Maggie: We Miss You

This is a long story, so I’m going to try to be as concise as possible. What would you do for your pet if he or she was sick? And then sick again, and even after the medicine was still not getting better. Well, this happened to us recently. Maggie, our doxie, first of all, has Cushing’s disease, which impacts her kidneys and her body in a variety of other ways. Then we treated the seizures she got with medicine- but later, the medicine made her sick with the other pills she had to take for the ongoing UTI she got. The UTI got better, but she did not- they discovered what looked to be a tiny heart murmur. Another thing to add to this list. Then she started vomiting and having diarrhea. She began to refuse her special diet food and quit eating. I got pretty worried as she seemed to lose energy and weight.
We were switched to more aggressive medicine and repeat panels on Friday the 17th- over the weekend; the result came for Lepto, which is a bacterial infection that spreads through the bloodstream and makes dogs very sick (sometimes fatal). So the “other” vet came back and told us they would switch her to an antibiotic that treats it, to be aware it’s contagious and passable to humans and other dogs. She did better over the weekend-ate more again, just baby food and chicken, and also had a bowel movement for the first time in over a week or two. (SHOCK) Monday comes, and we go in. Our actual vet is back and suggests that we repeat more labs and retest for Lepto- the levels were there, but she wasn’t thinking it was concerning. They got serious about diagnosing and seeing what values they really could find. This morning, however, I got a call that the initial blood test kidney numbers were high (more than expected), and her liver numbers were elevated, too, when they weren’t previously. She suggested keeping her on the medicine that is helping for now but told us that the IV fluids she has gotten haven’t been replenishing her at all. So ideally, she would need in-patient treatment with antibiotics, ultrasounds, and more direct constant fluids. My jaw dropped to the floor as I absorbed this news and scrambled to call the nearest vet hospital for overnights. In reality, Lepto is a public health concern, so it could very much still be that however could also be her kidneys are failing and in which treating it sooner than later and before it is an end-of-life situation. We are worried and scared, but also I’m trying to stay positive. She is 12, and well, we expected that this is probably close to her time, but NOT YET.

So the plan was to take her to the nearest and *best* pet hospital, which is VCA nearby. She was evaluated and discovered exactly the same things our vet saw, possible Leptospirosis but more likely just kidney and liver issues from something looming from an infection/UTIs, or it may be chronic, in which case, we’d just put her down because she can’t live like that. So we did find take her the next day and admitted her immediately for consistent fluids and stronger antibiotics, watching her eating too (because she wasn’t eating much). The vet was immediately concerned about her numbers jumping so high so suddenly and could tell she didn’t feel good. We went ahead and paid for the first night of procedures/fluids + her stay. She did okay the first night and seemed a bit better with fluids and the antibiotics. On the second day, we paid for treatment, and she stayed in for more retesting and more nausea meds. The third morning is when I got the call that the numbers were still abnormal. She wasn’t acting herself, nausea worsened, and she seemed off and miserable to even the two veterinarians. She said we had three options: 1) bring her home and see how she does and retest in a few days, 2) do an ultrasound to look for a mass and evaluate her nasal and throat passages, and 3) we could talk about end-of-life services. My jaw DROPPED. I mean, and I was expecting it, but still. I told her we would probably choose the latter as it made the most sense, that we may not find much of anything on a discovery trip with other methods. I wanted to talk it over with Sean first, and he was still sleeping, so I had to awaken him with the news. Which felt awful, horrible, and tragic. She said she agreed and understood and just to call back or come by with a decision. I woke Sean to say all this and laid out the three options and of which only one really was humane. We could spend upwards of another 10k to MAYBE find SOMETHING, and/or to still not know and have her still be sick and miserable. We knew we had to go put down our Maggie girl. So we sobbed, cried, and hugged in those first few moments when I profusely apologized for waking him in such a situation, but I had no choice. I called Jim to come to get us to take us there and back; no way Sean could drive in that emotional state. The dogs began to wonder, I think (they still might not have any clue days later what happened) as we frantically got ready and prepared ourselves for one of the hardest days of our lives yet.

