My Odin Blog
∞ WAY OFF TOPIC ∞ posted: Saturday the 18th of December, 2010
a warning for the faint of heart this is not going to be some glib and vague sort of writing this morning. this morning i am going to plunge into my heart of darkness and see if i can let go of some of the feelings that just keep overwhelming me.
first off, than you to all who supported my journey through yesterday on FACEBOOK, that was an experiment in me opening up to what was going on, for those who did not or do not follow me on FACEBOOK, a brief recap of the last 24 hours is certainly appropriate.
i woke up yesterday morning, and planned to do what i do most Fridays, feed my dawg, take him for a power walk, go top the cigar store, do some work, pay some bills, and spend a quiet evening at home with the woman i love. sitting here, all i can say is man what a kick in the balls i got instead.
so as i started to say, a average routine day. it was cold and snowy, and i finally decided that is i was not going to run, at least Odin and i would go for a quick power walk. so i wrote my blog, dressed for the weather, got the leash and started off on an adventure that would totally change my life.
about two minutes into our walk Odin just collapsed on the ground, i mean he just keeled right over, none of this graceful laying down or anything, walking one minute BOOM laying on the ground the next. he looked up with a look that seemed to say what the fVck dad, i am down and i cannot get up.
within a few minutes he was able to walk again, but he walked like he had been boozing for hours, and barely made it home and into our warm office. Kathy asked me what had happened, and i told her and then went off for a very quick power walk by myself. in the fifteen minutes i was gone, Odin had recovered enough to flop on to his bed, and then he tried to walk into the kitchen where Kathy and i were discussing what i should do next. i called my vet, jumped into the shower and waited for a return call. after 30 minutes no call had come, so i called again. i was told to watch him overnight and bring him into the office at 11 am Saturday morning. well, being who i am, inaction was not something i was willing to do, so i called my friend Greg and asked him what i should do. i had to leave a voice message, but he called right back and laid out what he though the problem may be, BUT he insisted that the best course of action was get him to a doctor and if i needed to i could bring him down to Louisville, to his hospital. i decided that i wanted to stay close to my home, so i googled emergency vet clinics and found Aspen Meadows here in Longmont. i called and they told me to come right in, so the two of us started what was to be the hardest part of my life recently, a journey to places i never though i wanted to go. Dr Lyons examined Odin, who by this time was walking quite effortlessly, but was not acting anywhere close to his usual self. she felt his pulse in all of his limbs and listened top his heart, then asked me if i would agree to have chest x-rays and a quick cardiac ultrasound. even though the ultrasound required shaving his chest a bit, i was still unconcerned, after all, his heart had to be good, as he walked with me day after day, and enjoyed the walk. i laughed when i thought how silly he would look with a patch of bare skin and proceeded to continue to chronicle my day on FACEBOOK. within 20 minutes my world changed forever.
Dr Lyons came back and said she believed that Odin had blood in the sac that contains his heart, and in his breed and at his age the most likely cause was a tumor on his heart. she also said or better put tried her best not to say, that if that was the case there was not much hope for him. without further test results this was just the worse case scenario, no matter how likely, we needed to find out. well although it embarrassed me yesterday, i broke down and cried in front of a total stranger, and it was not just my eyes leaking, it was a full out raucous wail of pain. i agreed to the additional testes, called Kathy, then went to find someone to hug. my decision to stay in town was a good one in this case as i went and found my family and shared my pain with them. the hopeful thing? i called my sponsor, and never once did i feel like using, although there was a bar across the street from the hospital.
anyhow, upon returning to the hospital, i learned the grim news. Odin did not need an other ultrasound as his chest x-rays as well as confirming the effusion of his pericardium, revealed metastatic tumors all through his lungs. she then told me that she would drain the liquid from his pericardium, but to prepare myself, as his prognosis was not good, although she has seen other dogs last up to a month in his condition, she believed that in two weeks he would be gone, or he could be gone by the time i got him home. without a doubt his pericardium would fill with blood again and it could kill him at any time. i knew what she was trying to get me to do, but i could not let him die in that sterile unfamiliar environment. i took him home, wit5h the catheter still in his leg, and my niece came over to end his journey on this side of the dirt.
he died on his bed, in my embrace, in the company of Kathy, my sister Jeanne-Marie and my niece Rosemary. although i could have waited for nature to take its inevitable course, i FELT, and yes it was all about FEELINGS yesterday, that he would be more comfortable going in the arms of his person. the person he loved beyond all others and as that person it was my duty to him to send him on his way, before he suffered anymore.
so here is it 14 hours later, writing about it. i thought it would help, but now i am back to that place where i was yesterday when i felt his last warm breaths upon my cheek. the shock and the grief are just so overwhelming that i had to put everything away that reminded me of him, and i am just so lost no matter how much comfort and love i get. the intellectual side of me dismisses it all by saying he was just a dog and dogs die. however intellect is losing to emotions today. intellect allowed me to do what was right yesterday, but cannot take the pain away. intellect will save me from spiraling down further into darkness, as i know i am still here, and i still have stuff to do.
Odin, my friend and companion i miss you so much, and when i got up to let you out this morning, the reality finally started to sink in. you were my very first, healthy, long-term relationship and i am grateful that you were part of my life for as long as you were. yes you were willful and sometimes a real pain in the ass, but mostly you were a great dog. you taught me about unconditional love and today i am moving forward into a life without you. that life is a little bit more cruel,a little colder and a little emptier. i have FAITH that my decision to end your life was the correct one for you, and hope that you are resting peacefully wherever you may have ended up going. i love you my friend and my companion and you can never be replaced, and i know in time the emptiness i feel will fade, but will never be gone. thank you for being my faithful companion and workout partner, my run this morning is for YOU!
∞ DT ∞
☯ The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao ☯
Translated by James Legge
3) To him by whom this harmony is known,
(The secret of) the unchanging (Tao) is shown,
And in the knowledge wisdom finds its throne.
All life-increasing arts to evil turn;
Where the mind makes the vital breath to burn,
(False) is the strength, (and o'er it we should mourn.)