when l have not felt that way, but l pulled myself back up.
I am a very strong believer in finding the positives out of the negatives as well as if l fall l will pick myself back up again, and over the years l have fallen down many, many times. But l have always managed to pick myself up just that one more time which is enough to progress forwards.
I have started this drive to become almost uber positive as l am going to need it on so many different levels l feel for the remaining time left in this year and for the years afterwards.
With Suze in Australia this time around, l have had a somewhat stressful time of things, not because of Suze being away, but because the last time that Suze was away Scrappy wasn’t the K9 of today.
I have had Scrappy in my life as a companion and close friend for now just over fifteen and a half years. She was around 8 weeks of age when she adopted me back in 2004. I awarded her Dora’s birthday which was the 30th November 2003. Dora and Wolfie were just two of my dog pack back then and they too were pups themselves. Where l was working l had four dogs including the newly adopted Scrappy , and in the matrimonial home l had another four dogs, which meant my baseline pack was eight dogs strong.
My work pack were a very solid pack, my home pack of which Dora and Wolfie were part of but not Scrappy and Misty were also a very strong pack. I love all animals, l adore dogs and cats alike, but l have a special fondness for dogs.
This was Scrappy at 8 weeks of age.
An absolutely stunningly adorable dog – she was so cute and of all my dogs, she is fiercely loyal. That is NOT saying none of the others were, Dora and l were like a married couple and she was obsessive over me and if she felt l was under threat, she was there like a shot and as a gun headed labrador crossed with a wolfhound, Dora was built like a tigress and despite her size was just as fast. Scrappy was always fast, she used to be terribly fast, she could catch small sparrows taking off from branches in bushes and l had to constantly tackle her to let them go!
The one companion l have never had till now, has been an elderly dog of Scrappy’s age, what l have also never had is an elderly dog that is just so very strongly opinionated and determined. At times l think she is held together by her stamina and her gutsiness to never give up. She is an intelligent dog instinctively – which is why it is so terribly upsetting to see her these last few months and how she has deteriorated mentally. I think she has some K9 dementia. That would explain the ‘buloo as l call it.
I know she is missing her mum, but ask anyone who has an elderly dog that isn’t 100% in charge of their faculties and they will tell you just how terribly upsetting it is for their owners to witness the dogs behaviour when they are like this.
Like now as l write this post, she paces up and down and she has already been doing that for two hours. She will not settle and she will not allow herself to settle, and that’s not just Suze being away, she was a pacer long before Suze departed for Australia. It’s more upsetting because you don’t know what to do. But equally it can become maddening, and very stressful.
On top of that she is terrbly arthritic – she gets a liquid form of medication which is the only reason she takes it is because it IS liquid. We cannot get any kind of tablets into her without an absolute nightmare when she then refuses to eat for days to the point of starving herself! Vets will tell you a dog will not go hungry, well sorry to disappoint but that’s not true.
I worry enormously at her arthritis and how doddery she has become, and how limpy and how achy she must be and yet still she rises everyday and she looks at you with adventure in her eyes ready to start walking again. I have never known a dog who lives for walking as much as Scrappy does – you could take away everything from her but as long as she can walk she is happy, and the vets, well they do say that is a good thing – when she stops is the day, she’ll stop.
But as an owner it still doesn’t stop you worrying like a mother hen when you are out walking and more so when she stumbles. She goes on much shorter walks these days, because despite her head saying she can go further her little body can’t, and l love this dog too much to hurt her by giving in to her head.
She has become uncannily clingy, not always a good sign especially in older dogs as it means they have lost their confidence. The scare easily in their own company. Especially if they are awake. If they are asleep, they sleep like they are dead and you can’t help yourself but look and watch for heartbeats. But it also means that when awake if you move, she’ll will not stay there, she get up and follow you, making her even more doddery, limpy and so on. She makes me feel guilty if l have to get up from the desk to go somewhere else in the house and she is awake, because she will creak up and follow you like a lost lamb. . .. everywhere.
But if this isn’t enough for stress for all parties, then the fact that in just just over two weeks we have to make a visit to the vets and find out about this albeit benign lump in her anal glands, taking her with us to be examined which will stress her enormously. She used to love the vets but she has always had a problematic left gland that fills up quickly and so it always needs emptying more often and because of that it is now scarred it causes her a lot of discomfort, and l wince every time she hurts.
The last visit we were told by a young vet who l believe needs to work on her bedside manner, she bluntly informed us that if the lump gets bigger, Scrappy needs to be put to sleep. The lump had gotten bigger since it was first discovered at the end of last year. So in six months the lump had gone from a pea to something bigger.
Suze and l vowed that when Scrappy hit 15, we would not subject her to any more operations and allow her to live her life. She has always been such a healthy dog, a very hardy dog, even now, despite everything she is an extremely hardy dog. Very loving, but not as affectionate as she once was. I wonder if she stays on just for us, and how l wish dogs could talk.
Suze and l had hoped and still do that one day, Scrappy will go to sleep and just stay asleep the next day. I think many dog owners wish for this from their dearest companions. We had hoped that we would not have to make a life choice for Scrappy, we wanted her to decide for herself. That when her time was present she would decide or she would let us know in her way. I dread and have been dreading the last few weeks since l first heard those words ‘PTS’.
I have been stressed up to my eyeballs for all parties. I lost Dora in March 2014, l still had Scrappy, but the loss of Dora practically broke me. I am much closer to dogs than human beings, they have been my best friends when many a time humans have abandoned me in my times of greatest need. But l still had Scrappy, such a loving companion, and best mate. I have to be strong and l have to be positive.
But you know, as l watched Scrappy and how she was coping a few weeks back, l thought, l am going to learn from her. What right do l have to allow this shoulder pain to knock me for six? When l have a dog that is getting through what she has to cope with. Fine she is not in pain, we know that. Yes she is obviously uncomfortable at times, yes she has slight dementia and still she carries on.
I have a lot planned for this year with regards career, dreams, wishes and basically things l want to do both in blog and in life, with my business and my personal space and l am damned if l am going to let things stop me. But l have been focusing on making changes, and l have made a lot of changes this year to my life, to my blog, to my thinking, to my plans and above everything to my positivity, because something tells me that l am going to have to be bloody strong this year, not just for me, not just for Suze but for Scrappy too.
I have plans for Scrappy, even when she is not here in my daily world. I will explain these further, but not now, not today. Scrappy and l must retire for the night, because tomorrow is another day. Life goes on, doesn’t it?