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9 Oct 2015, 12:06pm
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It’s Your Turn Bart

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Bart continues to inspire me…even from the heavens.
My acupuncturist is, to put it mildly, amazing! I recently visited her for help with a seemingly chronic hip, butt and hamstring pain. One of the components of her session is a 30 minute chat where she asks questions about what is going on so that she can get a feel for where my head is so she can see what my body is responding to. I had not seen her since Bart passed away and she knew what a huge presence he was in my life. During my first visit for this issue with her she told me that hip pain can be due to uncertainties in life, sort of like walking on uneven surfaces. She asked me what word came to mind to describe my current state of being and the word “unrest” popped into my head. It’s so funny, even though I tell myself to be completely open and receptive to her questions and information I found myself trying to come up with a different adjective…a better adjective to describe my current position. Thankfully I stopped this self-editing and told her “unrest.”

“Why unrest?” she asked. Two things – first, my job is going to change materially and most likely for the better. My job is not something I love, mostly because I work for, hmmmm, how do I put it…I work for a lazy idiot. I have stayed at this job for a long time, however, because it enabled me to take care of Bart the way I needed to for the past 6 1/2 years. My office was close to both of his vet offices, I could bring him to work and could take off whenever Bart needed me. And for all that, I am grateful. Going to a new job, however, is always a little scary and I don’t know what this new firm would have to offer and how it would all work out.

The second thing that is causing unrest is the start of Field Trial Season. You would think that would be a good thing, but there always seems to be tension between my husband & I during this time because he does not always react kindly in stressful situations. So, I have anxiety about the upcoming season. Even though I have expressed my feelings clearly to him, and we have had lengthy discussions that suggest that he understands and that he is going to work hard on his attitude and conduct, I am still hesitant to believe it will happen. Time will tell.

During my first visit back with Kim, in addition to discussing work and my husband, we also discussed how interesting it was that since Bart has died I have worked hard on getting back to my old self. I have lost 34 pounds and am training for a 1/2 marathon in November. I no longer drink wine 7 days a week. Now, I save it for the weekend and keep it to a low roar instead of an all out bash. I know I was drinking because it allowed me to forget how terrible I felt about myself and how disappointed I was that I let myself to get to such a physical state. But this can be left for another day…

During my next visit, Kim kept focusing on Bart and his departure. She repeatedly told me that animals are Earth Angels and reiterated how interesting it was that I had returned to my former self since his passing. At first, I was like, “Yea, yea, yea. I know. He’s gone. I gave him my all. I no longer have to do that. I get it.” But, again, I reminded myself to really listen to her…to listen past her words and allow it all to soak in. I knew this would be something I needed to really digest and think about over time.

About 5 days after this second visit, already with a significant relief in pain, I went on a run. It was going to be a relatively short run, only 5 miles, and I was going to try to run it at a faster than normal pace. I was pondering Kim’s statements during this run. My first break through was regarding the unrest at my new firm. The solution was easy – rather than sitting back to see how it turned out, I decided that I could work to make it become what I wanted it to be. I could be in charge, and if I gave it 110% and it didn’t work out, I would go find another job. I no longer needed to care for Bart and make sure that any job I had would enable me to tend to him as I needed to do. I was “free” of this burden, although it pains me to the core to think of Bart and his needs as a burden.

OK, so with a game plan that felt right for the job thing, I switched my focus to Kim’s constant comments about Bart’s role in my life both before and after his passing. I couldn’t figure out what she was getting at, but I knew I had to keep contemplating this. As I came into the home stretch of my run, I decided to really pick up the pace to an all out sprint (or at least whatever I had left in the tank). I started to really push it and I looked ahead to the end of my course and I saw Bart there cheering me on with all his might!! He was jumping around in a cartoon-like manner, contorting his body while jumping and twisting (perhaps even twerking a bit) with excitement and encouragement. He was yelling, “Go Mommy Go!! You Can Do IT!!” I could see him there and I could feel his happy exuberance cheering me on, as I had done for him for so long. I ran my heat out towards him with tears pouring down my face, choking as I was sobbing and breathing heavily from exertion all at the same time. At that moment, I got it. In life, I was his supporter and his cheerleader, encouraging him to be the best Barty he could be. In his after-life, his spirit was now MY cheerleader and he was now in the role where he could offer me the support I needed to be the best I could be. It was a magical moment – one that I will never forget. Bart was my heart dog on Earth and he is now my Angel watching over me and encouraging me at the finish line. The next day, I woke up and my hip pain was gone. It has not returned.

