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Odin

Odin's Journey

Odin

Freya and I Got Out

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September 12th, 2017 Posted 1:57 am

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Last Thursday I walked into work with the same heavy heart that I’ve been carrying around for the past 3 weeks. Odin’s surgeon was scheduled to come in to do a surgery on a small dog. I haven’t seen him since Odin passed and I don’t believe he knows about it. I dreaded telling him because of how guilty he felt about not seeing the mass when he did the knee surgery back in February. The surgery he was coming in for ended up being canceled for that day.

I donated Odin’s Heartgard to the client who gave me the card, but I still had his Frontline that was out of Freya’s weight range. I was able to find a client to donate it to. For some reason putting the box in the chart for the client to pick up really hit me hard. That familiar sting behind my eyes started up and the lump in my throat returned. After work I had an appointment with my therapist. The first one since Odin died. I’ve been seeing her for a while due to an on going battle with Post-partum depression, 2017 hasn’t been my year.

When I sat down, the first thing she asked me was how I had been. The tears beat my words. “Well, my dog died” is what I said. There was an uncomfortable silence that felt like it went on for hours, but really it was only a few seconds. We immediately dove into the grief and how to handle it as well as taking care of myself as far as the PPD goes.

It’s not fair to feel so lonely when I’m constantly surrounded by amazing people and my 2 other pups. I’ve went from not talking about Odin to not talking about him enough. I can now say his name without tears, but my heart aches every time. I miss petting him so much. I miss asking him for a kiss and him giving me one, it was always my favorite thing I trained him to do.

I took Freya over to her brother’s house on Saturday. She was beside herself when she saw him. The two of them ran and ran and ran. They wrestled and chased each other. I felt so good to see her in all her husky glory. Seeing her brother really helped me too. Hugging him and kissing him felt so good. It’s as if he knew Freya and I were both hurting. His mom and I sat in lounge chairs in the grass as the two of them played for 3 hours. When we got home Freya was completely exhausted. I’ve seen her light come back a little bit. I think she’s on the mend.

 

Freya and her brother Cheeto

Cheeto and Freya deciding to switch moms. Featuring: Cheeto’s beautiful blue eyes!

Odin’s custom urn I ordered should be shipping out this week so hopefully I’ll have it soon. I hope having a proper urn for him will bring some closure, but I had thought getting his ashes back would do that and it didn’t. I also thought that maybe the tattoo would bring some closure, but it didn’t. Maybe I just need all 3 things to happen and then I’ll feel better. Who knows at this point.


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2 Weeks 1 Day

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September 4th, 2017 Posted 3:38 am

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We have officially crossed the 2 week threshold. I made it 24 hours without crying. By crying I mean physical tears, the sting behind my eyes was still there every once in a while. The knot was still stuck in my throat.

I returned to work on Thursday. My first full day back since he left.

It was one of the worst days of work I have had in a long time. I cried while talking to a co-worker about how I was really feeling rather than giving the fake “I’m alright” just so I don’t have to talk about it. I called that client to thank her for the card and offer Odin’s left over Heartgard for her pup. I cried when I heard her voice. I closed my eyes as I passed the room I said my final good bye to him in. There were a few times I needed to close my eyes and try to catch my breath as he crossed my mind. Being in the building made me think of him. He spent so many days here with me trying to get better and every one of those days he was so happy to be there no matter what happened.

After work I rushed out the door to my tattoo appointment. I had to reschedule the original time due to the hives. I sat on the tattoo table as the artist showed me the sketch of Odin’s paw print. I smiled tightly as he placed the print on my ankle. When we started I didn’t feel any pain. I thought for a second that maybe my turmoil from the entire day had just made me numb, but this was also my 6th tattoo so it doesn’t phase me anymore. The artist asked me how old my pup was when he passed. I briefly told him Odin’s story, fighting tears the entire time. There was something therapeutic about the entire experience. The paw print couldn’t have turned out more perfect.

I’ve been trying really hard to talk more about Odin in hopes that the sting will ease. Thursday night I told my husband, for the first time, how much I missed our boy. Later, I sat on the couch and told my mom about how much I missed him. It stung every time.

