Friday, April 3, 2020

Settling Into Change

Friends, thank you for sharing the loss of Rhett with me. I have been comforted by the messages and kind words you sent, and have left here on my blog. Thank you for thinking of me.

It is now just over a week later, and I am doing okay. But I will admit to still getting a bit choked up at times. I really miss Rhett and the change in the daily routine because he's no longer here.
~Rhett and Alf~
But I know I'm not the only one dealing with change and the uncertainty that it all brings. With all "elective dental work" now being postponed throughout the US, many dental offices are now closed. And with all that, the doctor that I've worked for, for nearly 15 years, has furloughed all of us that work in the office until at least June. However, the office needs to remain open to reschedule appointments, answer the phone and see any emergencies. So, Dr S worked out a schedule so that all of us in the office could work at least one day a week.
~Dr. S trying out his new mask.... He hated it....~
But when you work in an office full of germaphobes (me included) the fear of catching the virus from a patient has all of the clinical staff passing on that offer. So, for the moment that leaves *ME,* yours truly, to work until another co-worker decides they are comfortable coming into the office. Which may or may not happen. I don't know. Of course I'm trying to be understanding and supportive of my co-workers. But I will confess that I'm not happy about it; because of course, I would like to be home too. But the doctor needs someone to work with him when there's an emergency patient. And I want to do what I can to help keep the practice open, so that when all this is over, there's hopefully a job to come back to.

So, with all of that, unfortunately, I'm gone from home more than I want to be. With everything that's happening, I was looking forward to some extra time at home to get a few things done, and of course to spend time with the dogs. Because I need the comic relief  that only Charlie the ice man can give....
and all the others like Todd....
And a beautiful and delicious homemade pie can bring!

Saturday, March 28, 2020

What Happened....

It may be Saturday, but the events of this past Wednesday are still fresh in my mind.  I'll start by saying that I'd noticed changes in Rhett over the last several weeks. Of course it had me very concerned, and so I was keeping a very close eye on him.
Wednesday began with what could have best been described as a perfect day for Rhett. As I was leaving to run errands, Rhett, who loved a car ride, stood at the door and wanted to go along. It was a cold rainy day, so on a whim, I decided to take him and Max with me. I occasionally rolled down the middle windows so Rhett could stick his nose out and smell the air. He didn't do that so much, but he seemed happy to be along for the ride.

Before going home, I made a last stop at "Chick Fil A" to get a quick lunch that I shared with Max and Rhett. Just as we were finishing, Rhett who had been laying in between the seats, started gagging, and when he put his head way back, I saw his tongue and gums were pale -- He wasn't breathing. I quickly got out and pulled him from in between the seats and I laid him flat, got his airway open, and did an equivalent of CPR, by blowing into his nose and shaking him - And I can't be sure, but I'm pretty sure I was yelling and begging him to not go.... Time seemed to be standing still, and so when I saw Rhett blink and take a breath, I just started crying. Max was sitting on the backseat, shaking and when I started cheering for Rhett, we both felt a huge sense of relief.

A blur of phone calls and within minutes we were sitting in the parking lot of a nearby vet. Because of the virus, I had to wait outside while a vet I'd never met, but I knew by reputation, assessed Rhett, and took x-rays. Those x-rays showed an enlarged heart, (a possible tumor) and a mass on his spleen. Several phone calls with the vet and the what ifs followed. But in the end, as devastating as it was to hear, there was nothing that could be done - This was all made harder because from outside, I could hear Rhett barking inside. The vet, who was showing us nothing but kindness and patience, of course allowed me to take Rhett and spend time with him.

I'd been told that what happened earlier, could and probably would occur again. Or, that Rhett could pass away on his own, in his sleep, or without me there. This all weighed so heavy on my heart and mind. I knew that what the vet was telling me was the explanation for all that I'd seen happening with Rhett the last few weeks.

That feeling of total helplessness that I'd had in the parking lot of Chick Fil A was still so fresh in my mind. Of course I didn't want any of that to happen again. What if I could not revive Rhett again? What if I wasn't there? None of this would be fair to Rhett. Along with having a big personality, he was also truly a dog that had a great deal of dignity. I felt strongly that his life should be one that ended that way. Not one filled with panic or chaos.

