Friday, September 14, 2018

ROBBLOG #738- Rough

So, how am I doing?

I am hanging in there.
So's the Mister.
It's been a rough week as the previous two blogs suggest.

Still thinking that it is so surreal that my Cousin Judy is not on this earthly plane anymore. Every now and then I think- I must call Judy.
My head spins and reality sets in.

The next minute I look at our Missy's empty basket, a toy, her leash or her sweater and the tears flow.
Is it getting better?
In small bits.

Neighbours and friends have been great. E-mails, cards, flowers, words of wisdom.
We've had company over the past week and that has both helped and hindered.
It helped Tom and I by taking our minds off our troubles. It also delayed our mourning somewhat as well as Missy's passing.
Life goes on.
A corny line at best...but it does and will for us. I think- once we have Missy's ashes back, we'll feel a little better.
I think...

My Cousin's Celebration of Live is in November and you know what? I may not go.
I am still working through that. For one thing, it's along way to go to be sad for a couple of hours. For another, I'm just not ready to head back to Orillia. It's taken me months to get over leaving "old home" and I don't want to start all over again.
Maybe you can understand that.
Maybe not.
Doesn't matter. It's my decision.
Life is falling into place here on our Island and for now I want to hold that steady as we head forward into the future.

You know how things seem to happen in three's?
My Sister had to go into hospital a few days ago. A major operation.
More worry and concern but she came through and I have had a chance to talk with her back in "old home".
She sounds good.
She sounds relieved.
I hope her future is bright and health problems vanish.

Enough now.

So what is ahead for me on this Island?
Autumn weather- of sorts. The Island Autumn (IA) is not like a Central Ontario Autumn. (COA)
The leaf colour here in an IA goes from green to brownish red or yellow. Mostly from lack of water.
We had a bit more rain this past week than is usual for September- which last year was hot and dry. Most of October was the same. This cooling trend is hanging about for another week.
Cripes, there was snow on the Coquahalla and in northern mainland areas- even good old Canmore, Alberta. Remember- "I'm Mike...from Canmore."

The nights are not crisp here as back in a COA and we probably won't feel that crispness until December when the temps dip down to the lower single digits overnight.

Oh...The Holidays are coming!!
There is no doubting that.
Walmart has Hallowe'en, Harvest/Thanksgiving and Christmas décor all piled on shelves in the seasonal department. Shop for three holidays all in one easy spot! What's so bad about that?
I haven't heard them play a Christmas Carol yet- Walmart is slipping...

I must confess, I am looking for a pre-lit, LED Christmas Tree. Back in Ontario, I had two pencil trees that fit- one on each side of our Parlour Fireplace. When all the boxes from our move were emptied, I found that I was missing one tree.
I have no idea where.
Maybe it was sold in an Orillia garage sale by mistake.
Maybe the movers shifted it to another home along the way.
The trees have matching décor, so I have decided to buy one larger tree and throw all the gold balls and ornaments on it, rather than try to match the remaining pencil tree with a new one.

You see, these are the type of earth-shattering problems I have to deal with now that I am retired and living the Island Life!
It's rough sometimes.
No, I mean it.
Why, just the other day I looked at a half dozen cinnamon-raisin bagels at the 49th Parallel Grocery Store.
They were priced at $5.19!
I just want to buy some bagels not the company! I left them on the grocery shelf to hopefully pass their best before date. That'll teach that grocery store to try to sell a Senior over-priced bagels.

Other than that the days go by one after another just like they always have only faster these days it seems.

Gee, I better put a tin foil turkey pan on my shopping list in case they all sell out over the next couple of weeks. I mean Thanksgiving is three weeks Monday.

See what I mean?

Sunday, September 9, 2018

ROBBLOG #737- Our Little Missy Has Passed

Just this side of the great whatever is a place called the Rainbow Bridge.

A place of peace and serenity where our beloved pets go to wait for us to pass. Then, we cross the Rainbow Bridge together, into the next plane of existence. It sounds so beautiful.