Friday morning I was putting my make up on as my mom and I chatted. I came to the conclusion that losing Odin was like, for lack of a better example, losing a limb of my own. I needed to learn to walk again on my own, which seems impossible without him. He was my soul mate and I feel completely cheated by this disease that took him away from me.

I am the surgery tech for Friday at work and on my second day back I saw that I had a grooming on the schedule. A 9 yr old rottweiler. My heart sank a little. I wasn’t ready for this, but I needed to be. Clearly the universe was trying to push me because I couldn’t do it myself. The big guy came in and we went through the motions. As I bathed him I told him about my Odin. I told him that he had never been a fan of baths either. After the bath we went outside to have a potty break, he chose to just sit in the grass to take a breather. I patted his big head and rubbed his ears just as I did for Odin so many times. At the end of the day his mom and dad came to pick him up. During check out the subject of Odin was brought up and I explained that I had recently lost him to cancer. Both clients were extremely empathetic of the entire situation. When I brought the big buy out to be reunited with his parents, his mom pulled me in for a big hug and then his dad gave me a kiss on the cheek thanking me for taking such good care of his boy. They both said if I ever needed it, they would bring their pup in specially for me. I was able to keep a smile the entire time, but when they left I had to let a few tears fall.

A part of me wonders if I’ll ever get through a day of work with out my heart falling into my stomach. The anger has subsided for now, but the agony of grief is still very real. I look at his pictures every day. Every night I place my hand on his box and tell him goodnight. Daily I’ll get on the floor with Freya and Tyr just to pet, hug, kiss and hold them.

Freya is still having just as hard of a time as I am. Her eating habits are not great. She lies in the basement alone most of the day. I contacted my friend who adopted Freya’s litter mate and we set up a play date for the two of them. I’m hoping it will help pull Freya from her slump. I don’t think I ever told Freya’s story on here. In 2013 my husband and I took on ten 3 week old husky puppies that were found under a shed after their mom was shot. The litter was eventually split up into two groups of 5 puppies. I kept 5 and another foster took on the other half. Bottle feeding 10 puppies was more than I could do so for their own good they needed to be split. Odin was by my side every step of the way. He would get up with me every 2 hours, follow me into the room they were all in and lay on my feet as I fed and pottied each one. He was there when they opened their eyes for the first time and gave reassuring kisses after their first baths. Freya has known Odin since the day she could finally see, so when he passed on I knew she was going to take it hard.

This is little Freya being bottle fed.

He was always my gentle giant. He loved his pups and he loved his kitty…..he even loved the baby chickens we hatched one time….our house is a zoo.

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9 Days

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August 28th, 2017 Posted 6:44 pm

It has been 9 days since Odin crossed that bridge. The bridge that was once beautiful in my mind, but is now ugly. I caught myself thinking I needed to let him out before I got the baby’s bottle going this morning.

I promised myself I wouldn’t give up this blog. I apologize for going radio silent. I never realized that I don’t know how to grieve. I broke out in hives the Sunday night after Odin passed. They became so severe that I took 1 trip to the doctor and 2 trips to urgent care. My bed side table looks like a small pharmacy and I missed 2 days of work.

Clearly it doesn’t matter that I knew it was coming, him leaving I mean. I tried to deal with it how I deal with everything else. I fall, I cry, I get up, laugh a bit through the tears and move on. Not this time.

I tried distracting myself with activities, projects and visitors. It felt as if I was trying as hard as I could to be distracted every second I was awake. I gave myself no time to grieve after Saturday.

My husband, Tommy, came home from his trip Tuesday morning. The first thing he asked me was if I was okay. I said yeah, but deep down I wasn’t. I found a beautiful urn for Odin’s ashes once they came back. A black marble box with the Valknut symbol engraved on the side.

Thursday morning I got the text letting me know Odin was waiting for me at the clinic. I had every intention of going in to get him, but my body just couldn’t take it. I was bed ridden. I only woke up to go to the bathroom. Thank god for my mother who took over with the baby while Tommy was at work.