So, as I sat on the floor, next to a snoring Rhett, in the early evening of Wednesday March 25th, he left this life with all the dignity and peace that he deserved. And of course, breaking my heart, and taking a piece of it with him, but leaving so much more behind.

Our candle has been lit since Wednesday to both honor and remember Rhett and to help him find his way on his journey. However, I have a feeling that Rhett has been able to find his way to that on his own. Thinking that, somehow lifts my spirit.

Finally, as is our tradition, giving Rhett his color for the Rainbow. I've thought about that over the last few days. Not long after Rhett came to us, I bought him a new collar. I found what I thought was the perfect one for him -- A tie-dyed/multi-colored one that I thought said something about him.

With so many colors to consider, yellow has been a color I've seen all over the last couple of days. It's  practically everywhere right now.
And so, I have decided that Rhett's color is yellow. Yellow is the third color from the top in a rainbow. Yellow is vibrant in itself, and it represents the color of the sun, full of energy.
It also represents brightness and happiness.
~A carpet of yellow flowers along the tow-path near the Potomac~
And now, it represents my beloved Rhett.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

A Sad Farewell to Rhett

While the world is practicing social distancing, yesterday, my precious and beloved Rhett was sent to the Rainbow Bridge.
I will tell the story of the unexpected events that took Rhett from us in my next post. Today, I just want to post a small tribute to a dog whose big personality eclipsed Todd's, but only in the way that a Golden Retriever can.
~Rhett, on the day we met in September 2017~
Despite having several homes before he came to us, Rhett's spirit and spark never dimmed. He was confident, affectionate, happy, mischievous, and those were just a few of his qualities. And of course I can't forget to mention that he was also very photogenic, independent and he could be pretty stubborn at times.
I loved Rhett's "intense" expressions that he had when he wanted something.
Of course I always let him have his way - How could I not?
I fell in love with Rhett the first day I met him in September of 2017. There was something so familiar and comfortable about him. All the dogs liked him right away as well. His easy going nature made it obvious that he thought that life was a fun adventure, and he was always ready for what came next.
This may go a long way in explaining why he was such a good escape artist. I will never forget on our first day together, how I turned around several times after thinking I'd confined him, only to see him standing behind me with the other dogs. Or the time he managed to get out of the breakroom at the office where I work, and was halfway down the steps before I caught up to him. His eagerness for a fun game, more times than I can count, had a way of making me forget my troubles.
I will always treasure the 908 days we had Rhett in our lives. Through the heartache, the tears, and the swollen eyes from crying, losing him at this moment feels unbearable. I am going to miss having Rhett as part of my life. Walks won't be the same. Rides in the car won't be as much fun.  Mealtimes will be quieter.  Life will be quieter. And I know it goes without saying that despite how I'm feeling, without a doubt, I would do it all over again. To be loved and love a dog like Rhett was a priceless gift.
Thank you, Rhett for finding your way to us and being a “once-in-a-lifetime” and to us, a perfect dog.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Plenty of Time!

The doctor that I work for has decided to close the office until at least April 1st. My co-workers and I knew the day may be coming. In an office full of germaphobes, we supported it coming sooner, rather than later. The patients that I spoke to about rescheduling their appointments understood. However, there is always one who doesn't, and *he* is insisting on being seen for treatment that he has put off for a couple of years. So, I'm working on Friday to assist the doctor.
~A dental photo of Todd!~
So, with my new found time off, I will admit to having grandioso plans of things that I could do while I'm at home. In fact, one of my co-workers and I have made a bet to see which one of us will get that one task done that we have put off doing (because we didn't want to do it) before the office is scheduled to reopen on April first. The loser has to buy lunch. The job I keep putting off?  Just look at the photo below. This kitchen cabinet has been a thorn in my side for months. I've been shoving things into it to the point where I just about cannot get the doors to close. It's the cabinet that I keep all the dog medications and dry and canned good in.  Believe it or not, I do know most of what is in there. But I have to admit that there is also no telling what's hiding in the back or under something that I've forgotten about. Which is why it really needs be organized. 
But it's after 2 o'clock, and I've not even had lunch yet. I'll think about doing that or another task tomorrow... Yeah, tomorrow .... There's plenty of time ... Right now, I need to go see what Todd is barking at.