Halloween XXIII: The Return Of Michael Myers’ Cousin’s Roomate’s Cat

…insert spooky piano music and meow here

I did not plan for this to go up on Halloween, as it is neither spooky or funny, but this is how things work out. I’ve been meaning to write about this for years.

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The Final Goodbye

Let me preface this by saying that I do not at all believe in the supernatural, from the existence of ghosts to God. I don’t believe in any of it. Dead is dead.

That being said, I do understand I could be wrong and would be interested in any concrete scientific evidence to the contrary. So far, none exists.

What I do believe in, backed up by mountains of scientific evidence and personal experience, is that the human mind deals with strong emotions in endless ways.

The emotion I’m going to talk about is grief and how my mind deals with it.

And I’m specifically talking about grief after losing a non-human companion.

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ROSCOE


In 2005, our first dog, Roscoe, died. He was old for a basset, nearly 16, and had health issues that only got worse in his last couple of years. His death was not unexpected, but still hit us very hard.

It was 18 months before we felt ready for another dog, at which point we adopted Daisy Ann (November 2006). A month later, we adopted Winker Sue (December, 2006). They filled a huge hole in our hearts.

In that 18 months before we adopted Daisy & Winker, I thought about Roscoe often, but I never had a dream about him or really felt that final moment where you really let go. I just sort of rolled along. After we got The Girls, I thought about Roscoe somewhat less often. I was dealing with two rowdy dogs and life and such.

But in February of 2007, just before I was due to go to Dundracon, I was sitting in the living room late at night when it happened. I was very tired and had just looked at The Girls sleeping in front of the TV when I saw something out of the corner of my eye.

It was Roscoe. The front door was open a foot or so and he gave me a doggy smile and a little woof. Then I heard him say, “You’ll be okay now, boss. I’m outta here.”

Then he walked out the door, which shut behind him.

I jumped in my chair, no doubt coming fully awake. Everything was totally normal. The Girls were still sleeping, the tv was still on the Food Network and the house was otherwise quiet. At that point, I felt tears running down my face and said “Goodbye, Roscoe”.

From that point on I felt a weight lifted from me. I still thought of the old boy, but I wasn’t sad. Even on the first anniversary of his death, which is always terrible, be the deceased human or NHT, I was not as sad as I expected to be.

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DAISY ANN


Fast forward a bit less than two years and we lost Daisy Ann to cancer. She was just over 6 years old and Grace, Winker and I missed her. I had been taking nightly long walks, sometimes up to 5 miles, with Daisy and I called her My Old Walking Partner. After she died in early January, 2009, I stopped taking nightly walks. My heart was not in it and Winker was not inclined toward long walks.

But after about 3 months, I decided to start taking walks again. For a couple of weeks, I avoided the streets that Daisy and I walked, but one night I set off on our favorite walk, just to see how I’d handle it.

I got about 4 blocks from home, at the intersection where we usually paused to decide which route to take, when I got the very distinct feeling that a dog was beside me. I looked down and just for a fraction of a second, saw a black & white blur turn down one street. I did not hear a voice, but I got the overwhelming feeling that I was supposed to keep walking while Daisy went off on another route.

I walked for well over an hour non-stop, crying for the first few minutes. After that night, I felt okay about taking walks in that area.

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WINKER

Winker was born with a pretty bad heart murmur and when we adopted her at age 2+, the vets from UC Davis told us she would never live the average 10-12 years that bassets usually do. We accepted that and loved her very much. She was our little one eyed sweetie.

In 2011, she nearly died from congestive heart failure, but with medication and love, she pulled through. However, the vet told me that her time was limited, with maybe one more year. As it turned out, she died just a few days over a year later, going downhill rapidly over about 3 days.

When Winker died in February of 2012, we had had Lucy for almost 3 years and Sasha for 2 months. That and knowing that Winker was on borrowed time tended to lessen the hurt. Having been through what I now called “The Final Goodbye” twice, I waited for Winker to do hers.

And I waited. And waited some more.

It was 6 months later, in August, that it happened. It was a Saturday morning and I was sleeping in. Grace was out on some errand and Sasha & Lucy were asleep in the living room. Then I felt a dog lick my hand (which was hanging off the edge of the bed) and I heard Winker’s distinctive whine. I was waking up when I heard her happy bark. Of course, she was not there, but I still cried a bit.

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LUCY LOUISE

 

Lucy was a mental mess when we got her. I have written about that before, so I won’t go into it here, but by the time she died from lymphoma, in August of 2013, she was much better. She had issues with most other dogs, but she loved Grace and I like crazy.

We had about 4 months to come to terms with her impending death, but of course, it is never easy. The fact that we adopted Daisy Mae just a few days after Lucy died did a huge amount toward healing us.

About two weeks after she died, I saw a dog that looked very much like Lucy at the dog park. For a variety of reasons, I had taken Sasha and Daisy there early in the morning and for even more reasons, I was about 3 days into some seriously shitty sleeping at night. I was pretty tired and a bit punchy and I still missed Lucy.

