Thursday, June 2, 2011

No More "Tough Month!"

For the last four years June has been a fairly tough month for me. June 1, 2007 was the end of my marriage, exactly five years to the day after it began. Then June 7, 2008 I had to euthanize my Sheltie, Layla.


I wrote this following the day after I lost her: "Yesterday I had to do one of the hardest things I've ever had to do for a dear friend. After a full day of various tests at a couple of different vet clinics with a total of 6 vets diagnosing her, including an internal medicine specialist, it came to the point that any cure or treatment was going to be worse than the disease. Her body had already started shutting down from whatever it was she had--cancer, liver disease, or an all-encompassing internal fungal infection. Whatever it was had already begun to kill her long ago, and while she looked perfectly healthy, the disease had taken its toll and begun to effect the quality of her life. At 4pm yesterday I held my beautiful girlie girl while she slipped quietly from this world.

I found Layla in a "free to good home" ad in the Leavenworth newspaper in August of 2001. She has been by my side ever since. She was always there for me, ready to try her best to cheer me up during the hard times and to have fun with me during the good times. She was my "girlie girl, diva dog," and she knew she was someone very special. I can't think of a single person she met that didn't immediately fall in love with her--she was so pretty, and always obedient, dignified, and sweet--a true lady. She loved to pretend that she was the one herding the horses around when they would run past her, or be worked in the roundpen--her bark is firmly planted in my memory. She was incredibly smart--I had to look up ideas for new tricks on the internet to teach her.

I feel remarkably blessed to have known this great lady for almost 7 years--the majority of her life. She was not just a pet--she was my companion, my friend, my supporter, my teacher, and my family.

Layla 'was a lady. And a lady always knows when to leave.'"

Then June 8, 2009 I had to euthanize Empress, a horse I had known for a long time, but had only rescued a few months before. She was in terrible shape, with overgrown feet, a body score barely about 2 (being ultra-conservative) and had rain rot all over her body. I had known her from when she was rescued along with my poor lovely palomino mare Sunny, and sadly she ended up suffering from the same terribly painful condition that Sunny had: laminitis.

Basically all I was able to do for her was give her a good final few months. When I had her put down her ribs were no longer visible and her coat gleamed with health. At least she would no longer go from home to home, neglected and hungry, but it was still a difficult thing to do.

Then last year on June 9th I said goodbye to the greatest horse I've ever owned.


I have wanted to put something together for Eddie for a long time. I have so many pictures of him and while I know it probably doesn't mean much to most people, those who knew him I think would enjoy seeing this slide show of his life. He was such a character. My friend Vicki, who took wonderful care of Eddie when I couldn't have him with me, said it best when she described Eddie as "a person trapped in a horse's body."

So, needless to say, I now dread the first couple of weeks of June. I pray that this "tradition" doesn't continue, and while I am helpless to keep anything bad from happening, I can choose to be positive and make the most out of the time I spend with those I love.

It's important not to forget those who have gone through so much worse as well. I keep hearing heartbreaking stories about people in Joplin, who have lost everything and are now being gouged by people charging to "help" clean up and corporations charging for lost equipment. Please remember these people in your prayers--they have endured much more heartbreak than most of us can even imagine.

Also, I've decided to take this month as a beginning for some positive changes--the results of which I hope I'l be able to share in upcoming posts (wish me luck!). In an odd way, going through these challenges are somewhat liberating--my heart has broken so many times and it hasn't killed me yet, so, whatever the future brings, I am certain I will be able to handle it. The important thing is to live a good life and to be thankful for all the happy times and wonderful memories I still have of those I have lost.

~J

10 comments:

smazourek said...

*Hugs*

huston2 said...

I enjoy following your posts and following your struggles as I go through struggles myself. I will pray that God gives you a wonderful June and on, and on. I love how passionate you are with what you do, keep it up and thanks for looking at and likeing my pictures. Have a great day and talk soon. Jay - your fellow Kansan

Kate said...

It is always so hard to suffer these losses, particularly of our animal friends. Over time, the good memories should sustain you. And you are most definitely a survivor. Sending good thoughts and wishes.

Annette said...

I started following your blog after Eddie passed but I feel like I knew him because you still mention him -- often. The video/slide show is a wonderful tribute. What a character he was! Here's wishing you an uneventful June...

Alan T Hainkel said...

Very well done, jessie... *big hugs*

Grey Horse Matters said...

June does seem to be one of your worst months. I'm sure things will change this year with the positive outlook you have.

My mother always used to say whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. And it seems you're a strong person.

Blackfeatherfarm said...

Something all of us crazy animal lovers deal with....we can't hold, them,hug them or touch them... but the love never stops...they are buried in your heart and their spirits go where you do....

Calm, Forward, Straight said...

Hoping this June is filled with love and happiness, for humans and animals! :)

Jessie McCandless said...

Thank you so much to everyone for all your kind words. Jay, I enjoy looking at your pictures of your family having such good times--it's fun to see all those smiles. They make me smile, too! :) Annette, I'm so thankful to have so many people understand what a huge part of my life Eddie was and be so understanding to let me share my memories of him. I feel lucky to have him here, in a way, through his "kids." Arlene, the last year or two (except losing Eddie and Stupid, of course) have seemed to be much, much kinder to me. There are ups and downs in everyone's life and I am especially blessed to have had so much support through a long downswing. I definitely feel like things have been on the up for a while (*knock on wood*). Thanks so much, again, to everyone else as well! I wasn't sure I should share such a downer but I thought perhaps in a way, maybe if I talk about it, it will stop happening! LOL

Fantastyk Voyager said...

Hugs!! I sure hope all goes well for you this month and the June misfortunes end.