In my last blog, I told you my Cousin Jude died Friday.
Now, today, Sunday September 9th 2018, our wonderful little mini-schnauzer Missy has crossed the Rainbow Bridge.
We are so, so sad.

She would have been 14 years old this November.

She hadn't be well this past week. In December, we were told she has a slow growing cancer plus her liver levels were high.

A couple of months ago, the Vet told us she is in stage three Kidney Disease.
Tom and I figured we'd have just a couple of months with her. We've been down that road before with another Schnauzer. Even in December we felt she would leave us by Christmas. Dr. Sara called her a Miracle Puppy and that's why we tried a couple of meds to try to get her back on track over the past week. We knew they might not work- which they didn't.

We took Missy to a vet in Nanaimo- since our vet is closed Sunday. No vet- that I could find, is open in the Cowichan Valley on Sunday. The only choice is to drive to Victoria or Nanaimo. Now, that really ticks me off. With all the Vets here certainly one could provide an emergency service- but no.

So, we were shuffled via an answering service to an Emergency Vet Hospital in Nanaimo. I looked at the website- what there was of one, reading a few comments. Some were good but some were very bad. I don't always believe what people write online but because the website was supposed to be new and yet still unfinished, I didn't get a good vibe. I did a Google search myself and found the VCA Island Animal Hospital. Open till 5pm Sunday. On their website there were descriptions of what they do and photos of the vets. I liked what I read.

I called and a lovely young lady by the name of Tiffany, answered.
She was kind and patient with me. She answered my questions. She said she took all her pets to the clinic even before she worked there.
"The vets are all very nice"- she said.
I sobbed a bit.
She was supportive and told me to take my time.
She slotted us in for 230pm.
It was noonish when I called.

Tom and I had spent most of the morning with Missy wondering when we should make the decision.
Should we wait until Monday morning and see our vet clinic here in Duncan?
Problem was, our Vet wasn't full time there and she wasn't in again until Tuesday.
We had already booked a Tuesday appointment a week ago.
We had been trying to wait until then trying to  encourage Missy to eat and drink.
She did her best.
We did our best.
We knew it wasn't working.
Then, she was having trouble standing yesterday afternoon.
I remember our yellow lab Kiki having a massive stroke the day she passed and this was similar but all on Missy's left side. It wasn't nice and Missy was plainly confused as to what was happening to her little Schnauzer body.

Our Darling Missy. Forever in Our Hearts.
As I said, it was just about noon, when we decided that Missy couldn't wait any longer to cross the Rainbow Bridge. That's when I called the Animal Hospital.

Dr. Jamie was wonderful. She stroked Missy and I could see she was upset as well. She took Missy away from us for a few minutes to insert a tube in Missy's right leg into which she'd dispense the drug dose when Tom and I were ready. When she came back into the room, she said what we had heard many, many times over the years- "She's such a good girl and a sweetheart."
We know.
We had Missy wrapped up in her beige blanket. Jamie passed her to me. Tom was holding Koko. We whispered our goodbyes into those floppy little ears. Koko sniffed her nose and leg where the tube had been inserted.

We nodded to Dr. Jamie and she inserted the needle into the stent and the pale greenish-blue liquid poured into Missy's vein.

It was quick.
It always is...
Jamie removed the stethoscope from around her neck.
She listened intently to Missy's heart.
Then... she softly spoke to us- "She's gone..."

More tears. Puppy kisses and goodbyes. All three humans and Koko formed a circle. We hugged each other and stroked Missy's head and chest. I passed her to Tom's waiting arms.
Her head flopped onto his chest.
Believe me, this is the worst part of sending a family member on their way.
When the head "flops" to the side you understand that all life has left.

We kissed and hugged her a bit more and softly pulled the hair on her legs.
I looked into her puppy eyes.
The light was gone.
It always is....