 

 


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18 May 2015, 12:52pm
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A Great Transformation and Healing

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Hoppy Monday!!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!! Towanda & I visited the other two original members of the Vizsla Tripawd World Domination League in Jacksonville.  Towanda swam and played and swam some more! It was so much fun and she stole the show!!

This was my first return visit without Bart…needless to say, there are many firsts I am having to do without Bart at my side physically, although he has never left my heart and never will. In honor of Bart, I began putting together a slide show about Bart’s over-the-top magical life several (many, many) months ago. At first, I decided to make it his story from start to finish…the finishing part is what gave me great pains, tears and sorrow.  I miss my Best Friend. There is just no other way to put it…I just miss him and I shed numerous buckets of tears as I was trying to put my tribute to him together.

Then, something really, really AWESOME happened. As I was looking over the 1,000’s of photos I have a Bart I realized that the end was only but a small portion of his life and it sure didn’t define him or us. What made Bart “Bart” and made us a duo that everyone loved being around was the Happy-Ness that we lived and shared. It was the Love that Bart & I shared together and with everyone around us…you could not help but notice it.  In that moment my tribute to Bart took on an entirely different tone and my heart lifted.  Here is the finished project, I hope you enjoy it.

The video is not perfect, but Bart was. There are many things I would fix if I could (I accidentally saved it and it is no longer editable), but there is nothing about Bart and my life with him that I would edit or alter. Our life was perfect from start to finish and I would not change a thing.

I hope you enjoy it and, most of all, I hope it makes you smile as that is what Bart wanted more than anything – to make people HAPPY!!

Darcy, TOWANDA! and the always present Angel Bart

16 Apr 2015, 1:02pm
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Found Our Purpose

Good Morning Everypawdy!!

I hope everyone is doing well. We are all doing Great at One Day Farm, although it isn’t the same without Bart’s be-bopping presence. Yes, everyday I just miss that kid. We all do.

We welcomed another little Vizsla into our life shortly after Bart left us. Her name is TOWANDA! and we love her. She is nothing like Bart…thank goodness. That would have been too painful if she shared qualities or looks of Our Barty. Even though her daddy was Bart’s grandpa, they look nothing alike. She is girl V and girl Vs and boy Vs are so very different…thank goodness.

Although we had been planning on Towanda’s arrival for over a year, from a very special breeding, her arrival was good and it was bad. It was good because she brought in a much needed distraction and happiness from the pain I experienced from losing Bart. It was bad, though, because my heart was injured and guarded and I questioned whether I could love another Vizsla like I did Bart. Not in the same way I loved Bart, but to the same extent that I loved Bart. Towanda was not brought into our family to replace Bart. I was not going to give this sweet, innocent puppy a “job” to heal my wounds – that would not be fair to her. That was not why she was put on this Earth.  For months and months I struggled with this – knowing she deserved to be loved whole heartedly but not quite knowing how to do that.  I struggled to bond with her. I just plain struggled and I felt so sad that she was losing out due to my struggle.

This past weekend we had our 1st Big Dog Show and we had been practicing, taking handling classes every week and running through the living room on a show lead so she would know what to do.  We were ready to rock!! We got there early so she could get used to her surroundings and she enjoyed chicken and the playfulness of other Vizsla puppies ringside. They called our class and we entered the ring, leading the way in front of 3 other Vizsla puppies who Towanda determined were chasing her to eat her alive! She was scared out of her mind and all she wanted to do was skirt away on her belly and get the heck out of dodge!! We made it through that showing, as well as 2 others that weekend, and although she improved she was still very nervous going around the ring. One of the Judges told me to have courage for her and get her through this because she is a beautiful girl and will do well in the show ring. This got me to thinking…and crying…a lot.

I felt so guilty that I had let her down and that she did not feel safe when she was with me. Bart & I could do ANYTHING together and I know it was because he knew that I had his back, always. I felt so terrible that Towanda felt scared and that I couldn’t help her at that moment. She deserved better.

