18 januari 2010

The Charmed and Charming Life of Beatrix Isabella

My life journey began on July 1, 2000 in a small town near Buckeye Lake in Ohio.  My birth certificate says my mother was “Sweet Shangrila” and my father, “Genghis Khan”, but you will soon learn the names of my true parents.
     The story goes that I had a few brothers and sisters, but, as you will also find out, this, too, is incorrect.  I was an “only”.
     Now this next part I am not so sure I really remember or if I heard my mommy telling someone.  Mommy's daughter, Abbey, thought a new dog (whatever that is) would be a good thing to give mommy.  Mommy was going through a very emotional period in her life and was lonely and confused.  So, one day Abbey read about me in the Columbus newspaper and drove clear out to decide if I might be helpful to mommy and bring her some joy.
     Abbey (and her daddy) thought I would be just right, so they waited while I took a bath and packed.  Then, the three of us headed “home” to a place called Worthington.  Abbey and her daddy got me all fancied up with a big purple bow and then surprised my mommy!  Oh, how I loved mommy right away.  She scooped me up and said things like “Precious” and “Adorable” and announced that my name would be Beatrix.  BEATRIX ISABELLA!  I loved that name immediately, and then mommy explained they were both names of Queens and that I was her Queen!  WOW!  Who could ever dream of such an honor?  I had my work cut out for me....to live up to being a Queen!  From that moment on, my eyes shone a little brighter, and I strutted a wee bit prouder.
     You know how it's hard to remember things from when you were really little?  I sure wish I had written a journal back then and kept notes as my life progressed. 
     I do have a couple of not-so-good memories.  For one, mommy moved us to a brand new place where there were lots of people (they called it an apartment).  I had to walk on a leash, and I didn't really like that.  I preferred running free, with not even a collar on my neck, but mommy said it wasn't safe to do that.  During this time I remember mommy crying a lot, and she often told me she was confused.  She assured me many times it had nothing to do with me.  She said she was at a time in her life of many changes and that most often, change is good and makes us smarter.  Like she told me...my life changed the day Abbey and her daddy took me to my mommy.  What a good thing that was, and I got smarter every day!
     Soon after our move mommy had to go to the hospital for surgery.  She told me she would be fine and that a nice man would come take care of me while she was gone.  I was worried.  I just wanted to be with my mommy.  The man arrived one day and at first I couldn't understand what he was saying.  ..he didn't talk like mommy.  He told me he was from a country far away- a country called HOLLAND, and that people there speak DUTCH.  He said he could speak English like my mommy (he called her Cinda) but he would always have an accent so I would have to listen carefully to what he said. 
     One day while mommy was gone he told me he had never had a dog before...That word again.. DOG?  He said I made him laugh and he thought I was beautiful!  He even bought me some toys!  He brushed my hair and took lots of pictures of me.  I loved when he would sit on the couch with me and he would pat my head.
     Mommy and this man (I called him Dutch Daddy) loved each other, and they loved me!  I never knew how special I could feel until I would walk with them or watch TV with them, or go for a drive in the car together.  Every moment with them was so much fun, and each day I learned something new.
     One day Dutch Daddy took me outside and I snuck something in my mouth to bring in the apartment to mommy.  When we went inside I presented it to mommy and they boht yelled.. “EW!!!!  A CIGARETTE!!!”  I could tell I had done something wrong.  I wouldn't do that again!  My next trip outside with Dutch Daddy I passed by the cigarettes I saw on the ground and found a different treasure to take in to mommy!  It was brown and just fit into my mouth.  Daddy didn't notice.  I felt sure he would be proud of me when I gave THIS treasure to mommy, but when I did they both yelled again.. but this time.. “EW!!!!  POOP!!!”  So, after a few more attempts at bringing mommy something special I learned they were a lot nicer to me when I brought in nothing.  Gee, what an easy life! 