We hoped that Missy was already with Kiki.
I hoped that Cousin Judy was there to catch her as she fell through to the next plane of existence just this side of the Rainbow Bridge.

It is just not possible to believe that she is gone. That she is all alone. She is so small. So loving, she had to be met by someone- Human or Canine, on the other side. It doesn't matter.

We have sent so many on their way: Samantha, Max, Lucky, Luma, Samantha 2 (Our first Schnauzer), Kiki and now Missy. We can't forget our Doyle who disappeared a year ago. We may never know his fate but he is loved and will never be forgotten.

It will be a quiet few days around Palm Villa here on our Island.

Like all our four-legged family members who have passed over the Rainbow Bridge,
we will miss our Missy forever.

"Your Dads will see you soon- Whiskers Miss Samantha Rose..."

Saturday, September 8, 2018

ROBBLOG #736- A Ford Falconer Forever

Another Chin-Wag with the Big Fellow Upstairs

Me: One ringy-dingy. Two ringy-dingy's…

Himself: Hello Rob, been waiting for your call. Had Gladys clear my schedule for the next hour.

Me: Oh. Gee how did you...Oh right. You're omnipresent...Gladys?

Himself: You're finally getting that- eh Rob? And Gladys is my right hand, omnipresent Angel.

Me: Well, that clears that up, I guess. So, God. Mr. Big Stuff, how are you doing it's been a  while.

Himself: More to the are you?

Me: Me?

Himself: Yes. I know you are going through a bunch of turmoil in that earthly plane and all.

Me: They call that life down here. Yes, our Puppy Missy is ill. Not much time left for her but we are hoping.

Himself: Hope is good. It's all you have to cling to sometimes. Some life on earth, eh? So, listen sorry about your Cousin Judy. She was quite the gal indeed.

Me: You know, I mean knew Judy?

Himself: Of course Rob. Like I say, I'm...

Me: Omipresent?

Himself: No, I was going to say "in the know". Anyway your cousin arrived over on this side Friday morning at 1020 local time. Now, let's see, that was oh seven twenty your Island time.

Me: Yes. Correct.

Himself: So how are YOU doing? Judy's just fine over here. She being looked after.

Me: Oh. That is good. You know God, I think part of the mourning here on earth when a special person passes is the not knowing. Wondering if they're alone. Been taken care of.

Himself: The concern and question of the centuries. What happens after the "earthly plane".

Me: Well, we do wonder...

Himself: Look and this burns my holy arse but if those "Godly" folks on earth would just take some time and listen to their hearts and minds, they'd have figured it out by now.

Me: Figured out?

Himself: Life and stuff my son. It's not such difficult knowledge to swallow.

Me: Maybe not from your perspective but some people here need to be told how to get through and deal with life and having a "superior" figure like yourself to look up to helps- I suppose.

Himself: Now Rob, you don't really believe that do you? I know you don't.

Me: No. I do not.

Himself: Fair enough. I don't exist to tell people how to live. I lend some support around here when they need it most, that being when they "pass over" not before and I'm not the only one here.

Me: Really?

Himself: Yes. Really. It takes a while to get used to things on the next level you know but she's- I mean Judy, is in fine hands with the Intake Angels?

Me: That's good. Ummm… "Intake Angels" like a Concierge at a hotel?

Himself: Now you've got it! So Rob, tell me about your Cousin Jude.

Me: She more of a sister than a first Cousin. Her Dad and my Dad were brothers. We did lots of things together when we were young.

Himself: Like what...

Me: Well, we went to movies at the Geneva Theatre. You know, I never saw the opening credits to a movie until I was 15 or 16 years old. Jude was always late getting ready or she hadn't scrubbed the stairs like her mother asked. That's when they lived at 52 Colborne. Ummmm, for reference, that's where the Mariposa Market parking lot is these days..

Himself: I know. Remember..

Me: You're omnipotent. I know. I guess there is a whole bunch of movies that I have never seen the first fifteen or twenty minutes of because of Judy's tardiness. She never got a handle on that!