After a short ride, we arrive at the vet hospital, metaphorically head in our hands, just solemn and torn up about the next short minutes. We were shown to a room where they explained the process to us: signing papers, paying any fees due (15$), and then choosing the option for post-death care: burial at home or cremation. We chose cremation because we have no actual yard, and I would think we always want the option to spread her ashes someplace and/or take her with us if we move. So then they said the doctor would be in with her shortly. I think we really braced ourselves for it being “the last time” we saw her, held her, kissed her, etc. She came in on a small dog bed, lethargic and wet from drool, covered in a red blanket with her IV still on her. Sean told me later that as he grabbed her first, she licked his nose to say hello. He held her, and we cried, touching her head, petting down her back, tracing down her forehead and nose (I used to do that to her most), teasing her about her mohawk…. the gaze in her eyes was distant and dark, still but too still, never once looking towards us. I don’t know if it was the drugs, her own demeanor, or just her giving up….. but it shattered my heart into pieces. I was staying pretty together and somewhat logical, but also I had points that I couldn’t believe this was the end for her. We spent, I don’t know, maybe 10-15 mins alone with her holding her, talking to her, and passing her back and forth. It was too much for us to handle longer, although we would’ve stayed all day if we could. The vet came in when we were ready after pressing “200” on the phone beside the couch. Sean sobbed, and I sobbed. The vet explained how she would administer the muscle relaxant to calm her and then the solution that would make her pass. I moved down to the floor with her, I held her head, and she slowly started to lie down. I let her weight lay in my hands as I knew I wouldn’t have her here again. I stroked her chin and neck- then the solution was given, and it was almost as if I could feel the air being sucked out of the room. She checked her heartbeat, and with one last sob, that was it. “She’s gone…” she said gently. She wrapped her up and apologized but said, “That was the best thing to do,” which hurt and helped to say. We sat and cried, unbelieving that this was it- so fast, so permanent. After a minute or two, we shuffled our stuff up and got out of that depressing room. It was so hard to leave empty-handed. I knew that was the outcome and everything, but still. They took such good care of her in her last days, and for that, I’ll be forever grateful. I’ve always loved the VCA system we have here, a collection of vet offices/hospitals and 24-hour clinics when your pet needs urgent care. We climbed back into the truck for the almost silent drive home; I’m sure Jim said something about it being hard and a process and not feeling permanent, but I get it because they just did it twice over with the chihuahuas. And I get how sudden and devastating that was. The rest of that day was quite weird and numb feeling. We knew we had two other dogs that needed attention and care, but we also felt the gaping hole of Maggie that was now permanent.

It’s been two months to the day (now), and I think we feel a bit better. I know I still deal with it more logically and calmer than Sean does, but I can’t fault him for being so emotionally invested and devastated by it. Recently, I tried to get a puppy that ended up not working out with our friends Saba/Trayia or with us. However, he ended up with her brother, Casey, and “Toad” seems to be in a great place now, and I can only hope that he is well taken care of and treated nicely. I felt bad bringing him in when I guess Sean wasn’t ready, and I suppose I hadn’t really considered him as much as I should’ve. We’ve had a bunch of chats since then and now I see we can really only handle the two we have for now. It’s been so much easier and calmer with everyday tasks. I’m grateful that we have these two goofs (Eevee and Bouncer) and they seem happy enough with each other. I just have to accept this slow season of growth, and that is a good thing.

We think of her often- we got her ashes back and put them up for display in the built-in bookcases downstairs with the paw prints and photo of her. Sometimes we go down and talk to her; that’s nice to do. Now we can only be thankful for the 12 amazing years we had with her and think of all the happy memories and great pictures we have of her(and the three of them together) over the years.

Rethinking My 101 Things in 1001 Days Project

Since the very beginning of 2020 I’ve planned this 101 things in 1001 days. However because no one knew that we would be hit so hard and so long by a global pandemic it really ruined my timeline. This challenge if you wanna call it that, is usually a list about anything big or small that you want to do, accomplish and achieve in about two years. I think of it as a master but short term bucket list in my mind. I put on it what shows I want to watch, what trips I want to take, who I would like to connect with and so on and so forth…… Anything you can imagine honestly-no requirements on what it has to look like.

