It’s All Over Now, Betty Boop

So. The terrible awful thing that happened the day after we got to TX.

(Hideous Spoiler Alert: As of today, we only have two dogs now)

Anyway. Early in 2016, Betty was taking a long time to pee. I’d noticed it even in Cheesecake City but chalked it up to her being old. Eating like a champ, able to get up on the sofa, etc. Eventually, the groomer pointed out to me that Betty had peed a lot at the groomers and I realized that it wasn’t just old age.

The vet diagnosed her with a bladder infection and gave us antibiotics. Dutifully, we gave them to her. She began peeing in her kennel at night, and in the house at all times. We’d moved the dogs to my old office so the dining room could be a dining room again and the dog room smelled just terrible 🙁 Still drinking water like normal, still eating like a boss, still the most loving dog anywhere.

And we were days from moving to TX. A 20 hour drive, stretched over 3 days so the dogs wouldn’t be too uncomfortable.

Back to the vet’s on moving day. Infection not gone. More meds, stronger ones.

Moving day was freezing cold outside and we had to leave the dogs in the back yard while the movers were moving. Poor Booper was freezing cold and sick, huddled against the side of the house because it was out of the wind and a little warmer. My incredibly sick dog, just desperate to get a tiny bit warmer. I will never forget doing this to her.

The first day, we drove to Atlanta and stayed at an Embassy Suites. We gave them all they wanted to drink, and oh my Betty wanted to drink so much water. If I’d let her at the swimming pool, she would have dried it up. Just a few minutes later though, she forcibly ejected it all. We decided that she wasn’t keeping down the new antibiotics so we stopped giving them to her temporarily.

Her illness in Atlanta was repeated at our next stop. By our last stop in east Texas, I’d taken to holding her at night (despite the protests of Scooby and Sadie) and trying to decide what we needed to do. Finally, the day before we hit our new home town, I called a vet in the new town and begged for an appointment as early as possible the next day. Our poor little girl wasn’t getting any better. If we gave her water to drink, she drank with intensity only to get rid of it quickly.

At the hotel in the new home town, we arrived around noon, unloaded everything and then Gene took Betty to the new vet. I did not expect good news. I honestly didn’t even think she’d come “home” again, but she did. For the night.

Bladder cancer. My poor baby had bladder cancer, and there was nothing to be done. The massive tumor was blocking her bladder so none of the ocean of water she’d been drinking actually went anywhere, which is why she lost all of it. “You have the best dog, with the worst disease” the vet told us.

Dutifully we went back to the vet’s office to begin the process. They did the first shot and then the second shot. When dogs go to sleep like this, they don’t close their eyes. They just aren’t awake. And then that’s it.

We elected to have her cremated, with her ashes buried at a memorial park for animals here in Texas. We still have her collar and leash and her kennel. I desperately want a third dog again, but mostly I want my Booper back.

The last 6 months

So, here’s what I’ve been up to in the last year

  1. Coworker J and her husband got pregnant. The second J told me this great news, I demanded to get to host her baby shower. The LaineyD from 2009 is horrified that I would attend a shower, let alone host the damn thing. The shower, initially planned as an elegant do hosted in a favorite restaurant, ends up taking place at J’s house due to bed rest. Not as elegant as originally planned (I still have one of the original invites – I cannot put into words the huge investment of finances and time and hope that it took for me to want to do that) but it all worked out.
  2. August 2015: Said farewell to my beloved friend The Almighty D, who has taken off for the Midwest. I miss her even though I can talk to her whenever I please. D singlehandedly (or singlehandedly enough) got me through the worst time in my life.
  3. Finally, finally, finally scheduled bladder surgery for December 2015 after meeting with a doctor who quoted the recovery time as being 2 days (down from the 2 weeks originally quoted to me by another doctor). Basically life changing.
  4. The week after my surgery, Gene interviewed with a company in TX. And then, while that was working its way through, interviewed with a company in Indiana. Eventually we ended up with two offers and even though one of them would have taken us back to Indiana (very near my parents’ house), TX was the better choice. I can’t do Indiana winters. I can’t make Gene do Indiana winters for a job he wasn’t thrilled about. I’ve lived in Indiana, haven’t lived in TX. Better money, better relocation package.
  5. Spent a very quick 2 days in TX to pick out a house to buy (also while Cheesecake City house is on market, and actually it sells while we’re in TX for the weekend). End up with a house that’s being built and won’t be finished until a month or so after Gene needs to be here to take the new job. Make plans to live in long stay hotel for 4 weeks (which is exactly how long it takes for you to forget how to do chores).
  6. Go back and forth with my job about if they’ll let me work remotely. Initially it was no big deal. Then it was a big honking deal. Then I told them that I’d have to start a job search in TX. All of a sudden, not a big deal again (They tell me this 1 day before I was going to give 2 weeks notice). Shrug. Meanwhile, Gene does 90% of the packing up of the house in Cheesecake City.
  7. Hmm, that’s weird. Betty’s taking a long time to pee. Poor Booper, she’s old and fat, I’m old and fat. Perhaps we should get her the same bladder sling surgery that I got. Take her to vet. Bladder infection. Ah, poor girl.
  8. Laptop slowly hand grenades. Oh well. Too much going on at home, will limp along with phone until we get to TX, then deal with it. My basic plan for December through February 15, the day we left for TX, was “Is it on fire? No? Well then, it’s not a big deal and can be dealt with in TX”.
  9. Turn sharply inward, stop communicating with pretty much everyone and contemplate digging a bunker somewhere to live as upheaval of my life is too overwhelming to be dealt with.
  10. Oh Betty, why aren’t you getting better? First thing on moving day is taking her back to the vet’s. Bladder infection is not gone. Oh well. Stronger antibiotics. Please get better, we have a long drive to make.
  11. Move out of house in Cheesecake City. Load up car with 3 dogs, 5 (?) laptops and a lot of candy.
  12. Terrible awful thing happens when we get to TX. More later on that.
  13. Three days after getting to TX, I start working from home (which at that point was a extended stay hotel). For the first four days, I don’t have a headset so I take all phone calls by yelling into the speaker on my incredibly terrible work laptop. My clients are saints for putting up with that.
  14. I spend a lot of time chasing around the builder and the lender, filling out paperwork, and walking the dogs around the outside of the hotel. Closing day on the new house gets pushed by 13 days (I guess a last minute surprise job change will do that) but eventually gets adjusted back to a less awful 3 days later. Badgering the lender works sometimes, although next time I’d rather just not. Closing goes fine, ultimately.
  15. Birthday ruined for house related reasons.
  16. Move in Day pushed 2 days later because idiot movers don’t realize that they have to move our stuff to TX. The yelling. Oh God, the yelling.
  17. Eleventeen trazillion chores later, eighteen trazillion boxes later. Moved in. Bought one of everything that Amazon sells.
  18. A week ago: Hmm what is the big wet spot on the bedroom floor? Oh. A leak. Spend a week with a dehumidifier and blower running 24 hours a day in bedroom and only using guest bathroom. The good news is that the last of the fix happens tomorrow.

So. As my coworker said to me today: At least you’re surviving and thriving!