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Greystoked

Greetings on Memorial Day 2019

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Well. It is Memorial Day, a day to remember those who have gone before. A moment of silence...

 

Thank you. And here I am again, needing to apologize. And I am truly sorry for being so rude. I guess I am just no good at this sort of thing. A bit of background may help with understanding, as we do not mean to be rude. Some of you old-timers remember me from years past, and last I was here regarding our lovely boy Joey /AKA/ DK's Sweet Treat. Apparently, part of the reason for taking so long to return, is our difficulty in dealing with his having to leave us. And now I'm back to being wordy. Sorry.

Let's start with me, since I am typing. Sorry about upcoming choppiness.

I am 67. Trained as cook and baker. Worked both. Enlisted in armed forces right after 18th B-day in 1970. Broke neck in 1978, didn't know. Left arm stopped working. Most symptoms in arm, so docs didn't check neck. Spiral fracture of C4 with accompanying disc rupture. Disc material exuded into spinal canal, impinged nerve roots of L arm, hence symptoms there. Chiropractor got me able to work, arm acted up off and on over the years, in and out of work (only briefly out; I was a real fighter, back then.) 1984, left baking field, became machine operator. Because arm malfunctioned, ended up crushing left hand in stamping press. Much damage, broken bones, flesh torn. MGH rebuilt hand. Five months in cast up to armpit, three more casted to elbow. Heckuva story. Over four years OT/PT. Got another machine operator job in 1988, met SweetiesMum, hereafter named Mary. Flirted, fell in love, lived in sin. Been 30 years now. Wicked. But in 1990, a new neurologist ordered a cervical MRI and found the ancient, untreated neck fracture. It was affecting my new job, so I chanced surgery. Doc removed a couple of disk side bits (Processies?) , drilled a hole into vertebrae and removed disk material (impinging spinal cord/nerve roots) which over the years had turned into bone, fused the disks and avoided the planned discectomy. The shoulder pain of 12 years was finally gone. In 1994, I was rear-ended. To sum up, it messed me up bad and lead to a spinal cord disease called adhesive arachnoiditis, Don't ask, it is indescribable. After years of doctors, test, drugs, and a heart attack for good measure, I was told by the 4th pain specialist "There is no treatment. No cure. Learn to live with it." And so.

Mary is 6 years my junior. Had an unpleasant childhood in a town having problems with a character. Bullied at school, the solution was to send her away to a private school near Boston. Ended up after high school caring for her now-elderly parents at home, all by herself. Not much family. Dad died in the living room, Mom was confined to hospital bed, going blind, losing mind due to over-medication. Died before we met, leaving Mary alone with her dog. Hospitalized with high fever from scarlet fever when young, high fever again from mono in her late teens, Mary started having sleep issues. We wonder. From our first night together, Mary has had sleep issues. Night terrors, sleep paralysis, more. And a weird form of cataplexy we didn't recognize. Finally diagnosed with narcolepsy. And more horror trying to get that treated. There's no cure, it is related to neural damage, but there is treatment. If we could only find it.

Mary had a dog when we met, Duke, a Schnoodle, a Good Boy. Didn't like me at first.Gonna bite. Got him to accept me with the Treat Trick, got him healthy making food for him. We became good buddies over several years. He even accepted a crazy cat we named Frank(enstein, you little monster!) They would snuggle on his bed beside our bed. Such a good boy. He very uncharacteristically wandered away one night, was hit by a car. Much sadness.  Mary has always had a dog or two, so she really missed our Duke. Which led to our friend Crazy Eddie.

Eddie was married with 3 wee sprogs, an interesting wife, and a 'rescued' Husky named Bear. Bear had been bounced around, and was now consigned to a wire run in the woods/back yard. Had a plywood 'doghouse'. Was fed whatever the kids didn't finish, usually some form of pasta or other food prepared by a non-cook. Or canned squash, whatever was easy. Yes, we were appalled. Bear liked us, and Mary had plans. Those plans finalized the day Mary brought a McDonald's burger over for Bear. As she started taking the wrapper off, Bear lunged, grabbed the burger and wolfed it all in one bite, paper and all. Soon after, he came home with us. At first, he absolutely refused to come in the house. Wanted his wire run and doghouse out back. Loved getting attention and lots of company, and decent food/water. And one winter, bitter cold, Mary said "He's coming in." Cool. He didn't wanna. So Mary picked him up and carried him, kicking and grunting, into the house. Couldn't stop laughing. He sniffed his food and water bowls, turned and looked up like, "For me?" Saw his comfy bed, leaped on it, jumped up and down a few times, again "For me?!" He was an inside dog from then on. And no toddlers pulling ears! Luxury. But he developed spinal problems, couldn't walk, incontinent. Still loving alive, loved good food though he had to sit to eat. Then, one night, he couldn't eat and looked up at me and I knew. He had had enough now, it was too much. Vet came to the house, Bear died in our arms. Great sadness.

