Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memories for What's Ahead

Some call them fireflies, I call them lightning bugs. I think they're summer's mascot and they're back. The memories I have of them is like 'magic.' Even now seeing them is kind of like a mini-fireworks show . As I stood on my porch watching them last night, I remembered something I read about how each minute of our lives is unique unto itself and how connected we can be to what came before and what will come next.

I wish I knew what will come next for Hamlet. He was taken back to the vet on Friday. His appetite is really good, but there is a lingering cough and the tumor is still draining.  (We're doing our best to keep it very clean). I don't think that he's feeling all that well, but despite that his tail still wags and the spark is still there.  We have had a culture done to see what bacteria is present and will hopefully be able to find an antibiotic to treat the infection. Prior to Hamlet having his 2nd surgery, one of the bacteria that was identified from a culture was e-coli. The medication to treat that particular strain of it was very expensive (about $1500 per bottle) required his being hospitalized for several days, and had an arms length of side effects which included kidney failure. It was then we opted to do the surgery and hope all the bacteria and infection were removed. I knew going into it that there was a chance it may not be. As far as doing surgery again, right now I don't feel like that's an option. His recovery from the 2nd surgery was a little more difficult than the first one, and a 3rd would no doubt be harder for him. Hamlet is an old dog (we guess about 13-14) and I think it would be too much for a dog his age. We've had a wonderful and memorable year and-a-half together; the past six months, the best. He had times where he would make little running dashes on our walks, manage a single bark and we'd get a 'snorty whine' from him when we come home. I know those days are now gone.  But like the lightning bugs, I have the memories of them.  I think they've given Hamlet and I a connection and the courage for whatever will come next. 


  1. sweet boy. you've done so much for him already...

  2. Beautifully written, Kim. Dear Hamlet has lived as much of a life as possible in the last 18 months, thanks to you.

    Sadly, there does come a time when enough is enough, and you have so much love and compassion in you that that time will become apparent.

    Lots of love,


  3. Hamlet, you are such a sweet old dog. Your face tells it all. I am so glad that you and Kim found each other and that she was able to help you so much. I know you have had and are still having the best life you could find at her home with all the other doggies there. Kim is the kindest person you could have come home to. And I love you too. Right now my eyes are full of tears, but I am still happy because your life is good, sweet boy.--Inger

  4. Woof! Woof! Sending Lots of Golden LOVE to Hamlet. A Wagging Tail is surely Golden GOOD. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

  5. It really would be wonderful if all of us (dogs and man alike) could live forever, but as it is, we just have to enjoy the moments and cherish the memories.

    Gentle hugs to Hamlet.


  6. Lots of love for Hamlet...i hope he is feeling better soon....og he is so sweetie...and you

  7. I'm sending you lots of prayers and big hugs to Hamlet to give you hope and courage for what lies ahead. In my mind as long as they have a good appetite, it's a good sign.

  8. I've never seen a firefly before! Perhaps we don't have them in Saskatchewan or perhaps only way up North. I feel very cheated by not ever having experienced one! Ha!

    Oh sweet Hamlet. It's so hard when our furry friends can not tell us how they are actually feeling and we have to guess. He certainly is a brave pup. I love it that he stills wags his tail ~ truly that does show the spark in him!

    Sending you all the best thoughts and warmest wishes!
    xo Catherine

  9. Thinking good thoughts at you both.

  10. ' A memorable year and a half. The last six months the best ' . What a wonderful , happy , memory when it's needed .

  11. We went thru something similar with our Pylon. When she was thirteen she had surgery to remove half a dozen lumps. The surgery was very hard for her and her recovery was slow. The next year we moved here and she seemed to suffer a stroke of some sort. She became very disoriented easily and we had to watch closely that she didn't wander off. Even in the house she would get lost and just stand and bark till we came to find her.

    Later that year she was diagnosed with cancer and went downhill quickly. I finally made the decision to let her go and I know it was the right thing to do.

