Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Saying Goodbye Sucks

A few days ago I had to say goodbye to my first baby, my furbaby, my constant companion for the past 15-1/2 years. Maddy Moo's spirit has been set free to chase squirrels and cats on the big farm in the sky. My heart is heavy. I am so sad. I am prone to spontaneous bursting into tears. But I need to write this. I need to talk about her and honor her and remember her in my own way.
Maddy Moo 4/13/97-10/5/12
I'm still coming to terms with the fact that she is gone. When I close my eyes at night and try to sleep I keep reliving the nightmare that was Friday evening. We were headed out to the country, Maddy's favorite place in the world. My parents have a little farm a few hours west of here and as soon as she would hear the word "Grandma's" she would go nuts. We loaded her up in the car (she could no longer jump up to the seat herself) and headed out to my sister's house to switch cars so we could travel together. She had the entire backseat of the van to herself so she could look out all the windows. Before we were even out of the driveway she fell against the seat and couldn't get up. I will spare you the details that keep me awake at night... let's just say that she wasn't doing well. My sister said her vet was on the way out of town, we could stop there and have her checked out, but I knew in my heart that this was it. She wasn't going to be okay. By the time we got to the vet, she was unresponsive and they took her in. Within minutes they had started an IV and did an ultrasound. It turns out she had a tumor (probably cancerous) on her spleen that had ruptured and she was bleeding internally. Rapidly. She wasn't aware of her surroundings at all. I knew I had to let her go. It was the hardest thing I ever did and it was worst day of my life so far. 

I thank god that my sister was with me. I'm grateful that my nephew was there also and he stayed with my daughter while I was with Maddy saying goodbye. I'm thankful that Maddy wasn't in pain or scared during the last moments while I was stroking her and talking to her. (Lack of blood/oxygen to her brain made her pretty "out of it") And while this experience totally and completely sucked, I'm glad that she went quickly and most likely not painfully. And while I may have nightmares for awhile, I'm glad I was with her during her final moments. I hope she knows I was there. 

She was truly the best. dog. ever. She was so easy to train as a puppy. We never needed an electric dog fence because she learned where her boundaries were and stayed in them. When we brought the baby home from the hospital she rolled over and submitted. I could leave a turkey sandwich inches from her nose and be 100% confident that I could walk away and she wouldn't eat it. She endured years of playing Princess Madeleine Mooples and being dressed up with scarves and crowns. 
Princess Madeline Mooples Fuzzbut  Cousineau
She never bared her teeth or showed aggression. Her joy was chasing squirrels and cats, playing frisbee when she was younger and ball when she was older, napping in the sun, and showing unconditional love. 
Pooped from playing ball.
She followed me from room to room and was my constant companion. My walking partner. My fuzz therapy. She helped me endure all my cancer treatments and stayed by my side during chemotherapy. 
At Grandma's house
She was the world's biggest mooch, she loved peanut butter, buttermilk pancakes, chicken, beef jerky and popcorn. She sat and waited patiently, staring at us until she got her nibble. She was so gentle taking food and she would chew every tiny morsel instead of gobbling and/or swallowing whole like a lot of dogs do. She stood patient and still while little kids pet her and poked her and pulled her fur and loved all over her. 
Enduring the love.
I seriously couldn't have asked for a better dog. She was my shadow and I don't know what I'll do without her. I'm going to have to get used to a new normal. Again. I love you Maddy Moo.
When dogs and recycling bins collide...

I would like to thank Animal House Veterinary Hospital and Dr. Sage for the extreme kindness and compassion they showed while caring for Maddy. And all of the people who have offered their condolences and understanding.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Back in the Saddle

Life here is slowly getting back to normal. Well, as normal as can be once you've had a cancer diagnosis. Normal will never be the same, it will always be a bit prickly. During these trials and tribulations I've been posting and updating on my other blog, Life, Interrupted. But it's been awhile there too I'm afraid. Mostly because I'm tired at night, which is when I usually sit down to write. And I gave my old laptop to my daughter to use for her movie-making so it's no longer in my studio with instant access.

To Infinity and Beyond!
Trying to find a new normal is a bit discombobulating. (I love that word!) During my chemotherapy treatments I didn't feel like being creative. Instead I was showered by friends with little pieces of art and cards and well wishes and prayers, which meant the world to me. Each one lifted my spirits like only good friends can. I feel awful that I didn't get the chance to individually thank all my friends who sent gifts. I just didn't have the energy. But I want everyone to know that each one is appreciated greatly and loved dearly. I have them in a special box and I look through them occasionally when my spirit needs a lift. I am grateful for every. single. one.

I feel like I am getting back in the (creativity) saddle again. I took 984238572 pictures when we were in Maine. Okay, it just seemed like it because the camera was attached to me at all times. And just in case my new camera didn't work I always had my iPhone camera in my back pocket. I see in pictures, I can't help it. It was a wonderful trip, very relaxing surrounded by beauty with inspiration everywhere. The ocean does that to me. I have saltwater in my veins. 

While we were in Bar Harbor/Mt. Desert Island, they had their Legacy of the Arts week. Artists are appreciated, studios are toured, classes are offered, friends are made. One rainy Saturday my daughter and I decided to drive to Otter Creek to take a Zentangle class. I have never been in such a quiet and studious class! After about an hour of mad zentangling, people started loosening up and talking and visiting. I met a few really nice people who encouraged me wholeheartedly to follow my dream and move to Maine. I also rediscovered my love of doodling.
It kind of looks like fish? 
Long and Linear
Sand dollars have the most interesting patterns!
The sand dollar one was pretty big, I drew it in my 9x12 sketchbook. It took several days here and there and a lot of hand cramping!

On the way home from Otter Creek the mist was rolling in with some storm clouds and the pond on the side of the road looked so beautiful I stopped and took some more pictures. Shocking, right?

Anyway, a lot has been going on since June, Michael and I attended CHA Chicago, we came out with some new Map Stencils at Artistcellar, we renovated our 1950's bathroom, and at the end of August I took three classes at CREATE Chicago and had a ball creating art with others. I think it sparked me into feeling creative again. I have several projects in the works but I'm going to save them for another day. I'm going to really make an effort to get back in the blogging saddle again, it's been way too long!