Turns out, that was the perfect formula for that dog to sort of morph into Lucy, but a happy and unafraid Lucy. She was running and barking having a great time. It lasted maybe 30 seconds and then I blinked and that dog was not Lucy, but I felt pretty happy. Sad, too, and still punchy, but happy. I took The Girls home and had a 5 hour nap.

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Update from October 15th, 2019
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Silky Dawn
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It took just a bit less than 10 months, but early in the morning on September, 8th, 2019, Silky said her final goodbye. It was around 4:45 in the morning and, like all weekday mornings, Grace was up and tending to Sasha & Luke. As often happens, the dim sound of her talking to them in the living room woke me part way up. I was in that sort of hazy state of not quite sleep when I felt my hand on her head. Silky’s fur was longer, thicker softer than any of our other bassets, and the fur I felt was hers. I rubbed her ear for a moment, then heard her say, “I’m sorry about Daisy, Daddy. I love you.”

Then I woke up, crying and missing my girls terribly. After a few minutes, I fell asleep again. When I woke up at 9:00 am. I felt a bit sad, but also glad to know I had dealt with Silky, at least partially. In 5 days, it will be the first anniversary of her death, and I think maybe it will go somewhat easier than previous first anniversaries.
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So that leaves Daisy May. I’m not sure I’ll get a final goodbye from her before the one year mark. Unlike any of the other dog’s, I feel guilt over her death. It is almost certainly unwarranted, but it’s there. I feel pretty certain that her goodbye will help with me getting over the guilt, but it’s going to be a battle of two sides of my brain until then.

 

 

 

The Further Adventures Of Doctor What And The Andalusian Dog

…with a guest appearence by Terry Gilliam

January Ends

January is just about over and I have to say, I won’t miss it. Daisy dying kinda put me into a strange place.

1: It has taken until last night before I could take much of a walk at night. It still doesn’t feel right, but it’s easier than a couple of weeks ago.

2: My LJ posting has been pretty sparse and not terribly creative. I seem to be getting my stride back, tho.

3: Our dire financial situation hasn’t helped my emotional state much. The day job is only slightly (like, $12.00 a week) better than collecting unemployment.

4: I have not been able to remember most of my dreams. For me, that is quite unusual.

I suspect things will improve greatly in February, especially after Dundracon. See, Dundracon helped me deal with my dad’s death, 25 years ago this Feb. 19th. The next year, 1985, with the first anniversary of his death coming up, a friend dragged me to the con (before that, I had only dropped in for a few hours at Dundracon 3 or 4…can’t recall which, cos I was intoxicated) and I had a good time. By the next year (when I missed the con due to…a more interesting gig), things went easier. From 1988 on, I have not missed a Dundracon. So this year, at the con, when I take my annual few minutes to think of Dad, my Uncle Robert and Roscoe, I’ll add Daisy to the list…and I’ll be ok.

But I’m sure as hell glad January 2009 is history.

R.I.P. Daisy Ann Cross (2000-2009)

…my old walking partner

My dear friends,

At 8:30 this morning, our vet confirmed our worst fears: Daisy’s tumors were malignant and fast growing. At 11:30 this morning, after taking one last very slow walk and a drive around all of our favorite streets, Daisy was relieved of her suffering by our vet, Dr. Richards.

At 2:00 pm, Daisy was laid to rest in a nice secluded spot way up in the mountains. Our wonderful neighbor, Suzanne and her dog, Clancy, were there with Grace, Winker and I.

Daisy was a part of our family for just over 2 years. She will be in our hearts forever.

Goodbye, Daisy. You were a very good girl. We love you.

Fuck You, 2008

My friends,

I’ll cut to the chase here: Today, we will find out if our sweet girl, Daisy, has cancer. On Friday morning, I’ll find out if I have cancer.

If I have it, there will be an operation to remove my prostate and then whatever else needs to be done. All paid for by insurance.

If Daisy has cancer, it will mean that she will be put down within days. Not only would treatment for two tumors )one on her eye, one on her rectum) be dangerous to her health (due to her heart murmur and other factors), it would just plain be way more than Grace and I could afford, with no guarantees of her survival. Lest anyone think that putting a dollar value on a life is cruel, be aware that it is not something we like, nor is it something I have not done to myself.

If we don’t have cancer, we are both still looking at operations, with Daisy getting the more complex ones. But she will get them, if that is the case.

I am not worried about myself, that is not my way. I am very worried for Daisy. If we lose her, it will be a very hard hit on our little family.

So, if you have any good thoughts, vibes or prayers to spare for my girl, please send them out. Thank you.

The Eerily Self-Referential Story Of Mostly Purple Patty And The Mostly Purple Patty Story

…featuring her pet siamang, Jeff

Ok, so it’s December 1st, the real start of the Holiday Season. I hate the Holiday Season in general and Christmas music in particular, but I rather do like the following variation on a popular Xmas tune. And yes, I did post it on this very LJ way back in 2004.

