So... I've got some explaining to do. It's been 3 weeks since I've posted anything, which some of you might be confused about since I was making all these promises left and right about new blog plans and about having all of these blog posts that I couldn't wait to share with you all.. & believe me, I didn't intend to even take a one day break from blogging because I literally had dozens of posts in mind, most of which I had already taken photos for.. I've been MIA from Twitter and Instagram just as well. I would have made this post a lot sooner, but every time I thought about doing writing it, I just couldn't bare it.. Because not only did I want to let you guys know what's been going on and why I've been gone, but for as long as I can remember, writing has always been the best way for me to vent; the best way to just really just get my feelings into perspective and clear my head- so I wanted to be able to write about the whole situation as best as I could. So again, I just couldn't bare it and even now, I'm dreading this. But I feel like it's necessary to really open up about it. And now that you're all probably wondering what the hell I'm talking about, I'll just go ahead and get into it. If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you already know...., but on Monday, January 7th (the day after my most recent blog post), my precious baby, my 9 year old chihuahua, Gizmo, passed away suddenly..
Anyone who knows me, knows that Gizmo is my baby. I treat her like a child and she loved me like I was her mother. Some people might think this whole post and everything I'm saying is too dramatic, but Gizmo was more than a pet to me. She was more than an animal. She was a huge part of my family, of my life, and had a huge place in my heart. She was my everything. & when I lost her, my whole world crumbled down around me. It was the worst, most traumatic experience that has ever happened in my entire life. I'm heartbroken and changed forever. Which is why I've been MIA for a couple weeks. I just could not get a grasp on my life and have not wanted to face anything.
I'm probably going to explain the situation, what was wrong with her, and everything that happened for those that care to know, but also, as stated earlier to vent and try to accept this in the best way I know how. So if you're not interested in this, then feel free to stop reading here. I don't want you guys to think I'm trying to look for sympathy or anything, because I'm not. I don't need it, but I just feel like this is necessary to do, even just for myself.
So just a little background on Gizmo. She was a 9 year old chihuahua. I've had her since she was 4 months old, since I was 10. So I've had her for nearly half of my entire life. Around the time I started college at the end of 2011, she started to get sick. (WARNING: about to give some TMI) At this point the only thing that was wrong with her was the fact that she developed chronic diarrhea (which she had every single day from then, until the day she passed, which I'm sure you can imagine how hard that was to deal with living in a house that's 98% white carpet). But we dealt with it because we loved her. In the Spring of 2012, she started to get really sick. This was around March (if you have followed me on Twitter for awhile, you probably remember me always posting about my sick baby girl and how sad I was all of the time) but it was around this time that she started to get really skinny, to the point where we could see her ribcage. She hadn't lost her appetite or anything and ate constantly, so we knew it might be something with her bowel issues and maybe she wasn't absorbing any nutrients. At this point, it was a couple months in with her having bowel issues, we assumed that [since it started around the same time that my sister got her cat, Marty] that maybe she had eaten some of the cat liter (we had caught her eating the pebbles that had fallen on the floor sometimes) and that maybe it had clumped up inside of her stomach and was causing these issues. We took her to the vet around this time and he gave us a liquid medication for the bowel issues that we had to give to her through a dropper type thing. She HATED it, so we tried to give it to her as little as possible. She would squirm so much. He also told us that we could give her Pepto Bismol if we knew she was having stomach/gas pains. Around this time, she was also started to breathe heavy all the time. It was like wheezing, rather than panting -because she did it with her mouth closed.
