Friday, June 22, 2018

Survivors Remorse. Living Beyond the Limits and Losing Your Friends Along the Way

for today there is remorse....

survivors remorse.

we did it, we made it, Jekyll and I, we beat the odds and outlived the dates and guesses his diagnosis predicted. He also outlived the posse we rode with. The gang we were a part of. The others who were like us. Who shared our common dilemma. Those of us who were dying together.

Today was the day we said goodbye to the last of our fellow cancer crew in our terminal cancer gang. Today was his the last day. He died today. He was the last one, save for us.

And for today as my heart aches for their families, I am feeling remorseful to still have my little Jek here, beside me, snuggled together on the bed.

Jekyll and I were a part of a terminal cancer pack who all shared ambiguously fleeting numbered days. Life for all of us centered around Bucket Lists to get to as fast as we could, and a calendar that just had this moment. We were a small group of moms who understood each other because we were all living it together. All suffering silently, hoping today also had a tomorrow and that there was wags, eating, and comfort in them. We could share our fears, our small triumphs, the devastation of bad news when the tests got back. We could confide and congratulate and know we weren't alone in this journey to an end. We swapped stories of the little things, the subtle clues that time was slipping and commiserated on the hopes and plans we couldn't bank on. The inability to plan for long trips, the fear that today isn't guaranteed and tomorrow is more luck than consequence.

Today and yesterday marked the last days for two of our dearest friends beloved companions. Truth is Jekyll never knew them, he was a part of the gang I put us in,, to not feel so alone in a quest that not everyone else understands. Jekyll doesn't need a group to feel as if he belongs, but I do, (did?).

I am so grateful to have this day with my pup. Grateful to have been a part of the path that his fellow cancer friends walked. And most of all I am grateful to have not felt that we walked alone, afraid and quietly worried. For as much as goodbye is blinding in its power to pull your heart away, I have had friends who held my hand, let me sob, and hugged me in the darkest days. I was never alone, even as I too prepare to say goodbye.

Today there is grief in the sadness I know my dear friends are immersed in. Today there is remorse in an ability to have gratitude that I am still here with Jek, and for this moment we are still a part of each others journey, even at the end of others.

More on Jekyll's life, his caner, and his vet moms inability to give up on him, here;

The Turmoil of Contemplating and Deciding How Long To Fight For Your Pets Life.

The Threats To Impending Death and The Vet Moms Promise.

Slowing Down Without Giving Up, Why the last days don't have to last forever.

A Tribute To My Beagle.

This morning.. his happy wiggle to start his good days
My heart goes out to you Sarah and Carol.. Jek and I are with you always.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

The Turmoil Of Contemplating and Deciding How Long To Fight For Your Pets Life

Jekyll has been actively dying for 6 months.  Getting here is like living in a dark tunnel you try to claw to the light from. It is an abyss of emotions that leaves you struggling with minutia details that define your whole day. You live your life in snippets that are defined by day and night and rarely last longer than a 24 hour time frame. You don't make any plans at all,, for the near future. He is dying and I am not going to miss a minute of it,, the living we have left to do that is..

For me it means I have cancelled (or rather, failed to make or dream of) any Summer plans. My scheduled list of Summertime activities which has always included a few days away to Cape May on the Weds through Friday before Memorial Day, my week to the beach for sand between my toes and a long awaited escape book, and my hopes for day trips to my favorite spots, are all laid aside for now. I would happily exchange each 'escape' trip for another day with him.. and so I do. I cancel everything, I make no plans, and remind each invitation that "I cannot commit at this time."

I live in limbo. I fight in moments.

I ask myself over, and over, and over, where my line is? Where is that place that is The End?

The abyss of dying. Of knowing you are there is where I define who I am. The adage about;

We veterinarians rarely get to that Holy Grail place of ... and the "Diagnosis Is". We plod instead in Obscurity and Guessing. These are too often the place of decisions and dire consequences in veterinary medicine. We are presented with a patient and a parent who is describing a set of clinical signs. A series of incongruous clues we try/attempt to string together into a neat series of features to fit a diagnosis and allow us to define a course to cure.

