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25 Jul 2015
The day I've dreaded for so long has come.
Our wonderful baby Bruno passed away today after 13 years and 1 month with us.

It was on June 18, 2002. My partner Larry found him, a 2 month old Maltese, at a local petshop. He was looking for a present for my birthday which was a month away, but when he set sight on this little beuatiful angel he knew he had to bring him home that very day. We named him Bruno, a tough guy name, and since then, Bruno became a constant fixture in our little home and was loved immensely and returned that love to us. If you see one of my previous posts, written in 2007, you'll know I had another Maltese back in Korea, named Hani. Knowing that I was missing her terribly, Larry decided to get me a Maltese. And I just loved him so so very much. Such a beautiful face, mini-tough guy attitude... I just loved everything about him.
Hani passed away in March 2007, just past her 13th birthday. As Bruno aged, I always was aware he was reaching that age 13 fast.

Bruno needed knee surgery on both hind legs when he was 2-3 years old. After that he had no health issues whatsoever until 2010 when he started having trachea problem which was supposed to be very common in small breeds. Trachea problem has been kept under control with continuous medication. Two years ago, while I was out of job for four months, he got diagnosed with the enlarged heart. This has also been more or less kept under control with 3 different kinds of medication.
We've been very grateful. He just seemed to be slowing down in walking, maybe less active in some ways, and started to have hearing problems. But again, overall, we've been grateful.
We've been feeding him home made meals -- sweet potato, zucchini, chicken breast, ground beef, rice, etc., for the last year and a half or so, and he seemed to be thriving.
However, maybe a week and a half ago, it became harder to make him eat, especially his breakfast which is Larry's responsibility because he's retired. Dinner I fixed for him when I came home at night, he still ate well. It was Tuesday when I first got an absolute No from him while I was trying to make him eat his dinner. I cooked a little bowl of ground beef and he managed to eat that only. This, despite our hope, wasn't getting better, and we decided to take him to the vet.

Yesterday, Larry took him to the vet and was told that he had a very aggressive, bleeding painful tumor in his liver and had only days to live. He actually recommended that they put him to sleep right then and there because his breathing became labored as well. Larry couldn't let him do it. He had to bring him back home so we can have each other at least for another night. I would have fought the idea of putting him to sleep, but hearing that he must be in pain I couldn't say no.

Yesterday evening was lovely. Possibly thanks to the little shot or something to temporarily stop the bleeding, Bruno was close to his normal and ate some treats and was playful. However, the night was difficult. He couldn't stay put more than 3 minutes and was breathing very hard. We knew, as the vet said, his conditions were rapidly deteriorating.

Larry called the vet's office at 8:30 this morning and made an appointment for Bruno's passing for 11:40. Bruno was able to nap quite a while, looing very tired all along.

The time came and we took him to the vet. They took him out to the surgery room to put a catheter to his leg. When being taken out of the room, he was looking back at us. I will never forget those eyes. Surprisingly alert still and questioning. They took him back in the room where we were waiting. The vet put the tranquilizer first and let us stay with him for a few minutes. His muscle was relaxing and he laid down on his belly. The vet came back and processed the final shot. We could see Bruno reaching that rainbow bridge. The vet confirmed that Bruno passed away. I cried uncontrollably. Since yesterday evening, I've gone through multiple times of crying bouts. We came out of the vet's office without Bruno in our arms.

Earlier this morning, we managed to clip a little bit of his tail hair. Everywhere I look, everything reminds me of Bruno, and despite knowing for sure that this was the right decision and Bruno had a wonderfull life, I just am not confident how I will be able to get through this grief. I loved him so so much, and although I know we'll be reunited in heaven, I don't know how I will be able to keep him in beautiful memories and accept the fact that he's no longer with us physically. It's just too much and too raw.
I'm not sure if the picture was successfully uploaded. If it was, that was from yesterday evening, when he was being playful to our surprise. Still so incredibly beautiful...

I'm just so scared about this void in our life without Bruno being there as he has been the last 13 years and 1 month.
He was such a special boy and his presence was so ingrained in every facet of our life.
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10 Oct 2007
**** With the permission of precious Nabi's wub.gif owner, I am moving this thread to the Death & Dying forum. Muffins ***

A little, bright yellow colored parakeet.
Name coming from a Korean word for butterfly.
One of the four parakeets Larry and I have had and loved, since November 2004.

She is gone.

This morning, October 10, 2007, on the way to our guest room to grab a winter jacket, I found her little body lying on the bottom of the cage.

We do not know why and how this has happened. Assuming that she was just a several month old chick when we got her four years ago, she couldn't be older than four, and parakeets are supposed to live about 15~18 years. So old age is not the cause. Also, Nabi was definitely the healthiest and the perkiest bird of the four. Did she die of some sort of accident, such as a sudden fall from the perch? I don't know.

I loved her. I genuinely enjoyed watching her doing little flying things and sort of pecking her friends. She was full of energy and personality. Larry says Nabi was the boss. Bada (Ocean) was her best pal, while Hana (White) and Namu (Tree) were rather younger newcomers. I am very sad, and I know it will never be the same watching the birds without Nabi in there.

Nabi, I love you, and please forgive me for any wrongs I might have done you without knowing. You will always be in my heart!!!
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21 May 2007
Two months have passesd since my precious Hani took her last breath on earth.