Later that night I realized that she did not have that sense of complete trust in me at this time because we had not created a bond due to my broken heart. I also realized that my purpose with her was to provide her with courage and to give her that support to know that no matter where we are and no matter what happens she can rely on me to keep her safe and to love her.  My purpose to Bart had been clearly articulated within hours of him coming into my home – I was going to love him like nobody I had ever loved and he was going to love me more than I had ever been loved in return. Bart & I accomplished that goal a million times over.

Towanda & I now have our purpose for each other – Courage. It will be a two-way street, with me leading the way and her teaching me about having Courage as well. I don’t quite know where this journey will take us or why this is the initial “direction,” but I believe it is right. I feel it is right where Towanda & I need to be and need to go, together. It feels good to have been able to give our relationship a Theme, if you will. It feels good to know that my purpose with Towanda is different than it was with Bart. It feels good to know that I can have the Courage to open my heart completely to this little puppy who needs nothing more than to feel safe. I can do this…

Love always,

Darcy, Angel Bart & TOWANDA!

Kowabunga!!

21 Nov 2014, 4:56pm
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Remembering My Own Honorary Wounded Warrior

Hoppy Friday Everyone!!

While we are still grieving our loss of Bart, being asked to write an article for the Hungarian Vizsla Society Newsletter offered some personal therapy for me. I miss my boy every day. Although the tears I shed daily come less frequently, the sadness they contain has not diminished one bit.  I miss my boy. Plain and Simple…I just miss him.

I hope you enjoy the following memory about Bart and our life together…he was truly one in a million and is missed by all.

Bart – A Wounded Warrior Offering Hope to Others

On September 4, 2014, the Vizsla Community lost its own Wounded Warrior.  Ch Razn The Bar CGC MH, lovingly known to all as Bart, lost his battle with Osteosarcoma after a brilliant six years in remission. While tears were shed, it is impossible not to remember the legacy Bart leaves behind.

Bart first gained notoriety when he completed his AKC Master Hunting Title from start to finish on three legs, within only 10 months of amputation. However, Bart did not rest on his laurels; instead, he went on to touch the lives of everyone who met him in so many ways. As his owner, it is difficult for me to wrap my mind around the impact Bart had on the Vizsla community. To me, he was my friend and we were just doing what we loved to do, together.

One of the most memorable and life changing events Bart and I were fortunate to experience together was getting the opportunity to meet several groups of Wounded Warriors. In 2009, Command Sergeant Major Michael P. Collins, leader of the Warrior Transition Battalion from Ft. Campbell, Kentucky, met Bart at a Vizsla Play Day and immediately invited us to come to meet his soldiers. Bart and I traveled to KY for too short of a weekend, and were thrilled when they later accepted an invitation from the Vizsla Club of Metro Atlanta to be the gunners at our Thanksgiving Field Trial. Bart knew that his squad was there rooting him on as he ran his heart out, making the call backs in each retrieving stake he entered. During these call backs, it was difficult to keep one’s composure as we all watched in awe as the soldiers, one of whom was also an amputee, positioned themselves behind Bart to assist him in completing a perfect retrieve.

After the Field Trial was over, and the image of the Wounded Warriors gunning for Bart was still fresh in my mind, we were privileged to take these soldiers on a guided quail hunt. None of these men had ever been quail hunting and all of them were overwhelmed by Bart’s tenacity as he hunted his heart out, on three legs, standing covey after covey of quail for our soldiers. When we said our goodbyes, I was humbled when these great soldiers said they considered Bart to be one of them, a Wounded Warrior in his own right.

At almost nine years old, Bart was invited once again to take some Wounded Warriors from Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, on a guided hunt. Bart once again hunted hard and bonded with these men and their sons who came out for an opportunity to feel like their former selves and enjoy life. I cannot thank the people who volunteer their time to organize these events and who invited Bart and I to participate and show our appreciation for what all these heroes have done for our country.

While I spent time with the Wounded Warriors, I discovered that all of them could look to another Wounded Warrior who saved their life and who inspired them every day not to give up. They all had memories of low points in their life when another soldier, who had been where they were, lifted them up and showed them that they could still do what they did prior to their injuries and that they could even do things they had never imagined doing before they returned from war. It was at this point that I realized that Bart’s status as a Honorary Wounded Warrior was deeper than the physical infirmity and challenges that he overcame with a courage I have never seen. Like the Wounded Warriors who worked their way through their darkest days to shed light on someone else who had not yet seen the light, Bart was a ray of light for others who were in need of hope. Bart challenged peoples’ beliefs on what was possible and demonstrated that we are limited only by what we believe we are unable to do. To me, being a Wounded Warrior means more than having a physical or emotional scar. A Wounded Warrior looks for someone who needs to be lifted up and needs renewed hope just like someone had done for them once before. Bart gave people hope.