There is a short dire list of diseases you don't escape alive from. Jek picked one of those. One of the diseases that is only met by "I'm sorry," when you reveal it to another veterinarian. It is just a disease with a Hallmark card footnote. Jekyll picked a disease that is always cured by death.

For me the problem, the real life dilemma lies now in knowing where our line is?

I have been grappling with this for a long time. Perhaps made more acutely painful by the not too distant memory of Savannah who fought for a year to not die. That was a year of trying to keep her happy and alive. I vividly remember the exhaustion and uneasy release of the burden that caring for a pet so intensively takes. I remember being so tired after I finally said goodbye that I felt guilty to feel relief from that intensive care she required. I could bury her with the weight of relief that surrendering to a force you cannot defeat brings. Oh, my, God, was I spent. I was so tired I hid for days. Just sleeping and processing what life might look like and feel like without her. I remember waking up the next day feeling as if I was not used to the house so quiet and still. The fretful chaos had departed. I also remember catching myself in panic stricken moments thinking I had forgotten her outside, or hadn't heard her in a little while therefore she must be stuck/distressed/etc. The panic attacks after her passing were after shocks from the daily worrying I had grown so used to. I had to resolve these along with the grief of not knowing what to do with an easier day-to-day life. I also remember looking at the puppies she left behind, Charleston and Jekyll, who had existed around Savannah's needs for a year. I had essentially ignored them and overlooked how good they were. They had been quietly waiting for my time and attention. I remember the guilt of that too.

When you find yourself in a place where questions collect unanswered, and the ability to move in any direction is mired with contemplation so profound you end up paralyzed, you seek advice from mentors, friends, and confidants. That, well, this quest for finding myself an answer, the one single answer I am still trying to find,

"When do I give up on him?"

is not giving me answers I am satisfied with. I have asked so many people. (Heck, I am supposed to be the expert on this..).

I know why I am not able to answer for others, and I cannot come to terms with why I cannot answer for myself.

I am not another person. I am me.. way too over invested. Way too attached, and equipped with lots and lots of options (granted some are borderline crazy-town) to not be forced to give up. A large tool box and options are the curse of having the freedom to impracticality.

As a veterinarian in the trenches everyday I have to give parents terrible news about their pets health and prognosis. I do not ever underestimate the magnitude of this, nor the consequences if I am wrong. I have to be so careful to not over-promise, under-deliver and pass around prognoses based on scant advice. IF, I give a pet a dire prognosis I damned better be better than 100 percent sure of it. Lives are given up on if I hand out a premature, or an inaccurate, death sentence. I am not perfect, and no person knows all. Veterinarians, doctors of all persuasions, need to remember this. Many a person will not be able to afford long term end of life care, many more will simply chose to not strap into this lifeboat to nowhere, and others have lives who cannot weather terminality.

I learned a long time ago to be very careful with my diagnosis of certainty. You never know how people will react and act to impending, pain, suffering, or dying.

As for me, I am trying desperately to look the creeping insidious crusade of death in the eye and stare it down... for as long as it takes.

It is the person I have asked others to consider being. Unafraid of in-eventuality and inevitability.

Life remains, for me, at this singular time, a quest. To see what I am capable of, what life brings for us to enjoy at this once-in-a-lifetime moment, and to stay on the pursuit for another meaningful moment in a fleeting life's journey.

Life or me, and my beloved beagle Jekyll exists in a place where only today matters, tomorrow is a veiled shadow of uncertainty and a line of life meets death that I cannot define.

I do not know where that place is that I give up on him. I know there are a million excuses and reasons I can give to say that it is here and now. But, I made a promise, I hold a commitment and it isn't a clearly narrowly defined moment. It is days, and little suggestive clues, and a compromise that I will find a way to say goodbye while not denying him a chance to find a meaningful moment in the shadows that grow nearer.