Friday morning after my second visit at Urgent Care, I went in to work to drop off my doctor’s note and pick up the ashes. I thought that maybe having him home would ease the sting. When I picked up that heavy box that contained his ashes I practically sprinted to the food room and fell to the floor, sobbing. It was as if I found him in my den all over again. I held him tight to my chest as the waves of silent tears rushed through.

My locker had a card from a client I’ve grown close to, who knows exactly how I was feeling. There was a rottweiler pillow and a small board book copy of ‘Good Dog Carl’ from a co-worker. I took the card but left the rest. I just had to get out of there as fast as possible. I was hugged by every co worker and even a client who was there for an appointment came back to hug me. The support was overwhelming.

The box sat on my center console the whole drive home. I spent the rest of the day in bed, with the box next to me.

Saturday morning I found myself becoming angry again. I wanted to wipe away every memory of him from my house. I didn’t want to see any reminder that he was gone from my life.

Disoriented is the only word that comes to mind when people ask me how I am. There is a GIANT hole missing in my every day routine. I don’t go say good morning to him in the den right away, I don’t take him out separately from the other dogs, I don’t have a 3rd bowl to fill, no meds to mash up in canned food. The bowl lies empty on a shelf, the un-used meds sit in the cupboard, the den remains an empty grave yard. I finally opened the door to that room, but it’s still hard to go in there, I hate it. I can clean those carpets, fill the room with furniture and pictures, but I will always hate that room.

Sunday morning I transferred his ashes to a temporary chest until his urn arrives and it about killed me. I felt like I couldn’t catch my breath, I cried again. I let everything go for a few minutes and then when the tears dried I placed him on the table next to his picture.

A thought did cross my mind, when does the grieving stop and it just becomes me feeling sorry for myself? I know I need to cut myself a break, it’s only been 9 days, but I don’t want to feel like this anymore. I’m trying to fill my head with memories but I can’t even talk about him in past tense.

I guess when it comes to feeling like crap, I am not a patient person.

My best friend is gone and I’m pissed.

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48 Hours

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August 22nd, 2017 Posted 5:47 am

48 hours have passed since you left. I look for you every time I walk into the kitchen, but you aren’t there. I wait to hear your excited snorts as I walk down the stairs, but I hear nothing.The silence is deafening.

Your grandma stayed with me Saturday night. We made popcorn and watched Moana. Tyr and Freya caught the rogue kernels that popped out of the pot. You would have loved it.

I’m so tired, Odin. I can’t sleep. All day I’ve been surrounded by people and distractions. When I finally crawl into bed at the end of the night I cry. I cry myself to sleep just to wake up an hour or two later. I know it would kill you to see me this way. Please understand I’m trying my hardest, but I miss you so much.

Sunday I got into my car for the first time since I dropped you off. I could smell you. I saw the stains left behind. I tried to scrub them out, I tried to get the smell out of my car. It won’t fade. I rubbed dryer sheets all over the seats and floor. I vacuumed your hair off the seats. I found your rawhide under one of them. You know, the rawhide I brought with you when we first did x rays. I cleaned your nose prints off the window.

Turns out the dryer sheets and I don’t get along because I broke out in hives. The doctor prescribed me the same exact dosage of prednisone that you were on.

The den has been closed off since you departed. I have only been able to bring myself to go in there once.

The place you slept for the past 7 months is empty. Your bed is gone. That’s what i carried you out on. I leave the shutter doors open to the porch so the sun can still beam in just as you liked. Your grandma had to wash your food bowl. It was half full with your last meal. I accidentally called your name today when I called Freya and Tyr in from outside.

I’m mad at you. I’m mad that you left me. I know your body was tired. I know you couldn’t fight anymore. I know I did the best I could to save you, but it doesn’t change that fact that you’re gone.

I keep asking myself “what if?”. What if I hadn’t taken you in on Friday? Would you still be here? Did I put the stress on your body by dragging you in?