One night, she was wheezing pretty bad and I could tell she didn't feel good (I could always tell when she was having a really bad day/night with the discomfort/pain because of how her eyes looked, how she looked overall, and how she was laying.) I didn't want to just let her sit there and be in pain, so my boyfriend and I decided to try and give her some of the Pepto Bismol. I was scared because usually my mom and her boyfriend gave her the medicine, but they were asleep as it was pretty late at night. I really could not watch her be given the medicine because it broke my heart to see how much she refused it, so Rob (my boyfriend) took her to my sister's room so that my sister could hold her still while he gave it to her. When they were up there, about 2 minutes went by and I'm sitting downstairs, and all of the sudden I hear someone knocking on my mom's bedroom door. I ran to to the stairs and asked what was wrong and Rob just said, "Gizmo's not breathing." I flipped out, started screaming and crying. I just collapsed on the ground. That's all I knew until he brought her back out and said, "She's okay now." Then I found out what happened. I guess as my sister was holding her still and she realized she was about to get the medicine, she got really scared and started shaking and not being able to breathe (we later found out she had had a seizure) so my sister put her down on the bed right away and then she stopped breathing, her eyes were wide open, and she slipped off my sister's bed and it hadn't even phased her, so she was completely unconscious. My boyfriend grabbed her, pumped her chest, and she jumped back up. She was conscious again, but she was very much out of it and was extremely weak. So we made her comfortable and we stayed up all night into the day with her until we the animal hospital opened in the morning. When we took her to the vet, they did an x ray on her. They found a mass of something in her stomach, which could have been cat liter, but the vet said that it was most likely a tumor, which explained the chronic diarrhea. This also meant that, if that were a tumor, that she had stomach cancer. Cancer. Not only that, though. On the X-ray, they saw that she had fluid in her lungs (which caused her wheezing and shortness of breath) and in her abdomen, as well as most likely having congestive heart failure. They wanted us to pay for ultrasounds to get a closer look and follow that up by getting an EKG and other tests to see if she would be in stable enough condition to have surgery to try and get the mass or "tumor" out, which was a life or death situation all in itself. All of this would have cost thousands of dollars that we did not have to spend. So they gave us 4 different kinds of medication that she would have to be on for the rest of her life, for her bowel issues, one to drain the fluid in her lungs, an anti-inflammatory, and another one for a urinary issue I believe.
It took her some time to regain strength and start gaining weight and eventually, returning to her normal self (minus the bowel problem, which never left), but it was all thanks to the medication. It kept her comfortable, stable, and most of all, alive. But the medicine didn't kick in right away. It took time. Time that included so many sleepless nights filled with her being uncomfortable and in pain. She did certain things that would indicate to us that she was having a painful episode, which were: moving around every two seconds (can't get comfortable), rubbing her face with her arms, biting her nails and paws, bubbling noises in her stomach, and her making moaning noises. There was one night in May that she got really bad. She had all of those symptoms, but more intense than usual. She was moaning in agony. Moaning in a way where I didn't even know a dog could make this noise. It was like a human moan. We stayed up with her all night, never left her side. Around 11am, I decided to take a quick nap on the couch next to everyone, while Gizmo was the most calm she had been all night, and was on the floor beside me. I woke up about an hour later, because she had tried to jump on my face (assuming to wake me up) and when I did, she jumped up on the couch, laid down flat on her side, and moaned loud enough for you to hear on the other side of the house. I remember this so clearly, because this was the day I thought she was going to die. I looked at her and then I looked at my mom, who was crying, and I just could feel it. I asked my mom, "Is she gonna make it?" and my mom said, "I don't think so, Kay." and we all said goodbye to her. I just felt like this was it. I prayed to God to keep her safe. I sung to her the song I always sung to her, "You are my Sunshine." and I said these exact words, "I know you're sick. It's okay to let go. You can let go and all of this pain will go away. You'll always be my princess, but if you let go, you'll become my angel and you can visit me whenever you want. You can stay right here with us." I just laid by her, pet her, repeated this, told her "sweet dreams, princess" over and over and over. And then she got better. and better. and by the end of the night she was nearing her normal self. It was a fucking MIRACLE. I'm not even exaggerating. Months and months went by and she stayed her normal self. No episodes in pain, no moaning, no feeling like she's not going to make it. She was better again. Well, as long as she had her medicine. I had never had so much hope and faith in my entire life as I did after that. The rest of 2012, she was normal again. Happy as ever. Lovable as usual. Always wanting treats and to go for walks. She was Gizmo. She wasn't dominated by her sickness, she was just herself again.
