Healing the heart after the loss of a pet

It will be 4 weeks tomorrow at 4:30 pm that we lost our precious Marcus. He was our first dog. I didn’t want to use the word “was” because that means he’s not here anymore. I still sob when I think of him and how adorable, fun, energetic and amazing he was. There’s that word again……….Was. Ugh. Cancer in dogs is so common. I joined a facebook group dogs with cancer and I was shocked at how many dogs are affected by cancer. Is it the food we fed them? How about the pesticides used on the lawns? Even if YOU do not use them, maybe your neighbors do. Their precious little noses are always sniffing the ground and inhaling the toxic chemicals used for pest control and weed control. Could it be genetic? Over breeding?

How do you heal your heart and move forward? Should we rescue another dog? Is it too early? Would I love the new rescue like Marcus? Would it make me feel better? How would bringing another dog into the house so soon affect the other dogs we already have? The only way to answer that question is to move forward. And so we did.

I know Marcus would like us to honor his memory. He is the one who inspired us to rescue dogs. We started in 2009 rescuing dogs and donating time and money to the shelters because of his sweetness and fun personality.

Here is the newest rescue. His name is Prince Harry. We adopted him from a local breeder that is retiring the dog. They were very picky (as they should be) in who they gave him to. We were luck enough to be chosen. I here by announce the new member of our household….Prince Harry, King Charles Cavalier

He is so different than the terriers that we have rescued. He is more calm, has a bit of separation anxiety however he is getting much better with each and every passing day.

I know our Marcus would be proud of us for helping yet another dog. I will miss my boy forever and 2 days. And yes, I am crying now .

My Best Friend Marcus

I can’t believe it’s been 11 years since we first met. I remember December of 2008, seeing you in an enclosed area with your siblings. 3 adorable puppies; 2 females and 1 male. I smiled viewing the puppies and I said out loud “Which one of YOU wants to go home with US?”

Marcus as a small puppy 10 weeks old.

You looked up, and walked cautiously toward us. You put your little tiny paws up on the enclosure and licked my hand. I picked you up and you snuggled inside my coat. It appears you have chosen us to be your humans. You were so tiny I could fit you in the palm of my hand. You slept close to me snuggled in my coat for the 1 hour ride to your new home.

We named him Marcus. He is a Morkie which is a hybrid breed. It’s a cross between a Maltese and a Yorkie. Morkies have beautiful hair. They are small dogs that are jam packed full of energy with a ton of personality. He is the king of the house.

He has the best doggie life any dog can imagine. He goes everywhere with us. The beach, Gramma & Papa’s house, rides to the gas station and so many walks I can’t even count the miles. He can run so FAST. He is like a mini lightening bolt. He even sleeps with us every night. He snuggles up behind my head on top of my pillow leaving me about 1/4 of the pillow.

The best thing about Marcus is he lead to us rescuing 4 other dogs. You see he was bored with us humans after a while and needed some 4 legged friends to play with. We rescued Riley, Amber Rose, Charlie and Pumpkin all within the 11 years we had Marcus.

Marcus has had his fair share of health issues. His first one was gastritis. He was only 2 years old. He recovered from that but continued to have digestive issues on and off. The second issue was a cough. He was diagnosed with kennel cough a few times then at one point it was realized he had a trachea collapse issue. He was 9 at that time.

Why am I writing about Marcus? I am writing this tonight as our Marcus is very ill. He has been diagnosed with cancer. He has a mass in his abdomen that has spread to his lungs. His heart is enlarged too. He is on steriods and a diuretic to keep the fluid from building up inside him. We are keeping him comfortable; however the past few days he has shown us he is not going to get better and is deteriorating. He will no longer jump onto the couch, walk up the stairs or scratch at the door to go out to pee. I carry him outside to go to the bathroom. He is eating less and less. He is so sweet and is still wagging his tiny little tail when we talk to him and pet him.

I purchased a dog stroller to take him for walks because he can’t make it to the end of the driveway without sitting down and resting. He LOVES the stroller and really looks forward to his 2 walks a day with me. I also snuggle him up in his pet bed and I walk with him outside in my arms talking to him. I cried alot over the past 6 weeks. I cried when I held him, talked to him and when it was time for bed I cried.

I explained to him that he is very sick and he needs to get better or he will be going to heaven. I told him several times a day how much I love him and how much I will miss him when he is gone. I could see it in his eyes he knew his time was limited. I cried way more than I should have holding him and talking to him, but I couldn’t help it. He’s MY boy.

I can’t imagine my life without him. I am thankful he is still with us and I am enjoying every day like there is no tomorrow.

That no tomorrow came on Thursday July 25th. He wouldn’t take his medicine and decided he didn’t want any more food. We called the vet and she said to bring him in. I walked him out into the back yard holding him in my arms. We stopped and smelled the stargazer lily’s we both loved to smell. I explained to him what was going to happen. I asked Marcus if he would come back to me and tell me his was okay. I said, “Show me a cloud shaped like a dog, or come to me in a dream and tell me you are okay, please baby boy give me some kind of sign so I know you made it”.

