Sunday, November 21, 2004

I'll Meet Razor at the Rainbow Bridge

I'll Meet Razor at the Rainbow Bridge
21 November 2004

One of the most difficult things about being so far away from home is you have no control over events and no means to get back home at the exact moment you're needed. I called home last night to see how the older of our two Siberian Huskies, Razor's visit to the vet went. Over the past two months since he was bitten by a Pomeranian, he has had open sores that open and close and reopen to drain on his sides, on his stomach and one big one on his hind leg. The visits that Phil has been making back and forth to two different vets still had not resolved his sores after how many different antibiotics. He has had staph infections and draining sores that test negative for anything and has been on all different types of antibiotics to try and clear them up. They even did more blood work on him last week that came up negative.

Thursday, Phil made an appointment with a vet in St. Charles that is supposed to be great. She has people bringing in animals from all over--Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Iowa. Saturday morning, he said that Razor was happy and wagging his tail and even "talking" at the vets office. The vet read over the faxed files from the other two vets and asked Phil if she could take an xray.

Unfortunately, with her xray she was able to determine the problem. Razor had advanced cancer of the lymph glands and two bone spurs on his spine. His immune system has been so exhausted fighting the cancer that it has been unable to fight the infections, so he hasn't been responding to the antibiotics. He has also been so uncomfortable over the past couple of months that he won't even get up in the mornings to go out or won't come in after going out in the evenings, prefering to sleep on the patio overnight. He has been getting Rimadal for the bone spurs, but the cancer was a complete surprise. The vet's major concern was the enlarged cancerous lymph gland near the heart. Although we can provide some pain reduction in the short term, she was concerned that if it were to hemorage, he would die a painful death. The decision wasn't easy, but after further discussion with the vet, Phil had to put our little guy down.

I know that some people say that we should get over it, "they're just dogs." But for us, they aren't just dogs. Razor, Cayenne, Phil and I are a family or a "pack" in their eyes. Razor was more than just a dog, he was a faithful companion and a goofy and very sensitive dog with unique looks and actions. Noone that he ever came in contact could dislike him. He was always sweet and could win you over even after the worst days at work. He wasn't just a dog, he was our dog, our companion, our little beast. The beast that would jump up on the bed and lay at your feet when you were home sick, the beast that lived to lick the bowl whenever you had ice cream or oatmeal. He was the peacemaker that would put himself between Phil and I if we had an "exchange of ideas" that got too loud. He did not like arguing and had to have peace in our "pack".

So it's with great sadness and emptiness that I will return home in January to Cayenne and Phil. There is so little privacy here to find a corner to mourn in. I'm still choking down tears as I write and rewrite this damned entry. I try to think of all the good times that we have had over the almost eleven years we've had him. This week he would have turned 11. We will miss our sweet blue-eyed fuzz-face dog. At least I know in my heart that he isn't suffering and isn't in any more pain. It would be too selfish to wish that he could have held on until I got home, but I know that in time, I will see him again. I am confident that there must be dogs in heaven. Before I left, I had already told my sister Debi to just remember that if anything happened to me here, they were to bury his ashes with mine when my time comes. Until then we will have to find a nice urn for the mantel.

Rainbow Bridge
(www.vetmedicine.about.com/od/lossandgrief scroll down to Rainbow Bridge)

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.

There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so that they can run and play together.

There is plenty of food and water and sunshine, and our friends there are warm and comfortable. All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to perfect health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again just as we remember them in our dreams of years and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing- they each miss someone very special to them, who had to stay behind when the beloved pet went away.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks up -- the bright eyes are intent, the body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group his body flying over the green grass, his legs hurrying faster and faster. You have been spotted, when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The sweet loving kisses rain upon your face, your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your dear pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together.

-----Anonymous
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