I had been very well aware of this two month anniversary approaching until this very morning when I was leaving for work. I kissed Bruno, my five year old Maltese boy, wished him a great day and left wondering if Bruno was getting enough exercise, because ast night when I weighed him, he weighed thirteen pounds, which is quite up there for a Maltese. About half an hour later, I realized that exactly at that moment two months ago Hani left us and made her transition, and it gave me such a strange confusing feeling. I was obviously saddened, and at the same time, amazed. I was thinking about Bruno maybe not getting enough exercise, while I would have been certain I would be so completely overwhelmed about this two month anniversary of Hani. I must confess that I was very relieved about my gradual healing from the grief and was conscious that I might be reaching the stage of acceptance, which came about six to seven weeks after Hani's passing. But, in a way, I find myself asking a question if this is too fast or if I am showing enough respect to Hani.

As I mentioned several times before, the fact that I did not physically live with Hani for the last seven years might be what made the difference. When I learned of Hani's passing on March 22, which had happened a day before in Korea, I was completely devastated and one of the toughest elements of my grief was the feeling of guilt. Through the help from many friends like you here, my family in Korea, my partner, several wonderful books, and prayers to God, the gradual healing came. And, now, here I am, feeling guilty for being this much healed.

No doubt, I am still in the middle of grieving journey, and I have to try hard to convince myself that Hani is in good place, the Heaven, as an angel, whenever I am faced with the sorrow and emptiness again and again. I love her and I miss her a lot. And, like she did many times before, she will forgive me for whatever shortcomings I have and love me always. I am sure!

Hani, I love you~~~!
21 Apr 2007
It's been exactly one month since Hani, my thirteen year old Maltese puppy girl, passed away.

The first two weeks was enormously difficult going through the deepest grief accompanied by the feelings of guilt from the fact that I was not there for the good latter part of her life. Talking with you friends with wonderful comforting hearts and words was a great source of relief, along with reading books on pet loss and talking with my family in Seoul and others. And the newly found faith about heaven still helps me a great deal.

The last two weeks was more like a period of healing and acceptance. I still feel very sad when I think about Hani, and I wish that she had held on a couple more years waiting for me. But I assume the fact that my physical surroundings here has not changed was the biggest difference. I did not have to suffer from the hurtful recognition of her physical absence here because she had been in my heart and my consciousness instead of this place where I live for more than seven years. Also the fact that I had to take care of a few very practical business of life sort of distracted me from the intense grief a little sooner as well.

I want to thank all of your kind and healing words of solace once again, and here I want to share with you a little collage that I made with a handful of Hani's pictures. This is my little tribute to Hani on this one month anniversary. And I am planning to collect more pictures of her from my family and put together a nice picture album. That will make me feel so much better.
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2 Apr 2007
Hello everyone,

It's been 12 days since Hani, my beautiful little girl passed away at the age of 13. She was diagnosed with a heart condition 15 months ago, but had been doing well through medication and treatment until a week before when she noticeably got weaker. Completely devastated and in overwhelming grief and pain, I desperately needed consolation and solace, and "Lightning Strike" was one of the few shelters that I could take myself under.

Of this tragedy, I was informed a day later by my younger sister in Seoul, Korea, who has been the main caretaker to Hani for all these years. I left Hani and my family in September 1999 for the United States, and have not been able to visit them once during the last 7.5 years. Reasons were plenty for both why I came here and why I could not visit them, but it is unncessary to go into details here. When and ever since I left Korea, the one that I missed the most was Hani, the beautiful little Maltese girl, who I loved so much. I loved my other family -- my mom, brother and sisters -- but unlike with them I was not able to really communicate with Hani and I was so saddened when I thought about how my little Hani would be wondering what happened to her "big brother" Jay. According to my mom, Hani sat at the door waiting for me to come home, for a good couple of weeks. Through all these 7.5 years, Hani has been a kind of a token of my promise and hope of seeing my family again. I thought to myself that I had to just go see her before it's too late. But 7.5 years was too long a time for a 5.5 year old dog, and now Hani is no longer in Seoul but in heaven.

While coping with my grief and pain, I found one of the hardest part of it the feelings of guilt and regret. The thought I somehow failed to keep my promise with Hani tormented me so badly. I have my own life here with a loving partner and another wondeful puppy named Bruno. Even though I'm sure that I did not love and miss Hani any less than I loved Bruno, it still hurt me so much that I was not able to see her again and maybe more profoundly that I had to leave her. Troubling throughts, one after another, came inside me and bothered me. I tried so hard to remind myself that Hani, even without me there, was surrounded by so many other family members who loved her as much as I did, had a wonderful happy life of 13 years, and left this earth as an angel for heaven. And, I believe it is true. She WAS a very happy girl who lived a full life of love and happiness, and she must have already understood why I wasn't able to come and see her and forgiven me.

No moment awake passed by without me keenly conscious of the dreadful fact that Hani is no longer with us. I was not able to go to sleep without a few drinks. I could not really eat, talk with people who do not know about what I was going through, and found everything else meaningless. I cried and cried at home from work. I prayed and prayed that God would give me strength to get through this period and also that Hani's new life in heaven would be a blessed one. I read two books: "Grieving the Death of a Pet" by Betty J. Carmack, and "Goodbye Friend" by Gary Kowalski. Reading "Grieving the Death of a Pet" helped me a lot. It's full of such comforting and healing words!

More than 10 days later, now, I am still (of course) in the midst of my grieving, but with a little more hope for healing and peace. I am praying that I will be able to remember my little girl Hani with more smile than tears. I will still cry, but with tears from love and thanks rather than of pain and sorrow.

Please kindly keep Hani and me in your prayer and thoughts, friends. It will mean a lot to both of us. Thank you!
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