Himself: What else?

Me: Oh, we used to tool around town in Uncle Ivan's Turquoise Pontiac Biscayne. Big as a bus that car was. We'd pool our coins to make a dollar and go over to Totten's Gas Station to get Mr. Totten to pump us a buck's worth of gas- right to the penny. We could cruise all evening up and down Mississaga Street and down through the park. Oh, ~laughing~ we'd sing at the top of our lungs- "Send me the pillow that you ~huuump~ on, so Darling I can ~huuump~ on it too..."

Himself: Huuump on?

Me: I have no idea. We made it up. Maybe it had a "dirty" connotation, I dunno. We sang and laughed until we had to pee. Then, we'd go to the Tasty-Freeze for a 10 cent soft ice cream cone. Damn, we had fun.

Himself: Sounds like it. What else?

Me: Judy was a life-saver. When I was in one of my worst depressions, she took me in. The Doctor said either I was hospitalized or I had to find someone I could live with for a while until I was stabilized. Judy stepped up. I will always love her for that. Gee, there's so much. So many memories.
The past few years we re-connected after not seeing one another regularly for a few decades.

Himself: Why so long?

Me: Life. Just life. I regret that time lost.

Himself: That's it? Life?? Rob, you learned a valuable lesson- no time like the present.

Me: Well, you should know "Mr. Omnipresent"?

Himself: Careful Robbie-Bobbie. Don't make me smite you!

Me: Oh...sorry.

Himself: Jesus- I'm only joshin' around.

Me: Whew! Good to know. Did you just curse?

Himself: Good Gracious No!! Rob, are you sad?

Me: I am. Like an anvil is tied to my heart and it's pulling me down but you know what?

Himself: I probably do...

Me: You know...I am not too bad. I feel lightas well. I mean, I didn't want her to leave- especially since she hasn't seen Tom and I here on the Island.

Himself: Not to worry. Soon, she'll be able to pop into your realm and see you whenever she wants.

Me: That is comforting.

Himself: There will be a sign when she's next to you.

Me: I know, I've felt that before with others.

Himself: It's a gift you have Rob. Not everyone can see and feel folks in another plane. You can.

Me: In fact God, I feel a warmth around my neck and shoulders right now. Do you think...

Himself: Early days but she was...I mean IS a strong soul. If she wanted to contact you bad enough and your channel is open- well, I have no power over that. No power at all. I'll tell you one thing.

Me: What's that?

Himself: I'll have her to lunch one day soon and we'll talk about all you've said and more.

Me: Gawd, we used to laugh. Laugh all the time. Once when her eyesight wasn't so good, Tom and I sat her within a foot of our big screen TV to watch Grease "live" and we described who was on the screen. She could sort of see colours. It was fun. I was so glad when she had eyesight return in one eye.

Himself: Rob, both are perfect now.

Me: ~pause. sniff.~ Nice. I will always miss her. A part of me is hollow.

Himself: That is to be expected. Life and Death. Two hard lessons for you folks- especially first timers down there. Now you. You've been around a few times.

Me: I feel that I have.

Himself: You have and you are smart about it.

Me: Is Judy smart?

Himself: The smartest. You see taking Latin in High School with Mr. Holloway was one of the
best things your Cousin Jude ever did. It helped her be smart. To learn. To know. To be a good and lovely person on earth. Oh, she had some ups and downs.

Me: Yup, she did make a few doozies when it came to "choices".

Himself: You all do. It's part of the process. One thing Rob...

Me: Yes?

Himself: Making mistakes and expanding knowledge is one of the biggies. Learn. Progress. Love and especially "Love Life". You all have such a short time down there. Short but the best time if you take the time to realize it. Separate all the bad stuff and negativity and look for the good. It's right there under your nose. Everywhere.

Me: I believe you.

Himself: That's all you need. Believe not in me. I am nobody. You are the big deal. Judy- your Cousin, is the "big deal". She knows it now, I'm sure. She really does and you know what Rob?