I was able to accomplish some things despite COVID existing in the past two years. But they didn’t happen until 2021 truly, we planned hired projects back to back. I wasn’t able to be social either because of the pandemic- up until about 2022, we did eventually get vax’d back in mid 2021. We have sorta been recluse in that way because its our own personal version of safety and it has worked really well up until now. I also hate to adit that because I don’t drive (it’s been one of my ongoing goals and on this list too) it’s been harder to do much of anything because I am not able to be completely self reliant. I try to check in on the list maybe every couple weeks or month- to see what I can check off or track better. I did change the date once or twice to be honest because of COVID and this years health challenges I haven’t made much progress. I would like this to be more open ended for the pressure I put on myself but I’m going to keep the date on it, at least for now so that’s my plan for the timeline. I did make a list of 10-15 items that are entertainment or “spare time” based, things I can pretty quickly and easily check off (like shows to watch, ted talks to listen to, audiobooks, and writing to friends..). This whole thing is supposed to be for fun and it’s sort of a hobby in and of itself.

I do tend to watch a lot of tv shows, documentaries and movies so that being a point on my list is an exciting one. And through the past two or three years it’s become a big use of time for me. I really enjoy watching people go through things and watching a story arc/plot and feeling like i’m invested in a long running series or characters that I’m really in love with.

Updated Personal Bucket List

Having a bucket list at my age I think is a common thing people do. Although making moves on getting your bucket list done isn’t very common with everyone’s daily lives making it more difficult. A bucket list is essentially a list of “far fetched/dream items” to do someday. But I plan on trying to get as many of these accomplished as well as I can in the near future. Unfortunately 2020 really messed up my timeline on this and well; I’m re-attempting to plan a vacation soon I hope!

Travel to Greece-

I’ve been obsessed with this destination for years now ever since I saw the epic pics of Santorini and I’m in love with the turquoise power color. The history is rich there too which is super cool to me. I’ve seen so many people going here lately that it’s making my wanderlust worse. There’s so many things from views, food to historical places I’m dying to see in person. So this is my number one bucket list item.

Visit StoneHenge-

STONEHENGE. I, again don’t know what it is about this place and my random fascination with it but I think its a marvelous beauty and I’d be so lucky to go and take pictures there.
(also to see a 7th world wonder which I thought this was one; nope, wrong. The Colosseum would be amazing to visit though too!)

Go Zip-Lining-

My cousins had a backyard zip line growing up that was maybe idk 60-100ft. It was so fun and I fell in love! So I hope to one day do a ropes course and do one together. I don’t like heights much and neither does Sean but I feel like if I know I get to fly down like a flying squirrel then I am all for it.

Be fluent in another language or two-

I’m practicing Italian and French this year and while I haven’t made huge progress yet I am picking it up a bit so far. I took French for a couple years in HS and I really enjoy the way to speak it and find it easy to converse. And the passion for Italian comes from the maternal side of my family- I’d love to be able to speak (and or meet) with them.

Stay at a luxury 5 star hotel-

I always enjoy relaxing and being in luxury (I mean who doesn’t) so I’d love to go and stay even a night or two at a top luxury hotel like maybe even in Vegas to explore the city outside the strip and do other non drinking and gambling things! Get a massage, pool, relax in bed, etc…. Sounds lovely! Maybe even some place in another country? If you have recommendations- drop those in the comments below!

Go to Disneyland/Disneyworld again-

We love Disney! I adore being there in a childhood world of wonder! It’s fantastic even without the rides of which most I’m not a fan. The gifts, the characters, the food, the atmosphere is just one of a kind. I can’t wait to go back for our 15th anniversary (maybe then) and celebrating the new chapter of our lives (future)!

Stay in a AIRBNB/Sightsee/Tour in another state-

Also more just traveling, going someplace and not knowing exactly where I am and what’s around the corner could be fun. I haven’t traveled enough in my life so far and I’m already 34 years old so once we have kiddos that’s out for awhile. I’d like to start doing some of that ASAP and making real lasting memories to keep with us forever.

Take a Cooking Class-

Like a gourmet one; in maybe Italy or France etc someplace known for FOOD. To explore our tastebuds and not in a sketchy kind of way but by our own hands and being open to a new experience and the opportunity to do so.

Yoga/Teacher Training-

I’ve seen a few people online go to yoga teacher training online or abroad and while I’d love to go abroad, I’m not that type to be away for 6 weeks. However, to be disciplined in a practice as such would be so internally fulfilling that I could see myself being super applied to this.

