Posted on May 3, 2011
Scott returned from work today to find a very, very sick, confused and scared Kameha. He’s been ailing for a couple years now, but tonight we were shocked at how debilitated he was (Scott had to pick him up and carry him and even help him lie down again). We think some kind of neurological damage, stroke or brain tumor is likely the cause of the way he was behaving. It was heartbreaking to watch him suffering so much. We wanted to end the pain and suffering for him, to let him know how much he is loved and how much he will be missed. Scott was just the most kind daddy ever to that sweet dog. It tore my heart out seeing him have to go through losing his good friend.
We gave him a bath, laid out a bed with the space heater on him, told him our goodbyes and Adeline found books about dogs that she read to him. He was scared and confused, his eyes never stopped twitching and moving rapidly from side to side … he couldn’t stand up, or even remember how to lie down properly and would instead spread his wobbly front legs as far as they would go in an attempt to lie down. He startled at our every movement, and his eyes were unseeing. But with his daddy by his side giving him comfort and love as he always has for the past 14 years, he finally relaxed and looked a little more at peace. We rubbed his soft, warm ears and told him stories. We cried. A lot. Adeline was afraid and I was, of course, worried out of my mind about how to comfort her and answer her questions to calm the confusion.
Eliza provided comic relief and played the maracas. I told Kameha about the day I met him. About how I had decided the man I loved needed him as his first puppy ever. And just as we all started crying, that is when Eliza turned my drink upside down all over herself just to lighten the mood.
Even though we had been explaining what was going to happen throughout the whole evening, it turns out Addie did not understand that Kameha was going to die at all. After Scott left with Kameha she told me it’s okay because he’ll come back, that Penelope (our wiener dog) goes to the vet all the time and comes back. So, I had to explain that he was going to die at the vet’s … and to very carefully word it so she wouldn’t be afraid that she or we would die (or be killed) if we get sick or too old. I needed to balance telling her in a way that would not have her fearing her own or our deaths (we are just now exiting a phase she experienced where she was horribly afraid of … well, everything), while at the same time not sugar coating it. I think our saying too many times earlier, “You know that Kameha isn’t coming back …?” left her confused about just what was going to happen. And I steered clear of saying anything about him going to “sleep” or getting “medicine” or an “IV.” Otherwise, knowing my Adeline, she’d be terrified of sleep, medicine and of mommy getting her IV’s. At first she brushed it off, saying she wasn’t feeling anything and was fine. Then she admitted she was very scared and started crying. We had a long talk … probably one of the most difficult talks I’ve had with her, because while we talk about death frequently (especially because of Uncle Brett), she’s never lost anyone in her little precious life. So how do you explain something to a scared, innocent child when you yourself don’t even understand it (because you can bet our intelligent girl asked the why’s and how’s)?
These two snapshots are from one our family walks several years ago …
So, this sounds like enough trauma for my little girl to handle for one night, right? But, oh no … mommy has something else to scare the wits out of her up my sleeve!
The cleaning solution fiasco … otherwise known as, “Mommy Does Not Know How to Keep Her Cool So As Not To Panic the Kids.” And I needlessly end up making her sob and scream. So, while we all loved on him and told him stories, Kameha peed all over the place. After Scott left, Addie was crying and I had her and Eliza in my lap while we talked. Miss Independent takes off (Eliza is the explorer baby, always zooming off and checking out her world in a blaze of sweet baby curiosity) and a mere 20 seconds later we peek around the corner in the playroom to find the floor cleaner dumped ALL over the floor and all over Eliza. She looks up at me as she holds the bottle and has cleaner dripping out of her mouth. Wouldn’t you know that every bottle of cleaner in our house is all natural and non toxic except this very one that came with the Floormate? I panic, pick her up and smell it in her mouth then proceed to run around like a lunatic saying, “Shit, shit, shit … OMG, shit …” while Addie cries and screams, “What mommy???” The bottle says nothing but KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN. A few horrible minutes later I finally calm down enough to call Poison Control and they say to just watch her for a couple hours for skin irritation or vomiting, etc., but that we likely have nothing to worry about (and, indeed, she nursed to sleep 30 minutes later and is sleeping peacefully curled up against me now). Poor little Addie had a very traumatic day.
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