Now in the midst of all of this, I was looking up stomach cancer in animals on the internet and had read something that stuck out in my head. It said something along the lines of, "animals with stomach cancer, with the help of medication, can live up to a year or so comfortably before it will become too much." It always stuck out in my head. But when she got better, I thought, "Well maybe it wasn't a tumor, maybe it was really clumped up kitty liter that she just could not pass. Maybe that's what all those painful episodes were, maybe that was just the process of getting it to pass and maybe because she's better now, it's out of her stomach." We never took her back for all those tests. We didn't want her to go through a life-threatening surgery. We just made sure she was always comfortable and always had her medicine. She still did have those bowel issues, which I, again, had a "theory" (more like an excuse to avoid the truth) which was that maybe the cat liter had just destroyed her stomach and ability to go to the bathroom correctly. Sounded like a logical explanation, right? :/
Fast forward to December of 2012. Last month. It was getting harder and harder to give her her medicine. She had caught on to us, something she rarely did, and everytime we would try and give her a treat (with the medicine concealed inside), she would pick it apart, knock the pill out, and eat the food only. We tried everything that usually worked. The only thing that was effective that we could do to force her to eat it, was to crush it up and stick it in peanut butter. I found out this trick when she was getting sicker, not feeling good all the time because it had been too long since she had had her medicine because it came so impossible to sneak it to her, when searching online for ways to do it. The idea behind it is that you stick it in the peanut butter and try and lift up the side of their mouth and quicky just stick it as close as you can to the inside of the mouth because since it's so sticky, they'll have no choice but to lick it up. This peanut butter trick was literally worse case scenario because it was SO hard to get it close to her mouth before she could realize what was happening and it broke my heart at her reaction to it, because I knew she hated it and she would do everything to try and shake it off. It also got even harder, because from going too long without the medication, it takes a few doses (and days) for it to kick in, so I'd have to keep giving her the peanut butter and she would be getting sicker, so it made me feel worse about giving it to her.
Fast forward again to Christmas Day. Well, Christmas Day... but at night. She had an episode of pain, one like she did that night in April when I thought I was going to lose her. She had had a couple of these throughout the months, mostly towards the end of the year, but not bad at all, just tiny little ones which we attributed to her probably being constipated and having gas pains. Well this day, she got bad. And I didn't know why. I assumed that maybe since I was giving her peanut butter everyday, maybe it was making her really constipated, since I knew she was in pain because she could not go to the bathroom. She kept trying, but couldn't. It was the worst night in a while, but luckily, once she was able to go to the bathroom again, it was all good from there. Other than that, there was a couple times in December where she just had a look in her eyes and demeanor where I could tell she didn't feel good. I feel like maybe subconsciously I knew that she didn't have much time left. Because I found myself, many times repeating that same goodbye mantra that I did back in April when I thought I was going to lose her, just in case. You know, so she would know that it's okay. So if she was at all scared, maybe it would give her some piece of mind. I never consciously thought that for a second she didn't have much time left, though. Ever. Maybe it was denial, who knows. Looking back, it seems like it was. But subconsciously, I think maybe my heart could just feel the day approaching, because not only was I saying my "just in case, goodbyes", but I found myself taking random photos and videos of her throughout the month of December more than usual and my logic behind that was, "Oh, one day I'll be happy I took this when I don't have her anymore. I just want to capture her as much as I can now while I have the chance" I did this same thing when I started college because I knew I would see her less. Also, in December, I got really bad separation anxiety with her. Anytime I was sitting down, she had to be in my lap. That also resulted of like 50 pictures of her sleeping in my lap from December alone. I didn't even leave the house barely at all, except for Holiday get togethers. Mostly because I was on Winter Break and I just wanted to be home, but I didn't want to leave her either.
In the first week of January, which I had no idea was her last, my mom kept hinting to me that maybe she's not going to make it much longer. Even though she was perfectly fine other than those couple tiny pain episodes and one big pain episode, it's weird looking back at how we almost knew. Well, I knew somewhere deep down (as I stated above), but I've always been the type to see the better side of a situation, even it's a make believe, sugar coated way of thinking. My mom, on the other hand, has always had a realistic point of view. She prepares for the worst and has always had this amazing intuition and somehow I think she knew. There was at least 3 instances all in that first week of January that my mom hinted that she might be nearing her end.
So moving on to Sunday, January 6th. My mom and Rob went to work and I spent the day blogging, reading, and laying in my room all day with Gizmo. Her bed is a pile of her favorite blankets along with a robe that I got for Christmas that she loved the feel of so I added it to her blanket stash. She laid there as I laid on my bed and wrote my Sunday Ramblings post, the last post on here before this one. It a nice, relaxing day. I was so hyped up on life. I was so excited to finally be motivated to lose weight after struggling with getting motivated for so long. I was beyond ecstatic for all of the blog changes and posts I had to do. I felt so good about the future and the things to come. It's not often that I feel this way either. I've been down more times than up in 2012 and I was ready for 2013 to change my life.
