Just got off the phone, and her blood transfusion was completed two hours ago, and all of her vitals have improved and she is resting comfortably. They are doing more blood work and will get in touch with me tomorrow and go over what all has been done, when I can come up and visit, etc. They’re all so nice and understanding and take so much time with you on the phone.
I hate this.
Thurston can not figure out why he is getting a treat every three minutes, but he is ok with it. Rosie is upstairs sleeping in Lily’s bed.
Aww, very good news. Still pulling for best possible outcome _ and when I get to a desktop and can see the PayPal link, will throw in a few bucks. Go, Lily!
We all hate it with you, and please take care.
Glad to hear she is confortable. You should try to rest too, knowing she is iin good hands.
Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.)
Hang in there. That’s all you can do right now.
Some good news at least. Hoping and praying that the good news continues for Lily, John!
White & Gold Purgatorian
The transfusion should make Lily feel much better. Glad it went well. Sleep if you possibly can. The waiting is miserable.
And of course Rosie takes over as top dog!
That is so great. Threw a few bucks in too.
Well. Since these threads have brought out sharing…
This thread seems to invite dog sharing. Very worried for my girl Katie. She’s 15, and Ive had her since a puppy.In January, I moved from New Jersey to Maryland. Hoped to have stayed in my house till Katie eventually passed, so not to put her thru the disruption. But had to put the house on market for large medical bills. Couldn’t keep a dog here so she’s been living with my sister. Went pretty well, but her sometime incontinence became constant, crazy thirst, weight loss. The vet can’t find any reason why. Got to the point where my sister said she can’t take care of her anymore. Suggested we let her go to a Senior Dog Sanctuary. This is just breaking my heart. Another disruption; will she be scared and confused. (she does have signs of dementia). Is it time to just let her go? She still enjoys eating and going for walks. If she can still have some quality of life there, why not…
This is hard, the waiting and the worrying, I hope you have ways to occupy yourself to a point of some rest, you need it.
When you say Lily’s bed, you mean the big bed, don’t you?
So happy to hear this good news and grateful to be able to make a contribution. Have been thinking of Lily all day long today and of you too, Mr. Cole. I’d be a wreck for sure, and to know she’s doing well is great news. Take good care of yourself now, I say rather annoyingly, I know. It’s that old thing — Put your air mask thingie on first in case of need, right? So you can be super duper for puppy when she comes home. I’ll always remember what you and others did for dear Walter, and I’ve mainly lurked here at BJ for so many years now that I feel emotionally invested. And that’s a good thing because this a marvelous, life-saving site that gets me through every single day. Pets–dogs, cats, and all others–are getting us through this gonked-out time and deserve all the love and support we lesser beings can muster. When I grow up, I wanna be my dog.
That sounds like really good news, John.
I’m sure you’re still holding your breath, Cole, but this is such good news,! I’m so happy for the kindness these people are showing you and Lily. You can find competent, and you can find kind, but it can be hard sometimes to find both in the same person or entity.
Seems like you hit the jackpot with this place, Cole. Big hugs.
Tell Rosie it’s too soon to be making claims on others stuff.
We’re all sending energy.
J R in WV
Come on, you know Steve is the top dog, even if he is a cat!!!
Glad to hear the good news, John. Lily’s going to have a good night, you do the same!
@Shell: Only you can decide if it’s time to let her go. I waited too long with two of my beloved cats. I regret it bitterly.
It’s so, so hard, though, to let go of more time with your darlings.
Remember to take care of yourself Cole, it sounds like Lily is in good hands.
OT: Looking over at Cole’s twitter feed, when did John Dean become shrill?
Should be: And of course Rosie thinks she can be top dog now!
Delusions of grandeur. Dear Rosie – I know Lily, and you’re no Lily. Lily and Cole are a match made in heaven. Cole loves you, but you are not his doggie soulmate.
Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes
Give Thurston some treats on me man. I kicked a bit over, too.
Don’t worry about your fur buddies – your commentariat probably has this.
mai naem mobile
Hey, it wasn’t bad news and she’s improved son that’s good. Crossing my fingers for you Cole and Lily.
@JPL: this, yeah. Pens are kickin it too, lets go with the good omens.
@Shell: I feel ya. I just said goodbye to my dear old boy Theo, he was 3 months short of 15. I want to suggest that you at least investigate the Senior Dog Sanctuary, see if it seems like a good place and if the people who staff it are experienced and caring. You want her last days/weeks/months to be a time of comfort, if possible. I wish you the best, whatever you decide.