 

Again Mary grieved with no dog. To say she is a dog-lover doesn't convey the depth of her feeling. And so she learned about the Greyhound situation. There was a kennel nearby that adopted out retired racers. I didn't want no Greyhound, they're racers, not pets. She said please, I was really hurting, but gave in, Off to the Kennel. They brought out four hounds. Three very excited girls on leashes, jumping, sniffing, yipping, all focused on Mary; and one big boy, unleashed. I had gone to sit in the corner, this boy quietly came over, put his chin on my knee, and looked up at me. I looked, and fell into those big brown eyes. My heart was won. An hour later he was home with us, and I became Grey stoked. He was my Sweetie. Our Sweetie.

With Sweetie, I actually began to learn about dogs. He became my therapy dog as at that time I was on ever increasing doses of pain meds (so that I could travel for all the doctors, MRI's, etc. that my PCP kept sending me to. Car rides mess me up.) I spent a lot of time confined to bed reading Discworld novels. But Mary was working, and Sweetie wanted more walks with warmer weather. I couldn't say no to those eyes, though I could barely walk. Just to the end of the street at first. The next day, a hundred feet more. Gently, lovingly, and gratefully, he got me walking again. On to short woods walks, gradually longer and longer. He loved woods walks, it was the three of us. He also loved rides and shopping; Mary would shop, I would walk Sweetie in the parking lot so he could 'panhandle for pets.' He loved meeting folk, getting pets. Who rescued whom?

But one horrible day, Sweetie was ill. Better the next day, then ill again. I'll give no description, suffice it was bad. Got worse. Vet said "Cancer of the blood". On the 5th day, we carried him to vet. Had to say goodbye. Worst ever.

Of course, Mary had to have another grey. Me too. And here at Greytalk, you wonderful folk helped us hook up with Joey. And we drove to Connecticut to meet him, and he came home with us that day. Joy entered our home once again.

But our stupid health issues. In 2005 I got my arach diagnosis, weaned off and quit the pain pills. 2006 and I started more walks with Sweetie, gardening, house repair. 2011 when Joey came home, we all enjoyed long woods walks. By 2014, Mary was having real trouble coping (had to lock herself in closets during lunch/breaks at work for power naps to get through the day, other stuff) and I was starting to skip some woods walks. Neuropathy, other stuff. Kept up neighborhood walks and hanging out by the river. The skin on my hands died and fell off. Nonsense at Mary's job aggravated her sleep issues, having trouble functioning. October 2016, I can't even do neighborhood walks any longer. All on Mary, she and Joey sad.

January 2016, Mary breaks her wrist. Out of work, but handling it well. Has 'medical misadventure', primary hand is now messed up. Fridge starts dying, only freezer. Car off road, transmission line leak. Mary loses job (yeah, another messed-up tale), loses health insurance. We live off my disability. Narcolepsy gets much worse, repeated horror stories with health insurance/doctor. My weird symptoms increase. Useless. Problems between us. On and on.

Got a picture from September 2018. Joey's leg is fine. Then, a lump. Vet gives scary diagnostic opinion. Know Mary is going to lose her mind, her Joey is everything to her. I know. I watch in hidden horror as that lump slowly gets bigger, now it is bothering him. Still happy, very dog. January 2019. Been a okay month, all things considered. Joey is very brave, and hung in there so Mary wouldn't associate Christmas with death. Joey was our Christmas dog, after all. But now, the end of the month, and that lump grows noticeably. He is in pain. And suddenly, just like with Sweetie. He is real sick. I know.

 

So I put on my big-boy Depends, swallow my tongue, and come back to Greytalk. (I've been able to Spock myself into dry eyes up to now, but I can feel the dam ready to burst. Must be brief, finish this, So sorry I am inadequate.) And everyone was so kind, so understanding. I knew you would be, as we all share such times as these. I am ashamed I am not good for such tasks. It is not because we are uncaring. I had a decision to make, the Terrible Algebra of Necessity, and there was help here. I thank you all, more than I can say or show.

And so the decision was made, and without further detail, poor Joey passed away from us. I killed him.

Mary of course lost her mind with grief, on top of everything else. I tried strength, to help her. Then discovered my grief. And so I have been away too long, making it seem as if I ignore you folk, or don't appreciate your support and help. I am sorry for this. My only explanation is the health issues we both face, and the greatest grief we have ever known.

 

 


"To leave the world a somewhat better place than it was when you came into it."

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I think we all have had hard times in life, some worse than others. We haven't escaped it here either. We picked up and moved on like you have done.

We've had 14 greyhounds, all someone else's throw-aways, all seniors with the exception of 2 of them. After having to let 13 greyhounds, 3 italian greyhounds, 1 ibizan, and 2 mutts go I'll tell you, it doesn't get any easier whether it's 1, 2, or 19. It's a stab in your heart over and over again.

Since we've become a "senior" living household I jokingly call our home as The Old Grey Ache-ers, referring to our current dogs and our own physical issues.

