Herman gallery using Flickity from Metafizzy

Herman 2000-2014

This will be on the pet profile site soon, but I’ve been playing around with it outside of that. This is more of the clean, crisp pet memorial page I wanted when I started thinking about the pet profile project over the summer. More to come on that. February 14 was the one-year anniversary of Herman’s death, so I thought it was fitting to use him as my test subject. This is working pretty well on mobile devices, though I need to do some mobile landscape view tweaking.

Using library Flickity from Metafizzy.

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40 days later

Grief need not take form like this. No need to crumble or sob. No need to cry out, “I want my puppy back.” No need to become a puddle of grief. No need to feel time stopping and devastation consuming you. It seems abnormal not to experience grief like this. I haven’t been writing about just how I have been grieving the loss of my dog. I’m not going to write about how it has been.

But I did just briefly describe how it is right now. 40 days later, I’m suddenly overcome by a tsunami.

I miss my boy so much.

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Herman health update

I suppose I can’t just blog about Herman having pneumonia without a follow-up. No time to blog. He’s been recovering. Been on meds. Coughing less and less. Has lost weight because he wasn’t eating much, and I wasn’t feeding him much. He’ll probably be weaker overall from now on, mostly because he’s 13, and he’s got all these other things wrong. And less physical activity (very short walks). But no vomiting or seizures. Just tired, probably partially due in part to the increased painkillers he’s been on since right before the pneumonia. He looks like he’s on his deathbed most of the time, but “deathbed” has also been his default facial expression since I got him 7 years ago. He is definitely weary. But he’s capable of perking up. I think his quality of life is still reasonable.

Herman Health Update part 2

Herman’s staying in the hospital overnight. Aspiration pneumonia. Pneumonia probably caused by combination of yesterday’s vomiting and summer’s laryngeal tie-back surgery. I know it sounds like the time you think about making that decision. It is. But, for now, the hospital stay may help him get through this, and he may still have some decent quality of life left.

Herman health update

Because I have the blog. Might as well cross-post between Facebook and here.

He spent the day vomiting. Like, everywhere. Long after there was no more food to expunge. Horrific hacks of foam. More like lattes, really. And then he couldn’t stand up for more than a few seconds. So off to the vet hospital. Several hundreds of dollars later, nothing new to report. Sent home with Cerenia and bland food. Wednesday and Thursday were really good days for Herman…the Gabapentin seems to have helped his back leg. But this was not a good day. I guess I should start that exercise of logging my pet’s quality of life from day-to-day.

Since I don’t post such updates anymore, I should mention that this comes a couple days after a night of two seizures, which follows two other seizures over the last few months.

And he’s got severe lameness in his hip…can’t bear weight on left hind leg.

Pets on canvas

I finally used my credit for five 16×20 canvas prints from mypix2canvas.com which operates locally out of Apex. I had already had one previous canvas of Herman and Aremid together. I spent awhile trying to figure out how I’d arrange these six prints. Two rows of three is what I had planned for months. Ultimately, I realized that one just didn’t fit.

So these five are together:

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Aremid gets the most wall-space, and the prints are arranged in a sort-of symmmetry: Aremid-Zellouisa-Herman-Aremid-Zellouisa-Herman-Aremid.

And Mr. F gets his own corner:

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Laryngeal Paralysis Surgery

Herman really wants to go outsideHerman’s going in tomorrow for the surgery I said I was considering. It actually feels a bit sudden because we went in for a surgical consult today, and I had figured we’d be scheduling it a few weeks ago, but the surgeon could fit him in tomorrow, so I decided sooner is better. If Herman has 1-2 good years left, we should get those started asap. Like with my own surgeries, I’m not giving much thought to worst case scenarios. What’s the point? I’m assuming he’ll be fine. If he’s not, it’ll be horrible. If I worry about a horrible outcome now, it will still be just as horrible.

Pic from September 2007, when Herman was a spry 6 or 7 years ago.

Laryngeal paralysis

Herman 2013.05.16I’m not doing any writing here, and I have no plan to start anew, but I feel like writing a few words tonight. As I’ve said before, most of what I have to say goes into Facebook, so you’ve really been missing the boat if you’re just following me here. But I’m unlikely to write more than three lines in Facebook. And perhaps that’s on purpose. I just haven’t had it in me to spill any significant thoughts.

I thought Herman might be dying tonight. Past tense. I think he’ll survive another day, maybe a few hundred more days if we’re lucky. But his laryngeal paralysis is really taking a toll on him. A quick search of the blog seems to indicate that I haven’t written about this at all, which surprises me. Not going to explain it now; that’s what the hyperlink is for. I’ve been thinking of finally doing the tieback surgery, figuring it will be worth the enormous expense if Herman could get 1-2 good years where he could breathe easily, since he hasn’t breathed easily for years.

Anyway, tonight his ongoing panting and wheezing seemed…well, not worse than usual, because the usual has been pretty severe of late. But tonight I had this sense that even the preliminary lung x-ray he is scheduled to get on Wednesday might be too little, too late…or, rather, just irrelevant. Herman has always looked like he’s at death’s door when he’s out of it, but tonight he truly seemed like he could go at any time.

He had his head next to my arm while I sat on the couch to watch Mad Men, and his breathing was labored. Many nights before, I’ve wondered if that night would be the night I’d be taking him to the emergency vet, and he’d have to be intubated or put to sleep. Tonight, I wondered if he would just as well decide to skip that part. Actually, initially, I did just think he was having a bad night, but it was unusual in that he had had no exertion during the day and little reason to get excited about anything. With the rain coming down hard, he didn’t even get a second walk. I got him a double dose of pain meds in Pill Pockets, hoping that would at least ease some of the burden on his old body. He did get off the couch to follow me to eat the treats.

And then he lied down on the living room rug. He fails to jump back onto the couch only when he is especially exhausted. I had a compulsion to lie down next to him, something he typically doesn’t allow. Or, at least, he usually turns away from me. But he seemed to want me there, and he rested his paws on my arms and seemed to keep eye contact with me with his hazy squinting eyes…

And I’d go on and try to describe this in more poetic detail, and it did go on for about an hour, but, in the end, there’s not much of a story. He’s still here. It was just a dress rehearsal. “You’re not going to die tonight, are you? Well, good, I have things to do,” I said to him before I got up to do the nightly routine.

We’re back on the couch now. He’s an inch from my elbow. He’s taking deep, wheezy breaths. He’ll get his chest x-ray on Wednesday. My vet thinks it’s best to make sure he doesn’t have something else going on before referring me onto the surgeon who does the tieback procedure.

So what was the point of my writing this? Not quite sure.

Obligatory follow-up with pet pics

I have some better photos from the good camera, but those could take years for me to look at.

From the last couple of days…

Mr. F 2012.12.27
Mr. F looks splendid against the backdrop of a kitchen rug

Z still loves me 2012.12.27
Z spends a lot of time on the bed seemingly out of it. So I was happy when she crawled up on top of me for some face time.

Z as healer 2012.12.25
Aremid used to play the role of healer, lying next to me or on me in bed while I recuperated from some malady. Z has been doing that a bit.

Herman out of it on the couch 2012.12.27
Herman spends a lot of time on the couch seemingly out of it. He perks up for walks and when I come home, though I haven’t been out much of late.