John, Lily is better, and that’s good news! Hang in there.
@bluefish: Gaia save me, Bluefish, you got me in tears. Preach it!
@Shell: Shell, these are heartbreaking decisions. Each change is likely to increase her dementia a bit, it does that to humans. If course she’ll be frightened and lonely for you too. Only you can decide what’s best for her, knowing her as you do. But quality of life for a dog who has loved one and lived with you for so long is about more than walks and eating. If I was in your position I would consider it time, especially if there’s any way you could spend some hours together first. Dementia without loved ones and familiar surroundings is frightening for anyone, maybe more so for an animal who can’t understand why their beloved owner doesn’t seen to want them any more.
It’s a terrible decision to have to make, consider her needs first and you’re likely to make the best one for her, whatever it is.
Excerpt from Cole’s “I think this is the One” post from 2009:
And this is why we love you.
I will give sad pet sharing. Six months ago my 17 year old cat, Percy, pitched over. After racing him to the vet, they discovered he had advanced lung cancer. He never showed any symptoms. His personality didn’t change, he curled up on my lap every night, the way he had for 17 years. He demanded his canned cat food every morning. He had to be put to sleep.
Two weeks ago, my 12 year old dog, Agave, had to be put down. He’d been going down hill all year. His lungs were damaged after suffering kennel cough at the high kill shelter he was rescued from. It was so bad that the vet said don’t give him a dental unless it’s absolutely necessary, because he’s so old and his lungs were so bad they weren’t sure he could survive the anesthesia. He developed a compressed disc in his neck, so he was always on a harness, He developed a compressed trachea. He was part chihuahua and they are susceptible to both conditions. Then he started whining and sneezing blood. The vet said, time for a dental and we set an appointment and got him pain meds. By midnight that night he was in agony. Taking him back to the vet they discovered he had pancreatitis, which I was told is horribly painful and his already enlarged kidney had gotten bigger and had a tumor. He was in such pain that I had to let him go. I just got his ashes back yesterday.
I have one more 17 year old cat, Spec, and a 4 year old dog, Shiloh. I’m so worried I’ll lose my cat, who is acting like he always did, just the way my Percy did until the day he died, because he’s 17 and that’s pretty darned old. Shiloh isn’t acting like herself. She’s not eating like normal and is extra fussy. I know she misses Agave, they were devoted to each other, and she’s mourning, but I worry about her too.
They get into your heart and they never leave. I miss my boys.
Sorry to be a downer, but I needed to share.
@satby: I once kept a dog alive too long and I did it for me. Never again.
I love that line; like from an old movie when they’re talking about a human patient. Lets hope her owner is able to rest as comfortably.
Lizzie, Im so sorry about your pup.
@Shell: i have an old dog that I will probably need to make this decision for in the next few months, so I understand your pain. What kind of dog, and if you don’t mind, where in Maryland are you? I wonder if I can keep her for you for the short time she probably has left. I am in Maryland. But I have 3 dogs and 2 cats. Is your dog cat friendly? Maybe you can ask a front pager to pass my email on?
@satby: @Shell: I second satby’s advice. We humans have a longer timeframe than our pets. This means that fragmented good times are not as tolerable as it is for us, who more easily look past it. I feel for you, since active pain seems a more compelling reason. But that might not be true.
I have a post that addresses this tricky issue.
I know, I know. Why does it hurt so damn much.
@Percysowner: oh Percysowner, deepest condolences on the passing of Percy and Agave. Two so close together is heartbreaking. Both lived decently long lives, you obviously gave them the love and care they needed. Remember that is heaven on earth for our animal companions, especially the ones who were rescued. We’re the ones who suffer when we make the difficult decision to spare them more pain, they live in the moment and only know you love them enough to stop the hurting. And then they’re free, but always in our hearts.
@BruceFromOhio: Thanks for saying that, BruceFromOhio. I needed to hear it today. For me, the only good thing to come of this long national nightmare — so far, because hope springs eternal, maybe? — is an intense renewed appreciation for everything that is good and beautiful in this life. My dog is my rock. And also no angel — always best to have a bit of the rake about one, no?
