5 July 2015
Last week was a bad one. We lost our good boy James, Kensington’s foundation stud, to a very aggressive tumor that attacked his spleen and the blood supply to his small intestine. I’ve been living in lala land since 2007, when I said goodby to my first two Tibetan Terriers, and had forgotten how awful it is to survive a very much loved pet.
Today, I had the chance to talk about it with Mark Desrosiers, Kensington’s handler extraordinaire, and he tried to impress upon me just how lucky we were to have all of the information we had, in order to make that difficult decision. With less clarity, the decision would have been that much more painful.
So, once again, I want to say thank you! to all of our wonderful vets, especially Dr. Rossi’s Animal Ultrasound Clinic in Salem, Massachusetts. He squeezed us in for a same day abdominal scan and allowed me to view the scan, as he explained what he’d found. And thank you to the New Baltimore Animal Hospital in West Coxsackie, NY for performing their blood testing on site. These are the clinics we need for timely information, when emergencies arise. And also, I need to thank the wonderful veterinarians and vet techs at the Bulger Animal Hospital in North Andover, Massachusetts. They handled me, James and our situation with such compassion and sincerity, it allowed us to have the most wonderful last couple of hours together.
James passed over the rainbow bridge last Wednesday evening, at about 8pm, under the most beautiful coral and mauve sunset. We’d had big rain that he & I missed, as we were indoors for most of the late afternoon and evening. I grieve for James’ other forever mom and for his forever dad, as our boy Jimmy provided great companionship to them, as well as love and therapy during his forever dad’s recuperation last year.
Losing a pet leaves a hole, there’s no doubt about that. But sparing an animal from the pain and progressive deterioration that certain conditions create is both loving and kind. None of us would want our pet having to go through extreme invasive surgery, only to gain a short period of time with them. Weighing the factors is hell and each situation requires careful thought and soul searching.
Shalimar’s King James of Kensington was buried in the garden at my home, thanks to dear friends who were able to pick him up on Thursday and bring him down to us. They dug a great big hole for his box, Jing braided a rope crown of Vinca with beautiful daylilies, Cheryl brought his favorite disemboweled squeakie ducky and I cried. He was laid to rest, with his own offspring and a cousin in attendance. Lady Bacon is a James’ girl, Oliver is a James’ boy and Gigi is his half sister (they share the same sire). And Bob tried to play ‘Taps’ on my antique fox horn – but could only get one sound out of it. A little humor goes a long way, during times like these.
James was a much loved doggie and wants all the humans out there to know how happy he is, to have been spared an extreme experience. And how much he knows that we loved him completely.
Now, he’s off and scampering with Max, Mia, Ranger, Max Coleman, Betty cat, Peep, Queenie, Princess, Tenzing, Lily, Brewster, Archie! and the many, many other canine and feline friends who have crossed the bridge already. Reliving the happy memories is what he wants us to do. So, toward that end, I am starting with remembering how beautifully he played with all of the young puppies in our house and his wonderful maternal nature. And immersing myself in great old photos. Time will help and I wish it could be one year from now, it hurts that much.