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Patches Journey

This site chronicles Patches journey through OSA

Rain Brings Rainbows So Bring On The Rain

Filed under: Uncategorized — careygram at 2:58 pm on Friday, April 1, 2016

Not going to sugar coat anything, this week has been hell.  And it’s still not over.  And while it’s been one of the worst weeks for me it’s brought out the best in the people around me.  If I ever doubted who was a true friend, I know who they are now.  I could not have imagined how many people would reach out to me, sending love, prayers, good thoughts, shared tears and good vibes.  The Tripawd community gathered the troops and surrounded us with love and support.   It made me cry to know how loved I am and how much people care about me, my son, my dogs, my life.  I have cried a lot of tears and I’m not done yet.  I have been thinking and reflecting on the last 7 months.  I have been trying to be strong for my son and Rooster.  I’ve had a panic attack…..let’s take a moment to reflect.

Was it only Monday that I had to make the hardest decision of my life and actually follow through with it?  The two months leading up to that decision  were the two months that I had to steel myself to accept the truth.  When my girl was first diagnosed I was in shock and disbelief.  How could God let a dog this sweet who had fought so hard to come into her own get sick?  I wouldn’t say I was in denial but my UFC fighter side came out.  I was anxious, nervous, determined, hopeful and sick to my stomach.   We made the decision to amputate on August 21st, the amputation happened on August 27th.  I don’t think I slept for the week after her surgery. We set up appointments for chemo and forged ahead.  We suffered through three chemo treatments only to find that it wasn’t stopping the growth of the metastatic lesions in her lungs.  The oncologist said we could then try Palladia, the oral medication approved for dogs.  I think at that point I decided my dog would be the one to beat the odds.  I did research on top of research and found the cannabis oil.  I believed and hoped and prayed that I would find the cure for my dog.  I never forced anything on her because in the back of my mind I knew that being aggressive wasn’t going to make her happy.  We did what we could with her quality of life in mind.  Then in February at her next re-evaluation all of my hopes were crushed.  At that point I just prayed and bargained for a miracle.  As you can see…………didn’t happen.  I never realized how much of my mental energy was focused on worrying about her, making sure she had good food, making sure she was happy, comfortable and not aware of my inner turmoil.  Here’s the thing………I think she was being strong for ME.  That little dog KNEW……… about how dogs love unconditionally.  I think they fight for us as much as we fight for them.  I realized that I was being selfish.  My desire for her to be here just one more day………was for me.  Not her.  I’ve gotten two distinct and clear signs from my girl that she is fine and happy.  Which makes me realize that I kept her from heaven.  We got 7 good months……..she got 7 good months.  I won’t lie, I am naturally second guessing myself about keeping here even for that long.  It’s what we do in retrospect I suppose. Even the decision to put her down.  The guilt.  The finality.

Putting her down had to be hands down the hardest decision we’ve ever had to make to date.  She wasn’t in any pain, I know that.  But she was getting short of breath and weak.  She couldn’t get up and when she tried she panted.  It was sad to see and I called her daddy to come home and called the vets office.  I had called them the previous week to get information as I knew it was coming.  I didn’t know how soon.  7 months and one day post amputation.  Also the day after Easter and two days after my 50th birthday celebration.  The vets office made a house call for us.  The vet at our regular office is married to our oncologist.  He came over his lunch hour. When he got to the house I wanted to throw a brick at his car and tell him to go away.  I didn’t.  He came in with his assistant.  And Rooster came in with them.  Patches was set up very comfortably, curled up on her little bed with her little warm blanky.  She barely acknowledged that the vet was there.  She was deteriorating by the minutes.  My heart was screaming don’t do it and my head was saying I was doing the right thing.  I had the war of the worlds going on in my head.  Her daddy and I were right in front of her face, the vets were behind her so she really didn’t see them.  Rooster laid down next to me and put his head between his paws, eyes fixed on her,  silent and still.  Daddy held her paw, I held her face.  We told her she was such a good, brave girl.  The last thing she heard me say was “you are so loved” and it was over.  After the vet and the tech left……..I lost it.  I hugged her, I cried harder than I ever remember crying.  I failed to realize that Rooster was still next to me.  Once I pulled myself together and he gave me a kiss he went outside and threw up.  My son had to come home from school and find out.  He got to give her a last kiss with the believe that she had fallen asleep and died in her sleep.  It has affected us all.  I’m having a hard time just being in the living room without her little bed.  The baby gate is gone from the stair case.  My son is sleeping with her collar and Rooster hasn’t touched an oreo since Monday.  Tears are at the back of my eyes and my stomach clenches.   I had a panic attack on wednesday in my car on my way to work over our decision to “give her to strangers who were going to burn her after they killed her”.  Rational thought abandoned me as the panic set it.  We went ahead with the cremation once I settled down.

