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Corky was found to have disk disease when I took him to the Animal Medical Center a couple of weeks ago; clearly this had started some time ago but no vet had diagnosed it—during the time he'd had Cushing's disease, that was his primary problem—and I wasn't aware enough of the symptoms to know what was going on.

I was ordered to crate him in order to rest him, but this made him so crazy he began to self-mutilate. He was also crying out in the night from the pain.

Saturday I took him to a vet downtown to address the situation, including the stress of being crated. By this point, Corky wasn't able to walk easily, and I had to carry him up and down five flights of stairs. True, he was a 14-pound terrier, but it was still difficult.

Dr. DeLorenzo was patient and asked me a couple of times if I was sure I wanted to do this; I had to admit it was the best thing to do, since there wasn't even a pain reliever I could give him. Baby aspirin didn't help.

She started him with a drip of Valium, then gave him sodium pentobarbital. I know it was the right thing to do, but it's less than a week and the house feels empty. I'm so sad that he's gone, and even though I have photos of him, this is the third death I've had to deal with in less than a year. The effect is cumulative; it's just not fair.

Corky was a #gooddog; unfortunately the disk disease had progressed to the point where the only kind thing was to say goodbye. He will be missed—but not by the cat! #doggieheaven🐾🐾 #petsofinstagram #dogstagram #australianterriersofinstagram #ozzieterrier #happyhuntingground #bestpet #alldogsgotoheaven

I had tried to keep him healthy, and even brushed his teeth every night, so this really came out of left field. I'm so tired of death.

franklanguage: Having a tooth pulled (tooth)
Had a resurrection dream last night; my dead roommate reappeared and said, "No, it's me; I've been here all along."

I was like, "I'm not buying that…" considering it had been over three months now. So I wasn't overly disappointed to wake up and be proven right, but I've been depressed for quite a while now thinking this is the future.

His memorial had been the other day—Sunday—and as I had planned, I didn't go. I had promised his girlfriend I wouldn't be there so she could share with abandon. There was no video or audio taken, and I don't care. I can surmise what she talked about, and fuck it. I don't care.
franklanguage: album cover (weasels)
Because I've tried to stick to my routines and keep busy, the reality of Richard's death is just hitting me now, two months later. Even though I was at his side when I saw his head slump forward, and even though he hasn't been home at all in two months, and I haven't been back to the hospital in that time. I mean, I have his ashes in a can in the other room, but it's hard to put two and two together sometimes.

And the memorial service will be November 20th at a church around the corner. I've graciously offered—in a FB message—to Richard's girlfriend that I'd stay away so she could share about their special bond. She replied, "Thanks."

My plans are to take myself up to Harlem for a vegan soul-food brunch and totally blow off the memorial. In a group chat on FB Sara muses that she'll probably stay at the memorial just to say a few words and then go home to Cold Spring, so conceivably I could slink in after I was sure she'd left. Slink in, right: because I've always felt like I was the "other" woman, even after I'd lived here over 20 years. That's why I'm not buying into that "sneaking in after I'd made sure the coast was clear"; people who know of my plans say they'd always thought of me and Richard as a couple and would be puzzled not to see me at a memorial for him.

Sara was there first. She used to plan activities for the two of them, Richard said, probably in an effort to keep them together.
I've also taken a very hands-off role in planning the memorial next month: my downstairs neighbor Elizabeth told me up front: "I'm an excellent event planner," and proceeded to take care of most everything; I paid for the rental of the room. I complained to her once that she took over everything, even things I wanted to do, and she said she'd cleared it with me first. (She hadn't; but at that point I gave up and figured I'm not going to be there anyway, so who cares?)

She did try to involve me in decisions, saying, "How do you like the setup of the chairs; do you think they should be facing the park?" I told her I didn't care since I wasn't going to be there.

I've been very depressed today, and it's a strange feeling; I haven't been depressed like this in well over 20 years. It'll pass; I just don't know when.
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Yesterday I had to take my cat Stacey for an emergency vet visit: she had gone missing (not like her) for two days and I found her, silent, in the closet, looking up at me. When I had found her two days previous—wedged between shelves in the MetroShelving™ unit where I keep my clothes—she had run and hid, and I couldn't find her until yesterday.

So I took her up to Heart of Chelsea Animal Hospital right away and the vets took some bloods. What they found was grim: basically, her vital signs were not capable of sustaining life. Her red blood cell (RBC) count was extremely low and the reason I hadn't found her in two days was she had become too weak to get up and go to the litter box. She would require a blood transfusion, the treatment would ultimately cost many thousands of dollars, and it wasn't known if they would be successful.

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They let me sit with her and she cleaned herself and purred a little. It was heartbreaking, but they sent her to slumberland and I took home an empty carrier. "Too much death," I muttered all the way home.

I'll get the ashes back in about a week; maybe I'll make a LifeGem™ out of them.
franklanguage: Man-in-the-moon belt buckle (moonbuckle)
I've been meaning to put together a post about the events of the past month, but I just can't—my roommate died about a month ago. It's not like it was unexpected; he had had cancer for several years, and pretty much kept it at bay, until the last clusterfuck that did him in. Cause of death: congestive heart failure, a result of a heart attack several years ago that was probably a side-effect of chemotherapy.

Plus, he was 83, meaning that the only way we would die together would be if we were to die in a fire. Fortunately that didn't happen.

I miss him terribly, though; for the first two weeks after he died, I wasn't willing or able to believe he had passed on, even though I had been at his side when his spirit left his body. I would walk in the door and automatically think he was home.

He was embalmed and cremated, and now his ashes reside on the shelf beside those of Tipper, our beloved golden retriever who passed away in the mid-90s. And that's probably as complete as it's ever going to be.
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