Let's discuss Avengers: Infinity War -- a movie BOUND to make you feel so good!

July 31, 2013

Might as well speak…

So.  Guess what I learned?

Did you know that dogs could have seizures?  I sure didn’t.  I mean, it makes sense that they can -- they’re mammals with all the right parts, give or take.  But medical knowledge and veterinary arts have never been my forte.  So for a while there, I was confusing “seizure” with “stroke” and assumed that the issue with my dog Ben was that he wasn’t getting enough oxygen through his brain.  Assuming that even that little nugget of knowledge is true.

Turns out that wasn’t the problem at all.  As it turns out, Ben was having a seizure because of either a tumor or cancer -- something evidenced by, as the vet pointed out, his non-contracting pupils and his lack of reactions.  Setting aside his convulsions and stiffened body, of course.  In any case, the vet explained that things weren’t looking good, and there was a possibility that Ben would have to get some serious treatment to get back to “normal.”  Surgery wasn’t an option; the fact that an eight-year-old dog was even having a seizure was rare enough.  The way he put it -- and outright confirmed a few minutes later -- considering euthanasia if the seizures continued over the course of anywhere up to two weeks was an option.

As it turns out, there was no need to even consider it.  Ben was gone two hours later.

To say that this was a surprise would be a huge understatement…and that’s saying something, considering this dog.  This dog has not only survived jumping out of a truck and wandering around wintry southeast Texas on his own for nearly two weeks, but for years now has had plenty of other medical conditions.  Diabetes.  Addison’s disease.  And most recently, blindness.  It took two daily insulin shots, a half-pill in the morning, and a monthly injection of some kind of chemical -- adrenaline, maybe -- to make sure he stayed active.

But outside of the blindness -- which he had almost completely gotten over within a few months -- he was a normal, dopey dog.  Up to and including the morning of his passing; apparently he thought it’d be a fun idea to wake me up by clawing at my bed, hoping that I’d let him nestle alongside me.  He was -- and still is -- a big dope.  He was greedy, always looking for food, clumsy, oafish, impossible to take seriously, and all-around kind of goofy-looking; I swear he had really pointy eyeballs, and that’s setting aside the fact that he had trouble focusing them on one thing at a time, and the whites of his eyes always looked like they were decaying.  Whether that’s a trait of the Shih Tzu breed in general or just proof that he was defective, it’s hard to say.  What’s important is that just by being himself, Ben could always get a laugh…when he wasn’t pooping wherever he felt like it.  Or growling for food.

It’s hard to imagine that not even twenty-four hours ago I watched him chow down.  And one of the last things I did for him was keep his tongue from rolling down his throat…and getting my thumb bitten in the process.  C’est la vie. 

So.  Where does that leave me?  Hurting, obviously.  Losing a grandparent is tough, but at least I was prepared for that; going from rubbing my dog’s stomach to trying desperately to find his heartbeat feels like I got blindsided by a runaway train.  But I’ll manage.  I’ll get over this; I did it last time, and I can do it again.  There’s a time for grief, and there’s a time for action -- and seeing as how I’m more than able to keep on going, I won’t let myself stop so readily.

That said, I’m going to need a bit of time to get back to 100%.  So here’s what I’m going to do.  I already have a couple of posts written and scheduled to be released, but I think I’m going to postpone that for a day.  Just one day.  That means that the I Hraet You chapter is going to go up Friday, and in tandem, so will the other post.  It’s not a Let’s Discuss post, but it should be more than a little entertaining (and if you read my post on The Wolverine, you know exactly what’s coming up).  So yeah, look forward to that.

As for me?  Well…honestly?  I think that just by writing this post, I’m starting to feel a little bit better.  I’m going to miss Ben, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I break down at one point, but merely the fact that I’m willing to move forward, have goals in mind, and want to keep pressing on regardless has to count for something.  If burying myself in writing is my coping mechanism, then so be it.  I can’t think of a better vice.  Plus I’ve still got my other dog.  My mean dog, but he’s still like a (hairy) brother to me.

And that’ll do it for now.  See you guys soon.

And…see you around, Ben.  It was a blast.

See?  I told you he looked goofy.  I still can’t believe he ever wore that sweater, though; talk about a lack of fashion sense…


  1. ...Wow. It really sounds like Ben had a tough life.

    At the moment, though, I'm less concerned about that Ben died and more that it makes two deaths of living beings close to you in such a relatively short time frame. =(

  2. Ben might have had a rough life, but he took it like a champ. My brother and I always joked around that he lived for the sake of getting his next meal -- and barring recent events, I wonder if that's true. Whatever the case, if I didn't tell people about all the health issues he had, then (assuming he didn't stumble into something or someone) nobody would've guessed he was anything more than a healthy dog.

    He definitely barked like a healthy dog, though.

    Truth be told, I am a little worried about this sudden influx of deaths. I'm still confident I can recover, but -- just like anybody else -- I don't like going through things like this. I guess it's a sign that things are changing in my life, and I don't have any choice but to deal with it. Guess I just have to ride it out, huh...?