Write a Book-

My plan is to write a book between this year and the next year or two. Hopefully it’ll happen somewhat soon- as long as I set goals for myself and apply myself to creating progress, then we should be good. I plan for it to be inspirational and motivational from my own views and perspectives that I share with others, I hope. On trials and triumphs in my life and the lessons and values I’ve picked up throughout my whole life.

Swim/Play/Pet Sea Mammals-

I know everyone including me in worried about the animals at SeaWorld and places like that so I won’t condone it but man on man to see sea animals in the wild or a safe setting (I don’t know how to make this seem okay or less bad for the animal- if there’s a way let me know). I’ve always liked Orcas, Dolphins, Manatees etc. It would be a trip to see them up close. And not in a boat…. (seasickness).

This is just a quick compilation of some things that I’ve had on my continuous bucket list for a few years and things I still plan to set out and do. do any of these ideas sound fun to you? What would you include on a bucket list if you made one? I know the last few years shifted all of our plans off track but now is the time to book that trip, go see your family and go explore what you set out to do!

34 Notes to Past Me

The last few years have been a doozy and I wanted to write a birthday post or rather a getting older post of all the things I never would have thought or did think for the same reason. The way my life has turned out so far- is full of many ups and downs and while that may be true for most it was not what I expected growing up. And the process in which getting older, taking on new responsibilities and growing in many ways never dawned on me it would be like this. I’m not fully sure how this post will turn out yet but I hope it makes you think and be thankful for your own life and having another year to live.


You never thought drug and alcohol addiction would be in your family.

You never knew there were so many “sides” to people and how they show them tells you who they are (tells you even more about yourself)

You never thought about having your own owned house

You never knew that religion wouldn’t be a part of your life but rather the alternatives and woo woo stuff would be your comfort (all while still hoping; He sees you and knows you)

You always thought you’d be close to your family

You never thought they’d turn their backs on you

You didn’t think about all the older generations that would be passed on by now and how life is so different without them now

You always thought you’d have kids by now

You never thought you’d change your mind about “_

You knew you’d graduate high school and college; and have a career so forth

You never thought you’d have a “church” wedding

You just imagined that being a housewife and mom looked so easy and was always all you wanted to do

You were not really one for travel but always thought you’d be more cultured by now

The private things people don’t talk about in relation to society and life (genealogy/affairs/records/deaths etc) have never been so mysterious.

You never thought the state of the world could be worse and we’d stay forever in 1999

World peace was just an idea but nothing bad would ever happen

You never imagined how into true crime and documentaries you’d be and how fascinating they all are no matter the topic

You never thought you’d have a room dedicated to legos

You always wanted your OWN dogs but didn’t know how much work it truly is and yet how worth it every whine is as well

You never thought you’d feel so safe and so loved with someone ever again

You always thought that people come and go but your friends will always be loyal (again and again)

You never thought that you’d (really) almost never be a drinker

You never thought that peer pressure could get to you

You never thought you’d be the center of a rumor or gossip mill

Or that you’d be seen as “that girl….” (Not in the good way)

You always knew you were a homebody

You never knew at one point that’d be a great thing

You never knew what a pandemic was or that we’d ever go through one in my lifetime

You always knew you’d write a book

…..but never thought you’d be writing one about this

You never thought you’d be in so many MLMs or that you’d meet and love so many people from them

You always knew we’d stay best friends

You never thought you’d never live where you grew up

You always thought you’d find yourself by now

Guess I’m still on the journey…😄😉

What lessons or statements would you tell your younger self?

Hi! I'm Nora

I’m a stay-at-home wife & dog-mom. I began this blog ten years ago,  I couldn’t ignore that I felt a calling to help people find comfort, a sense of belonging or a place of community whenever they really needed it. » Read more about me here on my About page!

Latest Posts

Posts You Might Like

Maggie: We Miss You

This is a long story, so I’m going to try to be as concise as possible. What would you do for your pet if he

Updated Personal Bucket List

Having a bucket list at my age I think is a common thing people do. Although making moves on getting your bucket list done isn’t

34 Notes to Past Me

The last few years have been a doozy and I wanted to write a birthday post or rather a getting older post of all the

Blog Better

a blog post checklist

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest