Good Day, Bad Day

10:24 AM Posted by Natalie

You know what they say about the best laid plans....

(Who are "they" anyway?)

I'm gonna have to back up a bit here. My sister, my closest and dearest friend, has really been having a rough time of it lately. Well, more than just lately, more like for months now. Without going into too many details, she has lost a lot this past year, including her black lab, Lily. Lily did not pass away, but her soon-to-be-ex, who shall remain nameless and caused quite enough grief on his own, took her when he left. My sister is the one who took care of that dog, trained her, walked her, all the things that matter. Mr. Shall Remain Nameless only bothered when he wanted to show her off, and then he would act like he was the one that taught her how to do it all. Well, it was sham just like he was. But, he's got her and my sister hasn't seen her in at least 6 months. It has broken her heart. He doesn't deserve her. (Of course, I don't happen to think he deserves much beyond air and the occasional meal, but I suppose that's not a very Christian thing to say.)

And so, it went back to being my sister and Marge, her kitty. My sister got Marge when she was just a kitten back when she was stationed in Alaska in the Air Force. Marge is 16, and been through thick and thin with my sister. She has been a beloved furry friend, the one constant in her life no matter what else happened. She's the Alaskan Kitty, A.K.A. Dude. I don't think my sister can even remember when she wasn't around. But her heart has continued to ache for Lily, too, because when my sister gets an animal, it's a long-term commitment. She loves them as much as she can love them.

So, around last Thursday, a stray yellow lab turned up in our neighborhood. One of our neighbors held onto her while he posted signs and tried to find her home. She had a collar, but no tags. Days went by and no one came forward to claim her. So a lightbulb went off in my head and I pointed her out to my sister when she was here on Saturday for Alec's birthday party. We talked to the neighbor and he was more than happy to hand her over to my sister if no one claimed her by Monday, as he was planning to take her to the pound anyway. I thought maybe it was something that was meant to be, a new friend for my sister to love to ease her heartache a little. She wouldn't be a replacement for Lily, of course, but perhaps a dog that needed my sister as much as my sister needed her....a good match. I prayed and prayed no one would come along to claim her, I wanted my sister to have her. And no one did. Monday evening my sister took her home and named her Daisy.

She had gotten a vet appointment for both animals on Tuesday and we made a plan for me to go along with her to help with Marge and Daisy. Then we were going to go out to dad's house to have dinner and watch The Biggest Loser finale (while eating fattening dessert, LOL). It was a good plan and we were excited. Things kinda went downhill from there....

Marge was checked first and she had lost more weight for the third visit in a row. Not a good sign. She had had a bunch of tests done some months ago to see if they could figure out what was going on, but they had been unable to pinpoint the cause. She had not been showing any significant signs of vomiting, diahrrea, or anything like that. Keri has been giving her ice cream every morning, as well as cheese, chicken, and even tater tots to try to fatten her back up. Then the doctor spent a long time checking her little belly and I knew something was up. He wanted to X-ray her because he felt a tumor.

Then came Daisy. She looked good, no fleas or ticks, good teeth, etc. She's young, probably a year or maybe even a little less. She's not spayed, but my sister anticipated that. But then came the test results. Not good. Daisy not only had roundworms and whipworms, but heartworms. The intestinal worms aren't that big of a deal, but the heartworms take serious treament that cost a LOT of money (like over $800). We had anticipated the possibility of intestinal worms, but we hadn't even thought about heartworms. My sister was devastated. And then the news on Marge. It was a tumor, it was bad, and it's time for my sister to let her go. Seriously? If it wasn't all so awful, I would've thought we were being Punk'd.

So, to sum up, my poor sister lost her Lily, has been out of work for 6 months, her truck tires are shot, her air conditioner shot craps, the dog she wanted to take in and give a good home is riddled with worms that cost a small fortune to get rid of, and her cat has to be put to sleep. How much is one person supposed to take? I felt awful, just awful. After all, I was the one that steered her towards the dog in the first place. My sister sobbed. I cried. After we got the animals home, we decided to go to dad's anyway and try to relax a little. My sister decided she would not be able to keep Daisy, the cost just couldn't be justified. I told Shaun to contact our neighbor who had the name of another guy who had been interested in her. We weren't going to turn her over unless he was someone we knew would take care of her and get her healthy. Now for the good news....

Apparently, this guy rescues dogs all the time. Shaun called him and he offered that, if my sister would agree to keep Daisy and take care of her, he would pay to get her treated for the heartworms. He works with several vet clinics that give discounted services to people who bring in rescue dogs. Isn't that amazing? You see, there are still good people in this world. It will still be a lot for my sister to handle with the treatment, but with the cost part of it taken care of, I think it will probably be good for her to have Daisy to focus on. On the way home from dad's we both sobbed together. I just feel so bad that things keep happening to her that I cannot make better.

My sister brought Marge home yesterday so she could have just a little more time with her. She will be taking her in today to have her put to sleep. Dad is going with her, so that's good. Poor thing, she's so heartbroken. I'm heartbroken for her. And it's going to make today a little more difficult for me, too. Shaun is taking Rex to the vet and he won't be coming back. He's going to live with a guy Shaun works with. He has a bunch of land with a couple fenced acres where Rex can run. After the incident we had with a neighbor girl, we are concerned about the risk of him biting a child seriously, or even one of our own, and quite honestly, as a busy family I don't know if we are giving him what he needs. I know I've complained about him, but he's a good dog and I'm still sad. I think I've had enough sadness with the animals for awhile.

This is one of Keri's favorite pictures of Dude. She had just woken her up.

R.I.P. Marge, you were very loved.


  1. Storm, The Psychotic Housewife said...

    I'm so sorry for your sister. My meems passed away last fall after 13 years with me, and even though we have several other cats, it's just not the same without him. He'd been everywhere with me.

    That was wonderful of the guy to volunteer to pay for Daisy's treatment!