    We send our love to Hamlet and our support to you. We know you'll make the right decision for him.

  12. Dear Hamlet, you have reached so many hearts with your brave battle and your beautiful nature.

    As many of us feel the tears flowing down our faces, know that the love we have felt just from knowing you and your family is forever.

    I know when you are ready you will let your family know, but just wanted you to know how much knowing you means to all of us.

    Much Love

  13. Kim, So Glad that Hamlet has you, he is loved and cared for. Thank you.

    Sheila & Bob

  14. What a lucky boy you are Hamlet. Whatever Kim decides is always in your best interest, because she loves you so. I can tell you love her too, from the smile that never leaves your beautiful face. Stay strong, buddy. You too-Kim. (((Hugs)))

  15. Wonderful reflective post, Kim. I will continue the positive thoughts for dear Hamlet. May his remaining days with you be filled with the happiness he's had since recovering from the second surgery. He is wise and you are wise. He will tell you when it's time and you will have the courage to answer him.

    We haven't seen any yet, but when the lightning bugs return I'm just like a child again. I will think of Hamlet when I see the first one.

  16. Hamlet is so beautiful!! I admire what y'all do so much. I know it is hard to give your whole heart to any animal you know you'll only have for a little while. I hope and pray that God gives you and Hamlet strength enough for each day.

    Boondocks' mom

  17. Kim whatever is to come and how it will be handled it will be the right thing for Hamlet because you have a wonderful heart that is so in tune with your crew that I know you will hear Hamlet's voice telling you when it is time for the next step.
    I will keep praying for a miracle because that is what I do, but I also know that God may have other plans and might need Hamlet back home and if that is His will then I pray that peace will surround you and Hamlet for what time you have left to share.
    Thinking of you today....
    Tina xo

  18. Love your analogy. Hamlet appears to be such a sweet sweet dog and you have given him much. Love coming your way.

  19. Kim...
    Sweet Hamlet...I remember that face well on my Old Love.
    He's had a lot of years as a 'Golden' Boy...
    Wishing you the Strength & Love to endur what's ahead for both of you...

    Have a Safe & Healthy Memorial Day Weekend...


  20. Always your partner in courage and unconditional love, Hamlet will live forever in our hearts. Hang in there big guy, there are still some lightning bugs to marvel at.

  21. Kim, you know that Hamlet is where he is supposed to be at this point in his life......with you. There is no better ending to a life that I imagine was so full of his gentleness and manner. A more perfect ending for this creature is not possible.

  22. Oh, how I wish they could talk! So we could explain, and they could tell us how they're feeling, and what their wishes are. But they can't, so all we can do is rely on the no-words, heart-to-heart kind of communication - which maybe is better, anyway.

    A few years ago, when I'd got some scary test results back, my mom didn't opt for the "everything will be okay" speech that other people were making. Instead, she reassured me that whatever lay ahead, as a family we had all the love and resources we would need to face what came together. That's what you and Hamlet have: love and strength and courage and beautiful hearts, both of you.

    My love to you both.

  23. Oh Kim,
    My heart is breaking for Hamlet...I know you do NOT want him to suffer. I don't either and I pray for his healing and more than that I pray for the strength and wisdom to know when it's the right time to let go.
    Please give Hamlet a hug for me and whisper sweet thoughts into his ear.
    Hugs to you as well...

  24. We hope that you and Hamlet enjoy some quality golden time together. We had to let one of our seniors go, a second is failing and we will face these decisions again.

    Every morning we ask if Our Senior golden lady is still enjoying life. If the pain is more than the enjoyment, it is time to let them go.

    We hope Hamlet tells you when it is his time and he is tired and ready to go.

    Mogley G. Retriever

  25. We call them Lightning Bugs too!

    As for Hamlet, well, we never know how much longer Merdie will be with us - she's his age and she's got so many bumps -

    But, she'll be loved as long as it is meant to be -

    Khyra and The Golden Khampers

  26. Fireflies....the coolest little things. We don't have them where I live in California and have only seen them in Disneyland and thought they were SO neat!
    Hope Hamlet pulls through...sending good thoughts his way...