I have pushed death much harder than most of my clients do. I do not presume to say I am right about this. That they aren't more forgiving and compassionate than I. I can only live my own life, and beat myself up for my own decisions. I do not know what is best, nor do I know what is concrete and without exception. I accept that Jekyll is leaving me sooner than I want, but I will not let it be without a chance to gain another day, good or bad, hard or easy. My line is not here, and it is not today. My line for his life lies somewhere in managing pain and maintaining functional life dependent necessities.

There is a road of scenarios in front of us. I have shared them with my family, the people who have to share and carry this decision. I have asked the experts who share the burden of navigating his path. We have all decided where we will not go. The outskirts of medical and surgical intervention we will not cross. I may not know where the end is, or what that date, place, or picture will look like, BUT, I do know where the suffering without benefit lies, and where the boy I love so much needs to be loved enough to let go.

For all of you out there who have to decide someday, or who have already had to surrender a pet they love so dearly, I can only remind you that life isn't supposed to be easy, it isn't supposed to be convenient and simple. It is hard, the veracity of that is what makes it meaningful. It is ok to not know, to question every step. But, please remember that the "light you see in their eye" the loss of the being they once were might be a medical need, it might be that it is time to ask for help and not just say goodbye. That maybe there is beauty and deeper understanding of all that life is in the hard days? Maybe you find the answers to the questions that trouble you in just being there? Maybe humanity lies in the edges and the fringes and not in the power to end? I ask myself these questions every single day. And for us, there has been joy and happiness in each as we struggle to see the light that lies ahead.

What have I experienced as a veterinarian? That people love their pets, that they feel pain and suffer when they say goodbye, and that we often think goodbye earlier is kinder than struggling later when there is no hope otherwise.

What I have learned as a mom to my beloved pets is that the most deeply meaningful moments were in the hard days, not the easy ones, and that I can love them even when they are leaving, and that mercy is the lifeblood to salvation and peace.

More  on Jekyll here;

Jekyll Arrives

Jekyll Loses His Tail Mo-Jo. Tail Droop.

The Things Only A Mom Knows. Planning for our pets lives beyond our own.

A Tribute To A Beagle, Jekyll.

Slowing Down Without Giving Up.

If you have a pet story that you would like to share, or an experience with this condition please add it to our Storyline page at

Please also follow me on, our my vet clinic website Jarrettsville Vet, or our Jarrettsville Vet Facebook page. 

I am also on Twitter @FreePetAdvice, and YouTube

Sunday, May 27, 2018

The Agony Of Being A Patient. How the Vet Mom Faces The Reality of Being The Vet Client.

I can hear crying in the back room. I. however, do not recognize it as my own. It is an ominous cry-bark of desperation and pleading.

The tech had to tell me it was my beagle. I have never heard him bark, or sound even remotely, like that. It breaks me. Some deep maternal need to make it ok for him in this foreign place.

He, is my Jekyll, my beloved beagle. He is waking up from his second round of radiation and he is scared. (I think that is the sound in his voice?). He knew something was awry the minute we hit the car this morning without his companion and sidekick Charleston. I never split them up. When I have to they are both cautiously afraid.

After radiation treatment number 5. May 20, 2018
 I carried Jek home from his first radiation treatment last week wobbly, disconnected from his inherent alertness and the ability to walk upright. He didn't know where he was but he did know he had to leave.. quick step.

We drove back home the two (plus) hours home sleeping next to me on the passenger seat. For a few moments he woke up and was thirsty. We took Starbucks drive thru to get coffee and water. I let him drink a little too much too fast. I regretted it as soon as he vomited it all back up seconds later onto the drivers console. (I knew better). Seems the fear was only second to the post op anesthesia and nausea.

The drive home from radiation treatment number 4. May 15, 2018
The visit last week was harrowing. For me, anything new, looming, and foreboding, is often met with self-protective apprehensive fear.  For Jekyll fear is learned. He loves anything new as an open invitation to excitement filled opportunity awaiting. Last week he walked in the radiation oncology door inquisitive and engaging. He boldly introduced himself to every new staff member as the most adorable boy they would be lucky enough to cuddle. This week I had to carry him in the door. He wasn't going to volunteer to be a patient again.