    Well, in any case, thanks for commenting. It never gets easier dealing with death, but having people there to comfort me sure helps.

  3. My condolences to you, man.

  4. Aw man, that was a pretty awesome dog you had there man, sorry to hear that. Still, rough life or not, he kicked its ass constantly.

    That was a pretty boss sweater on him, though.

  5. Sorry to hear about this. As someone who has grown up with pets for their whole life, I completely understand the hurt you must be feeling right not. I've had a few dogs who have suffered horrific seizures, and when that happened, it was a big shock. You think that, in some way, pets are immune to things that humans go through, and it hurts real bad when you come to that realisation that is not the case.

    What a beautiful way to send him off, with your writing, and I love his little sweater in that photo!

  6. Had to skim a bit for spoiler central, just in case I caught something I didn't want to know before seeing the film. (Though it'll probably be months later, when it comes online as lord I am not paying to see this one.) Getting to the point, what a great post.

    I've always loved your writing style, not sure if I ever mentioned that to you before, but everything I read of yours is detailed and articulate (most of all funny) and the better for it with the topics you choose to write about.

    Haven't caught Man of Steel yet, but never would have expected The Wolverine to be better. I really like the Frank Miller comic in which I assume is loosely based on it, sounding mostly like the setting at this rate.

    Also you have something in common with my other half. He too doesn't dig Wolverine and prefers Cyclops over him any day as his favourite X-Men character (and he digs Beast, too!)

  7. I'm sorry to hear you had to endure another loss, and so suddenly as well. I wish you the best while you're recovering, and I'm sure we can handle a little hiatus. We all have your back, man.

  8. Thanks. It's rough losing a dog, but support like yours really helps soften the blow. I appreciate it.

  9. Yeah, he sure did kick life's ass. He may have acted like a goof, but he was a real survivor -- and maybe a better fighter than I could even begin to imagine. (Or if not a fighter, then he could at least take a beating.) And believe you me, that sweater's far from the only thing he's worn.

    But seriously though, thanks. I'm not about to let myself get bogged down by grief, and comments like these make me want to bounce back that much more.

  10. To be honest, I can't say I know what it's like to grow up with pets; up until a few years ago, the most I had were a couple of hamsters that didn't even last half a year. But I guess now I know the sting of losing a pet -- much sooner than I would have thought, hoped, or even imagined, but I suppose this is just a life lesson I have to endure. That, and gain a little sympathy towards dedicated pet owners.

    A part of me was a little worried that I was being too glib with this post, but in retrospect that's probably the only way to honor a dog my brother and I jokingly called "the FBD" (short for "fat baby donkey" -- you're probably better off not asking). That, and I suppose this is how I cope with loss. There are worse ways to handle it, I'd wager.

    Whatever the case, thanks for the well-wishes. This is the first time I've ever lost a pet so dear to me, but getting support like this makes me realize that I'm not alone.

  11. Yeah, it really did come as a shock. It almost feels like I've been cheated, knowing that the same dog that sat at my feet begging for table scraps would be the same dog that get completely overwhelmed and damn near paralyzed by a seizure. If nothing else, I guess this little misadventure has taught me just how fleeting -- and precious -- life can be.

    But that aside, thanks for commenting. This is something I'm going to have to deal with, but it's not going to be something that I'll let drag me down. I already have some posts written, and they'll be coming up relatively on-schedule. Just as Ben wouldn't let anyone get in the way of him and his food, I'll keep pressing onward regardless.

    It's the least I can do for fans like you.

  12. Oh man. My deepest apologies. Some people thing dogs are just dogs but when you have one and spend so much time with them, they become so much more than their namesake. They really are a part of your family.

  13. My condolences for your loss, Volt.

  14. "Haven't caught Man of Steel yet, but never would have expected The Wolverine to be better."

    I'm as surprised as you are. If you had told me two months ago that I would think a Wolverine movie was better than a Superman movie, I would have started rolling on the floor laughing. And then I would have started foaming at the mouth over how morose they'd make said Superman movie. Alas...

    In any case, thanks for the comment. Going in-depth with a topic is something that I enjoy, and I'm glad that others are getting something out of it too. So yeah, thanks for dropping by -- and here's hoping you keep dropping by, because there's more content to come.

    Also? Your other half sounds like a keeper. Excellent taste, indeed...

  15. Hey, thanks. It's not easy dealing with something like this, but your support really helps me out.

  16. Yeah, I've learned that lesson the hard way. A part of me wonders if a bit of blunt force trauma would be less painful than losing a pet. At least that way, I'd get to keep my dog.

    But I guess I'll manage. I'm already bouncing back from the loss, and I'm not in any mood to get bogged down any more than I already have. But even so, thanks for the well-wishes. It's comments like yours that make me want to keep pressing on.

  17. Matthias PendragonAugust 13, 2013 at 4:15 PM

    The more I read of your stuff, the more I realize we have very similar thought processes. I felt like the movie tried at any rate, but the fact that me and my friends were laughing through the most serious parts probably says something about it.

  18. Noah? Is a flood incoming?

    Another great read at four o'clock in the A.M.