2012 wasn't horrible--certainly better than some previous years but the last few months have been a roller coaster of emotion, exhaustion, and frustration. I didn't meet as many goals as I would have liked to for myself but the fact that I got through everything with my sanity intact (mostly) is truly an accomplishment.
I've been juggling a full time job (40 hrs a week) as a vet tech at a local clinic, my pet sitting business, my etsy shop, writing for my blog and Talk Nerdy To Me Lover, as well as whatever personal life I attempt to have--all this for the last year. Whew! I've been fairly successful in all avenues but my main problem is I have no routine at all when it comes to, well, everything. So then juggling everything becomes exhausting. My main goal is to get into a routine. I'm not making a resolution but rather a promise to myself to change my lifestyle to better my life. As we say goodbye to 2012 and hello to 2013 I feel that it would be healing for me to type out the few things that happened this year that caused me distress. I've been meaning to write about all these things but I feel like to get past them I should leave the pain in 2012 and take with me the good memories and lessons into 2013.
I guess the crappy stuff started around when our rescue bearded dragon (pet lizard) passed away. His name was Ebeneezer and I adopted him before David and I started dating. When I went to adopt him his back legs didn't work! Turns out he had metabolic bone disease from improper care. I didn't think he would make it that weekend let alone these last almost 7 years. He was about 8 when he passed away. We knew he wasn't feeling well and had made plans to take him to the reptile specialist but Eben made the decision for us and we found him in his enclosure. We took him to my vet clinic and made arrangements for cremation with ashes to be returned. Maybe it's silly but I felt relieved when he was home with us again in his beautiful mahogany box. He was our pet for almost 7 years and he was such an affectionate and friendly guy. It was hard not to smile when he bobbed his head at you--he was such a charmer. Yeah, still talking about a pet lizard.
Then two weeks after I got my new car some asshole backs into it at a pub and drives away! Hit and run on my new car :(. The witness only got a partial plate number and description but it wasn't enough to catch the guy. I will be getting the repairs done soon at the cost of my deductible: $500.
As if that wasn't enough to be upset about one of the dogs I pet sit for passed away in my care a few weeks later. Actually it was far more dramatic than that: I've known Cooper for almost 4 years, he's always been sorta sickly. He has immune mediated disease that causes him to have low white cell counts and therefore be susceptible to infection. Otherwise he was a super happy little guy. We just love him and his sister Lucy to pieces. Anyway a few days before their mom was to come home (she had been on a long trip) Cooper starts to act a little strange. He usually gobbles his food but I had to coax him to finish his breakfast. Then he vomited and acted as if his stomach hurt. I contacted my vet and went to the clinic to take an X-ray. I emailed the radiograph image to him and he called me. He said it didn't look good and he was on his way. I looked over at Cooper and saw I was losing him. David was with me and instead of waiting 20 minutes for my vet we grabbed the oxygen tank and rushed him to the emergency vet right down the road. My vets called ahead for us. I began CPR in my lap as David raced us to the ER. I knew it was no use, I knew I had lost him. I kept trying for a moment, felt for a pulse. Nothing. (Doc texted me his mom would most likely not want resuscitation. But we couldn't reach her, she was out of the country. So I had to try.)
Realizing I was not going to succeed-- I just hugged him close and told him we loved him and how sorry I was. I kissed his little head and cradled him close to me. (I have been avoiding writing this because I'm about to cry right now. Breathe.) We arrived at the ER with moments of leaving my clinic but it only takes a second for the light (life) to leave. The eyes look so different when the light is gone. Peaceful but absent. I see it way too often due to my career as a vet tech.
They knew I was coming but I told them he didn't make it and to please just confirm he was gone (listen for heartbeat/check pulses). They confirmed what I already knew. The tech wrapped him up and placed him in a special box to take back to the clinic. I took care of arrangements for his cremation and return--I recently learned just how important this feels for a pet parent. I managed to email his mom and she called me. Tearfully I explained what happened, she knew I did everything I could. He was such an amazing dog.
Just a few days after their mom got home I went on my previously scheduled and now desperately needed vacation with David. I wrote Cooper's name in the sand.
After we got back from vacation we scheduled my cats surgical biopsies. I felt like I knew the results but needed it on paper to start treatment. Either way the treatment is the same but lifespan is different. Within a few days we got the results I was dreading and expecting. My cat, Catriana, was diagnosed with small cell indolent lymphoma. Similar to non-hodgkins lymphoma but according to a study cats can live up to 2 years after diagnosis with chemotherapy. We started the same protocol from the study--easy at home oral medication. Also, every 2 weeks she goes to work with me for bloodwork and vitamin B injections. So far she is doing well. It's hard at work sometimes during euthanasia, which is often hard enough but with the added knowledge that one day it will be me making that decision too.
We lost several patients this year that were particularly special to us. Especially Eli, a kitty that I pet sit and do house calls for. He had kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, and probably cancer. He was also 16 years old. His mom texted me and I went over to check on him (they are friends, the family). He wasn't doing well and at this point we were just extending life as there wasn't much we could do. My vet met us at the clinic and we let Eli go peacefully with everyone who loved him. My heart aches for this family as they lost the husband/father in February and then 3 pets this year.
It's time to leave 2012 behind and move on to 2013. Take with you the memories and lessons you have learned but try not to dwell on the things you cannot change. Have a safe and happy new year! See ya next year ;)