a99kitten's Musings

I blog about a WHOLE LOT of stuff :)

Indy has been a wonderful, happy addition to my life. For sure. He’s such a lovable goof. And he makes me smile every day. Also.. makes me extremely tired. lol

But I still think of Smokey every day. I still get sad every day. I try not to. But I do. Sometimes just a little sad. Other days, a lot.

I feel like when I am happy and having fun with Indy, I am being…I don’t know the right word…disrespectful?

I also know that is silly. Smokey had a long, happy life. But the loss was great.

I miss that smile. That low ah-roo. That calm, constant presence in my life. Indy is a spaz. As he is supposed to be at 2 years old. But here he is sleeping, after a fun day, and I watch him smile in his sleep. Just like I did with Smokey. And Angelus. And Stormy. And even Shadow. And it makes me smile.

They are all always in my heart. But Smokey is still very much fresh in my memory banks. And I still find myself calling Indy Smokey.

It’s very hard. But we are working it out.

But I miss my guy.

Today is 1 week since I adopted Indy. He seems very happy, and getting used to life here. He loves to rest on the sofa, sleep on the bed, go for walks, play with his friend, chew up toys and enjoying the few treats I am giving him right now.

He is having yucky tummy for the past 2 days. I assume it is an entire life change plus transitioning his diet. So for now – turkey and rice. So that means no happy anniversary special treat today. I bought him a kong for peanut butter and fresh bones. But that will all wait.

But even though he has some diarrhea, his mood is perfectly happy and fun. We are still trying to figure out our communication. Because of the tummy issues, I assume every whine, or stare means “I need to go out.” So waking up and going out at 3am is a thing. And we go out for short walks throughout the day plus 2 in the evening as well as our big AM walk and an afternoon lake or river walk. Not sure I can keep this up lol. Hopefully we figure this out over the next few weeks.

He is a happy, fun loving guy who I think will love his life once routine settles in. This makes me happy.

It’s also the 7 month mark on losing Smokey. Who I still miss tremendously every day. It still hurts. And I’m still sad. Smokey and I were family. Indy and I will get there. But it’s still hard.

Today week is the 10th “anniversary” of when Angelus died. A decade. It’s really hard to believe. And since my dream the other night, it truly feels like I just saw him. That dream is still full color in my head.

What’s even crazier is that it means it was 22 years ago that we first met. What the f? How is that possible? We picked you up and drove you home on 12.31.00. You were not pleased – understandable since we basically kidnapped you from your mom and pack (in your mind anyway.) I slept with you on the kitchen floor on your first night – you slept half way in/out of your crate while I watched you (and made sure you didn’t have any accidents!

And then you became my best friend. It was that quick. I carried you down to our bedroom to go sleepytime every night after that until I could no longer physically do it and then I’d just say “sleepytime” and you’d follow me. I skooshed you good night every night – and you learned to tolerate it (ish). You went everywhere with me. You taught people who didn’t even know they liked dogs to not only love them, but to buy treats and give them to you on your schedule in your role as Chief Morale Officer.

Angelus was truly the greatest dog. The bestest friend. His personality was incredible. And I loved him.

I can look at his pictures now and not cry. I smile and remember our adventures. And his smile and smiling eyes. I think it took me over a year though. I hope I get there with Smokey. I still cry (sob) at his pictures. He was fixed my heart after Angelus and Storm.

And I miss him. I miss them both. I still have a broken heart.

(and yes of course Stormy too..)

“It has been said, ‘time heals all wounds.’ I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.” ~Rose Kennedy

It’s snowing today. First time since the first week of January. First time since Smokey left.

We would have been up and out early to get the fresh snow up on the ridge. He would have been smiling. Making sure to rub on all of the bushes with fresh snow as he got it all over him. He loved to do that SO much. He smiled every time.

So yeah…not a good morning for me so far.

Superbowl Sunday and I have zero plans. Did not plan a party obviously. And no one that I know locally seems to be doing anything either. Quite honestly not even sure I will watch it. Having a shit load of feelings today.

Finally decided to gift away Smokey’s leftover prescription food. The local shelter could not take it and suggested seeing if someone locally needed it since it’s so expensive.