The Twelve Dog Days Of Christmas
Words by Roscoe T. Dogg (1990-2005)

“On the first day of Christmas, my humans gave to me…a tree on which I could pee!”

“On the second day of Christmas, my humans gave to me…two pounds of meat and a tree on which I could pee!”

“On the third day of Christmas, my humans gave to me…three cats to woof at, two pounds of meat and a tree on which I could pee!”

“On the fourth day of Christmas, my humans gave to me…four yummy bratwursts, three cats to woof at, two pounds of meat and a tree on which I could pee!”

“On the fifth day of Christmas, my humans gave to me…FIVE BUTTS TO SNIFF, four yummy bratwursts, three cats to woof at, two pounds of meat and a tree on which I could pee!”

“On the sixth day of Christmas, my humans gave to me…six beds to sleep on, five butts to sniff, four yummy bratwursts, three cats to woof at, two pounds of meat and a tree on which I could pee!”

“On the seventh day of Christmas, my humans gave to me…seven bowls of dog rice, six beds to sleep on, five butts to sniff, four yummy bratwursts, three cats to woof at, two pounds of meat and a tree on which I could pee!”

“On the eighth day of Christmas, my humans gave to me…eight bitches in heat, seven bowls of dog rice, six beds to sleep on, five butts to sniff, four yummy bratwursts, three cats to woof at, two pounds of meat and a tree on which I could pee!”

“On the ninth day of Christmas, my humans gave to me…nine cars to ride in, eight bitches in heat, seven bowls of dog rice, six beds to sleep on, five butts to sniff, four yummy bratwursts, three cats to woof at, two pounds of meat and a tree on which I could pee!”

“On the tenth day of Christmas, my humans gave to me…ten pounds of hot dogs, nine cars to ride in, eight bitches in heat, seven bowls of dog rice, six beds to sleep on, five butts to sniff, four yummy bratwursts, three cats to woof at, two pounds of meat and a tree on which I could pee!”

“On the eleventh day of Christmas, my humans gave to me…eleven kids to pet me, ten pounds of hot dogs, nine cars to ride in, eight bitches in heat, seven bowls of dog rice, six beds to sleep on, five butts to sniff, four yummy bratwursts, three cats to woof at, two pounds of meat and a tree on which I could pee!”

“On the twelfth day of Christmas, my humans gave to me…twelve bellyrubs, eleven kids to pet me, ten pounds of hot dogs, nine cars to ride in, eight bitches in heat, seven bowls of dog rice, six beds to sleep on, five butts to sniff, four yummy bratwursts, three cats to woof at, two pounds of meat and a tree on which I could pee!”

In other dog related news, after 2 years of living here, Daisy finally unpacked all of her stuff. I helped, so imagine my surprise to find her framed graduation certificate from Dogwarts School of Bitchcraft and Woofery! We are very proud of her. Apparently, she is a pretty good friend of other Dogwarts alumni such as Gromit (whose Dogwarts pic you can see at the beginning of “Curse of the Were-Rabbit”), Harry Pupper, Hermione Greyhound, Ron Westie and Luna Labrador. That’s my girl!

The Rather Scandalous Tale Of Mostly Purple Patty And The Old Man Who Lived In A Tree

…co-starring her pet codfish, Emerson

A rainy day here in Sacramento…wife abandoned me and the hounds to use the college computer lab…watched an old Doctor Who episode from Netflix (“Black Orchid”, with Peter Davison as The Doctor)…read three more Jeeves stories…puttered about the house in a househusbandly manner…cooked a totally delicious dinner…ate said dinner with the spouse upon her return…watched the two hour premiere of “Legend of the Seeker” and cringed all the way through it…goofed off.

Daisy is doing much better today. She’s eating well and pretty active. Her blood test results came back and the vet said that they all looked good, except for a low protein level that was most likely from not eating well due to being sick.

Not sure what’s shakin’ for tomorrow, but considering our impoverished state of affairs, I’m guessing it won’t involve spending much money.

Thrilling Garden Adventures!

…none of which are mentioned in this entry

It was rainy and cool last night…very overcast and not quite so cool most of the day…and now it’s overcast, warm and windy. Thus comes late fall/early winter to the Big Tomato.

Took Daisy to the vet today. Forked over $210.00 for blood tests & antibiotics. Test results will be in tomorrow. The poor girl is feeling a bit better, but is still a sick pooch. We could ill afford the $210.00 hit, but in choosing paying bills over My Girls, the bills always lose.

No Halloween shit going on here tonight. No money for candy and, besides, I’m a balls out or nothing kinda Halloween person. I did make a very nice large sign for out front that says “Sorry kids, but no candy this year.”

Grace just called to say they had a big party at work with lotsa yummies, so she’s bringing me home cookies and cake and what she called “a chocolate CHOCOLATE pudding”. I told her she was the best wife in the universe and if she every gets cloned, I’ll marry the clone, too.

And now, I’m off to give my sick hound a pill.