Me: What's that?

Himself: She misses you already.


Himself: Rob? Are you all right?

Me: Never been better. I better go. You're busy and I've got to think of all the great times Judy and I had- together. Tell her I miss her too.

Himself: Tell her yourself. She is standing right behind you. Bye Rob.

~bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Dial Tone~

My Cousin Judy. Nice glasses but maybe remove the tag!

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

ROBBLOG #735- A Miracle of Universal Proportions

I wanted to tell friends and family- who knew what was going on, this little tale before I posted this ROBBLOG.
No, we are NOT moving back to Ontario. That would be un-thinkable even though as I have said before, I miss Toronto's Big Shows and Ontario Summers.
Here in our new home on Vancouver Island, we have had a terrible few days with Missy our senior mini-Schnauzer. She'll be 14 years old come November.
She started feeling unwell at the beginning of the Labour Day Holiday Weekend- of course.
Everything happens on a holiday weekend or in the wee hours of the morning when one needs medical assistance.
Our Missy stopped eating. She was throwing up bile. She was not drinking. We dealt with this all weekend through until I could call the Vet for an appointment early Tuesday morning to make an appointment.
I made the Vet appointment with the intention of sending Missy over the
Rainbow Bridge. If you are uncertain what the Rainbow Bridge is- Google it please.
All day Tuesday she was drinking a bit but eating very, very little. It was the same pattern over the past four days. Tom and I had both worked up the courage to say- "Missy, you can go."
It took a miserable, gut-wrenching few days to work ourselves up to that point. It is a very difficult moment to work up to telling a family member, in this case our little girl, our special Schnauzer- "It's all right. Your Dad's won't see you suffer. You can go. We'll let you cross the bridge"
Then, we go to the appointment at 330 pm.
Good Gawd, Tom and I had made that trip a few times before. I even made the trip a couple of times without Tom since he happened to be across the pond at the time when a couple of our pets passed
Believe me, there were tears and sadness all the way to Prevost Vet Clinic on Canada Avenue here in Duncan.
We didn't say a word to each other.
What can one say.
It could be the start of a new day-without a special someone.
This story has a happy ending- so far...
Missy (L) & Koko

Just a few hours later,we have Missy at home again.

We are surprized to say the least.

After a discussion between Tom and I and Doctor Sara- and a few tears too,
we made a decision to try something. As Doctor Sara said, Missy is already somewhat of a Miracle Dog. We didn't expect her to last past last Christmas. This is when the kidney/liver/cancer diagnosis first reared it's ugly head. Then, only a month ago, we had been told that her Kidney disease was at stage three.
Not good news.
We had started planning on saying goodbye sooner, rather than later.

Dr. Sara has her on anti-nausea drugs which Tom and I will administer. She also had an anti-nausea needle and had water inserted under her skin via intravenous- since she was a little dehydrated.
We don't know what her kidneys or liver will do.
It is a medical gamble.
I can't even think about the friggin' cancer right now.

We have no guarantees this will work but happily it gives her Dads a little more time.
When we came home, Koko went nuts. She was jumping up and barking. She wanted me to put Missy down on the grass. Even Koko didn't expect to see Missy home.
Before we left for the appointment I laid on the bed with Missy.
Almost immediately, Dickens- our orange cat, as well as Koko jumped up and laid beside us.
~insert many tears here~
..and they call them dumb animals.
Mum always said that.
We used to roll our eyes and smile when she did.
So, that's that. There's no more to write at this moment. Things may change in a few days.
I have asked the Universe to give us at least another spring with The Miss.
Oh yes, with all this drama here on the Island, back in Orillia my Cousin Judy is in hospital after a massive heart attack on Labour Day Monday. She is improving- slowly.
Life is short.
Life is precious.
We have to live it fully today. Don't wait for tomorrow.
Today is today.
Boy, the Universe has its work cut out for itself over the next week to ten days!

Now, it's up to you Universe...