I’ve had it in the garage but every time I thought about listing it, I just left the garage. Finally decided to list it on Nextdoor last night and got a response fairly quickly. Guy was supposed to come this AM but then I had second thoughts. I looked at his profile and it seems he lost a dog (and never seems to have found) last year. That made me feel yucky. Messaged him this morning and asked him if his dog had liver or kidney issues or was on a prescription diet and he responded no – that he thought it was just regular food (so I guess not even reading the words in my post or looking at the pictures – just saw the word FREE.) So I said never mind.

Then within a few minutes another person sent a message saying they had older dogs who were just put on the liver and kidney diets. I checked out their profile and they seemed to be active locals. I moved the food into my entry way and immediately started sobbing.

Smokey was such a picky eater. Always was. Although got even more so as he got older. When his kidney values came back higher a couple of years ago, the vet said to lower his pure protein intake but no reason to put him on the prescription diet yet as they were just on the high side of normal. So I made him his food usually and gave him low protein kibble with it. Which he seemed to enjoy. Usually.

But then this past October, he got very sick, seemingly overnight but that can’t be factual. His kidney values were about the same but his liver values were so high they thought he would go into liver failure.

After a week of daily fluids at the vet and 2 rounds of antibiotics, I switched him to the prescription diet – switching between kidney and liver. Turns out – he really liked both flavors. And gobbled up his food. I wonder if he felt sick over the past couple of years and just never showed it? I just don’t know. And I know it does not do me any good to second guess everything but I can’t help it. That’s fun.

The couple just came to pick up the food and were so grateful. They talked about their dogs – 1 with kidney issues and 1 with liver issues – and offered their condolences. I’m happy someone can use it for their buddies.

But heartbroken that I no longer need it.

It’s been 1 month since I lost Smokey. Was 4 weeks this past Sunday but today is the “1 month”. I didn’t even realize it was the 9th until mid morning.

It’s hard to believe it has already been so long. I’ve tried to keep myself extra busy today to not focus on it. Pretty impossible since every single thing in this house, in this neighborhood, everywhere, reminds me of our daily routine and life. And how different it all is now.

On one of today’s afternoon walks with my neighbor and her dogs (I did 2 today with 2 different neighbors to stay outside and busy), I saw 2 different people who would always smile and wave (and stop to say hi if they were out walking and not just driving by) every time they saw us. One lady always stopped to chit chat and let her dog say hi to Smokey. Neither did that today because I am sure they did not recognize me. I did not have Smokey. Everyone knew Smokey – even if they did not know me as anything but Smokey’s mom.

Still cry every day. Still light a candle every evening. I still say goodnight to him and tell him I love him every night. I know I will someday not do this – at least the crying part – but I don’t know when.

This time 8 years ago, I was driving around the Sacramento Valley area meeting huskies/mals to consider adopting. My first visit was with a “husky-mix” named Smokey. He was at a foster home in Woodland with several other dogs. We walked in and sat on the sofa with the foster mom and he immediately jumped up on the sofa to sit down too – to be part of the conversation. He was super sweet and while the other dogs were running around and going in and out completely ignoring us – he stayed there calmly with us.

Honestly, I wanted to adopt him right there but told myself go and meet the others who were set up to meet me today. Don’t just jump on the first adoption because he is sweet – they will likely all be sweet and this is an important decision. Went and met 3 other dogs – all super cute and in need of adoption. But I kept thinking about Smokey. We had not eaten all day so decided to grab some food around 5pm. Rodrigo asked me – would I be sad going home without Smokey or without a dog? I said Smokey – without even thinking twice. That was it. Called the head of the rescue org who organized all these meets and told her. We went back to Smokey’s foster home and adopted him. I never, ever doubted it. And smiled every day since then.

Plenty of people have called and left me messages, sent me texts, sent me DMs via all my various social media asking what happened, how was I doing, etc. I have answered very few. But to respond to everyone at once best I can – Smokey was doing great. He got past his liver scare in October, was back to his normal self. His blood work was perfect – the vet was actually shocked how well he was doing at his age (he was a big dog turning 14 or 15 this spring) after such a scare. She called him a super hero and said she tells everyone about him.

