TRIPAWDS: Home to 15602 Members and 1726 Blogs.

Patches Journey

This site chronicles Patches journey through OSA

Eyes Look Forward, Heart Looks Back

Filed under: Uncategorized — careygram at 11:33 pm on Thursday, May 19, 2016

Time certainly moves forward and it takes no prisoners.  And I don’t mind to be honest.  I have a lot that I’m looking forward to.  My son finishing up his freshman year of high school.  Warmer weather and sunshine.  Vacations.  Summer fruits.  Those are a few.  And I am honestly happy and looking forward to all those things.  And then sometimes my heart taps my head and says “but don’t you remember, you won’t have your girl for all those things”.  Yes.  I remember.  Daily.  Heart and gut wrenchingly.  But I know that my girl wants us to be happy and have a good time living.  That doesn’t mean I can’t miss her and think about her.  Every day.  More than once a day.  I wouldn’t call it guilt…..well, maybe I would.  Guilt that I’m living and not honoring her memory because if I don’t think of her that might mean I’ve forgotten and don’t still love her.  You can guess which one is my head talking and which one is my heart.  I didn’t expect all these feelings and thoughts and complexities that come with loss.  I thought….I’ll miss her every day and then as time goes by it will lessen and I’ll be able to think of her fondly and smile and remember the good things.  Well, that’s all well and good for certain things but losing a pet is honestly different to me.  I don’t think there will ever come a time that I don’t think of her and ache for her.  And maybe that’s ok as long as I remain in the land of the living too.  I can have my own private space in my head and my heart that belongs just to her.  I still love her so much.  She still loves me too.  I know she does and I think she’s with me.  I don’t know how my son doesn’t think of her more or how her other human never cries.  I know there’s nothing wrong with me and there’s nothing wrong with them. But I think there’s something wrong with them anyway.  No one has to know.  It still sucks.  It’s still not fair.  Life isn’t fair.  Adulting stinks.  But life is good too.  I have a wonderful son, Rooster, family, sisters, parents, friends, great job, nice place to live, tons of blessings.  And I am going to let myself be grateful and enjoy life.  But I’m still going to let my heart look back and do whatever it wants.  Because while Patches wants me to move forward and be happy I know she doesn’t mind if I want to honor and miss her in my heart when I want and need to.

I still have my sweet and loving Rooster.  We hug him more, walk him more, kiss him more…..everything him more.  I probably worry more too.  It’s all ok.  I think it’s called ‘healing’.  It hasn’t been two months yet.  Sometimes it feels like 2 years and sometimes it feels like 2 days.  But time marches on and my eyes are looking forward to good times but my heart looks back too.


Debbie and Angel Patches

Thawing out…..

Filed under: Uncategorized — careygram at 3:26 pm on Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Or melting down.  However you want to put it but that’s what happened yesterday.

I ended up having a total meltdown.  I think it might have been a combination of mother’s day, delayed reaction and the beautiful weather we had on mother’s day and yesterday.  I  felt bad that it was warm and Patches wasn’t here to enjoy it.  I feel like it’s not fair.  And I also realize suddenly………she’s not here.  A season has come and gone, we are headed into summer and ………she’s really gone.  For some reason gloomy winter was easier to accept.  Now it’s like wow, life really IS moving on and I still don’t have her.  The finality is hitting me hard.  And of course I was down one baby for mother’s day.  And I always remember that Patches was a mama too and she didn’t get to keep her puppies.  That’s why we called her mama girl.  I spent almost nine years loving away her pain, making her happy, making her smile and love life again.  Rooster too.  I guess I never realized that I didn’t just lose her, I lost a way of life, someone to share my love with.  I still have Rooster and I’m double loving on him.  He still misses her too.  It’s so obvious.  Some days are good and hours can go by that I don’t think about her and about what happened.  And then days like yesterday happen.  I didn’t expect it.  I felt like she had just passed again.  I cried that I couldn’t save her or make her cancer go away.  Sometimes it’s a total roller coaster.  And no one will let me off.

I think there will be good times and rough times.  I hate the rough times but I have to deal with them, learn to cope and keep engaging in life because she would want me to and there are still other people and fur babies to love.  My sister gave me the sweetest present on mother’s day (pictured) and I realize that other people loved my girl too and they are sad and thinking of me.  This must be what it’s like to grow up.  It sucks.  I know time and distance will help.  There is a very wonderful person I met and talk to thanks to the tripawds site who has been a huge help.  It takes a village.  The Tripawd village.  I pour my heart out here and it really does help.  I don’t know of any better way to get through it other than to talk to people who understand.  People who have been there and can reassure me that I can do this.   Even if I don’t want to.  Sometimes we don’t get a choice.  It feels childish to rant but it’s what I need to do right now.  Hopefully as the cold and gloomy weather disappears so will the meltdowns.  I will take it one ice cube at a time.