That night, I had to leave. I was going to stay at my boyfriend's house, because I had to go to my school the next day and register for classes (my school is closer to his house, so I always stay there when I have to go there the next day for something/during the week when I have school). & this is what kills me. Ask anyone, before I go ANYWHERE, I always say a long goodbye to Gizmo. Especially when it's going to be overnight or a couple days. I'll hug and kiss her. Tell her where I'm going and when I'll be back. Out of habit, I say, "if you miss me, just go in my room." and say goodbye. Well for some reason (and I hate the world for letting it be this way), it didn't happen this way that night. Also, keep in mind that this was the FIRST night that I would have left my house for more than a couple hours in about a MONTH. First time I was really going to be away from her since I got on Winter Break. About a half hour before I left, she wanted to be lifted onto the couch (she could get up herself, but not when she feels unstable), so I helped her up. For the last couple of days, she had been sensitive in her armpit area. I thought maybe she slipped on the tile, because she does do that if she gets her medicine for the first time after going without it for a couple days. So when I picked her up on the couch, I picked her up from her armpits and she yelped because it hurt her. I put her down right away and she kinda just collapsed in the place I put her down at. I felt bad, so I just snuggled her up in a blanket, told her I was leaving and that I'd be back tomorrow. Not the whole usual spiel, but I let her know I was going to be leaving. I gave her some kisses and walked away. We left about a half hour later, but before I left, instead of giving her a proper goodbye, I just looked over the couch where she was laying and said, "Bye, princess. I'll see you tomorrow, baybalove." (and yes, I remember exact words.) She just looked up and me and I blew her a kiss and that was it. That was the last time I saw her. The last time she saw me. I think about the that look all the time. I play that over in my head. Her looking up at me. She had concerned eyes. & I wonder if when she looked up at me, if she knew she wouldn't see me again. It makes me feel awful that I left that way, so quickly. I should have said goodbye like I usually do. Why didn't I? It's not fucking fair.
I woke up at 9 a.m the next morning to a text from my mom complaining about my grandparents. I replied and my boyfriend and I just laid in bed talking and at around 9:30, my mom called. I answered, and she asked to talk to Rob. I handed him the phone and they started talking. I was looking at him the whole time and a couple seconds into the phone call, he looks at me, and I notice him trying pressing the button on the side of my phone to turn the volume down. I knew when I saw that that something had happened. Didn't know what, I was worried, but I wasn't like freaking out or anything. He sat up and walked away, still on the phone. He came back a minute later, sat on the bed, said "come here" and grabbed me in a hug. I said "What's wrong?" and he didn't say anything. I just fucking knew. I just started crying and asked "What happened" again. He said, "Baby, Gizmo's not waking up." and I could tell in his voice that he was about to cry. I jumped up, started screaming, crying. Screaming, "NO". Falling to the floor. Everything was just spinning around in my head. Did I even really wake up this morning? I grabbed my coat and purse and we ran out. I screamed the whole car ride home, while trying to convince myself that it was just another episode of pain. I thought, if she's not waking up... maybe she's in a coma! That's it, she's just in a coma. I'll get home, and I'll wake her up. She'll wake up for me. I looked up how to perform dog CPR a couple months ago, I'll try that on her and see if it works. Grabbed my phone, looked up about dog comas in the last 10 minutes of the car ride. I sincerely did not feel in my heart that she was gone. I looked in the sky and felt nothing. I was not convinced. It was definitely a coma. Definitely. Had to be.
When we pulled in the driveway, I jumped out of the car before it even stopped completely. Ran inside. Dropped my shit and screamed, "Where is she?!" My mom said in the living room and I swear I had almost forget how to get to my goddamn living room, because I had circled around the kitchen before I got to it. I had in me every last bit of hope that I had tried to muster up in what felt like the longest car ride of my life and when I walked in the living room, peered around the dining room table, that last bit of hope I had didn't even have time to drain from my mind, it was just instant. One fucking nanosecond for that hope to just go from being inside of me to being on what could have been another fucking planet, because with one look at her, I knew she was gone. She was gone forever and there was nothing I could fucking do about it. One look. That's all it took. In that second, my whole world came crashing down. My worst nightmare became a reality. There's literally not any words to describe that exact feeling that I felt when I realized that she was gone. My baby. My princess. My heart. It wasn't her time. It fucking wasn't. God stole her from me. She was mine, not anyone else's.