People keep telling me what a great mom I was to you and how I did more than most people would. But even after the months of picking you up off the floor by myself and being your support as you learned to move around with 3 legs, I feel like I failed you. I can be reminded every day that I was “such a great mom” but it won’t change the fact that I feel I failed you.

I’m sorry I couldn’t save you.

I would give anything to run my hands through your coat one more time and wrap my arms around your neck.

I feel some people don’t understand how I feel and believe I’m being over dramatic. I never imagined how much pain my heart would take on when you’d finally say goodbye.

When is this pain going to alleviate? When will I make it 24 hours without crying? You always came running when you’d hear me cry. You always licked my tears away and laid your giant block head in my lap. Freya tries so hard and I love her for it, but it’s not you.

They aren’t my Odin’s kisses.

I miss you so much.

 

 

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6 Comments »

August 19th, 2017 Posted 9:10 pm

After the x-rays Odin started his antibiotics to fight the pneumonia and he responded very well to them. His cough was gone within a few days, but his breaths were still shallow. He lost interest in eating his kibble so I opted for something better. I began mixing canned food in with it and he perked up but never finished the bowl. He would start eating then suddenly stop as if it made him sick. I didn’t push it on him but always left it out. I could tell getting up to move about was tiring for him. There were only 2 more episodes of blood dripping from his nose and then it stopped.

The past couple of days Odin was tiring faster. He would make it to the garage to go outside and then he’d lay down. I’ve spent a lot of time picking him up and helping him out to go potty. His gums and tongue were still so pale. I began worrying about internal bleeding. I brought him to work with me yesterday afternoon to re-run his bloodwork and see where we were at compared to last week. His PCV had dropped to 22%. Upon examination his belly did not show the signs of a ruptured organ. His doctor said it was very possible that the cancer was killing off his red blood cells which would explain the pale gums and shortness of breath. I sent out blood for a CBC and full chemistry and took him home.

Odin died this morning.

I came downstairs at about 7:00 AM and he wasn’t lying in the kitchen. I looked into the den and he wasn’t in the doorway. I started my coffee, stared at the doorway to the den for a while then decided I needed to just go in there. It was going to be fine, he was going to be lying on his bed waiting for me to come get him up to go potty.

He was lying on his bed. I called his name, he didn’t move. My heart started pounding as I yelled his name, then screamed it. He didn’t move. I walked quickly towards him then turned around and walked out of the room. My hands were trembling so much as I tried to call my husband and then my mom, I nearly dropped my phone. My husband is out of town on a trip with his friends, he is two hours behind so he was sleeping, I called my brother in law hoping he would pick up but he was also sleeping. I called my mom immediately after and as I was telling her what happened I felt like I was going to vomit and I became light headed.

After what felt like an hour, but was really only a few minutes, my brother in law called me back and then woke my husband up so I could talk to him. I told him the news and ran through my plan of what I was going to do. He was absolutely heartbroken. I told him I had it under control, not to worry and try to not let it ruin his trip.

After I hung up I went to get the baby so she could have her morning bottle. I sat on my couch in silence as she drank. I saw a car pull up in my driveway, assuming it was my mom, I got up to answer the door. My aunt was standing there. My mom had called her because it was going to take 40 minutes for her to get to me and she knew I needed someone to just take control. I handed my daughter over to her then finished making my coffee. We sat on the couch until my mom arrived.

After letting Freya and Tyr come in to see him, I wrapped Odin’s puppy blanket around him and the 3 of us moved him into my car. I drove him to my work where my co worker helped me carry him in on a stretcher. I took a few minutes to make a paw print that I will be getting tattooed on my ankle tomorrow.

I ran my fingers through his fur one last time and buried my face in his neck as I hugged him tight.

Then I said goodbye.

The emptiness I feel right now is beyond anything I could ever put into words. The pain I feel is crippling. Everytime I turn around he’s not there. I walk into the den and his bed is gone. What am I supposed to do now? He’s gone. I will never be able to kiss him again, I’ll never get to pet him again, I’ll never get to hug him again. What am I supposed to do? I’ll never hear the pitter patter of him gimping around the house again.

I miss him so much. So freaking much.

I feel so lost without him.

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