Thanks for reading and always being my supportive village.


Debbie, Rooster (see his antics in the videos below) and Angel Patches


My sister’s sweet and thoughtful gift (above)

There’s a First for Everything

Filed under: Uncategorized — careygram at 2:46 pm on Monday, April 25, 2016

Literally.  There is a first time for everything post losing your pet.  Things are getting better, they really are.  I’m able to get through a day here and there without crying or thinking about the hard things.  I can laugh and smile and look at pictures and videos and think how glad I am that I did what I did for my girl.  But there are also times when I kind of melt down and those are the times when I realize, it’s my first (fill in the blank) without my girl.  It’s getting warmer outside and for a second I thought “oh good, it’s Patchy’s favorite season”.  Oh.  It’s my first summer without her.  It’s just a thought.  Sometimes there are tears and sometimes there’s just a wistful longing that life and the world was different.  Some people think I should not talk about it and not think about it and try not to cry about it.  They can think that.  I wonder if those are the same people who are dying their hair purple and publicly mourning the passing of another celebrity, a musician, who they didn’t know personally.  It’s really an interesting phenomena.  But I don’t listen to anyone but me.  Even though some of these boneheads are in my immediate family.  Not the hair dyers but you know what I mean.  I have moments where I resent people who are callous or impatient.  It’s not their pain so they can’t relate.  Yep, you discover all kinds of things about people, you learn something new everyday.  It’s my first time losing one of my dogs and it’s the first time I’m seeing yet another facet of people I thought I knew.  I’ll be the bigger person and accept people for who they are.  I just hope they don’t expect sympathy from me.  I guess there will be a first for them too.  I hope I will soften toward them over time.  I won’t make any promises.

Rooster is doing better.  I had a talk with him and explained everything, told him how much I love him and how I will always love him and be there for him.  He seemed to understand.  I did stop buying oreos.  He stopped eating them and wasn’t going to change his mind.  We are happy summer is coming soon.  We are looking forward to doing more fun things.  We think about our girl and feel love.  We look at pictures and smile.  And yes, sometimes we cry.  But at some point we will get through a week without crying and just feel the love.  There really is a first for everything.


Debbie and Angel Patches


PS I received a hand written card from the Tripawds team and it was so touching.  I know our journey would have been different had we not had the Tripawd community.  Thank you from our whole hearts to yours.  You helped make the journey less frightening and lonely, our time more valuable and our hearts more open.  We are so grateful.

F.E.A.R., My Least Favorite “F” Word

Filed under: Uncategorized — careygram at 12:32 pm on Friday, April 15, 2016

Hm…..I’ve read up on the stages of grief.  I think I’ve discovered a new one.  Fear.  If I do it, I go big.  Fear means one of two things to me.  F.alse E.nergies A.ppear R.eal.  OR………. F.*ck E.verything A.nd R.un.  Lately it’s been more of the latter.  As the saying goes, ignorance is bliss.  It truly is.  I’ll admit, I had no idea how much I would love my dogs.  I fell in love so hard and gave them my whole heart, no walls up, nothing held back.  Pure love.  I’ve had pets before but I think dogs are the pets who give you the most back.  Their facial expressions and actions just tell you without a doubt that they love you.  It’s magical.

To say Patches getting cancer was a complete shock is a huge understatement.  I will be honest, the thought of losing her or Rooster never crossed my mind.  Not having them was a distant “thing” that never seemed like it could happen to me.  And it happened big time, it happened and it hit the fan.  I still feel bad that as her protector and safe keeper I couldn’t help her and make her cancer go away.  I tried so hard.  I don’t doubt for one second that we did the right things for Patches.  We did everything right.    But it damn near tore my heart to pieces.  And now I look at Rooster and I’m scared that I will have to do it again.  I’m scared of the day I lose him.  I’m scared I will lose him because his heart is broken and I don’t know how to fix it.  I know that spending energy there is not value added.  But really, is there anything rational about grief and loss?  Maybe even a little post-traumatic stress?  I sit and just feel scared of the day I have to say goodbye to him.  Scared of having to make the same decision at the end for him.  I’m also scared that I will forget the little things about Patches.  I’m scared that I’ll fall in love again and have my heart ripped out again by a little angel in need.  I’m scared I’ll grieve too much.  Or too little.  I’m scared I’ll never forget her face as she quietly and peacefully slipped away.  Hell the night we had to have her put down I was scared of the dark.

