loss.

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Loss is indeed a four letter word.  I have cried so much today my eyes hurt and are but swollen slits in my face.  I am feeling my grief so much right now it is palpable, raw, and in Technicolor.

My little dog slipped away today.  Iggy is gone and I am so sad as I write this that I hope this post makes sense.

Some people might think I am crazy for writing about this while it is so new and so raw, but truthfully writing has always been my catharsis and I need to get this out. This is such a hard day.

It was almost three months ago to the day that I lost Iggy’s adoptive brother to old age. When I said good-bye to Mr. Peanut on October 11th, I did not think in my wildest imaginings that Iggy would go over the rainbow bridge this morning. But he did just that.

In December we found out Iggy had dog lymphoma.  But it was so early that we decided to roll the dice and try dog chemo.  I took Iggy to Dr. Ann Jeglum at Veterinary Oncology Services and Research Center on East Nields Street in West Chester.

As a breast cancer survivor taking my dog to his own oncologist was not easy.  But I wanted him to have options because his disease was in the early stages.

Dr. Ann Jeglum and the vets and staff who work for her at VOSRC are simply amazing and I am so glad I did this for my dog.  I saw a lot over the past month Iggy has been a patient and truthfully these are the kind of folks you want looking after your pets in all situations. And they truly look after the humans in the pets’ lives too.

Anyway, at first Iggy was responding very well, but then a couple of days ago he stopped wanting to eat very much and became increasingly lethargic.  At first we thought it was just the side effects from having had four straight weeks of chemotherapy. But yesterday morning my dog looked at me so helplessly… and off we went to VOSRC.  They saw us right away and I knew from the looks on their faces it wasn’t good.

Ends up Iggy had contracted a urinary tract infection and with his chemo compromised immune system couldn’t fight the infection.  So they put him on a doggy I.V. to rehydrate him and give him antibiotics.  They also did an ultrasound.  We left him to be cared for overnight. No one knew yesterday how everything would play out, so I wanted to give him a change to turn the corner.

This morning shortly before 9:00 a.m. one of Dr. Jeglum’s vets, Dr. Lindner phoned.  Iggy’s prognosis was not good and he wasn’t improving.  So we made the difficult decision to come in to say good-bye.

Only the phone rang again.  Iggy passed before we could even get there to say good-bye.

I accept that it was his time, and like a couple of my friends said he and his brother were sent to me to get me through a difficult time in my life and knew I was ok so they could go.  But I still feel like my heart has been ripped out of my chest and someone played racquet ball with it.

Of course it doesn’t make it any easier that this week is the 5th anniversary of Iggy coming home to me from Main Line Animal Rescue.  Iggy had been a foster dog for a MLAR volunteer who came for a playdate with Mr. Peanut and never left.

Iggy and his brother gave me some very happy years with them and did indeed get me through some crazy stuff including abandonment and breast cancer. When I was going through seven weeks of radiation, he and his brother were happy little faces greeting me at the door every day when I came home.  They transitioned with me out to Chester County and my new life, and were loving being country dogs.

Iggy loved being in Chester County and being able to run in great big fields with other DSCN1857dogs.  He loved chasing the crazy fat squirrels in the back yard and conquering the “dog proof” trashcan.  He was a giant dog with a big heart in a little body.

Only today his little body just gave out.  I am devastated I wasn’t there when he passed, but I almost wonder if it didn’t happen that way because of losing Mr. Peanut such a short time ago.

In between the tears I keep waiting to hear the clickety clack of little feet on hardwood floors.

It was a privilege to have this dog in my life and I wish he had lived to a ripe old age instead of just 9.  Yes my heart is incredibly heavy.

I will leave you with this: Iggy is yet another reason why good animal rescue is so important.  He had been abused early in life (among other things) and he and I were both so lucky he came to Main Line Animal Rescue. He gave so much unconditional love to me as well as companionship. And if it wasn’t for Main Line Animal rescue we never would have met.

Good-bye my sweet boy.  I know you are with your brother now. Try not to bark at too many squirrels over the rainbow bridge. I love you little man and  I will miss you.