     Time passed.  I grew a lot and got so smart.  Daddy would spend time teaching me each day.  He taught me not to chew on things, not to jump on people, to walk nicely on the leash, and to always go to the bathroom OUTSIDE.  Over time I learned that mommy and daddy had good advice, and it paid me to listen to them.
     My next real memory is a year or so later.  Mommy and daddy began packing up everything and said we were moving to a place called ARIZONA.  They said it hardly ever rains there and it NEVER EVER snows!  WOW!  I hate rain, and snow is even worse.  Rain makes me shiver and stink.  Snow hurts my feet.
     I was ready!  We drove for days and at last arrived at our new house in Arizona.  It was sunny, the sky was blue, there were no bugs around..and.. are you ready for this?  I HAD MY OWN PRIVATE DOOR  in this new house!  I could go out anytime I wanted..even without asking, and I could stay out as long as I wanted!  One day mommy and daddy said we were going to build a pool and a spa in the yard.  I was really worried.  I thought they might take away my door, but they didn't!  When the pool was finished, they took me in the water and showed me how to swim to the side in case I ever fell in.  I din't like the water, so I always stayed away from the edge of the pool.  I did, however, LOVE the spa, and I would spend hours sitting on the edge of it and lapping up water when I was thirsty.  It was like my own private huge water bowl-but it was filled with salt water so sometimes I got even thirstier.  Then, I would come in where I had my choice of inside bowls..one in the kitchen, and one in the bathroom. 
     I staked out my “territory” in the house.  First it was the yard and the mustard colored leather chair in the living room. In time, I included the sofa, then the black chairs.  Eventually my spot to sleep became mommy and daddy's bed.  Daddy had said he would NEVER let a dog sleep in his bed.. I am so glad I am not a dog!  I liked snuggling right in the middle of the bed up between their heads.  We fit like a puzzle.
     Life was so easy.  Most days were predictable, and I liked that.  I would hear daddy's car turn the corner of our street and then I knew it would be about one minute til I would hear the garage door open..then close.  I would sit and wait for daddy by the entry hall.  In he would walk and he would say something like,”Well, Hi Trixi Belle.  Do you want some water?”  or.. “How was your day, little girl?”  At 5:00 he would get me my food...my favorite: crunchy and dry.
     Eventually my teeth hurt when I ate that food and then I developed something called “bladder stones”.  Mommy and daddy knew something was wrong.  I couldn't help pee-peeing no matter where I was.  I was embarrassed!  The Dr. took pictures of my inside and there were so many stones it filled up half my bladder.  No wonder I couldn't hold my pee-pee!  Dr. McGuire said I needed surgery to take out those stones.  I remembered that mommy had surgery and went to the hospital, then came home in a few days.  The Dr. explained it would be just like that.
     Surgery was successful.  Stones gone.  I could control my bladder again and life was good once more.
     Not many children came to our house during that time, so I didn't have to find a place to get away.  Sometimes when kids visited they would chase me or try to grab my tail.  I wasn't in the mood for this, so I was happy to just lounge and be lazy.
     I loved to guard our house, and I would sit on the only green, kinda grassy area we had, by the side of the house.  I could watch cars, people walking by (some would stop and talk to me) and I would keep my eye on those two troublesome dogs across the street.  When they barked or got out of control, I would let them (and all the neighbors) know!

