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Been awhile, a lot has happened...

Hi everyone, or whoever happens to be here and reads this entry.

I took a break after Connor's passing, losing him was so hard on my heart. He was such a precious angel, truly the sweetest boy ever, saying goodbye to him at far too young an age was devastating, made even mores by the fact that mentally he had left me weeks before he physically left this earth. Watching who he was slip away broke my heart, to look into his eyes and no longer see that spark, or that life, the very spirit that made him who he was, was crushing.

I was not the only one suffering, however. His brother, Angus, was having a very hard time. Angus has never been an only dog, he's always had a sibling and at that point had outlived all his younger Schnauzer siblings. My usually cuddly, snuggly, Velcro attached Griffon was now distant and sad. He would sleep on the floor, away from me, he wouldn't stay near me for any length of time, it was as if he blamed me for his brother being gone, like it was my fault. He didn't want to eat very much and became more withdrawn and then I began to really worry. Given his age (sixteen next month), I feared that he may not bounce back this time, that his grief would consume him to the point he would become very ill and not recover, so I knew I had to do something. I had to do what I had done before, when I lost Dexter and adopted Connor two weeks later - I had to save another life, give him a sibling, a companion.

The funny, almost serendipitous, thing about this was that there was already a dog on my radar. My friend, who rescues very senior, often hospice, dogs from shelters and either finds them a home or lets them live out their days with her, had just a few weeks earlier rescued a senior female Miniature Schnauzer. This sweet girl had been unceremoniously dumped in the night drop at a shelter with horribly rotten teeth, a urinary infection, possible bladder stones, clearly not well cared for whatsoever. She was recovering from surgery and illness and the rescue my friend was working with was taking applications for her, and I had even networked her to some friends prior to Connor's passing. I felt, though, she was meant to be with me now. It seemed that things had all aligned and she was meant to become part of our family, for us to love her and give her the home she deserved and for her to help us heal.

I brought this precious little angel into my home and she was such a delight. So full of life and joy, she exuded happiness from every fiber of her being. She was silly, she bounced on all four feet like a goat or Tigger, and a little clumsy because her hind legs weren't the strongest, but it didn't bother her. If she tripped or fell down she just popped right back up and kept on going. She was feisty and full of fire, a typical Schnauzer, people marveled at her spunk, saying no way she was over 15 years old, it was hard to believe, she was a spitfire but also so snuggly and loving, I adored her and she did help our hearts heal.

The week of Christmas, things took a turn. A few weeks prior, she had become sick with some diarrhea, but a trip to the vet and a course of Metronidazole cleared it up. The last day of her treatment, her appetite wasn't what is normally was; this girl LOVED to eat, and she just was off, not as ravenous as usual. She did end up eating her dinner, but not as excitedly as usual, almost as if she only did because she should, not because she really wanted it.

Monday morning came, she refused breakfast. I scrambled her an egg, she did eat that, but nothing else. Afternoon rolled around, she ate a bit, dinner was a struggle. By Tuesday she was refusing even an egg, however she would run to her bowl like she wanted to eat, but something wouldn't let her. Tuesday afternoon, I called the vet to take her in the next day, by that evening, the chicken broth she consumed came back up, as did anything she tried to eat or drink. Despite something being terribly wrong, she was still full of energy, happiness and love.

She spent the next day at the vet, getting examined, fluids, running bloodwork. The vet called, I knew the news wasn't good, I could tell by the tone of voice. Pandy had elevated liver enzymes when I adopted her, something we had been treating all along, however they had climbed to a number that to say was off the charts would be a gross understatement. They felt she likely had a mass on her liver that had either metastasized to other organs or had grown so large it was affecting her other organs. She couldn't eat or keep anything down, surgery wasn't an option given her age, and she was given anywhere from a few weeks to perhaps months, but it was a stretch. Given that she couldn't eat and that things wouldn't improve, I wasn't left with many options. I hated seeing her hungry but unable to eat, I never wanted her to be in pain or suffer. I knew I had to do right by her.

I knew when I adopted her that I wouldn't have a long time with her, but I had hoped we would have at least a year together. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would be saying goodbye to her after just 8 months, it literally broke me. I wasn't remotely prepared, and the fact that she was so happy all the way to the end, it just made it harder, looking at her you never would have known she was so sick. It all happened so fast it has been hard for me to reconcile, I miss her more than words can express.

So now, it's just me and Angus. He's lost two siblings in a short time, it's been very hard on him. He became very sick a week after she was gone, and now, a month later, he's just now stopped looking for her when we come in from a walk. At least I think he has, maybe I just don't see it, I know I still expect her to greet me when I come home, jumping on me, excited, like it's the best part of her day. I miss that, I miss her.

Angus will be 16 next month and I pray we have a lot more time together. I find myself afraid now, over every tiny thing, I even check on him in the middle of the night sometimes, to make sure he's alright. I'm so paranoid, I recognize this and I'm working through it.

So in closing, I say this. Hug your fur kids tight, love them with all your heart every single day, recognize and return to them the unconditional love they dole upon you each day. You never know what will happen, when that last walk, snuggle, happy hop, might be the last one. Treasure your moments with them, because they're gone far too soon.

Sleep with the angels, Pandy girl. I know your brothers are with you, taking care of you and showing you the ropes at the Bridge. Love you always my sweet girl. ❤️

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