June 1, 2017

A whole lot of tired

I took this photo yesterday. It was the first time going out in a month. It wasn't to anywhere special - just to Town and Country Animal Hospital to pick up Bartles' eye drops for his dry eye. We made a stop at 7-Eleven on our way home. Bartles had fallen asleep on my lap. It was so relaxing and I had actually put on make up for the first time in a long time.

My May off days became full at the last minute as we ended up watching our friends' Beagle puppy so that their Westie could rest (Beagle was a bit too hyper and overly playful, which ended up taking a slight toll on the older Westie). I had always wanted to repay our friends somehow - they were extremely helpful whenever Piri was sick and even donated an incredibly large sum of money to help pay for Piri's vet bills when he was going through his expensive cancer treatment. So this opportunity was something where I thought I could do a little something for them. I hope I was helpful. 

After our last May guest dog left on the 30th, I exhaled a long deep breath.



It was a long, long month. 

And it was tough. 

Things were a little harder because Bartles has been going through some weird funk where he couldn't walk well and fell down more often and couldn't get back up, which meant every other step he fell down, I was there to help him back up. Whether it was 9 am, 12 pm or 3 am - or whether it lasted 10 minutes or 30 minutes, I was his shadow. 

Some nights he got up every hour to pace (and fall). 

Other nights he slept through without waking up. 

Most nights he got up 1-3 times, and I would wake up with him to make sure he didn't need help getting out of bed. 

There were accidents. Potty accidents. Leaking accidents. Lots of laundry. Lots of wiping. At all different hours of the day.

And then there were the not so pretty potty accidents, which then added a trip to the bathroom for a bath. And whenever this happened in the middle of the night, it was just brutal. 

Along with all this was taking care of the guest dogs, taking lots of pictures, editing pictures, sending updates and cleaning the house, cooking for Bartles, cooking for us, doing the dishes. Treat times, belly rub times, play times. 

When I tell people this, they kind of think, oh well that's not too bad. Still easy compared to (fill in the blank). 

And by the time you find a little break time, it's 10 pm and you're butt tired because you didn't get proper sleep and your break ends suddenly because you have to get everyone ready for bed, which means pee and potty time in the backyard - pick up any poop, wipes paws and pee and potty areas, get everyone in their beds, brush their teeth, wash water bowls and refill them in case someone gets thirsty at night. 

Then it's lights out for me -- and depending on the night I will either get up every hour or 1-3 times or if I'm lucky, sleep straight through. 

Sometimes the tough came with frustrations. 

Frustrating when you're about to eat your first meal at 3 pm and an accident happens or at 3 am when you go to help Bartles back up after falling down but it looks like he's fallen asleep in that spot, but you wait 5 minutes in case he wants to go back to his bed and when he really doesn't move you finally decide to go back to sleep and the second you lay down he tries mighty hard to get up but can't. [Insert deep sigh if this happens on the night where he happens to get up every hour - by the 5th time it just gets physically tiring].

Or when you are wiping poop off the carpet so fast so that other dogs don't step on it but also because the water is boiling for the coffee (which I will end up making but won't get to drink until 3 hours later) and no one is there to turn it off for you.. (thank goodness we don't have a kettle that whistles) 

I'm not looking for people to say what a incredible person I am or how I'm so great and wonderful and how Bartles is so lucky. I once had a job where people thought I was a compliment seeker and would throw these compliments at me left and right, and it made me so incredibly uncomfortable and angry because 1. they didn't mean it and were only saying because they thought it would make me feel good (I mean, really??) and 2. I don't take compliments that well. I'm not saying that people don't mean it when letting me know how I'm doing a good job with Bartles, but when I write about these experiences, the point isn't to generate compliments. It's just to share. And to just say it's hard. And that it's ok.

Sometimes I grapple with writing about some of my stories because I'm so afraid that it may deter people from thinking about adopting sick senior dogs. But you know what? It was this way with Piri - it was hard, and tiring and frustrating. I wouldn't have gotten rid of him. It was probably a time in his life when he needed me the most. And I keep thinking and wondering if for some reason I wasn't there for him, would there have been someone who stepped up and took him in. Or would he have been passed up time and time again because he was just too old and too sick. That thought kills me. 

Caring for sick senior dogs isn't for everybody but they certainly deserve to live out their golden years on a warm bed, have good meals and enjoy lots of chin scratches. 

While things have been hard, and tiring and frustrating, having good people in my corner helps me to push through. This is pretty important. Because on those hard days, that someone in your corner is going to drop by with a warm home cooked meal so you don't have to worry about cooking dinner. And that someone in your corner is going to leave a super funny comment or send you a funny picture that'll make you laugh from the bottom of your stomach. And that someone is going to tell you that you are doing great even when you are so doubtful, or send you a free bottle of herbal supplements to help make Bartles feel better and surprise you with a hidden can of soda just when you need a little kick. 

It's ok to be tired. 

It's ok to get frustrated.

But have good people in your corner. 

And always leave room in your heart for sick senior dogs. 


  1. Oh no! Sorry you had such a rough month, hopefully the rest of the months are much kinder to you! With my baby girl, I completely understand the meaning of tired and rough months! Lovely blog!

    Steph of Byron Beaches.

  2. ((((hugs)))) Jane, I know you're not looking for compliments as you said, but really, I just want to let you know how I think what you are doing is wonderful. Not a lot of people (not gonna lie...including myself) have the patience to do what you do, and I think it's something that should certainly be acknowledged and celebrated. XOXO

  3. May has been a hard month for me too sweetheart. But I like how you strong despite everything that is called bravery. Thanks for put all your feelings in this post is so real and this is amazing. Because you really inspire me.


  4. I agree, senior dogs are kind of like people, just because you're old, and caring for them might be a little tough, doesn't mean their less deserving of a warm bed and a family to help take care of them. I'm happy for what you did for Piri and what you're doing for Bartles. I know it doesn't come easy, but you're doing great work so I'm sure there's a reward in there somewhere. Sorry you had such a tough month, hopefully June will welcome some easiness.


  5. hey jane. i think what you're doing is amazing. it's who you are. you do it for nothing else. it comes from your heart & soul. i worried when you took on another dog after Piri. i really did. i knew what you were personally going through (wanting a child) and what you were contending with (piri's illness). i also knew what you went through on your job (i had a similar experience). everybody is different. i needed time to put myself back together. Throughout all of this, I want you to take time for YOU! You're always doing for others unselfishly. But remember to take time out for you! What they did for you was very nice! And the love & care you did for them (through their pet) was very nice :)


  6. Life isn't an easy thing, is it now. I feel tired a lot, especially when I'm doing something that I know I need to do as a responsibility. I'm thinking of you :)


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