We got into the truck with Marcus’s favorite blue bed and he snuggled with me for about 20 minutes into the 1 hour ride to the vet. I was petting him and talking to him. As I gazed down at him, I felt him leave. He was not breathing and his temperature dropped. I looked at my husband with tears streaming down my face and I said “He’s gone, our boy is gone”. I placed my fingers over his eyes to close them. I told him I LOVE YOU MARCUS and I will MISS YOU.

Just like the first day we met him and he picked us out, he left the same exact way. He passed away snuggled in my arms.

I cried the rest of the way to the vet’s office. I opened the door to the vets office and walked him in. I held him so close for the last time and kissed him goodbye.

1 day later I saw this in the sky. On the right hand side just above the puffy cloud is a terrier like looking dog. Maybe it’s my imagination or it is really Marcus telling me he made it.

I will miss you forever times forever into infinity. Thank you for picking us to be your humans

Kennel Cough

Get Well Soon Marcus 12-2018

Kennel Cough

Our poor boy.   He is 11 years old and due to the fact he has tracheal collapse, when he gets kennel cough it’s a long and stressful recovery for him and us, his humans.  He has contracted it several times in his doggie lifetime.

The most recent time, (aka now),  he got it from one of our other 2 dogs that went to the groomer.  3 days after getting groomed the other 2 dogs started coughing and sneezing like crazy.  That spread through the house quickly until all the dogs were coughing.

The good news?  3 out of the 4 dogs recovered within 3 days on the meds.  The bad news is Marcus is lagging behind.  All the dogs were prescribed Clavomax.  That didn’t seem to do the “trick” for Marcus so after consulting with our veterinarian he was switched to Baytril.  Cross your fingers this works quickly.

What is Kennel cough? It’s a infectious tracheobronchitis.  In simple English, it’s a doggie cold.

There are many different strains just like the human common cold.   The most popular cause is Bordetella bronchiseptica. 

Vaccines are helpful in preventing kennel cough however it doesn’t guarantee your dog won’t get it.  There are 3 forms of vaccines.  One is injection, the second is oral and the third is a mist.

Our dogs are doing the reverse sneeze thing, coughing and then gagging and spitting up white froth.  I am cleaning up the mess quickly and disinfecting the house and their beds.

Marcus Kennel Cough Episode

What is tracheal collapse?  It’s a condition where the windpipe begins to collapse.  Think of it this way; you put a straw in a thick milkshake and suck.  The straw usually collapses.  That’s what happens to dogs with tracheal collapse. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tracheal_collapse

It’s common in small dogs, especially Yorkies.  Our Marcus is a Maltese Yorkie known as a Morkie.  We have switched his collar to a harness so it takes the pressure off of his neck at all times.   We also notified the groomer so the next time he does go they will be very careful with the harness they put around his neck to keep him still during the grooming process.

It took Marcus 2 weeks to show signs of improvement.  Today (2 weeks later) he is only coughing when he gets super excited or barks.  He is on the road to recovery.

Peek a boo

Rescue Me Part 1 of a 5 Part Series Rescue Dogs

March 2008: One of my very good friends got an adorable little Morkie puppy named Chloe.  She is the sweetest little girl!  I asked her where she got the puppy and she told me Dayville, CT.  We were thinking about getting a dog but weren’t sure yet. Below is a picture of Chloe. She is not a rescue dog but she lead to my husband and I rescuing many dogs.


December 2008:  We purchased our first dog in December of 2008 from the same breeder my friend got her dog,  out of Honeybrook, Pa, but picked the dog up in Dayville, CT at a place called Triple Oak Kennel.  I called and made an appointment with the breeder and  told her we were JUST LOOKING  for a Morkie.  We were certain we wanted a dog but we were thinking of getting one in the Spring and were just looking at that particular breed due to their small size and gentle, kind disposition.Pet Finder 

When we arrived at the location she was well prepared and had 3 Morkies in a pen in her kitchen.  2 females and 1 male.  I didn’t really want a male due to the fact males mark all over, however, when I looked at the 3 of them, I said “Okay, which one of YOU wants to come home with ME?”  2 of the larger puppies were hiding in the corner shaking and then this tiny, black and tan pup walked right up to me and looked at me with these cute little eyes.  He was barely 2 pounds.  Then he put his paws up as high as he could possibly reach to greet me.  I picked him up and we cuddled for a while.  Then I realized it was a MALE.  Oh, geeze, I didn’t want a male.  I looked down at him as he cuddled against my chest and he nuzzled his little nose inside my coat; after all it was December and it was cold.  We were both perfectly comfortable with each other.  Needless to say we bonded instantly and took him with us.  

The first stop was  https://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcostore because obviously we were JUST LOOKING for a dog.  A crate, puppy food, toys, treats and a brush =’s $200+ later.

He slept all the way home.  Elevated Pet Bed 

We named him Marcus and he is a Morkie.  Maltese / Yorkie mix.  This is what he looked like when we first picked him up. 

The first night was difficult as he cried alot and was scared.  I didn’t want to get him into the habit of sleeping in our bed so I kept the crate close to the bed and kept I leaning down and petting him to comfort him.  Needless to say we didn’t get much rest that night.  The 2nd night was just as bad.  My husband said “Oh Sharon, just let him sleep in the bed just this one time, we all need to sleep”.  Fast forward to 9+ years later and guess where “our boy” sleeps.  Yup, cuddled up every night with Mommy and Daddy in his/our bed.