And yet……..I think about the fun times.  The smiles she brought.  The stories, pictures, videos…….her life was wonderful and so was ours because she was in it.  I know it’s time to let her go.  But I want just one week to have my pity party.  One week to retreat, one week to be the weak one and let my loved ones hug me, tell me it’s ok and let me wet their shirt with my tears.  My son and I have bear hugs and sob together.  I told him there is no right way to grieve but that we have to grieve our way, we have to move through it and keep living.  It’s what she would want.  My girl was a warrior.  She fought for her and she fought for us.  As part of my grief process I’ve put together a montage of photos with music.  I have one made with videos and a song that symbolizes my girls pluck and positive attitude.  It’s raining out today.  But rain brings rainbows.  So bring on the rain.


Debbie and Angel Patches


Will You Remember Me?

Filed under: Uncategorized — careygram at 11:21 pm on Monday, March 28, 2016

I had to do a little tribute to my girl and share.  All of your kind words and thought and support do help somehow.  I feel loved, I feel understood and I feel like I’ll survive.  Not that I feel like I want to at this point.  I’m still in shock.  It will sink in as the days go on.  I will cry a million tears and contemplate buying stock in the Kleenex company.  In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the pictures I am sharing.  It’s therapy.

Thank you,


Debbie and Patches

My Girl Is Gone

Filed under: Uncategorized — careygram at 5:36 pm on Monday, March 28, 2016

She had been progressively getting worse and then today I just knew.  She wasn’t in pain but she was tired and panting and couldn’t get up and was just laying looking up at me.  I laid down next to her and she moved so that she could put her head against my leg.  Rooster wouldn’t go outside but chose to stay by her.  She wasn’t suffering but I knew she was tired.  She put up a good fight and ate a bowl of chicken before she went.  I thought I was ready.  Is anyone ever ready?  I doubt it.  I can’t stop crying.  I don’t want to start my new normal.  A light has gone out in the world, but heaven gained an angel.  She has all four paws and she’s waiting for me.  I’ll miss her until I see her again and I will always love her.  Thank you for sharing in our journey.  Your kind words and support helped me do everything I did with strength and confidence.  I learned so much………..the value of consistent and unconditional love.  I learned never to give up.  And I learned to let go even when I didn’t want to.   So many more lessons that are just too numerous to type.  I found a poem that I have always loved and I’ll leave with that as there’s nothing else I can say that everyone here doesn’t already know:

Do not stand at my grave and weep

I am not there I do not sleep

I am a thousand winds that blow

I am the diamond glints on snow

I am the sun on ripened grain

I am the gentle autumn rain

When you awaken in the morning’s hush

I am the swift uplifting rush

of quiet birds in circled flight.

I am the soft stars that shine at night

Do not stand at my grave and cry

I am not there

I did not die.  


Debbie and Patches

National Puppy Day

Filed under: Uncategorized — careygram at 8:38 pm on Thursday, March 24, 2016

One day late but better than not at all.  I’m happy Patches is getting to enjoy some of the warm weather again.  She likes the heat.  Rooster is gearing up for another hot summer.  How I manged to get dogs who love the opposite extremes in climate I’ll never know.  I just know that when you’re impulse adopting that stuff doesn’t cross your mind.  Love is blind 🙂

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Did you really just look at my cookie??

Filed under: Uncategorized — careygram at 7:35 pm on Monday, March 21, 2016

Or in Patches speak “grrrrrrrrrrrrRRRRRRRRRRRR”.  My son and I can’t stop laughing at what just happened.

So, back it up a little… girl had a big day today.  She spent the majority of it outside barking at the nice men cutting down the tree next door.  While her brother snored.  She had chicken thighs for breakfast and a heaping pile of rotisserie chicken for lunch.  SOooooooooooooo, after lunch she cozied up on her bed for a little nap and I put an oreo next to her for snacking when she woke up.  Well……..her brother saw the cookie……..he looked at her cookie…….and she SAW him looking at her cookie. We heard a growl, Rooster jumped back a couple of inches and started to bark and whine.  And when I looked back at her…….she was smiling.  She’s still got it.


Debbie and Patches

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