Patience and blind acceptance are not virtues I possess, nor foster a desire to acquire. I am loathe to be waiting and fierce to avoid being blind-sided. Jekyll's disease and this foreign place where I am now called "client" meant I have to try to address both gracefully.

Leaving the oncology office... he's smiling and happy. We both are.
Being a patient, the person on the seat at the end of the leash fated to another practitioners skills and expertise, is a tough spot to be in. I am far more content at the conn, fingers gripped on the ships wheel, clenched hands determined to plot the course through the storms fury. This place, in command, is where I want to meet my maker should the fate not bend to my will. I am terribly inept at the passenger side of life. I am an unskilled, unconditioned veterinary client. but, this day, with Jek I have to be.

Maybe it centers around blame? Where will I place it after the shit has passed the fan, and the death has won his match? Maybe I need that part to be mine, fully, as I deal with my grief process.

Maybe it is the deep centered knowledge that Jek isn't just a patient? The gravity of his stature and place in my life? Maybe only I know this and therefore decisions for options hold a more perilous cost than the distance of medicines calculated indifference can measure.

Maybe it is finding a way to buy time to help me swallow the terribleness of this disease?

Maybe it is a little bit of me feeling like I would be a total hypocrite if I recommend to others what I am not prepared to do myself? How many other vets, clients, loving pet parents, would accept this as a death sentence and let death come at its own pace? There is a side of me that feels compelled to be more pragmatic and erudite. Accept life ends in death. Enjoy said life for as long as you can and move on. Graciously... I am not this person. (Maybe I will grow into her? But, secretly I hope not).

It is humbling and subjugating. For Jekyll it is torture meets deference. His beagle bashfullness overtakes his charm and he cowers knowing he is powerless to protest. I hate this for both of us.

The client and the patient wait for the vet.

The words I hear countless times each day echo in my thoughts, "I don't want to put him through that,, or, anything invasive,, or exhaustive." I never know if this excuse is for financial reasons, emotional submission, or lack of vision in what lies ahead when you willingly surrender?

I am not one of these parents. Turns out I am those parents who relegates her pets to 'kids". The castigation of my non-veterinary unlike minded friends often leaves me seething venomous words as weapons to their cold-matter-of-fact animal perception of what exactly a "pets place" is, or should be. I have spent two decades weeding out those who don't see the magnitude of the importance of my pets as "my family." You can judge me many ways but criticize my dedication to my kids and the ties are severed indefinitely. No apologies. Unconditional love wins every time, never mind my personal obligation to protect and serve my family as the concept I choose to define it.

And still,, I sit as patiently as my psyche will permit me,, and I wait,, for the cry-baying to cease. My inclination is pulling me, hard. I want to run to him. Pull rank. Use my professional status to intervene and comfort him. My pup crying behind a wall audible and unrecognizable. Wondering,,,, Did I make the right decision? Is this all for nothing except expense to allow me to not feel like I gave up on him? Will his last days be filled with stressful fear of pokes and prods and nausea induced anesthesia?

Medicine is always a pendulum living on a scale. Risk vs. Reward. Advantages vs. Disadvantages. Cost vs. Consequence. And guesses. We veterinarians, the supposed "experts" in this field, we, well, we guess a lot. Our emotional and experiential tally serve us to help guide others in similar situations. I have so few case examples to guide me on this path with Jekyll. Cases of young pups with metastatic prostate cancer who have been down this path before us. BUT, I knew he would die the beautifully young vibrant boy he is months ago IF I didn't intervene hard and fast. I had to be the client with the dying patient and forge my own path, after all, the reward, disadvantage and cost of not doing everything to save him, but him time, was more than I could take last Christmas. I just wasn't prepared to say goodbye, yet.

And, so, here we are, me and Jek. The client and the patient. Scared and confused. Strapped in, climbing the track clickety-clack track up the roller coaster, in the little car alone, about to face the crest, about to be pounded by the ocean of forceful intentions to remind us who we chose to be in life. There is no other way to describe this journey right here, right now. We bought the ticket. We chose to ride. We had no other options IF we wanted to try. Free fall or Divine Intervention awaits us...