Throughout our journey I often found myself asking why people were so taken by Bart…we all love our dogs, and I was no different. I believe one of the legacies Bart left behind was an alteration in the way people think about canine amputees. Time and time again we would be running in the park, visiting a pet store, or just taking a walk together and strangers would say, “Oh, poor guy…” In my mind I was like, “What? Are you kidding me?” Smiling, I would tell them, “No need to feel sorry for this dog…he can’t count…he doesn’t know he is missing anything…he is the happiest dog you will ever meet.” Sometimes these folks would linger and we would converse about Bart, canine cancer, and Bart’s accomplishments. More often than not, these strangers would share their own painful memory of losing a favorite dog to cancer.

The other day I was sharing Bart stories with a friend, an amputee himself, and he said, “Bart was one of a kind…you will probably never have another dog like that.” I agree. The journey that Bart took me on was a one in a million. What other dog will I have that will grace the cover of Gun Dog Magazine? What other dog will I have that will have us whisked off to the Eukanuba Championships to be awarded the AKC’s Humane Fund ACE Award for Exemplary Companion? What other dog will teach me about love, friendship, acceptance and taking a risk like Bart? The answer is simple – there will never be another dog like Bart. He was, to put it mildly, An Extraordinary Vizsla.

 

As always, Bart, Thanks for Everything…I had a Wonderful Time

Love Forever, Your Mommy

Bart kissing mommy

2 Oct 2014, 12:32pm
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I Hear You Barty…

Good Morning Everpawdy…

It has been exactly one month since I had to let my sweet boy go and it does not get any easier as the days pass. In fact, after the first week it became harder and harder to get through the day without feeling and acting like a brainless zombie. The sadness I feel from the emptiness is something I can’t describe with words. It is just pure, naked sadness. I miss you, Bart.

Yesterday I was in the bathroom and I heard you bark. It was the squeaky little bark you eeked out when you were in your crate and wanted me to come get you. When you was starting to feel better from chemo you would let out these little barks in the middle of the night and I soon realized it was because you wanted me to come get you for Play Time (at 2 a.m.)!!  But yesterday I couldn’t go get you. I couldn’t let you out for Play Time. I couldn’t do anything. In fact, I couldn’t do anything to save you. I couldn’t do anything to prevent the cancer from overtaking your body and causing you pain. I could’t do anything…I felt so  guilty. I am so sorry, my love. Did I not do enough? How come I was able to save you before but not this time? I couldn’t go get you this time for Play Time…I can’t do anything but tell you how much I love you and how much I miss you. Sometimes that just does not seem like enough. I want you back…I want you to wake me up at 2 a.m. for Play Time!!!

My head knows I did my best, but another part of me feels like I failed, like I should have done more…

I miss you Bart. We had the best times together…just the absolute best times! But, I miss you. I am so painfully sad you are gone. I sob when I think about your absence. I miss you Bart. I just miss you…

I love you, Barty, I love you.

Favorite pic ever

 

12 Sep 2014, 2:36pm
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Bart & His Continuous Presence

Happy Friday Everyone!!

What a whirlwind of emotions we have experienced this last week since Bart left us. Our home is not the same without him. We miss him sitting with us on the back porch at the end of the day, trying to maneuver his 55 pound body into our laps.

But, he is still with us…

When my husband Lane was preparing Bart’s final resting place his wedding band slipped off his finger and we could not find it anywhere. Unfortunately Lane had used the tractor and back hoe for this project and had moved around too much dirt in the process. After exhausting all efforts to find it, Lane decided that it was where it was supposed to be – with Bart forever.  My heart ached with such a sweet sentiment.

Yesterday morning I awoke abruptly to see Bart standing in our bedroom doorway and he was Peeved!! He was giving our male German Shorthair Pointer, Maxx, the evil eye for sleeping on Bart’s bed on the floor next to our bed. Bart never really like Maxx and Maxx would play upon Bart’s jealousy of me with any other male dog.  Bart’s face was priceless and he was as real standing there as these words on this page. I still laugh out load as I remember Bart’s expression.