It’s funny how much one comes to care for folks (and their pets) one has never met in the flesh — I’ve come to rely on many of the writers here in ways that have on several days gotten me through without imploding in bitterness and hatred. Better to laugh than to cry but, hell, crying has its place and today was as good a day as any. I simply cannot believe what we are living through.
At any rate, thank you for that. Am pulling for Lily and Cole and all Juicers of the Balloon-age.
@Percysowner: I’m so sorry, each loss is painful, doesn’t matter how many times you’ve been through it before. But you have given them the gift of a great home and a peaceful passing, so it’s something to hold onto.
And worrying about the ones who are still with you, at least in my experience, is perfectly normal. I cannot tell you how much I stress over every “off” behavior of…well everyone. My cats are all pretty healthy but two are in their mid-teens and I worry with every meal they don’t eat, the amount they sleep, the stiffness I notice.
And I have been known to wake up in the middle of the night and check both Scout and Bixby to make sure they are breathing.
It’s the price we pay for unconditional love.
@raven: most of us with animals have made that mistake once. Life and death aren’t decisions we want to be forced to make. But we learn, and are able to be stronger the next time.
@B: Your wings are showing.
and I can do any email sharing if needed.
@Lizzy L: Condolences too, Lizzy, on Theo’s passing. It’s never easy, but he had 14 years with you, the love of his life. That’s a blessing.
Let Rosie be Rosie. At this crucial time, Cole needs some stability in his life, so probably good that Rosie is carrying on with her SOP.
@Percysowner: So sorry, it’s just heartbreaking, isn’t it. I have a cat named Shiloh. Your Shiloh is mourning Agave, too, just like you are.
John, sounds like good news. Try to get some sleep, though I know it’s hard with the giant hole in the bed where Lily sleeps.
@Shell: Make the best decision you can in consultation with a trusted vet. No matter what you do you’ll second guess yourself, it’s part of the price we pay for what they give us. My Bohdi was a spectacular ball doggie. He’s 13 and I stopped throwing it for him about 3 years ago. On our walk today he found a bran new tennis ball and he was just so excited. He’s ok if I throw it right to him, he just drops it and backs up with his big eyes pleading for another. Lil Bit is next to me on the couch and, as it gets warmer, her Laryngeal Paralysis causes her to wheeze quite a bit. It’s going to be a really tough summer and I just hope I can keep it under control enough that she’s relatively happy. It’s a stone fucking bitch but that’s what we signed up for.
@TaMara (HFG): thank you. You have my permission to pass my email to shell.
I think it is because pet love is so undiluted. They don’t care if our hair is combed or we have a fancy car or what kind of work we do away from home. They love us for who we are and how we treat them.
It is pure heart to heart.
What @Mary G: said John. Lily is doing better and getting what she needs right now. Take care of you, so you can take care of her and the others tomorrow. Get what rest you can.
And remember, you always have us too.
So, so glad Lily is doing better. No one could love her as much as you do, Cole, but by extention we all here share in that affection. Looking forward to a happy homecoming.
I am very happy to hear this news, and hope the news gets better and better.
B, that is so kind of you.
So glad to hear the good news…….just keep strong, John.
The vets are taking care of Lily, and now you need to take care of yourself, John. I’ve been there with all my fur babies. My one remaining cat just turned 21. I nearly lost him several times over the years (he has asthma), but he’s amazingly hung in there. You never know with animals.
@Percysowner: Oh, so very hard. As much comfort as I can send, you have from me, and from Murphy (the magical wonder dog). She’s an older lady–I got her from rescue that way–and hope we get as much time together as can be. You have obviously taken such loving care of your pals, they were lucky to have you in their lives.
And I’m so glad to hear a good report on Lily.
@WereBear: “pure heart to heart”….love that.
John, I’m so happy for this good news. Hope your darling girl returns home soon, before Thurston eats ALL the treats.
My wife & I lost our Westie about 3 years ago to a genetic disease. He required 2 blood transfusions, and unfortunately we lost him after a week of him fighting. I was so grateful for the 24/7 animal hospital, our regular vet & the specialists that saw him, the canine blood donors, who were available at a moment’s notice & gave him a chance.
I’ve been reading Balloon Juice since for-fucking-ever. Best wishes for Lily, and I threw $20 your way. I hope it helps.
@bluefish: I’ve decided if reincarnation is real, and I come back as a well-cared for dog, I will have scored the karmic jackpot.
She was cured of that anxiety in like two weeks or something!
