Thursday, September 24, 2009

Love...and all that goes along with it.

Last night I slept on the floor of my studio with my wolfie girl, Anu. It's a garage, really. Complete with mice and spiders and things that go bump in the night. But I would do anything for my dogs. And they would do anything for me. My twelve year old babe is not doing very well. If you've been reading this blog over the past few years, then you know how important she is in my life. I am exhausted. My eyes are so swollen from crying that they are starting to hurt. I am beside myself with grief and yet I keep telling myself to buck up because she might just pull through--at least for awhile and, who knows, maybe even longer.

I honestly didn't know if she'd make it through the night, but decided against emergency vet care because I could not stand the thought of being told that I'd have to leave her there, alone, without the ones who love her. My worst fear is of her dying alone. No one should die alone. Not even a dog.

But we made it to morning. A few tests and bloodwork later, we're not sure what's going on with her. She has a large growth that might be cancerous and maybe not. It's been there for a long time, but recently it's started changing, at a rapid rate. Her bloodwork pointed to some abnormalities, but nothing 100% conclusive. If it is cancer, there's not much we can do except make her last days comfortable--whether it be 6 days, 6 weeks, 6 months or 6 years. She is, after all, an old girl. We've been advised to simply take it one day at a time. I'm trying to remind myself of that. I tell myself to stay present, lest I melt into a puddle of tears.

To make matters worse, I have approximately 2 weeks to complete 9 portraits in preparation for an opening and major event that takes place on October 8th. After getting sick and not being able to work for almost a month, I am mondo-behindo. I am tired. This year (numero 34) has been a somewhat hellacious journey and I am just so tired of pulling magic out of my ass. I will do it again. Magic is, after all, a specialty of mine. So far, I have deeply enjoyed the time spent painting in preparation for this show. It seems like an impossible feat to accomplish in such a short amount of time, but I have surprised myself before and have no doubt that I'll somehow be able to do it again.

I paint from such a deep place of love. It is hard to paint while Anu lays next to me in pain. My heart breaks. Not yet knowing if it is her time...I feel torn into a millions pieces. I will let her go when it is time. I don't want to. But I will. I paint with my heart up wide open. That's just the way it works. I am glad to experience such a profound sense of love through the work I do, but holy hell. I feel like I might metaphorically bleed to death (or maybe just cry to death, if that's an option).

On Saturday a magazine will be coming out to do a photo shoot of my studio for an upcoming feature. I am so excited about it. The photographer, whose clients include Life , Real Simple, Modern Bride...she's incredible. But, I admit, much of my energy flew right out the window when Anu got sick. Last night I kept getting this image of the photographer showing up to take photos of my red, swollen eyes and no Anu--which is not, by any stretch of the imagination, my idea of an ideal photoshoot. At the moment, I just feel haggard. I feel the need for an ice pack and some sleep. I feel the need for a big long snuggles with my girl. All of which I am going to indulge myself in--because there is no other way I'm going to make it through the next couple weeks unless I do.

Right now, Anu is asleep on the floor near my feet. Behind me, my other dogs, Louie and Ella, they have their legs wrapped around each other in sweet muggle-puffin play. They know something is up, their movements are especially quiet and gentle. Louie, my Chessie, is the most sensitive. His thoughtful expression breaks my heart again. Both the pups stop and sniff Anu and keep a watchful eye on her. We stay close and surround her with love.

Needless to say, my world is filled to the brim. So much love that I feel it sharply, painfully. Maybe everything is going to be alright. No matter what the outcome, in the end, I know it will be alright. But life just seems to be happening all at once these days. And, damn. This is just a bit too much.

My wolfie girl is my heart.

I don't want to have to say goodbye.

~

14 comments:

Samosas for One said...

I'm so sorry Jessie. I don't really know what to say except I'm thinking of you and Anu and sending you lots of love.

Samantha said...

Anu is such a beautiful dog. I know it is heartbreaking, but try to think of the good times.

Kel said...

My heart aches for you. It's such a tough road.

Karen D said...

I will keep you and Anu in my heart, thoughts and prayers, I truly understand where you are coming from. Take good care of yourself.

Suzie the Foodie said...

You have brought tears to my eyes, you and your sweet one. I really hope that they find what is wrong so that you may both begin to seem better. I am so sorry it is such a struggle.

sweetmango said...

Fur babies really live inside our hearts from the minute they arrive in our presence and they never leave our hearts. But that is why it hurts so much to see this pain that they are in and to imagine the pain of maybe not having them around....it hurts because it is literally pulling at at our heart, that piece of heart that belongs to them and only them.
nothing eases the pain, only time will diminish the ache.
My advice is to keep doing exactly what you are doing, be present, always with all of them, then when they do go, through the wrenching grief you will know that you showered love upon them and that you really were present for every precious minute.
You are doing good jessie, you are doing the best you can in a testing time of your life, and doing the best you can do is really quite perfect.
Anu is beautiful, she is a reflection of you and you are a reflection of her. Two souls joined together always hurt at the thought of seperation but then we remember that energy cannot be diminished and therefore can not be pulled apart and it is this knowledge that helps us survive through the toughest of lifes test.
You are both in my thoughts.
sending you love
xxsm

Deirdre said...

Oh, Jessie, I'm so sorry to hear this. I know you'll do for her what she needs and will do it with a kind and full heart, whether it be six days or weeks or years. My thoughts will be with you.

R. M. Preston said...

This hits me so hard, even though I don't know you or Anu, I have an almost 12 wolfie-girl, my Chey, and reading this brought tears to my eyes. Chey has been having health issues off and on this past year, and a little over a week ago was not doing well at all. I took her in, and so far it seems like an infection, her meds have been adjusted and she is improving, but heading in to the vets my heart was so heavy.
I have had many dogs in this lifetime, all loved and special, but she is my familiar, as your Anu is clearly yours, that most special one of all.
So sorry she is not feeling well, we are sending healing prayers and love your way...

bella said...

I am crying in my office ~ wishing there was a way for me to help.
You are such a loving mama to Anu, and I am praying hard that she pulls through this.
As always, if you need my shoulder, it's yours. xo

Rowena said...

I'm sorry to hear about your poor doggie. She is a beautiful girl and I am sure has had a wonderful life with you.

Sharon said...

I'm sending you a big {{{{HUG}}}}}. I've had to say good-bye to three special doggie friends.... the last one almost killed me....
They give so much love, and trust us to know what is best, but the last one...Sony...looked up at me when the vet came to the house, she licked my hand then sighed and waited for his needle... she was in SO much pain, and tired of suffering. But it was SO hard!!!!! She has come to 'see' me several times since... You understand, Jess, I know you do. Bless you and may you have the strength to get through this with your baby...

pegsplace said...

Hello there and I'm thinking of you. Your post moved me as I am sitting in my chair with my cat beside me and love having him be with me everyday. I had to put my older cat down this summer and that was hard because I looked him in the eye as the needle went in...I know that he is with all my other furry buddies now. I tend to forget that they will grow old and get sick or just live a long long life. It's hard but you are doing what I would (and did) when Jolie-Coeur was at this stage...

Kate said...

Jessie,

I am so sorry about Anu, what a beautiful dog she is. You are both in my heart tonight.

kate

megg said...

Thinking of you all - sending you big love and support!!

XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOOXOXOXO

love you.