Yesterday afternoon, after Lane unloaded stuff from my car he told me that he saw Bart standing in the back seat of my car as he always did and it was so real to him that he almost said, “Hi Bart.”  I told him that I understood and that Bart had appeared numerous times already in different parts of our home.

Better yet, yesterday Lane went down to Bart’s resting spot and could not believe when suddenly his wedding band appeared amidst the dirt and grass in the area where Bart had been placed.  Lane is 100% positive that Bart pushed the ring to the surface so that it could be found.  I agree with his assessment.

Bart’s presence is felt everywhere and for that I continue to be grateful that he was placed in my life…in our lives. He is just as amazing now as he ever was and is still taking care of us, his family. What an amazingly kind creature and soul.

Bart, I feel you everywhere. Thank you for making this portion of the grieving process easier than I could have ever imagined. The one terrible moment when you left us pales in comparison to the millions of moments we shared then and now. You are the best!! I love you!

I love you forever Bart

 

Darcy & Angel Bart

8 Sep 2014, 1:18pm
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The Perfect Love

Good Morning…

I am sure most or some of you know by now that I said Good Bye to my beloved Bart last week. He declined quickly on Thursday at which point we discovered several tumors on his spleen and several on his liver. His stomach was filling with blood, causing him to be severely anemic and preventing his heart from conducting proper pumping.

For the past two weeks he was struggling just to be with me, but he continually found the strength to be by my side. He would muster enough energy to be-bop down to the barn to be with me, where he would climb into a chair I placed in front of a large fan to keep him comfortable.

Bart did not live one moment too long or one moment too short. In true Barty kindness he set this all up so that I would not have to make any other decision but to uphold my promise to him to take care of him to the best of my abilities, which I did. Before he left this world, he was comfortable, he was calm and he knew how much I love him. He still wagged his tail when the vets came in to say good bye. He was true Bart all the way to the end.

I laid with my face to his, giving him kisses and telling him “I Love You” over and over and over and over like I did each day when my daily grind separated us.  Before he moved on, he closed his eyes and absorbed all my love. That moment was about Bart. That moment was about kindness. That moment was about Love in the purest form I will ever know.

After we laid him to rest in a beautiful spot on our farm the Heavens opened up and absolutely poured down on us. I believe many tears were shed for the loss of this incredible soul and the Heavens gained a perfect angel that day.

When I first brought Bart home, I told him that I had one goal for us. This goal had nothing to do with awards, accolades, titles or accomplishments.  I told Bart that my goal was to love him like I had never loved before and to do everything in my power to have him love me more than I had ever been or felt loved. The world and humans are not set up to see perfection in ourselves or others. That is just not the way it is designed. But, to me Bart was Perfect. And, to Bart I was Perfect and I saw it when he looked at me and it felt GREAT!!

dont cry because it is over

 

For Bart and I, “IT” was a Perfect Love between two souls who were Perfect to each other. For that, I am eternally grateful.

Thank you Bart for allowing me to be Your Person and for being My Dog. You were one in a million and the pain I feel from your absence is well worth the Joy you brought me with your unbridled love, enthusiasm and zest for life that made everyone you met smile. Every day with you was an absolute pleasure filled with smiles and love.  The world is a better place for having you in it and I will be forever grateful that you had the insight to choose me as your forever companion.

Bart, I love you forever!

Darcy

 

29 Aug 2014, 12:20pm
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Continuous Hope

Hoppy Friday Everpawdy!!

Bart is doing FANTASTIC! It was such a good decision to stop chemo! He is back to his old self and we are keeping his body as strong as possible internally and externally. He is taking K9 Medicinal products, Fish Oil, BioPrepF3+ (algae pills) and Herbsmith Comfort Aches for some stiffness I have noticed him experiencing.  Next week, we have an appointment at Georgia Veterinary Rehabilitation Specialists to get a full work up on what we can do to keep him active and comfortable now and in the future.  I am really looking forward to meeting the owner of this facility, as I have heard that she is amazing. They are a full service facility, offering Physical Therapy, Hydrotherapy, Chiropractic care, Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. I am hoping they can provide me with exercises I can do for him at home to keep him strong and comfortable.  I also want to get into a facility sooner rather than later so that when/if he starts experiencing serious pain down the line we already have a place to go for support. Bart has been on 3 legs for over 6 years and, trust me, he has put a lot of miles on that front leg. I knew all along that eventually we would have to deal with pain in his front leg, but I knew that Bart had to be a Dog, he had to be a Vizsla and he had to run and hunt in order to continue to live to his full potential.  There are no regrets…absolutely none.