Shell, I think satby’s advice is sound. Knowing that this is a decision that you’ll be making eventually, at least consider the possibility that now might also be the best time to undertake this most kind and courageous action on behalf of your cherished companion.
I just had a dog-sit and shop client who was in a somewhat similar situation with her “dog of a lifetime” – that one (like John’s Lily) who claims a greater place in your dog-loving heart than any other before or henceforth ever could.
Her boxer Foxy had neuropathy in her spine and her back end didn’t work any more. She was on wheels for months, and it got to the point that dog-mama was evacuating Foxy’s bladder and bowels manually for weeks, and she was fine with doing that. What made it “decision time” was when the vet told her that eventually Foxy’s kidneys would shut down, and that it would be sudden, and also excruciatingly painful.
Dog mama came into our shop the day before the vet was scheduled to come over to euthanize Foxy (they do that here in Sonoma). When she saw me she fell apart because I had sat Foxy for the 2 days before the fires here. Foxy was still alert and had an appetite, and she felt so terrible about this decision. My colleague and I assured her – and we were crying too, because of own memories of this experience with our beloved pups – that she had made the right decision, and gave her some awesome dog treats that we keep in our shop to give dear Foxy.
That night, I sent her a text – reassuring her that even though this was the most heart-wrenching/gut-wrenching thing she had ever done, it was also the ultimate act of kindness, courage and generosity that she could possibly offer her beloved companion who had given her nothing but love, joy and devotion in the pup’s lifetime. I also told her that as excruciating as approaching this experience was, on the other side she would find deep sadness, but also much peace in easing her dog’s passing before the pup had to experience much pain.
It’s been two weeks now, and dog mama is better. She brought me a bouquet of tulips to thank me for the support we offered her, and showed me some vids on her phone of when Foxy was strong and playful, and we shared laughter amidst our tears. So dog mama is now on the other side of that most loving, courageous and generous of actions, and is both relieved and sad – which is just how it should be.
You know your pup well, and if you feel at all that s/he will spend her last days feeling confused and abandoned, then it might be time to for you to repay the years of love and devotion with the ultimate act of kindness, compassion and courage.
Sounds like the best news one could ask for in this situation. Good!
I’m going back to Oregon for about 10 days, and I can’t wait to see our dog. I’ve really missed having pets, and I still walk around my apartment like there are pets around. I wish I could get a cat at some point.
@Shell: I am serious. I assume we are talking at most months and that could be doable. I know I would want to be closer and can’t imagine being separated at the end.
@B: B, you have the calico kitten from Wisconsin, yes?
@satby: THANK YOU. I loved him so much, I gave him the best life a dog could have, and his end was very peaceful, in comfort, in his own home, not frightened, not in pain, with his person sitting next to him, talking to him. I’ve made that time-to-say-goodbye decision many times, and most of the times I have been uncertain — too soon? too late? — but not this one. God, I miss him.
@Percysowner: Comfort and peace to you and yours.
? ?? Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) ? ?
Glad to hear Lily is comfortable and improving! I’ll be keeping you and Lily in my thoughts.
@debit: yes. I have Callie from Minnesota.
@B: Her sister Dani is also a love bug. I’d love to see pictures of Callie if you feel like sharing sometime.
@Shell: You give me the word and I’ll swap your emails to each other.
@debit: I will share. I need to get public space for pictures. For a long time all my pictures were a blur or a pile of blackish fur when she was rolled up sleeping. But I finally have a few that are more or less in focus. Does Dani like cuddling? Callie rarely has time for such activities. If she is awake she is usually stalking and attacking all living or moving things in the house. She now weighed 5 lbs and attacks the 86lb golden fearlessly.
@debit: Thank you for all of your devotions to pets, but most especially for Walter. That he experienced happiness and joy at the end of who knows what else happened to him before in his life is everything, for Walter and for all of us. That pic of Walter being so game in the Xmas antlers while your dog was all “Nope!” was priceless. He finally got to be loved.
@B: Dani is usually curled up with one of the other three cats or two dogs. Or attacking (in play) said cats and dogs, and then giving them wounded looks when they run away from her.
I’m so glad Callie is settled in and happy!
@TaMara (HFG): Tamara, that would be fine.
@seaboogie: Thank you. It’s been just over a year since I let him go and he’s been on my mind a lot. I’m a non believer, afterlife wise, but I hope I’m wrong and he’s chasing squirrels to his heart’s content. And also waiting for me.
