Monday, March 2, 2009

Transitions ~ by Deanna

It's been said that when it rains, it pours. It is pouring outside at the moment which tends to add darkness to any sadness dwelling within me. Caring for senior and special needs animals subjects us to sadness more frequently than most people might experience. Right now, the reasons for sadness are pouring.

As I write, Woody is speaking with Jane with regard to each of these beings. Perfect timing.

Thursday morning, we helped our big, beautiful Tank transition from the physical into the non-physical. Tank was an angelic being who became a favorite of many friends and supporters. As a "Mom", each of the kids has their own brand of specialness to me, but not everyone gets to see each of the beings the way Woody and I see them. Tank's gorgeous physicality and quiet nature reached everyone. At 23, Tank began having hip problems and finally could no longer get up. Saying goodbye was a very emotional event for both Woody and I, but it was the only viable option. Loomis Basin Equine Medical Center was able to respond in less than ten minutes of our request and Dr. Jacobs assured us that, given the circumstances, we were doing the most compassionate thing possible. Even if we had unlimited resources, the prognosis was not good given his size and age. Tank leaves a large hole in our hearts and the ranch is not the same in the absence of his magical presence. When the end is near, it makes me feel connected to the babies to put my face close and inhale their breaths - I was able to do this with him, which is not always possible with the horses. One magnificent angel just recieved his wings. In the afterlife, Jane sees him acting the part of the wise old sage, telling stories of "the way it was." This meakes me smile.

We also have three Bostons experiencing assorted heart-wrenching difficulties.

Trix has begun having small seizures. They started late last week and are increasing in frequency. She is otherwise doing well. Her appetite and attitude are healthy, she is always ready to jump into any squabble that may arise, guards a food bowl like it belongs to only her and lavishes her parents with kisses whenever we hold her. Her tummy looks amazing post-surgery. We absolutely LOVE her. I reminded my husband last night that Trix has only been with us since December 17 and he was surprised - it feels like she has been a part of our family for a very long time. As you may recall, the prognosis was poor and the oncologist suggested that we might have three to five months. It's been just two. Today, Trix has experienced at least eight that we've witnessed. I'll be spending extra time with this beautiful, white-faced girl and deal with her situation as we feel called. According to Jane, Trix's energy is scrambled. She got some picures, but unclear and jumping around a bit. Considering what the seizures do to her body, I'm not surprised that her energy is less than fluid.

Bernie, our eldest dog (EVER!), has begun to slow down markedly. Bernie was already 15 years old when he came to us in August 2005 and we are astounded by his longevity. He was well-loved by his Mom who passed away. We are grateful to live with such a big, beautiful boy and encourage you to give Bernie an extra hug on your next visit. Ah, Bernie indicates that he is not ready to go. Mind over matter, Bernabus. We love you.

Lastly, Dolly (better known as Wiggle Butt or Wiggy) has severely damaged her Right eye. It is swollen and painful. She was seen by Loomis Basin Veterinary Clinic yesterday and scheduled for surgery today at a cost of $1,500. We simply do not have the cash and have decided to wait for an appointment at the Animal Eye Center, as they are eye specialists and have a greater ability to work with our financial situation. AEC has only three (talented and kind!) doctors and can tend to be very busy (even for such an emergency). Dolly must wait one more day. Thankfully, we have great pain meds. By the way, those marks on her forehead are from spats that she causes. She goes around looking for fights and sometimes, she finds them! She's tenacious!

Dolly's indicating that she isn't really interested in sticking around. One thing I've learned from our innumerable readings is that animals are LITERAL. If you were laying in Dolly's bed right now, unaware that we can significantly improve her situation, you might also think that "checking out" would be the best option. I might be inclined to agree with her if she didn't have such a vivacious personality when not in pain. I'll keep her well-drugged until time to see the doctor.

I can't leave this blog without at least one light and bright picture of current life at the ranch, though there are many bright spots. As some of you already know, we recently discovered that our darling but crippled Darcy duck has discovered the joys of swimming in the currents of the jets in our tub. She will let us know her disappointment when the timer turns the jets off.

The circle of life is clearly visible in all of its expressions at our little ranch in Penryn.


Meg said...

Oh, Dee, I am so sorry for the loss of Tank. The gentle giant is, indeed, at the Rainbow Bridge, and I'm sure he is enjoying being the wise sage--and not having hip pain.

You guys do what so many people can't handle--you take the old and infirm, the cast-offs, the orphans. They come to you with most of their lives, good or bad, lived, and you give them so much love and care. Any animal who comes to your farm is a lucky, lucky animal, whether they are there for three days or three years.

Also, Darcy duck in the bathtub made me giggle. I'm partial to ducks!

Jodie said...

I too am very sorry to hear about Tank's passing. He was such a beautiful horse. I'm glad that my boys were able to get their Christmas picture with him this last year. Tank will be remembered in our family for many years!!!

Take care,

Sara said...

I bawled when I heard about Tank. Thank you for making the last years of his life happy ones. Bless you for all that you do!

Maria said...

Dee, you know I love them all but Bernie in particular has my heart. Give my sweet boy lots of kisses on his dear face and tell him I'm not done loving on him yet, so he has to stick around. Sweet old thing.

And I second everything Meg says. I knew as soon as I met you and Woody that you are incredibly special people who do what so many other people can't or won't -- you see the beauty in the animals that others are "done" with. I know from my own girl Berkeley, and our shared boy Winston, that there is still life and love and joy left in these creatures long after others give up on them. Bless you for seeing this and risking your hearts to give all these animals such wonderful lives -- no matter how long those lives might be.

Meg said...

I hear you have a new arrival--new in the most literal sense! Mom told me all about Sally's little surprise, and I can't wait to meet the little guy. Please post pictures soon!