"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

***A Quote From The Velveteen Rabbit


Love What You've Got Today...Re-Lived, Even More Up Close and Personal-Bruti's Reminder

ORIGINALLY POSTED:  Tuesday, June 02, 2009 

"Love what you've got today. Days go by and things are usual and
comfortable, we grow accustomed to this and take the most special parts
of our lives for granted. Because the most special things are almost
always the things that are always there, the things we love, that love
us. I have found through all of this that I am guilty. I have often
taken advantage of the comfort that my most cherished things will be
there when I get home, and the days will continue to slip by just as
they have. It's a dangerous mistake. There may always be
tomorrow...But, if there isn't, yesterday is gone too. I don't want to
let the days slip by anymore..."
The Reality: Love What You've Got Today, originally written by myself for Princess the White Boxer, who was the girl of my close friend Franny. We lost Prinny to cancer a few years ago, it was and is something that affects me deeply, so close to home. And now this is revisited on an even more personal level, the lesson I learned so invaluable, I have to pay homage, have to be mindful.

The days that have passed since I woke up Friday, to the sound of my little girl vomiting on the floor next to my bed, have been some of the hardest I have ever lived. Yes, ever, in all the things I have experienced in my life, this definitely rates up at the top of the list of "The Worst Things I Have Ever Been Through" and it reminds me, there's no way it couldn't, of something a few years ago that took me a long time to deal with, a long time to put away. In retrospect, I shouldn't have ever completely put that away, there are some things so painful...We want to forget. But I am beginning to believe it's these things we should keep closest, to remind us to be mindful, life is so short and the days go by so fast. I want to make every day, every second, every THING the best it can be, no regrets that way...When you do your best and give it all you've got. I have no regrets, more importantly, I don't want any, either.

Friday morning, I woke up early, Butch and Bruti were already awake so I let them out and prepared their breakfast. When they came inside I went back to bed, assuming they would eat and then come in as they always do. Bruti came into my room much sooner than normal, but I was drifting along, neither awake nor asleep, somewhere in a half dream in between. She started trying to get my attention, I could hear her pacing and coming toward the edge of my bed and then away, again and again, sorta whining just a little, I told myself she was being a brat, she wanted up in the bed with me as she often does so I ignored her, I wasn't ready to dismiss my half dream to get up and let her in the bed with me. But I should have known, shouldn't have dismissed her behavior, her persistance with me was obvious, she never tries that hard, she really doesn't ever bother me for anything, she's a very good girl. And then I heard it..The warm, wet sound that you can't ever mistake, a sound that makes your stomach almost turn....Vomit making contact with the hardwood floor.

I was up instantly, "Oh Bru! What's wrong, PuppyGirl? Ohhhh nooooo! Come here little one," and she tried, took a step and a half and started heaving again. "Something's wrong, something's wrong," whispers through my mind, but all I could focus on is how bad I felt for not acknowledging her when she was trying to rouse me, she just wanted out. Poor puppy daughter, poor sweet Bru. So we headed toward the back door, she out into the yard heaving, and me to get cleaning supplies. The day, the entire day went on just like this, and Friday night most of the night, more of the same. Bru heaving, me cleaning. Water...Vomit, too much movement...Vomit, for no reason...Vomit. Bru hadn't eaten since Thursday night and hadn't kept any water down since then either. She couldn't get comfortable, just when you thought she was going to settle down, she would jump up and pace around, quickly, uncertainly. She wanted to be held but couldn't sit still. She fought sleep so hard that I had to pull an old school Baby Bru trick outta my hat and rub circles around her ears to get her down. When I did, I thought to myself that she would sleep it off, whatever it was. But even as she slept, she woke up a number of times heaving, throwing up on me, since she was sleeping with her head on my chest, twice. It didn't matter, it would wash off. My girl...After vomiting 13 or 14 times, I was wondering what could be wrong with my girl.

Saturday...She woke up a little happier. She drank a little water, refused food, as she had done on Friday, but drank a little water and didn't throw up. I went to the store, for pedialite and some eggs for her, she likes eggs and they're bland, and pedialite just to help rehydrate. Happy that she seemed better, I didn't worry about what had upset her the day before. When I got home, to my dismay, it started again. So now it was over 24 hours since she really hadn't been able to keep anything down, even water. 24 hours seems like an eternity when one of the most important things in your life is sick and hurting...But can't tell you what's wrong. My stress level nearly reached the panic stage when she threw up A LOT of watery fluid the color of healthy grass when I knew there was nothing in her stomach. She'd already thrown it all up. It was time to go to the puppy hospital.

