Tiny Tragedy

Tiny Tragedy

When you have a dog you are inviting a tiny tragedy into your life.

What I am feeling right now is not what I would define as tiny, but it is definitely a tragedy.

Today we had to say goodbye to our Crosby.

I have experienced grief before.

Grief with the loss of family.

Grief with the loss of friends.

I have even grieved the loss of pets before.

But grief over losing our first dog as adults is un-explainable.

I feel immense guilt pulling me in both directions. One that we didn’t see his suffering sooner, but then feeling remorse that we couldn’t do something to help him live longer or that we made the call to soon.

I mean how do I reconcile that we made an appointment for our dog’s death? This is a different kind of pain when you are the one making the decision. And then having to sit there watching him take his last breaths.

When we found out in January that he had cancer, I think I was in complete denial about the diagnosis and the caution from the vet that he only has 8-12 weeks left. Tom and I both made references how great we would make his last summer. Well here we are exactly 2 months later, now without him.

We got Crosby at a time when our marriage was still fresh, and it was the first time we were living together after Tom’s deployment. 2013 seems like a life time ago. So he has been with us as we have taken many steps as a family with different moves, careers, and expanding our family.

He really was the best dog who has been a constant for us in the great times and worst times.

I am fairly certain he knew before I did when I was pregnant with each kid. He was so cuddly and over protective during all of my pregnancies. I will probably remember this the most behind how patient he was once the kids were out and wreaking havoc in his life.

Crosby loved to chase all the things: cats, squirrels, turtles, chickens, tractors, neighborhood runners, leaves….you name it Crosby was not having it near our yard. He would just run with complete abandon.

He would even bark at things just because Grace was barking without even seeing what they were trying to ward off.

He loved to dig holes EVERY.WHERE. Then he would lay in his creation like he just made himself a king-sized bed.

He loved running into pools of water.

I will remember the first year we had him, he used to basically drag me around on our walks around Ft. Campbell.

I will remember that he did poop tornadoes.

I remember how he use to sprawl out wherever he slept. He hardly ever would cuddle with us, but he would cuddle with Grace.

I will remember that when both George and Daphne transitioned to big kid beds, we would often find Crosby at the end of the bed watching over them in those first few months out of the crib.

I am utterly heartbroken that we will not get to watch the kids grow up more with him. I am grief stricken that Walter and most likely Daphne will not have any memories of him.

This is hard y’all. He truly was the perfect dog for our family. We couldn’t have lucked out anymore with getting this chunk of love. He was such a happy chill dog who loved and protected us fiercely at the same time.

You always know that this day will come, but having to make the call this week to actually send him over the rainbow bridge is one of the hardest things I have had to do.

But watching him struggle to do basic functions, I know that he was just holding on until we were ready. Honestly, as weird as it sounds, when I watched him try for 10 minutes to do one of his poop tornadoes, it hit me so hard that this was the right call.

Although I would argue that you never are truly ready, it was time none the less.

Tom and I are a mess as this is a first for us both. It is a level of sadness and emptiness I cannot describe. Walking back into our home without him is truly awful.

The kids are truly the sweetest little beings. They threw him a party last night. They decorated the house and made him presents and a bone cake to send him off to heaven in style. George also wants a “cardboard” statue of him to keep forever. Daphne did cry when we left with him this morning, which was utterly devastating.

Grace keeps wondering around like she is searching for him. And she has been barking double in his absence today. Only time will tell if her separation anxiety will return.

I know that this week will haunt me for a long time, if not for the rest of my life. Watching him decline so quickly made me feel helpless. And then to lay next to him as he took his last breaths was very harrowing.

However, this is how I want to remember him. So I just need to play this on repeat, and I pray that we were able to recreate heaven on Earth for him.

Crobby Dobby, Crobbers, Crozie…

Crosby, there was so much love for you, but you gave us so much more.

See you on the other side buddy.

Grace Gotcha Day

First-thank you for the outpouring of love and support for our baby on the way. I promise I have more posts to come about that little bundle of joy.

Right now is the time to celebrate our first baby.

Grace.

How have I been blogging for four years, and I have never written about Grace’s adoption? I wrote about Crosby’s adoption here.

Well FIVE years ago TODAY, we brought home this 10 month old little lady.Look how itty bitty she is!

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We had just gotten married a few months before. We had no reason to be looking for dogs if I am going to be honest. Tom had just decided to enlist in the Army since the job market was poor, so we knew it was only a matter of time for things to change.

But we decided to look at shelter pages on a whim. We both had grown up with dogs, and we figured it wouldn’t hurt to just see what puppies were out there. (How we thought we wouldn’t actually end up with a dog still makes me laugh.)