     After surgery I never quite got back all my strength. At first mommy thought it was because I didn't like my new “prescription food” , but the vet said I had to eat that kind or my body would make bladder stones again.
     A few months later my eyes began to hurt and water.  I also ached.  Mommy took me to Dr. McGuire.  She asked if I was in pain.  He did a lot of tests and told her that I wasn't in so much pain, but I was sick.. and that I probably ached and felt like I had the flu.  The tests showed that my liver wasn't working  right and that I had developed diabetes.  Mommy agreed to give me two insulin shots a day for that, but the Dr. said he wanted to put me in the hospital again to keep an eye on me and to stabilize my sugar.  He also ran a few more tests.  One of those tests showed that I had pancreatitis, which explained why I was so darned sick!  It also explained why I wouldn't eat.
     The Dr. put a needle in my leg and from Saturday to Tuesday they fed me through that tube. On Tuesday Mommy and daddy came to the hospital to visit me.  They brought me my favorite food.. EGGIE!  Mommy would boil eggs for me and crack them.  When she would crack those eggs, I would hear them and come running even if I was outside!  That Tuesday, though, mommy stood in the hospital and cracked the egg.  I saw the disappointment on mommy's face when I could hardly stand and sniff it, and when I did, I turned my head.  Poor mommy.  She cried.  I just didn't feel like eating.  I felt so sick.
     The Dr. and mommy and daddy talked on the phone Wednesday.  The Dr. said there were a few options.  
1.  Keep doing what we were doing...but it wasn't working. 
2.  Do more surgery to see what was in there – Dr. McGuire and another Dr. looked at all my tests and the pictures and said they thought I had a “mass”.  If they cut me open and saw that, they would give me a shot to put me to sleep.  I liked the sleep part..but sure didn't like that surgery part!  
3.  Do nothing.  Mommy and daddy made their own option...they decided to take me home and continue my diabetes shots at home. They hoped in the comfort of my own house I might perk up and eat.  The Dr. agreed that it was a good choice.  Mommy told him my comfort was the most important thing to her, and daddy said it was most important to him that I not suffer.  See why I love them?  They always thought about me!!!
     I went home on Wednesday.  It was good to have that IV out of my leg and to be in my own house!  Mommy and daddy had taken me a toy and my favorite pillow when they visited me on Tuesday at the hospital, but it wasn't the same as being home.  I slept and slept on the  sofa for most of the day.  Mommy never left my side.  I drank and drank but would not eat.  She tried everything.  Daddy even took us to McDonald's drive thru for my favorite- vanilla Ice Cream!  I couldn't even stand to look at it.  I hurt.  I ached.  I just wanted to sleep.  That night I couldn't hop up on the bed, but mommy lifted me up to my favorite spot.  The highest point in the center of the bed between my mommy's head and my daddy's head.  Even though my body hurt, my heart was happy.  Mommy massaged my belly and both of them scratched behind my ears.  They took turns loving on me.  I felt mommy's hand reach over and touch me many times during the night.  I heard them both crying, but it all became more and more distant.  I remember the last few times I had water I couldn't control my head-it went straight back, and my whole body stiffened.  It scared me and I know it scared mommy, too.  I heard her call Dr. McGuire in the morning.  Daddy quickly came home from work (I didn't even hear him leave for work!) I was in a kind of fog.  It was hard to raise my head or even open my eyes.
     When daddy got home they explained to me that the Dr. is very smart and knows when his patients are suffering.  They said I would very soon be hurting and I would be even sicker than now.  I couldn't stand the thought, and, they explained, neither could they.  They cradled me and told me they love me (but I already knew that).  They said I would go to the vet one last time- at noon.  They would stay with me this time, and the Dr. would give me a shot so I would no longer be sick, and not be in any pain ever again. I was so relieved!  Mommy wrapped me up like a baby and daddy drove as mommy cried and whispered her love and told me she would see me again someday.  Daddy cried, too, and that made me so sad.  I was not used to seeing daddy cry!
     We arrived at the Dr.'s and he was waiting for us.  As I was laid on the table, I felt daddy's loving hands on my belly.  Mommy held my head, and the Dr. did what he promised he would do.  End my suffering.  At exactly noon on January 7, 2010, one minute after the injection, Dr. McGuire took his stethoscope to  my heart and declared to mommy and daddy.., “SHE'S GONE”.

This is the beginning of the next story. As mommy promised life goes on..but things change.  Remember mommy also said CHANGE is good?  Just wait til I tell ya what all happened next!
Right now, I have a  bridge to cross... see ya on the other side!

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