That you have returned to GT is a good thing. Bearing your soul like you did isn't easy but I hope in some way it has eased your pain.

Hugs to you and Mary.


 

Charlie the iggy, Hada the podenco maneta, Georgie Girl (UMR Cordella)
Angels: Mazy (CBR Crazy Girl), Potato, my mystery ibizan girl, Allen (M's Pretty Boy), Percy (Fast But True), Mikey (Doray's Patuti), Pudge le mutt, Tessa the iggy, Possum (Apostle), Gracie (Dusty Lady), Harold (Slatex Harold), "Cousin" Simon our step-iggy, Little Dude the iggy ,Bandit (Bb Blue Jay), Niña the galgo, Wally (Allen Hogg), Thane (Pog Mo Thoine), Oliver (JJ Special Agent), Comet, & Rosie our original mutt.

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I'm sorry to hear about your loss of Joey.  We've all been there at some point and it never gets any easier. 

 

Welcome back.  Pretty sure that I remember Sweetie too. 

 


rocket-signature-jpeg.jpg

Missing my boy Hi Noon Rocket and the home of Petunia, MW Neptunia

 

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I'm so sorry about Joey...  I remember you from when you were here before.

 

Many hugs - it's always so hard to lose them.


Jeannine with Merlin the fuzzy kitteh, and Cody grey-girl waiting at the bridge

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My dear Macoduck,

Again with the apologies. I truly am sorry, I don't know what is wrong with me.

Thank you for your kind words, and what you say about us all, everyone, having gone through (or are going through) rough times, and experiencing such losses, is so very true. I felt there wasn't a gathering of people anywhere that would understand better than the Greytalkers here. That, I think, was what gave me the courage to login. I do not care to hear the phrase "It was just a dog." Folk here know better. (Sorry, allergies or something, trouble seeing keyboard...)

I am so truly sorry for my hermit-like behavior. I think one of the things making it hard is hearing when someone such as yourself loses a beloved. I don't know what to say. I used to be a semi-computer guy, even taught adult night classes on Macs (which I'd never used, but a word processor is a word pro.) But not so good at the forum stuff. No facebook, twitter, none of that stuff. Got a Photobucket account, but I've heard that's no good anymore. Someone here mentioned Imgur, but after checking it out I woke up six months later with 106, 287 Imgur bookmarks and no idea what day it was. Still can't figure out how to join or upload anything. Got a youtube account, can't seem to figure that out either. Then there's the mindset. I have a health issue that leads to me hiding away as much as possible. Nobody wants to see that (expletive deleted.)

I hope to do better here. I chuckled at your Old Grey Ache-ers homestead name. I guess we feel the same. We'd very much like to find another grey and share a forever home, but I'm not sure that's so easy these days. We don't care about age, I guess the only preference we might express is for a big ol' boy hound. Both Sweetie and Joey were so calm, good-natured and easy to handle (to pick up, not so much.) I guess nothing would make any difference, just to have a greyhound in the house again. Even for a short time. Yes, we'll go through it again. How could we not?

I learned so much from Greyhounds! What a surprise, to discover just how wonderful and unique they are. Sweetie of course got me out of bed and walking again. Who 'rescued' whom, indeed! When Joey came to us, we continued our favorite walks. The woods, the beaches, Peterson Farm where lived a Llama. One time I walked with Mary and Joey well over two miles at South Cape beach! Amazing! I unfortunately lost the ability to walk so well a few years after Joey came. Limited to shorter walks in our neighborhood, or going down to the 'beach' by the river, Come 2016, I couldn't even manage that. Made Joey very sad. He loved our little neighborhood. Everyone knew him. Strangers were attracted to him, and he loved the attention. And he always had a magnificent pair of ears to lend to my tales of woe. Then he'd show me how to move on, with a grin and a wag.

I've done it again, I see. And so bad at it, as well. Sorry. And, again, thank you.

Darn. Don't know new layout. Not sure if I can do multiple replies. Please forgive me if I'm messing up. Horrible feeling I should address other responders in here. Sorry.

My Dear Time4aNap (OMG! Love that name! ROFTTL),

Apologies for this fiasco. I am, truly, such an idiot. Thank you for your kind words. You are right, it never gets easier. And we do it again.

I believe I recall your handle, when I first joined with Sweetie I had a different username, can't remember it, but account lapsed due to me messing up and I rejoined with a rad new name. It is good to see you still here. I hope to do better here, I have joyous stories to share. Again, we thank you.

Ahem.

My Dear Beachbum1, thank you. I'm tryin'!!! (>sheepish grin emoticon substitute<)

Um...

My Dear Ozgirl, thank you for your kind words. I wish I had a memory, but I forgot where I left it. Probably same place I lost my mind. If you see it, could you tell it it's okay to come home, all is forgiven. (Minds these days, eh?) Thank you for the hugs. It is still difficult.

Please excuse me, everything giving out at once, stupid fingers.

Thank you all, again.


"To leave the world a somewhat better place than it was when you came into it."

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