  27. We're keeping our paws crossed for Hamlet. We know you'll do what's best for him with the same love with which you've cared for him since he came to live with you.

    Mazel tov on the expected Scottie! He will be quite an addition to your pack. And having him around may rejuvenate your older dogs. Mama has seen that happen more than once.

    Jed & Abby

  28. Kim, I was just catching up with your blog. I can't wait to see what happens when Todd is introduced to the other doggies. Give Hamlet a hug from me and I will be saying a prayer for him.


  29. So sorry to read about Hamlet. I really hope they figure this out. How sweet that he still has a wagging tail. They truly are amazing.

  30. Hi Kim,
    I'm just catching up with you and all your thoughts of late.

    Hamlet is such a handsome fellow and despite all, seems to be in good spirits. May he and you remain in good spirits knowing how great you have been for each other.

    I was in Brunswick last night and thought of you. One of these days we'll have to be in Brunswick at the same time!

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  31. Your quote is just right, especially for Hamlet. You always do what's right for your dogs and I hope that the infection can be treated with antibiotics. His battle with this tumor has been going on for so long yet he remains a tail-wagging happy boy, mostly thanks to your love.

    The resilient and happy hearts of dogs never cease to amaze me. It sounds like Hamlet is a perfect example of that.

    We are thinking of you and Hamlet.

  32. Now the bond I've always felt with Hamlet feels even deeper. I recently developed Sepsis (infection that entered my blood stream and coursed throughout my body) and went into Septic Shock (blood pressure bottomed out and all vital organs shut down). I can remember moments, in intensive care, when the doctors were fighting to save my life and my family was standing around my bedside, saying 'good-bye' and crying. I actually reached the point where I wanted to die. I wanted the pain to stop. I was too tired to fight anymore. But the doctors wouldn't let me go. They brought me back from the very edge of death. At the time, I was furious. What? They put me through all of that just so that I could continue to live and suffer??? It took a week or two before I felt well enough to be happy that I had survived. Yesterday, I said a prayer. I thanked God for giving me more time on this Earth.

    When I look at Hamlet's face, he just doesn't look ready to say goodbye.

    I do however, know and respect your love for your animals. I also know what it's like to wish for the suffering to just end. I have no doubt that you will know, when the time comes, what is right for "our" beloved Hamlet. And I thank you for sharing your remarkable canines with us. They have truly touched our lives and our hearts!

  33. Sending hugs to you and Hamlet!

    Thank you for all you do to make their "Golden" years, their best!

  34. Oh Hamlet, we love you so much...

  35. I had a feeling that my comment did not stay when I came by yesterday and sure enough,,, it didn't.
    The lightning bugs- I wish they had some magic in them for Hamlet.

    You are doing all that you can do for Hamlet,,
    I also hope the antibiotics work,,,
    but in the end,,,,
    Hamlet will tell you what he wants to do,,,
    All you can do is listen to him,,
    and remember he trusts you

  36. Poor old guy. I think you've done all the best you can for Hamlet. I hope this boy can hang on a little longer for you. If he is still happy & still has that sparkle in his eyes, then he's not ready to go. When he's ready, he'll let you know.

    Hugs to you & Hamlet.

  37. Hi Kim, Just got to say that Hamlet is not the only courageous one-you are too. These times are best covered in the joyous memories. Hugs to you both this day, may every moment be sweeter than the next. Love you friend.

  38. I was actually wondering about Hamlet today, although I was hoping the news would be a bit better.

    He's such a good boy. :)

  39. I think Todd will become the "firefly" in your midst and bring a joyful connection. Hope Tanner and the crew do well. Take care of yourself!

  40. Sweet Hamlet - your Mom wrote a beautiful post. Thinking of you & keeping you in our thoughts & prayers.

    Nadine & golden Neeli


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