"...'The Queen of Snail Mail', and other Memories..."

Reply Wed 9 Feb, 2011 07:14 pm

Today (2/6/11) I found on my hard drive, a couple of entries from May 2002:

Tina's Death

Thursday May 23, 2002

Tina was put down today.

Tina was my mom's 14 year old cross-breed (shepherd plus
something). Mom got Tina as a pup. She was a stray, all skin
and bones and shivering in the rain when my late father found her.
She had no license and they could not find an owner.
Dad died the next year and it's been just Tina and mom for nearly
thirteen years.

Lately Tina has been falling down frequently and has been in
pain in her spinal column and hips. It reached the point that
mom spent a couple of entire nights awake trying to comfort her
in the past week.

Tina was also having a hard time getting in and out of the house
to do her business. She is (was) a large overweight dog and mom
was endangering herself trying to wrestle Tina up a couple of steps
into the house. (I had built a ramp for Tina a few months ago but
she refused to walk on it so mother, all by heself, tore the ramp
down a few days later!)

Mom has a veterinarian who does home visits. She (the vet) was
at the house Tuesday and told mom that there was nothing to do
for Tina and it was 'her time.' Mom, who lives alone, was
devastated but agreed with the assessment
except she wanted to wait till today so I could be with her.

I arrived at 12:30. The vet was due at 1:30. Tina was lying on
the kitchen floor in front of mom's chair. She barked and wagged
her tail when I arrived but couldn't get up. My mother's eyes
were red from crying for the past two days. Mom had had eight
children but Tina was her 'Baby'.

We patted and comforted Tina until the vet arrived. At 1:30
sharp the vet came with Peggy the next door neighbor right
behind her. Peggy is a vet tech and she and her husband have been
very good neighbors to mom. She herself had been devastated when
her own dog died two years ago. Peggy had volunteered to
transport Tina's remains in her van to a place where they would
be cremated.

The veterinarian first gave Tina a shot to tranquilize her. She
lay there calmly, blinking a little. Then the vet started an IV
of a second drug and within a minute or two the blinking stopped.

Tina was gone.
After tears and hugs Peggy and I carried Tina, wrapped in a
blanket to her van. I stayed till 4:30 helping mom clean up.There
were newspapers all over the floor due to Tina's quite
understandable 'accidents' in recent days.

It will take a week to get the ashes back from the 'Animal
Rescue League.' Peggy says that they, unlike some crematories
this one really does give you YOUR OWN dog's ashes.

Peggy also took a picture of Tina with her digital camera on
Tuesday. She told me outside today that when she picks up the
ashes for mom she's going to bring her a framed 8x10 picture of
Tina. Nice neighbor.

Friday May 24, 2002

I checked in with Mom by phone this a.m.
She's doing ok, doing some cleaning.
I'll be checking in with her daily for awhile.
I've encouraged my siblings to call her too.
Sunday I'll drive back up to Avon and take her
shopping for a new washing machine.
Life goes on.

"The Bustle in a House
The Morning after Death
Is solemnest of industries
Enacted upon Earth--

The sweeping up the Heart
And putting Love away
We shall not want to use again
Until Eternity."

(Emily Dickinson)

Sunday May 26, 2002

I just spoke with my Mom. She says she's 'feeling cold and old'
but she's staying busy. At this point she's quite insistent that
she won't get another dog and she is not really a cat person. I
will do what I can to help her process the loss of course and she
may then reconsider and get another dog.
I have to say that Mom is quite strong, in her way. She doesn't
get immobilized or paralysed by her grief--although the grief is

Next to her dog her other great interest is her birds. Mom buys
and dispenses extraordinary quantities of bird-seed to her
feathered friends (about forty pounds per week!). She has a large
picture window in her kitchen and can watch her cardinals and
sparrows and finches right from her favorite seat at the kitchen
table. She also has her daytime 'soaps' ie. "All My Children" etc
etc and she spends a fortune on postage sending in entries to
contests etc. as well as her prodigious letter writing. Yes, Mom
is of that vanishing breed...she actually writes real letters to
her children, granchildren and others. I guess you'd have to call
her "The Queen of Snail Mail."
In short, Mom is hanging in there and she'll get whatever
support she needs to get through and past her loss.
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Reply Wed 9 Feb, 2011 07:27 pm
A very moving tribute to your mother, jjorje.
(You've just made me cry.)

That bond between humans & their beloved pets is so special, you couldn't possibly explain it to anyone who hasn't shared that bond.
So I feel for you mother at this time.
She did absolutely the right thing, the kindest possible thing for Tina. (Say nothing of providing her with a great life!)
And no doubt will miss her greatly
Bless her.
I'm so glad you guys are watching over your mum.

This is beautiful:

"The Bustle in a House
The Morning after Death
Is solemnest of industries
Enacted upon Earth--

The sweeping up the Heart
And putting Love away
We shall not want to use again
Until Eternity."

(Emily Dickinson)

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Reply Wed 9 Feb, 2011 07:55 pm
Today (2/6/11) I found on my hard drive, a couple of entries from May 2002:

Apologies for misunderstanding, jjorge.
I now see that this is a memoir for your mother.
Reply Wed 9 Feb, 2011 08:01 pm
Glad you liked it, my friend.
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Reply Wed 9 Feb, 2011 08:34 pm
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Reply Wed 9 Feb, 2011 09:28 pm
My best friend put down her pet rabbit Bubba today, he was 7. Just over a month ago, her dog Annie was suffering from severe seizures, brain cancer, so Boxing day they said goodbye to her.
I miss that dog. I cried. Annie and I sung every time I visited, it was our thing. Animals really can be our best friends and it's heartbreaking when we lose them.
Reply Thu 10 Feb, 2011 12:49 pm
'...Animals really can be our best friends and it's heartbreaking when we lose them...'
so true
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