We had decided since we had a one bedroom apartment while living on campus, that we would look at smaller dogs. We had settled on a Boston Terrier as our first choice.

These are highly popular dogs, so we knew it may take us awhile to find one. And we were dead set on getting one from a shelter. Rescuing is the only way we wanted to go. It was a couple weeks after we started looking-casually-that we found a shelter that had a Bostie, and it was about an hour away. We called that day to inquire about that dog. He was a two year old Boston Terrier who met our specifications of being potty trained. They warned us that there were others looking at him so we needed to come and fill out an application quickly.

That was a Friday afternoon.

We drove the hour to this shelter on Saturday morning ready to check out our potential puppy. However, they had already adopted out the Boston Terrier. Tom was so upset because we had talked to the shelter the night before and told them we would be there when they opened in the morning. They didn’t say anything confirming that someone was adopting him after they closed Friday. We were both a little devastated and frustrated we drove the hour.

Tom wanted to turn around and write this place off since we felt they weren’t honest with us. I persuaded him to at least take a look at the other dogs there since we had made the drive there.

And there she was.

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We played with her for a little bit, and we just knew. She was ours.

Her previous owners surrendered her because she ran away all time. (She has never ran away from us… We believe that there may have been some abuse/abandonment as well with the anxiety we have had to work through with her.)

We put in an application before we left. It was heartbreaking to leave her in that drabby room.

We would have taken her home right then, but we had to get approval from my supervisors since we were living on campus. (Which we got almost immediately-Bless the ISU staff for supporting their hall directors pet endeavors.)

Tom called the shelter first thing Monday morning so we could secure driving up that day to get her. Then this shelter told Tom that someone else had put in the application for her before we did, but they were looking at other dogs so we would have to wait until they made a decision. Insert a man on a mission. Tom basically told them that we would come today and get her, and then the other family could adopt another dog. So either they could adopt out two dogs or just one, their choice.

We went up that afternoon and picked her up!

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Her name was Izzy, but since she was only 10 months old, we changed it to Grace.

Grace has gotten us through a lot of things, and has pretty much been there for our whole marriage.

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She has moved with us three times to three different states. She has endured basic training and a deployment. She has helped me train for half marathons. She has watched us get several jobs, and supported us unconditionally when we both hit rock bottom. She has gone from destroying cages with her anxiety to being able to be out roaming our basement freely while we are gone. She has been a trooper with adding to our family with Crosby and George.

She has been our Saving Grace in so many ways.

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I cannot believe it has been five years since we got her. And I cannot imagine life without her.

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We love you Gracie girl!

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Pups Birthday!

These little nuggets are FIVE today.

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We have had Grace most of her life since we got her as a pup, and Crosby for the past two years. And I just don’t really remember what we did without them.

They were our first children, and we spoil them rotten. (Like buying a house mainly because it came with it’s own dog park.)

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So here is my ode to you Grace and Crosby, and five reason why I just love you to pieces.

  • You are the best cuddlers, even though you hog the bed, and forget that you weigh 75 pounds when you lay on us. The way you nuzzle in to be close to us is too cute for words. And it is amazing with how big you are how you can maneuver yourself into the smallest crannies. (Grace likes to worm herself between Tom and I when there is no apparent space between us on the couch or bed. She just makes us sandwich her.)

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  • You are the best guard dogs. Since we spend a lot of nights alone, I definitely feel more at ease knowing you are here with us. And you make sure that no squirrel, cat, bunny, human, or other living things step into our yard without your presence being known.
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  • You two are the perfect vacuum cleaners. Whenever George (or us adults) makes a mess, you two are right there to clean it up.
  • You are so forgiving. There are days that we may leave you alone too long, or we pay more attention to George than you, but you always are willing to forget and love us anyway.

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  • You are the best big siblings to George. You put up with his crawling and bouncing on you. You don’t get mean when he takes your bones for the millionth time. You just love on him like you love on us.

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Happy Birthday Grace and Crosby!

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Here’s to more shenanigans this year!

Anything For Them

I know I haven’t shared about the puppers much lately on the blog, and I feel awful that the first one back is with glum news.

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We have been noticing that Crosby has been limping a lot lately. We thought that he was just laying on it wrong and his back leg had fell asleep. It got to a point though that he was not walking in on his own from outside, so we knew it was time to call the vet.

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On the plus side, the vet thinks it is just a pinched nerve that he will have to work through. We are having x-rays done to confirm.

However, it was a good think that leg brought us in because our vet found a tumor on his groin.

We normally take our dogs in towards the end of October/early November for their yearly check up and to update their heart-worm, so we are sure it would have been found then.