Around 1:30 or so we went to the hospital in La Mesa. Something was on our side for that, they weren't busy at all, we didn't have too wait long. When the Dr came in I was sitting on the floor crosslegged, with Bru in my lap, her head resting on my shoulder. He looked like he wasn't expecting that, but to my surprise and approval, he sat on the floor as well when we started talking, eye to eye with us. He listened and was very interested in her lifestyle and the care I give her, and was very happy with the information I gave him, about that and the details of what had been going on the last couple of days. He wanted to do xrays and blood work. Fine. He wanted to take her into another room for all of that, and obvioiusly for the xrays that's necessary, but I wasn't going to let him have anyone put needles in my little girl if I wasn't present, and although he told me that was the rule, he made an exception and bent the rule for us, sending a lab tech in to get the blood. Then they took her to xray.

It really didn't take long until the doctor returned with Bruti, and they had the results ready really quickly. The doctor explained that in situations like this, we actually hope for no diagnosis, for no sign of pancreantitis or some liver problem that's apparently common, and that the dog just responds to whatever treatment and gets better, in which case we could presume it was the flu or something. Her xrays didn't show anything abnormal, I had thought she was constipated because she had been straining really hard to go potty, but nothing would happen. That can cause vomiting if things get too backed up. That wasn't the case. No blockage or tumors or anything. Blood work was mostly normal, with the exception of a few things that could have been from dehydration, but nothing to really go off of. No diagnosis. Just what we were told to hope for.

So, there was now the issue of treatment. Obviously, the Dr recommended that she be admitted and kept on an IV over night, there was obviously the risk of severe dehydration. But Bru is never away from us...I couldn't do that to any of us. We're like 3 peas in a pod...And peas don't change their pods. The vet was expecting this, and told me that, although he never offers it as an option, especially in situations like ours, there was outpatient treatment. He said that upon seeing her with me and hearing about her lifestyle, he would be ok with allowing that, but wanted to give her fluid under her skin, to combat dehydration, as well as a shot for the nausea. There's a time and a place for pharmaceuticals, even for those of us that do not use them, and obviously I accepted. I was just so glad to be taking her home with me. So, $550 and 6+ hours later, I left the puppy hospital with my poor little hunchback Bru, (They put the fluid under the skin in the shoulder area, LoL) no diagnosis, and instructions on how to care for her. At the bottom the doctor wrote, "Thank you for taking such good care of Bruti, she is a very sweet dog." Even now, just as it did the first time, reading or even thinking it makes me cry. She's my everything, of course I do all I can for her, she counts on me. She loves ME..I LOVE her. More than life.

The last few days have been trying. She's holding water down but not drinking enough. She sleeps nonstop. She's still feverish, and in 5 days she's only accepted 4 tablespoons of the chicken and rice that I am allowed to give her. I find myself spending a lot of time watching her sleep, the rise and fall of her ribcage...Watching her gradually get thinner. Begging her to eat, please drink more Bruti! I cry a lot, I'm not ready for this, not ready for anything with her unless it's happy. She's my one reliable, unconditional love. She's never let me down, I've always been able to count on her. Through some of the hardest times in my life, she was my rock, she kept me here. 6.5 years, the best and worst times of my life, just me and her. And Butchy for 5 of those years, but Butchy loves everyone. Bruti's like.....My palest shadow, my flag, my soul embodied outside of my self. She's my everything, and to see her like this is crushing.

I can only
say..It's humbling to hold something you love more than anything when the
future's uncertain, looking down at her sleeping in my arms reminds me that these 6.5 years haven't been enough..I'll never ever ever have enough of Bruti. I think back over the time, have I really appreciated it? Yes. But can you ever appreciate it enough??!.....So..Love what you've got today, because yesterday's
gone..And tomorrow may never come. Love truly, love deeply, love
fiercely & boundlessly, but most of all, love consciously &
outwardly. Do it NOW. Be mindful of the opportunity you have, time is short, there's never enough. It will never be enough.

True love NEVER dies, but....

Please let my girl get well now.


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