Thank you everyone for your sympathy and support. Once we recover I will think about getting another dog. The plan is to go with an older dog. They need love and have a harder time getting adopted. I know I will be setting myself up for heartbreak sooner rather than later, but it’s worth it to give the older ones a happy life.
@Percysowner: That’s my plan too.
@debit:i looked at the pictures. Dani does seem a love bug. Callie has no interest in cuddling with the dogs or the other cat so far. She has started sleeping sometimes nearby the other cat. I put a mostly enclosed cat bed next to the other cat’s sleeping space and she uses it occasionally. She prefers sleeping in her cat tree.
Oh man, thank you for posting this…it feels like just yesterday and still can’t wrap my brain around the fact that it’s been 9 years. Lucky John, lucky Lily and
lucky us for being a tiny part of it.
Thanks for the update, Cole.
Lily is in good hands.
Thanks for the update. Glad she’s responding so well to treatment. Lily is such a sweetheart, I know it just has to be so difficult for you. She’s in good hands so now is the time to take care of yourself so you can take care of her when she comes home. Sending good thoughts to Lily, you, and the rest of the critters.
John: Couldn’t do it earlier, but just tossed a small contribution in Lily’s general direction. Wish it could be more. I’m so glad to know the transfusion made a (positive) difference, and hope she continues to improve and has many more wonderful years with you.
@debit: Walter and you are the bestest.
The natural order has been upset and the lily-shaped crater is All Wrong.
Rosie Thurston and Steve are equally off balance by the absence of the center.
Lily is the fulcrum of Chez Cole.
She’ll set things right by and by.
Left foot, right foot,
Breathe, breathe, breathe.
John–my best wishes for Lily’s recovery and a donation to help ease the financial burden a bit. As a serial adopter over the last forty years (a dozen cats and four dogs) I’ve been in your situation twice, both times with a happy ending thanks to a great vet and a considerable outlay of cash. Hope you are as fortunate.
Currently have a 6 1/2 year old tuxedo cat who appeared one day on my back steps crying for help–about ten weeks old with a broken front leg and a two inch gash on a hind leg. Also have a small female feral cat who took up residence in the machine shed on my property some time last winter. She appeared to be pregnant when I started feeding her but haven’t seen or heard any kittens. I’m afraid they died at or soon after birth–or one of the local predators got them. She’ll let me get within three feet of her while she’s eating, but if I try to get closer she hisses and backs off. Need to catch her and get her to a vet. Maybe Satby can advise me on that if she’s still around. I’m not sure she’ll be adoptable.
It’s so rough when loved ones are sick and all you can do is wait. Thinking about you and yours.
I haven’t had to do this for a pet but I did have to decide on hospice for my dad, he had Alzheimers. 20 yrs the man suffered. In the end the Alzheimers has done enough damage to the brain, as it always does, that it no longer knows how or what to tell the body to do to keep going and the cascade of organs failing, one after the other, starts. The end is not far away at that time. I’ve said here before that it really wasn’t a difficult decision for two reasons. First, 20 yrs of living with your mind failing isn’t a life, second there really isn’t anything that can change the situation. And I think that is the questions that we have to ask ourselves, can we make this better and if not who are we doing this for? If the answers are no and for me, then it’s time. As their guardians we have to accept responsibility to them. They give us everything, we owe it to them to return the favor.
I rescued an older dog, he was the vet said 11-13. He was set in his ways and he was an ornery bastard but he was the best pet I’ve ever had in 60 yrs. Many of you know when you have that one pet. Bud was that pet for me. I had to send him back to the rescue org because I couldn’t keep him at my friends house who was putting me up after the recession when I lost everything. We were Felix and Oscar and no, I have no idea which of us was which. It may have varied from day to day. He would be 18 or 19 now and I’m sure he’s moved on.
An older pet can be a rescue issue because you don’t know what issues they have and they can be tough to live with. But they also can be amazing and make you wonder why they ended up where they are. Look at Lily. I gave Bud the time to accept his new surroundings and it took him a while. But then one day he figured out that he’d found a home. And I found a great companion.
@Ruckus: You do know when that one that is somehow just a little more special enters your life. They change you for the better in some subtle, quiet way, just by being themselves.
Peace and happiness to your good boy Bud, and to you. Thank you for loving him.