I was screaming and crying louder than I ever have in my entire life. This is so hard to write.... I laid down by her, tried to level my head with hers. I looked into her eyes saying, "My baby. My baby. Noooooo. This can't be happening." I said, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Baby, I'm so sorry." I should have been there for her, I should have fucking been there. Her eyes were empty. She was so cold. I laid by her for over an hour. I didn't care if she was dead, she was my fucking baby. I just petted her, talked to her. I told her how much I loved her, how much she meant to me, how much I was going to miss her. I told her the story of how we met, which was something I did whenever she didn't feel good, in case there was any chance she could understand what I was saying and if she did, if there was any chance it would cheer her up. I told her how it was love at first sight. How we grew up together, me and her. How she'll always be the only one in this entire world that could never ever hurt me- something else I always told her. How she'll always be my princess. I sang "You are my sunshine" over and over & every time I got to the part where it goes, "please don't take my sunshine away," I wanted to scream and pound my fists on the ground because life had just taken my sunshine away. I told her what I told her on that day in March when I thought I was going to lose her, only this time it was all in past tense.
"I know you were sick. It's okay that you let go. I told you it was okay to let go and now all of this pain is gone. You'll always be my princess, and now, you're my angel and you can visit me whenever you want. You can stay right here with us. You don't have to leave forever."
I tried to soak in all of things that I would never get to again. I tried to take mental photos. Close my eyes and try and capture the way everything feels. I pet her face. Twirled my fingers around her ears. Smelled her ears. She always, always, always smelled like maple syrup. No matter what. I had no idea why. Held her paws. I traced the little spot on her neck where a tuft of her fur curled up in a little circle. Looked at her. Tried to memorize her spots. Before it was gone. Before it was gone forever. My perfect little baby. She deserved the world. She was perfect. She did not deserve to be sick. She didn't deserve to die. She deserved a million more days. A million more kisses. A million more snuggles. A million more treats. A million more walks. It was the most unfair thing I had ever witnessed. I would have given her years of my life if I could have. That's how much I loved her.
I could sit here and try and explain all of the things that I felt. All the things I didn't. But I'd be here forever. Mostly drawing blanks, because I mostly am speechless. Shocked. Pissed off. Giving my middle finger to the world for taking my baby away from me.
The hardest thing of all to even try and put into words, is the feeling I had when the vet took my baby out of my arms, through the door, and shut it. The feeling before that, knowing this is the last time that I will look out of my eyes and see my perfect little angel & the feeling after that, knowing that I will never ever again open my eyes and see my perfect little angel right in front of me. I can't explain how much that hurts. How that makes me feel. I'll never be able to. It was the most hurt that I've ever felt. I felt like I was dying myself. I collapsed in that room. I don't even remember how I got back in the car. I don't remember the ride home. When I walked inside my house, I wasn't greeted by my happy dog who would bark and squeal and actually pee she would get so excited to see me, let me pick her up and she'd wrap her arms around my neck. (Ever seen a dog do that? It's the cutest thing ever. She could literally give hugs.) Instead I felt like I was walking through a ghost town. It was so empty. So empty without her. I didn't want to be awake or conscious. I didn't want to go to sleep either. Sleeping meant waking up and realizing that this isn't a dream all over again.
I was like a mother losing her child. I lost a huge part of my heart that day and I will never be able to replace everything that she was to me. Every day it gets a little bit easier, but every night when I'm saying, "sweet dreams, princess." to the fucking air, it gets harder and harder.
