June 25, 2017

Exhausted & Guilty

Around noon today, Bartles had been circling nonstop for about 40 minutes. He has been doing this  at certain times of the day and we have no idea why -- perhaps Cushing's, perhaps UTI, perhaps dementia, we just don't know. 

I was next to him the entire time, helping him up, supporting his weak hind legs and encouraging him to at least circle while standing up. I crouch down, my hands on his hips, and he walks in circles and I follow in circles, and he falls. By the 10th time, it's tiring.

But still, I persist and continue to work with him. Part of me wonders if he needs to poop or pee and I wanted to be there to catch it so he wouldn't have a messy accident. But after 40 minutes of helping him up every 10 steps, I put him on the floor where we have wee wee pads laid out so that we can both rest. Then I go to check on the bone broth I had been simmering for about 4.5 hours and fish out bones and skin to put in a second pot to make another batch. 

I heard him crying and circling the entire time. After about 20 minutes, I went to check on him and I found him covered him poop and diaper drenched with urine. He was circling over his poop, which had covered his entire body, legs and paws. The wee wee pads were all over the place and the poop mess was on the blanket we had laid out underneath the pads. 

These types of accidents isn't new, hence the reason why I always want to be next to him when he starts to move so that we can prevent them. 

I kicked myself for leaving him today. But I was with him for 40 minutes... 40 minutes! 

When I found him, I just sort of sat there looking at the mess, not being able to pull the strength to clean it up. I was just too tired. It has been several days and nights of him just circling and crying and getting up in the middle of the night - sometimes every hour. It's been changing diapers because he leaks uncontrollably now to the point that I can't tell if he peed or leaked. I don't get enough sleep, shower properly or eat on time. 

After bathing him, I took him out of the bath and began to dry him. The entire time in the bath tub he was thrashing around, wanting to circle but couldn't because it was too narrow. When I wrapped him in towels, he had finally calmed down, and I broke down crying. 

I was tired... and he had pooped all over Piri's blanket... and that thought.. that passing thought made me feel so guilty. 

When Bartles has his bad moments, I feel terrible for him but I realize something about myself. I realize that my heart hurts double - for Bartles and for Piri. I am reminded more of Piri when things get a little hard with Bartles.

Please don't get me wrong. I love Bartles and I care for him deeply, but I think extreme stressful situations make me long for Piri more. 

I see other dog owners who adopted puppies after their sick dogs crossed over the rainbow bridge. All their pictures and stories are happy ones. They sometimes post a picture of their former dog and they say they are guilty for being so happy even though their companion is gone. 

It's not like that for me. And sometimes I feel terrible for it. 

But, is what I'm feeling normal? Or am I just really messed up? 

Someone asked me though, after hearing about all my troubles with Bartles, "Would you still adopt a senior dog?" 

Yes. Most definitely yes. Perhaps our wallets may need a break from adopting senior dogs with medical issues, but most definitely a senior dog. 

Yangkyu also asked me today, "Are you ok with things the way they are now?" I said yes, "Bartles may only have a few more years to live, but me, knock on wood, I still have such a long road to go. So when I look at it that way, it's ok. I will always have the opportunity to go out and enjoy things I can't now. But for Bartles, his time is limited, and someone has to be there for him." 

And these types of thoughts, after a long day, is what calms me and brings me back to focus.


  1. Sounds completely normal and understanding to me Jane, reading this makes me ponder if I personally could do it? I think I would be crying A LOT but if you always come back to your values in life everything does seem to work out in the end :) :) xoxo

  2. Your love and dedication to Bartles (and to Piri) is really so admirable, Jane. I'm not just saying that. Every time I read your posts about what you go through...the good and the bad...it's really very uplifting and a reassurance that there are still good people out there. XOXO


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