I think about the fear of getting another dog and I think that It’s selfish of me to be so self preserving.  It’s what we do as humans.  If it hurts……run.  But I know that I’d rather love and lose than have one little dog, maybe even a tripawd, sitting unloved and unwanted in a shelter somewhere.  This adulting thing is really not what I thought it would be when I was young and “childing”.  It sounded so good when I was a kid.   At least if I ever get another dog I will know what I’m signing up for.  I’ll know what I may have to do again one day in the name of love.  I’ll know that they will take a little piece of my heart with them when they go.  And I’ll pray for strength.

I hope all these fears will subside with time.  I hope I can stop seeing her face in my mind as she was passing.  I hope my Rooster feels better and stops being sad.  I will choose to get better but  choose to do it in the healthiest way possible.  Time and friends are the best medicine.  I hope I don’t wear my friends out.  I hope I can just turn my brain off one day soon and feel better for a day.  I know I will.  I’m strong and I know I can but I will say, my confidence has taken a hit.  I guess this is what the books define as “living and learning”.  I’m a little fearful of what other lessons life has in store for me.

My son told me that he wants to take Rooster to the beach soon.  He wants to make sure Rooster gets all the items on his bucket list checked off.  He knew I wanted to take Patches to the beach before she was gone.  I didn’t get to and I cried about that too.  My son has done really well with all of this and he’s been a shoulder for me to lean on.  He’s mature for his age, he listens and hugs me and I thank God for him, my little angel on earth, my heart.  He said “mom, we can let Rooster romp on the sand and bring a little bit of Patches’ ashes to put on the sand and in the ocean so that we’ll know she got to see the beach too”.

Never ever underestimate a teenage boy.  I have no fears about him at all.  I know he is going to grow into an amazing man and he knows it too.  He’s already living and learning how to help mend a broken heart.

Thank you everyone for your love, help and understanding.


Debbie and Angel Patches

Everything and Nothing has Changed

Filed under: Uncategorized — careygram at 3:54 pm on Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The last two weeks have been a blur.  I have experienced every emotion probably known to man on the “grief” spectrum.  Except anger.  And despair.  I’m a rational person and I recognize that I have a full life with a lot to live for.  I’m not one to think that my life is over because my girl is gone.  That’s my head talking.  My head and my heart often have “discussions”.  My heart says “how can other people go on eating, laughing, talking……..breathing…… can they go on with their world when mine crumbled?”.  Most of the time my heart aches for my sweet girl but breathing is becoming easier and now I can reminisce and talk to people without my throat closing and eyes welling over.  It’s absolutely a process.  This is a non-negotiable situation.  Wanting and wishing will do nothing to remedy the situation.  So I take every day as a new day, let myself feel my feelings and keep busy.  Everything seems different but everything is the same.  I’m just re-learning how life was before I got my girl but I am different for knowing and loving her.  Sometimes I hate that I have to get out of bed.  Sometimes I hate people who are laughing and unaware of my sadness.  And sometimes I talk about my girl with fondness and love.  There is no consistent from one day to the next and some days it’s cry in my car and then get out and say “left, right, inhale, exhale…..”.   I’m thankful for the memories I consciously made while I still had my girl.  I remember the feel of her velvety little ears on my lips, the smell of her soft head…..her silky cheeks and whiskers, her little cool nose.  I let myself think about her in private so that I can cry and smile and just hold her in my heart.  It’s not easy but it’s possible to come out on the other side.

I feel bad for my Rooster.  He is not the same dog.  He will go and get his ball……..once.  He is laying around a lot, not eager to eat, play, smile.  I hate that I can’t help him.  I just hug him, love him and do all the things I did with Patches to make memories.  I tell him I love him, sneak him the butterscotch krimpets (he won’t eat oreos anymore) and I make memories.  He lost his love, his sister and his protector.  She protected him so much.  Two days ago the little border collie girls that used to love him attacked him, they bit him on the back and snarled at him and they hurt him, physically and they hurt him in his heart.  Had Patches been around she would have kicked their asses with three legs.  He never even fought back.  He never does.  He is the sweetest dog ever and our sole purpose in life is to make him smile, see him happy again and let him know I understand.  Let him know he’s not alone and he never will be.  It’s all new territory.  We’re fumbling through.

I expect pretty much the same for an undetermined period of time.  But one thing I know.  I’ll make it………albeit reluctantly.  I guess everyone does.  One thing that I do now is tell people……….hug your dog, spoil your dog, make memories.  You’ll never be prepared to lose them but you will have memories without regrets.

And so it goes…..


Debbie and Angel Patches

« Previous PageNext Page »