We went for a walk just like normal on Saturday AM. He asked for his walk treats just like normal. Was hanging out post-walk just like normal. And then he had a seizure type event. He could not stand, he could not get up. We spent the day at the vet testing and discussing all possibilities and options. Brought him home Saturday evening thinking he’d be more comfortable. And I hoped to see some form of him wanting to get up, go outside onto his deck even to just sit in the snow which he loved more than anything. I stayed up all night watching him and hoping. But he did not. He did not want water, food or his favorite treats. Or to move at all. The vet came over on Sunday afternoon and Smokey left us, while he was in my lap/arms and I told him stories of all the fun he led us on. How many coyotes and bears he scared away from his momma. The snow hikes and adventures he led us on. All the fun we had.

2.5 weeks later and I’m obviously still broken-hearted. Still sad every day. It will take a while because every day for the past 8 years has been Smokey filled. And now it’s not.

I told him every night as I skooshed good night that I loved him, that he was my best friend and that tomorrow we will have more fun. And every day we had more fun.

A lot of people have told me how they looked forward to his pictures every day because he made them smile. While I am very sad, it makes me happy that Smokey was able to bring smiles to people that we know both in real life and through social media. And while I did not want to write anything, or even get on social, he deserved his “birthday” adoption day post.

He was the best.

It’s now been over a week. Like that’s some great amount of time.

Still just as sad. Still cry. Got a few chores done today. One of them was not getting out of my pajamas.

Hot tub service guy came today and asked where Smokey was. Great. I love starting to cry in front of people who not my close friends.

Still living in a fog really. This loss was the loss of a presence that was in my life all day, every day for almost 8 years. Every single waking moment reminds me that presence is gone.

Last Saturday at this time, my life changed for the worse. Smokey had his seizure. On 1 hand, I cannot even believe it’s already been a week. But then on the other, it feels like so long since I’ve seen him.

Weekends will suck for awhile – I don’t have the stock market to focus on. And doing anything else will remind me that Smokey is not here.

Yesterday I picked him up from the vet. Tried to keep it together but I did not. Got McDonald’s, watched some Big Bang Theory and then The Eternals. Tried to keep my brain on other things because I knew if I thought about the box I brought home, I would lose it again. And I did – right before going to bed.

Going to bed is hard – I always skooshed him goodnight as he sighed like “again mom?” Asked him if he needed peepee before sleepies. Skooshed him again. Then he always got up and checked to see if I was in bed. Then he’d go back to sleep.

But waking up is just as hard because he came in and woke me up every morning. And I skooshed him then. And asked him what walk he wanted to do and we got up, got ready and were out of the house. Now I just wake up. I’ve changed out of my pajamas 2x this week.

Helen goes home tomorrow and then I will truly be alone in the house. I am not looking forward to that.

Spent yesterday afternoon cleaning up – put Christmas tree away in garage, re-orged some holiday bins, got distracted by beanie babies, and moved the dog beds from living room to garage which is what I needed distraction from.

I have wanted to throw away the 2 old beds (they were the buds’ so more than a decade old) but every new bed I bought for Smokey, he preferred the old ones. So – they stayed. I took the smaller one apart to throw away first. Then in the middle of the night I wondered if I should do that. It made me sad. It’s where he did most of his sleeping and I miss seeing it, seeing him on it. Need to think on it.

The vet called as well. Said Smokey made his way back to them and was ready for pick up. I do not want to do this. But I know I have to. And I want him home. Even though I know it’s not “him”, it still is. He should be home. Helen is here till Sunday so I should go do this while she is here so that I do not wallow in my sadness right after which I would do if I picked him up alone.

I still have Smokey’s bed in my bedroom. He did like that bed too. I need to move it (it is huge) but I do not think I can do that yet. Don’t really have any place to store it anyway.

And then my neighbor texted me to let me know that the Chewy order that I called and cancelled a few days ago was delivered after all – great. And instead of bringing it to my front door or porch, Fed-Ex left it at the top of our easement in the snow. He offered to bring it down but then never did or respond so at around 11pm I walked up there to grab it. Mostly so the bears were not tempted by the many bags of treats that were inside. So now that’s in my entryway. Cool.

My living room is so bare without the 2 giant dog beds in it. It basically makes me sad every time I look at it. That’s fun. But then looking outside at the snow makes me sad too. And still feel semi-nauseous pretty much all of the time. Need to stay distracted with projects, chit-chatting with H, crypto (stocks suck hard right now) and bingeing crap on TV. Because when left with quiet time, it’s just too much sad.