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John P
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John P

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13 Apr 2014
Hello all,

I last posted about a year ago... that being a rough one where we lost two old dogs, Suzie and Gracie, as well as a young cat, Buddy. My wife and I took a long time to deal with it all... still dealing with it, but along the way three new companions came into our lives.

Laura found Ozzie the Cat in a home that was recently vacant, but the former tenants "forgot" a cat in the basement for a couple weeks with nothing but an open toilet to drink from. Other than being dirty and underfed, he was otherwise fairly healthy but needed neutering, chipping, de-flea-ing, etc. That was in June of 2013. He strongly resembles Buddy and we sometimes find ourselves calling him that. He has since put on some healthy weight and gets along well with the other cats.

After months of discussion, we decided to adopt two Jack Russells, Enzo and Dino, from a local Chicago rescue, Fabulous Fidos. Enzo, the larger of the two, seems more mature, whereas Dino is more energetic and has issues from being stuck in cages for a year plus, and probably some abuse from former owner. The rescue has many volunteers that took them to twice-weekly trainings, which got them out of their cages and helped them socialize with people and other dogs -- a HUGE plus.

BTW, I believe the names come from the founder of the Ferrari car company, Enzo Ferrari, and his son, Dino. The Ferrari company also named cars after the father and son.

That brings our critter count back to five, including two cats we've had for a long time, Kinte and JJ.

John P.

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Attached File  ozzie_on_cat_perch_by_window.jpg ( 100.2K ) Number of downloads: 0
Attached File  enzo_dino_in_bed.jpg ( 73.71K ) Number of downloads: 0
12 Feb 2013
Suzy was a wonderful Jack Russel-Chihuahua mix. She was with us for over 15 years, and we think she was over 20 years old. In her youth, she was very energetic. The past few years brought several age-related problems, bad vision, deafness, arthritis, and nystigmus, which we thought was a stroke. A few years ago we thought she wouldn't survive much longer, but thanks to luck and good vet care, she soldiered on till today. My wife and I have known for some months now that we'd have to "make a decision," yet we'd hoped she'd go peacefully in the night. Her Jack Russel energy kept her going and going, and it was heartbreaking to see her stagger around the house on legs that barely worked. We agonized over what to do and postponed the inevitable, but today we decided it was enough. After losing our sweet cat Buddy last May and Gracie the dog in June rather quickly, having our baby so very long and having years to prepare didn't make the day much easier. If you love them, it's always hard. Suzy, rest in peace and thank you for so many good years!
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Attached File  suzy_in_my_office.jpg ( 104K ) Number of downloads: 1
19 Jun 2012
Hello again, all. Gracie, a corgi-dachshund mix, has been part of our family for ten or eleven years. She is in the process of checking out. She's been a real survivor... about seven years ago she had surgery to remove an infected spleen I think, and the past two years she's been on meds for congestive heart failure. Back then we didn't think she'd last this long, but the past few weeks she's been shutting down rapidly. The vet said today her kidneys are likely gone. We took her home with us but I think this is going to be her last night with us. The tail still wags but her eyes are sad. Thanks again for listening. The picture is of Gracie sunning herself in the backyard a couple weeks ago.
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Attached File  Gracie_sunning_herself_small.jpg ( 230.63K ) Number of downloads: 2
24 May 2012
Buddy showed up at our doorstep as a stray in the summer of 2010. He was very thin and had open sores on his shoulder and neck. My wife called to him (she’s a magnet for stray animals) and he came to her. We lured him into a large cat carrier with some food, fed him and took him to the vet immediately. Very long story short, we ended up keeping him. We have two other tom cats and two small old dogs. Buddy tested positive for FIV so we kept him in a separate bedroom till we could figure out what to do. He was a very young adult, barely out of kittenhood.
A year later, he’d filled out beautifully. He was long and handsome with the sweetest meow. With great difficulty, we got our older tom to tolerate him. We had him retested for FIV and it came back negative. My heart filled with hope and joy. He had a few bad habits -- plucking the window screens like a harp at three in the morning with his claws-- but his sweetness far outweighed the problems. He was truly a part of the family.
About six weeks ago he began slowing down, wouldn’t eat. We took him to the vet, thinking he’d eaten something bad on one of his brief trips outside, or had gotten an infection. Antibiotics seemed to clear it up. A couple weeks ago, it got much worse again. After a few days, he looked exhausted, slept a lot, vomited, wouldn’t eat. Last Thursday an ultrasound revealed advanced cancer in his stomach and liver. He had an enlarged heart or heart murmur and the vet said he wouldn’t survive surgery… even if we went ahead and he survived, it would postpone the inevitable a couple weeks.
My wife had warned me over the time we’d had him that his system was compromised, but I looked at his beautiful face and body and thought it couldn’t be that bad. It tore us up, but we had him put to sleep. We stayed with him, stroked him and told him we loved him as he slipped into unconsciousness. He was purring.
Since then, it’s been crying jags and sleepless nights. My wife and I been devastated. We “see” him everywhere… in the basket he slept in, meowing at the door, stretched out on the sofa or ottoman. I can’t believe he’s gone. I realized the vet still had his remains, and I frantically thought if I sold some of my possessions and maxed out the credit card, I could have him cryonically frozen! I did not want to let go of him at all. I felt horrible that we hadn’t done everything in our power to keep him going. I later thought having him frozen was just an expensive funeral and not be likely to do any good.
I’ve been in a fog of grief, forgetful, scatterbrained. My nerves are shot. I’ve taken time off work. When it’s bad, it’s the black pit. I don’t care about anything. It feels like a harpoon through my heart and a fire in my brain. The pain and sadness are overwhelming. It comes in waves. Once in a while it lets up and I can function, but it comes back. I loved him so much and it made me so happy to see him healthy and content. That’s all gone. I’m shattered.
He was such a sweetheart!

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