The victim who gives up, for all the reasons we think are compassionate, kind, and unavoidable anyway.
The fighting, hoping, determined to give it everything modern medicine can offer kidnapped-captive who refuses to go willingly into the night.

It is agony whichever you chose. I have lived this life long enough to know that I don't give up. I don't get to take the money with me, and I know where my responsibilities lie. I chose to be this. I hope it is what is best? What I won't regret fitfully later?

Jekyll is here. Still here. Happy, slowing down ever so slightly, and alive thanks to me overcoming the voices, the fear and the excusable excuses to hide away and wait.

No matter, I will always struggle with the vulnerability and fear of being the client with the patient in the waiting room,, even though I am grateful for the options and resources this life has afforded us.

Post Script; Jekyll has metastatic carcinoma of the prostate. It is one of the worst diseases and prognoses one can get. It is always terminal. Always is a tough statistic to beat. He has been given a reprieve from this because of the amazing care of his oncology crew. Nine rounds of chemotherapy. One a week. Then weekly doses of radiation. Five in total. It is not the course of care the majority of my clients elect. It has placed me on the receiving end. The client end. I am grateful to have the experts surrounding me that I do. Honest, dogged, and optimistic. Jekyll is here because they are on his side. He is also happy. Functional and happy. So for all of you who think that chemo and radiation takes away, I will remind you that he is not a human. We aren't pushing him to the edge of death to win back his life. He isn't bald, he isn't depressed, he isn't hospitalized. He is home, on his bed alive.

My advice to all of you dealing with terminal illness, impending loss of life defining functional needs is to try not to let the fear guide you. Utilize the tools that are available, and give yourself and your pet the benefit of medicine and its magical powers. Oh, and say thanks to everyone who offers support and guidance along the way. Here is how Jekyll and I face our fears. FOOD! We bring snacks, lunch, donuts, something at every visit. It helps break barriers and it is a welcomed gift to give as much as it is to be received. EXCURSIONS! We get outside and we breathe, sniff, and investigate the life around us. EXERCISE! Move. Keeping the athletic body of the beagle alive keeps him more comfortable and keeps his precious gi and urinary tract healthy. Prostate strangles the body like a Boa constrictor on the colon and bladder. Jek will die because he can no longer urinate or defecate.

For more on us, our journey, and this life we lead please follow us here;
Jarrettsville Veterinary Center (did you know that we post our prices?)
Jarrettsville Vet Facebook page, the most amazing, fact-filled, pet driven place on the planet. Meet our clients, patients, staff and learn about what we do and who we are. (Mostly we share adorable pet photos and pet related current events). We are passionate pet people!
Follow my blog by selecting the "follow" key above. is the place I built to provide personalized answers to pet questions and the sharing of information to educate, inform and enrich pet peoples lives. You can find me there, and its FREE!
YouTube channel videos offer case based stories and always include tips, tricks, and expected costs of care.

Friday, May 18, 2018

the Little Things

There are too many "little things" that Jekyll does that have me reeling. How can I go on without them? Never seeing them again? I cannot imagine not having them in my life every single day. He is going to not be here one day, soon, and with each passing day I wonder, "Is this the last time he....?" 

The "little things," his little personal idiosyncrasies, those special things he does, only he does, are the spirit of his independent originality. They are what makes him who he is,, so irreplaceable and magical. They are the pieces of his life that made me stop and take pause and leave me now feeling as if there will never be another perfect moment captured just like this. These are the things that largely no one else knows. They are what make us.

His life is the series of "little things" I don't want to imagine living without and never seeing again. 

Here's to you my Jekyll-pup.. all your guts, glamour, and gluttony. I'm grateful for every second we had, until the very last of each of them.

Here's to all of your "little things" ....