However this is something that the sooner you take care of it the better off you are.

Furthermore, boxers are prone to tumors, so there could be others that we just can’t see.

I didn’t think it would happen so soon.

We aren’t completely sure on Crosby’s age since he was found as a stray. We think he is around 5 years old, which in my head seems all too soon to be worried about health concerns.

But here we are.

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Today he is having surgery to have the tumor removed and see how serious this thing could be.

Last night, Tom and I had to have a discussion about worst case scenario.

I would love to be more prolific, but my heart is just heavy right now.

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Our dogs are like our flesh and blood, which may seem weird to some. We would do anything for them.

We would spend all the money we have fixing them. We allow them to take over our beds. We allow their dog hair to be on everything. We bought them a huge dog park of a yard.

They have changed our hearts, so we would do anything for them.

They have provided so much emotional support and laughter throughout our time together. I have loved watching them be siblings to each other and to George.

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Hopefully we can get you back to your toy destroying ways here super fast Crobber Dobber.

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Handled BY Grace

And Crosby.

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Our dogs are running a muck right now. We are getting man-handled by them. I guess dog-handled….

I honestly don’t know what their deal is. The last two months they have been going crazy.

Between Tom and I, we really try to get them active whether it is me walking them or Tom spending time with them a little extra in the backyard. And with the weather turning around, they are getting a lot more time outside to get those jitters out.

But seriously, our couch can’t take anymore abuse.

We have lost two couch cushions to our sectional. In their defense, I think they are pawing at it because they are “nesting” to make it more comfortable, and in the process they accidentally rip a hole. And once a hole is made, they see the candy (stuffing) inside that we have been hiding in there and decide to throw a party.

RIP couch cushions.

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For the past month, every morning I come down to a pile of poo and a pee spot because Grace couldn’t wait to go. But she also neglected to try to wake us up. Now I get if I was the only one she was trying to persuade to get out of bed to let her small bladder outside (I could sleep through a train going through our bedroom), but Tom is such a light sleeper that he would hear her if she tried. She just doesn’t. She just takes a dump in the corner of our living room, like she is obviously trying to hide it. Mind you Tom also lets them out late so it’s not like she has to wait for hours to go outside. For example, all last week he got home around 2:30 am and would let them out, but inevitably there would be a nice pile waiting for me at 6:30 when I make it downstairs for breakfast. And yet she can make it all 8-10 hours during the day when we are gone with no issues.

Now we have had issues in the past with Grace’s anxiety. Until we had Crosby, she had to stay in a kennel because she tore our house up like she was robbing the place. She was a lot better once Crosby came around, and we only had minor issues crop up every once in a while.

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So in the last few weeks when we would also wake up to the bathroom and baby trash tipped over and ripped through, I thought Grace was the culprit.

That is until last week when I was at the dining room table and watched Crosby tip over the downstairs bathroom trash and pull out a poopy diaper to snack on. APPALLED!

I felt bad for getting after Grace for the past couple weeks, because it appears that Crosby has been getting in on that action.

Let me tell you cleaning up ripped up baby diapers is the worst. And not because of the baby poop. Whatever the Pampers Swaddlers is made of makes it look like a thousand little rubbery squishy beads exploded on the floor.

Then it was only confirmed that Crosby was indeed our trash digger when a couple days ago he barfed up a half eaten diaper. And then I walked in on him last night doing it again…

Seriously?

That day I cleaned up some type of bodily function from everyone but Tom before I left for work.

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Crosby has also started barking at nonsense at night time. It is like clockwork that once I put the baby down at 7:30, he barks/whimpers at us until we let him out every 5 minutes. And then when you let him out he just stands on the patio barking at the neighbors.

Besides it being spring, there really isn’t anything different that we have been doing that would explain this behavior for the past month. We saw this before Tom started at PD, so his schedule change doesn’t make sense. Honestly I feel that we have been able to get them out more which is usually what works when they get stir crazy.

I know that it must be an attention thing because this behavior is only happening when we are home. They have been perfect when we aren’t home. I just don’t know what to do differently. We give them a lot of attention, but I wonder if they are just now becoming jealous of George. I don’t know if it is now that George is older he doesn’t just lay in a Rock N Play or sit in one spot so they see us giving him more attention by playing with him more. On the plus side though they never take any of his toys or mess with him. They are just taking this anxiety out on the trash. That jealousy is all I can think of, but I don’t know how to help them see they are loved and needed more than we already do.

All I know is, I need some grace and patience do deal with Grace and Crosby right now. I feel like I am cleaning up more after them than I am for George.

They really are spoiled and get a lot of perks around the house. Exhibit A:

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Anyone have similar issues? Advice?