My little Pooky who shared my life almost 15 years passed away Monday night at 8:55 PM - peacefully, with all of us attending and comforting. She is now buried with the other animals - Spike, Ethol and the original Max (big brother to the black Newfoundland dogs). I have been heartbroken now for weeks as you know, and crying like never before, even when my parents passed... I will miss her unconditional love. As a minister I've done many funerals and memorials, and have kept my wits about me, but this was beyond painful - I have had anticipatory grief for weeks and today I am numb. Brian built a little casket a couple weeks ago, and Angeni donated one of her receiving blankets. Philomene gave Pook a pink rose quartz and we put in her Dino toy and a chewy rawhide. Because of the rain, we buried her quite quickly that night, because things were ready - I didn't want the hole filling with water during the thunderstorms. It happened so fast I forgot to cut a lock of her hair, like I did with Pepi and Ethol.
I'm sure Brian is sick of my tears, but I have a life-time's worth of pain to shed... And yes, Pook has been a great catalyst of healing for me at so many levels. While Brian read Angeni stories for the last 45 minutes Pook lived, I had been holding her, but she wanted to be on her own beside me on the couch. She spread her front legs to widen her chest cavity. I just kept talking softly and gently - I went into strength mode and had no tears then. She looked into my eyes most of the time - she was lucid right to the end.
I thank Liliana for expressing her condolences - she asked who we'd been consulting about whether to euthanize Pook. Well, we talked to the vet repeatedly, other elders, our native healing group and Pooky's spirit guides/teachers/angels - whoever we felt would give us educated, thoughtful, objective opinions on the best course of action. Since Pook had no pain, and her passing was peaceful, we are comforted in knowing that we did what she wanted, in a good and sacred way.
Last night I was scratching Nonny Cat's belly when we were snuggled in bed, and found 2 lumps around a nipple. A quick trip to the vet gave us a tentative diagnosis of metastatic mammary cancer, with a good prognosis. She'll require surgery, but the vet is waiting for the results from blood work she took this morning. Apparently the lab will have the results by tomorrow! Nonny is 16 but in phenomenal condition otherwise - barring problems like diabetes or high creatinine levels, we should be able to proceed with surgery early next week, or maybe even Friday. In the meantime I'll start her on shark cartilage capsules to hasten the encapsulation of the tumours and give the vet a a better surgical session. I hold out hope that we have our Nonny yet awhile.
Angeni had her first long-distance school trip yesterday to the African Lion Safari, south of Cambridge. It was a stormy day for most of the time she was away, so the kids couldn't do a boat ride that was scheduled. She had a great time anyway, and managed to shoot a whole roll of film. I haven't been to the safari in probably 25 years or more, so it will be great to see how it has changed.
I'm having a quiet day - doing office work and getting the housework up to speed. This weekend we have a gathering of the community for our annual summer solstice sweatlodge (inipi) on Sunday. It is a wonderful event, but lots of work. Better get back at it...