The cowardly curiosity of the walnut in the pond. This boy loves the abundant life of the farm. He loves the pond and stream obsessively. There is so much hidden moving living mystery that lurks beneath. But the uncovering of those mysteries is often too intimidating for his cowardly curiosity. For instance, he will focus on a bobbing being for an hour. Too perplexed to look away, and too frozen in fear to challenge it. Almost always it turns out to be a walnut, a leaf, some odd shaped stick. He will jump backward 10 feet if it haphazardly approaches him too close. Until eventually, inevitably it is revealed as it is, dead, lifeless, and harmless.  To which he will paw at it, remind it he is master of this (and every other domain) and move on to thwart the next wayward detritus.

At the base of the heart of every beagle resides two things; firm, steadfast, and consistent through the ages; love for all, and dedication to food.

The explosion of joy that was running for breakfast to be made. The running full tilt to the kitchen for breakfast. Getting up in the morning is the most wonderful moment of the day because FOOOOD!! comes after.  The running of the bulls has nothing on the bellowing, bucking, bouncing race of the beagle to the kitchen.

The way he will greet anyone and everyone with the same gentle charming curiosity..

The howling for attention when Charlie was stealing the show. For the small number of times that Charleston (his older, quieter, less assuming pitbull mixed brother) had one second of attention Jekyll would howl to remind you that he was still here."

The digging for grubs. This pup of mine was gifted with a nose more acutely intelligent than any morsel of carbon (past-present-or-future), kernel, or remnant could elude. I tell people that "in the event of a Zombie apocalypse you need only grab Jek. He can find food in the desert." (Although convincing him to share it is another thing). He used to wait at my feet for the morning kibble to clink to home to his bowl. If I dropped a kibble he was on it faster than you could bend or grab. He has stopped doing this.. I miss his obsessive food frenzy. (I now beg and bargain to get food in his gullet).

The afternoons with the sunshine on his face the the nose on full alert. He was a proud unsurpassed valiant sentinel. He loved everyone  he ever met, but you better have been invited to his house first.

The way he never misses a nap with his brother... Who always loved him more than he probably deserved. (Jek usually got his big brother into terrible situations and then abandoned him to catch the blame solo).

The racing through the fields, nose locked on the whisps of a scent left behind by a fellow fawn colored furry fieldfellow. He can track a molecule of aura like a gifted psychic. He is called. He cannot be dissuaded. And you cannot escape the millennia of hound genetics that built him.

The way he always understood, and hated, being the prodigy of a veterinarian. No other pup ever had to endure more intensive veterinary training, practicing, and care. The plight of a beagle is their compliance and docile demeanor. It is why beagles are the chosen breed for all of the testing and teaching done on dogs. I'm sorry Jek... I'll call it devoted care, you can call it biased training.

The fact that he will ALWAYS sneak on the couch when you are not looking.

The glass was always half full. We should all be so lucky to see the world through Beagle glasses. The world is his oyster, his grub-hub, his cornucopia of delectable delights.

The way you can take him anywhere,,,  and he makes himself at home.

Independent Brewery loves dogs! We love them too!

The way he worships and eeks affection from everyone. (That face is irresistible!)

The way I worship him.. (even though he probably doesn't love me as much as I love him too).

The wiggle dances on the bed. Nothing signifies true raw joy to be alive than his wiggle dance. Belly up, snorting face sniffs of exuberant glee, and an itch he cannot reach but doesn't give up on.

The utter deference to the cat who claimed him. He cannot walk. He cannot be. He is Jitterbugs bequeathed. I don't know why he never challenged that cat? But he never did. He never has. And there are days that I know he feels bad...really sick and painful bad... and still Jitterbug reminds him he has a cat to coddle.

The boy and the cat who claimed him.

All of those crazy ways he chooses to get himself comfortable.  He is usually side split sway footed. He is a goof and it is endearing.

The front seat of the pick up truck. He has this crazy way of sitting  half on your shoulder (if you are driving) and half on the seat. That way he can maintain balance and keep an eye on the road. He feels like a parrot on your shoulder and he is incorrigible.

The joy in how much he loves going for rides..

