I have not been writing much lately. Why, well I thought 2009 was miserable, but 2010 is kicking my butt. I have a friend who is convinced that I am getting all the misery out of the way early to reap benefits the rest of the year. From her lips to the Goddess' ears!
The holidays for me, were what everyone experiences, fun, stressful, over-extended, etc. I went the the best New Years Eve party I have ever attended and had a blast. If I had known what the next few weeks would be about, I would have stayed in bed that night with the covers over my head.
For those that do not know the story of my beloved Ruby, she is the love and light that came to me seemingly out of nowhere. Two and a half years ago, I was between jobs and had Logan, a male Border Collie/Corgi mix living with me. I loved Logan, but that boy needed a man and a yard...in that order.
I got a call from a very dear woman asking me to foster a little Poodle that had been pulled from a shelter. She was ver sick and would need surgery. The surgery's would be paid for by this woman, all I had to do was take care of Ruby.
Sure, why not? I had the time and I am good at taking care of souls. So I picked up this little dog that had been shaved to the skin as she was too matted to comb out. She weighed about 9 lbs and she was riddled with tumors all over her belly. She had kennel cough and could not have surgery until she was better. They needed to spay her, remove the tumors and clean her teeth.
Once she quit coughing, off to the vet she went for her surgery. Only to find that she does not tolerate anesthesia and they were only able to spay her. She was crashing and they had to bring her back. So we nursed her back to health, Logan and I. Logan had taken to pinning her down and grooming her 2-3 times a day. I carried her in a baby bag when we went to the dog park as she could not walk around there. Logan needed the exercise, so it was the only choice.
Luckily, all my friends were great support. Then came the surgery to remove the tumors and clean the teeth. You guessed it, she started to crash and the tumors were the only thing done. At that point, I had fallen madly in love with this little creature who would just curl up on my chest and sleep like a baby. I decided no more surgeries and I was keeping her.
Think it was better now, no. She developed a cyst from the second surgery and I almost lost her to the infection. I had gone to Yuma, AZ for Thanksgiving with my family and brought her along. I had to rush her to my mother's vet. She was put on a very serious antibiotic for three weeks. Now the fun really began.
My family thought I was out of my mind. I was carrying this bandaged dog in a baby bag and feeding her special food that I had made in an attempt to get her better. I promised her she would never again suffer once she got well. The fun part was trying to get her to take the pills! That little tiny dog could eat around any pill and then spit it out! I got really good at crushing and hiding meds after that time.
Logan found a new home and then Beau came to live with us. He is a Maltese that had lived with my parents, but when he came to stay with us, Ruby and I fell in love and just kept him! Ruby would groom him every night and every morning. She would hold his head down with her paw and clean his eyes. He would chase her around the house with her favorite toys and they played together all the time. I called them The Marshmallows.
One Saturday morning in January of this year, Beau woke me up early and I decided to run some errands since we were up. Ruby stumbled a couple of times on the walk, but she had cataracts, so I figured she didn't see well. I took the Marshmallows with me in the car and when we returned home, Ruby was unable to jump from her seat into the drivers seat for me to take her out.
The alarms went off! Six months to get her well when I got her. Two years later - that is not enough time. I wanted years and years with her. When we went it to the house, she walked in circles and had a hard time holding her head up. I had to wait for the vet to open, but called and we ran right over.
My baby, Ruby, had a stroke. They don't call it that for dogs, but that is what it is. My heart was breaking. What was I going to do?
I remembered all the times I let her run off leash and she would run ahead and then stop to make sure I was still there. I remembered waking up every morning with her curled into my hip. I remembered watching her play with Beau. I remembered all the times she would curl up on my chest and I would wrap my sweater around her like a burrito and she would sleep. I remembered how I laughed at her snoring!
I remembered her squatting like a toad at my desk and making some bizarre noise to get my attention. Once she had it, she would look at me then look at the couch. Then look at me, then the couch until I picked her up and put her on the couch and she would jump up on the cushion and lord over the manor.
Then I remembered I promised she would never suffer. The decision was simple. The vet said she would never get better and the meds he could give me would only make her sick. So, I called a friend and she came to be with me and the two of us sent Ruby to the Rainbow Bridge.
I have never experienced such grief. I miss that little girl every day.
However, I had never experienced such joy or peace until I got her. So, I guess that is what true love is about. The good with the bad or the highs with the lows.
All I know is that I kept my part of the bargain and took great care of her and did not ever let her suffer. And she gave me a gift that I will have for the rest of my life. Love. It does not get any better than that.