iamom: (suntrees)
I had just laid Sage on the living room couch and then, nurse-style, I slid an old flannel sheet underneath him. In a part of my mind I wasn't willing to acknowledge consciously yet, I did this because I knew it would be easier to transport him after.

After what, I wondered. We had an emergency appointment with the vet in 90 minutes, but he wasn't looking good. Out of desperation, we'd just fed another half-bag of saline into him via sub-cutaneous IV, but nothing was having any effect on his hyperventilation. And nothing was getting his attention, either. When Jo shone her penlight into his eyes, there was no movement. When we called his name, no response. He seemed unconscious, yet his chest was heaving thirty times a minute.

Without really planning to, we never left him alone. One of us sat with him, holding his impossibly cold paws in our hands, kissing his face and cheeks over and over again, massaging his neck and between his shoulder blades like he loved, and rubbing his cold, delicate Lab ears between our fingers. Nothing changed for a half-hour. I gave Zoë her breakfast.

For a brief period, maybe 15 minutes, we all walked around the house as though nothing was out of the ordinary. Got dressed, cleaned up the kitchen. I heard an odd sound coming from the living room, a staccato slapping sound, as though one of the dogs had exhaled so forcefully that their lips had flapped against their gums a bunch of times. But when I walked over to Sage there was no change. He was still just huffing on the couch, eyes open and glazed over.

A few minutes later, Jorin was brushing Zoë's teeth in the bathroom upstairs and I went up to get something, I don't remember what anymore. And then when I came back downstairs and looked at Sage, there was something different about him. I stood at the far side of the living room, staring, and then moved closer. By the time I got to the coffee table I saw what it was. His chest wasn't heaving anymore, and his tongue was stuck out, long and limp and grey. His chest wasn't moving at all. And his tongue. It was stuck out so far. And where had all the colour gone from it?

I stood rooted to the spot and then I heard my voice come out in a wail. "Jo! Oh no, Sage! Jo!!!! Sage! Nooooo, Sage!"

Jorin came downstairs instantly and ran to him. I didn't move from my position on the other side of the coffee table. She fell over him, crying, "No, Sage, no, no, NO!!!!" Finally I came to her side and we laid over him, petting him and kissing him and crying and kissing him and crying and petting him and crying and kissing him and crying. I went upstairs and brought Zoë down, and we tearfully told her what happened. However, she wasn't interested in Sage at the moment, and she didn't want to pet him. She just watched us carefully, staring at our tears, and said, "Mommy and Daddy, grown-ups aren't supposed to cry... Why are you so sad?"
It has been a long, sad week since then. The first couple days were quite bad: lots of tears, intense sadness, instant mourning. But then later in the week our grief became more acute, more biting; especially each time we did something for the first time without Sage. Our first walks with only Riker were heartbreaking. Feeding Riker his first dinner without Sage eating at his side was, too. And we've spent the week unconsciously looking for Sage: waiting for him, expecting to see him around every corner and then realizing for the first, second, and twentieth times that we'll never see him again. Then the tears.

The tears still come quickly, being only a week since Sage died. Our mourning is exquisite, and when my tears come a sadness floods the space behind my eyes with hot, stinging needles. It feels so fresh, this hurt, and yet it feels like we've been like this always. Sage is still with us everywhere. He's in our hearts and memories, obviously, but his energy is still all around us somehow. He's everywhere in this house, in this yard, around this lake, throughout this forest. His furry, fuzzy body has gone away, replaced by an impossibly small and heavy box filled with gray ash, but his essence, his love, his energy, is still here. It's everywhere around us.

Oh God, I love that dog. I miss him so much.

Sage

Feb. 28th, 2006 10:37 pm
iamom: (sage)

Some of you already know that our dog Sage was diagnosed with kidney failure last November. Although he slowed down considerably, he seemed relatively stable and we had been looking forward to spending at least several more months with him.

However, Sage's condition began to deteriorate rapidly on Sunday evening. He died suddenly yesterday morning, February 27th. He passed away at home with all of us around him. His remains will be cremated, and in the spring we'll spread his ashes at his most loved places: his yard, his beloved lake, and his paths through the forest behind his home.

He was a much loved member of our family, and he has left a gaping hole in our lives. Our sorrow seems to know no bounds right now, but we've lovingly and tearfully assembled a collection of photos from throughout his life that we'd like to share. You can view them at our family web page:

http://family.lindensmith.com

(For tracking purposes at a later date, the direct link to Sage's memorial page is here.)
iamom: (sage)
Just got back from a week-long vacation to London, England, and had a fantastic time. Taking a short writing break this morning to post this entry, excerpted from a recent Highlights I missed while away.

Speaking of world peace negotiations, I must note the lengthy and insightful discussion we had with my great friend Christian and his new wife, Jenny on our last night in town. I think he should become a motivational speaker. But his career options are more ideal than that. At any rate, his vision is clear, perfectly and crystal clear.

(Our dog Sage is doing great right now! Status quo holding steady for him since January, and he's even gained a few pounds since his last vet visit. We're continuing to enjoy good times with him every day.)
Issue 2392 of the Nondual Highlights has some great dialogue with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (the mystic and spiritual guy, not the sitarist). This Ravi Shankar is the spiritual head of the organization called Art of Living. A few years ago, accompanied by Jerry, I saw Sri Sri Ravi Shankar speak here in Halifax. It was a good experience.


Art of Living

My favourite quotes from the transcripts (see issue 2392) are below:
Ajay Bagga: Dear Guruji, How should one reconcile spirituality and business imperatives? How to go beyond cosmetic corporate social responsibility to a more meaningful corporate ethical code?
His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Even if this question arises in corporate minds, half the work is done.
Pinaki: can you transform osama bin laden to a good human being?
His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: If he comes to me, definitely yes.
Jerry's favourite was:
K S Rao: Using your persuasive power if you could solve the India-Pak and Palestine problems, the world at large will be peaceful. Will you please make an effort?
His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: why do you want me to do anything, why don't you do some thing?
iamom: (sage)


I brought in our almost-7-year-old yellow Lab Sage for a full dental yesterday, and the vet did some pre-op bloodwork before going under general anaesthetic for the teeth cleaning. The results, to our sad surprise, showed that he's in renal failure -- i.e. his kidneys aren't functioning properly. His creatinine level, which should be less than 100, was four times that. His prognosis is not good.

We had a good cry about this last night, abandoning our rules about no dogs on the couch and cuddling with him all evening. He was drowsy, pliable and punch-drunk as the effects from the anaesthetic slowly wore off. Zoë doesn't really understand what's happening, being only 3, but she'll probably catch on later if and when Sage gets sicker. Right now he doesn't really have too many symptoms other than weight loss which started in late summer and some coughing, a bit of vomiting, and copious drinking and peeing.

We'll know more details in the next few days and weeks after we get some more comprehensive bloodwork back from the vet college in PEI and we get some serial bloodwork done to see what his creatinine levels are over time. But from what we know so far, Sage probably can't be expected to survive too much longer than a year. Hopefully he'll prove us wrong on that, though! :)

Dogs are so funny. I love dogs more than many humans I know, and Sage was our first puppy and our first little baby. I cried more for him yesterday than I cried for myself last fall when I was [mis]diagnosed with terminal cancer. Silly little puppy. I can't even type out this entry without tears.

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iamom: (Default)
Dustin LindenSmith

January 2013

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