The shot gun of the Gator. It took a while to get him to ride in the Gator with us. Once he realized that the "Land of Abundant Opportunity" That Gator was his ride to the ends of the earth, the walls of his domain and the ticket to ride without having to over exert yourself. (He is a smart cunning cookie).

The perching the one leg and half butt cheek on your shoulder for stability and viewpoint, and how incredibly difficult it is to drive with a beagle perched on your shoulder and leaning on your head...

The low wag throwing himself at anyone else.

He has this way of greeting  his old friends. He lowers his ears, he drops his back and bends at the knee. It is a curtsy as much as it is an invitation to be reminded how wonderful he thinks you are. That face. This one act of true loving affection is the one single thing that reminds me how precious he is. How lucky we all are to know him. He is love and gratitude and he dishes it out to those he truly loves.

When he loves you he tells you...
The elephant memory of a snack he scored from years past.

The pawing for attention if he could get himself into the passenger seat. If he ever has to share a car seat he will remind you to use your time and proximity wisely. He will paw at your arm until you surrender the affection and land himself a belly rub, ear tickle, or soft pat of reassurance that he is still the center of the universe.

The snorting happiness,,, his way of expressing his own joy to no one but himself.
the sharp bark of alarm. He stands watch in repose. But, he is always on the job,,, even if it only looks like he is sleeping on his front porch couch.

We call it "the perch."
It is where he does his best work and works through all of the problems of the world.

The magnitude of his presence... maybe I am the only one who can feel it?.. but I know where he is even if I cannot see him or touch him.. I know if he is near, and I know if he isn't feeling well,,, lately, it feels as if it has been too much of the later.

The fishing anticipation. To everyone else who tried to go fishing at our pond I know he drove them nuts. The anticipation of a wiggly-jiggly-floppy fishy pops from the waters and slithers its way onto the bank. It is like Christmas! How else do you get delivery in the boonies?

All of these "little things" remind me how long our journey has been, how much we shared, how hard living with an obsessively independent, adventure driven boy intent on keeping the woods free of bunnies, deer and any other self indulgent bold soul is, and has been, and how much it will all be missed.

He is a companion to cuddle with as much as he is a force of nature to reckon with. He is, like all dogs we share our most quiet times, or most painful moments, and the tiny insignificant life defining moments that shape our concept of what our life means.

Walking out  of his fourth radiation treatment, smiling..

Every life is a collage of pieces and moments to remind us how lucky we all are to have our pets to share it with. Jekyll has been one of those lives I am beyond grateful to have known and loved. I will miss him when he isn't with us any longer to share his little things with. But, as with every part of this life I will get another beagle, invest my whole heart and soul into them, build a new set of memories and I'm sure see little pieces and flashbacks to this boy, his immense presence, and his utterly undeniable magic.

Until then, my friend, I am here for you until the end,,grubs, rubs, and all our "little things",,

More  on Jekyll here;

Jekyll Arrives

Jekyll Loses His Tail Mo-Jo. Tail Droop.

The Things Only A Mom Knows. Planning for our pets lives beyond our own.

A Tribute To A Beagle, Jekyll.

Slowing Down Without Giving Up.

Threats to Impending Death, and a Vet Moms Promise

To all of you who have a pet that you adore, or have lost a pet and left you feeling lonely, I empathize. It is impossible to say goodbye. Know that the day is coming when they won't be here. I want to say it's ok to grieve. To mourn, to not know where to go, or what to do. I feel it too.

Be who you are. The most precious and beautiful parts of everything are fleeting. Savor and celebrate them even if they hurt later. The hurt will fade and the joyful memories live forever. Protect your compassion with everything that you are for it is your most valuable asset. And, lastly, go love again. There is another soul out there who will love you back and help you go on...

If you have a pet story that you would like to share, or an experience with this condition please add it to our Storyline page at

Please also follow me on, our my vet clinic website Jarrettsville Vet, or our Jarrettsville Vet Facebook page. 

I am also on Twitter @FreePetAdvice, and YouTube