I was home all winter break. We all were. The first day I wasn't there in a month and within 20 minutes of the last child in my house leaving for their first day back to school, leaving only my mom at home.. Sitting on the couch, talking on the phone like usual.. She laid on the floor behind the couch my mom was on, positioned so that she was looking out of the window where the early morning sunlight was shining through. Her favorite place was always in the sun. & it's the there she slipped into her eternal sleep. My mom right there, though she didn't know... hell she had even seen Gizmo eating her dog food earlier that morning and filled up the bowl for her, talking away. & the only peace that I will ever have is knowing that she had passed away listening to the sound of my mom's voice. Knowing that she wasn't completely alone.
She picked the first day in over a month that she was the most alone in the entire house. She chose then to pass away. She could have gone any day she wanted to in that time span, where we all would have been there, knowing it was the end, being able to say goodbye, and see her off. But it's clear that she didn't want that. She had to of realized that everyone was gone that morning and deemed it the perfect time to let go. Around 9 am, I woke up suddenly. Could have slept in, but I just woke up. At the same time, the last child in my house was leaving for school, Tristan, my mom's boyfriend's son. He saw her as he was leaving. My mom called 30 minutes later..
I'd like to sit here and say how she's not in pain anymore and think that she drifted off in a peaceful sleep, knowing that she was letting go, but accepting that, not scared, but happy and at peace. But when I found her, her mouth was open with her paw in her mouth. She chewed on her paws and her finger nails when she was uncomfortable and in pain. So how am I supposed to believe that she was at peace? I feel like she was alone and scared and in pain. Knowing that just cuts me like a knife.
Nothing is the same anymore. For the first week, I was in complete shock. I felt like I was dreaming or awake in some twilight zone because it just did not feel real. She was just here. Just on my lap. Just on this couch. I just took this picture two days ago, how could she be gone? So many things were running through my head. I didn't do anything. I didn't leave my house. Didn't put a stitch of makeup on. I did nothing. That diet I was going on? Yeah, right. For over a week until I was forced to, because of school starting, to pick myself back up. The second week, it was sinking in. The only way I've been able to deal with all of this is knowing that she had to of chose to go. The way she did, the timing, it just seems like she was holding on for us.. and that the first chance she got to be alone, she let go. I've tried to make myself realize that she let go because she wanted to, because she couldn't take anymore. That she was probably worn out after dealing with all of this for over a year. That's been the only thing keeping me from falling apart over and over again every day. Because if this is what she wanted, how can I sit here and be sad? If this is what she wanted, how could I be so selfish to want her back here, in pain? So I accept the fact that she had to go, but I'll never stop being sad about it. I think constantly about all of the memories with her and I miss it all so much. I would do anything to have her back, even for just a day. Just to hold her, snuggle her, and kiss her. To sing to her one more time and tell her it's okay to let go. To say goodbye.
The sad thing is, Sunday, the day before, I thought she was getting better. She had acted like she was. It made me happy, since she had not been feeling good over the last couple weeks. It made me feel better about having to go back to school. I thought she was getting better and the next day she died.. It was so sudden and unexpected.
When I sat in my room on Sunday, finishing up taking some blog photos and was putting my camera away, I looked over at her laying in her bed. She looked so cute. I just stopped what I was doing. Grabbed my camera back up and took a picture of her. I just felt compelled to. Little did I know it was the last picture that would ever be taken of her.
This is that last photo. The day before she died. You can see in her eyes that she did not feel well.
It literally kills me to know that I have to live the rest of my life without her. I never want to forget what it's like to have my precious angel in my life. I don't want the years to go by and her memory to fade. It kills me to think of that. I'll never be the same. There's a huge hole in my heart. My life feels like an abandoned building, I feel like a remnant of myself, and my little baby is now a pile of fucking ashes. I carry her urn everywhere with me. I bring it to my room at night and in the morning I put her by the window in the living room, in the sunlight. When I watch movies, she's on my lap. It's like she never left. I talk to her all day constantly. I pretend like she's there. I change her water bowl every day with fresh water. Her bed is still in my room. But it's not the same. I end up just feeling stupid. I lay blankets down next to me wherever I sit for her ghost to lay on. Because if she's here, I know she'd come and lay there. I get mad when somebody accidentally sits on it or puts something on it. Like they should have known she was there or something.
The death of an animal might not be as dramatic and life changing to some people, but to me, I was losing my baby. A part of me. She was like a sister, because we grew up together. She was like my child, because that's how I treated her. I've never been so lost in my entire life.
I miss you baby Giz. Rest in peace, babygirl.