We also have a professional photography shoot scheduled for the end of October at a Goat Farm in Atlanta. I have wanted to do this forever, and am looking forward to it. We are waiting until the end of October because there is a chance that Bart will have a new little Vizsla sister by then and I would like to share this moment with both of them.

We are ready for cooler weather, as this heat takes such a toll on Bart and his activity. I am looking forward to letting him hunt on our farm as he so loves to do.

We are going back to Bart’s oncologist in October for a chest X-ray to see if there are any mets…I will be nervous but I am mentally ready for whatever comes along.  Bart leads an incredible life and he will continue to do so no matter what comes our way. For now, Cancer…you better stay away!!

92000145SitePhotos 324

This is Bart waiting to receive his award at the AKC/Eukanuba Championships as the 2013 ACE Exemplary Companion…he is pretty handsome, don’t you think?

I hope everyone has a great and safe Labor Day Weekend!

Love,

Darcy & Bart

18 Jul 2014, 4:09pm
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Barty…Back Again!!

Hoppy Friday!!

We are looking forward to the weekend for no other reason but that it gives me 2 full days of uninterrupted Barty time!!

Bart is back to feeling his old self. He is no longer taking any anti-nausea or appetite stimulants and is eating great!!

After our last post, I spoke to his oncologist whose opinion, experience and kindness I value with all my heart. He helped save Bart’s life in 2008, and has been a wonderful person to work with this time as well. He advised that Bart’s symptoms were very dose dependent and he could reduce the amount of chemo since he was having such a terrible time rebounding. I held that idea in my head and my heart for a week, so I could see how it resonated with me. It did not bode well with my instincts for Bart. In my heart, I know that the right decision is to stop chemo.  Today I cancelled his chemo appointment for next Wednesday and left a message for his oncologist about my final decision. I look forward to speaking to his oncologist so I can tell him what a difficult decision it was, that I took everything he told him into consideration, but that as Bart’s mom and advocate I know this is the right decision.

I was reading a post by Bailey’s mom, who also decided to stop chemo. I bet she is glad to see Bailey rebounding. I hope she is at peace with her decision as much as I am with mine.

At this point, I am relishing in the fact that Bart has his sparkle back in his eyes. He is no longer looking to me for help. He is now looking to me for friendship. He no longer looks confused and scared. He now looks confident. He looks at me as if to say, “Thanks, Mom, for keeping your promise to me and making sure that I can BE ME for whatever amount of time we may have together!” Bart has given me sooo much in my life that I owe it to him to bite the bullet and make the right, albeit difficult decision, for him.

Nothing is certain in the future. What I do know for certain is that right now Bart feels good! Right now Bart has energy! Right now I feel free!!

Hugs to all of you. This journey is not only difficult on our fur babies, but there are forks in the road on this journey where we humans have to make very difficult decisions as well. Although none of this is easy, I would not trade this adventure I have had with Bart for anything in the world. It is made me a better person. It has made me a stronger person. And I have met some of the most wonderful people along the way.

Love,

Darcy & Bart

Barty w ball close up

9 Jul 2014, 12:12pm
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Putting an End to Chemo…what a relief

Good Morning Everypawdy!

It has been a tough couple of weeks for me and Bart. We did get another piece of good news that he does NOT have kidney disease! Hooray!! One less thing to worry about. Thankfully the incontinence has also ceased. It pained me to watch him sleep while dribbling on himself. Dogs are such clean animals and I just hate to think how he felt, even when he had his little britches on to keep him as dry as possible. I hope that is a thing that stays in our past.

I have been mulling over the idea of stopping chemo treatments on Bart for some time now. Last night, I gave that idea a voice and the relief I experienced from letting that stressful energy out of my head and heart and into the world confirmed to me that it is the right decision. Bart has still not rebounded since chemo treatment #3 and treatment #4 didn’t make things any better. The thought of the progression of his decline after 2 more treatments is not something Bart deserves and it is not the life we choose for him. His eating is poor because he does not feel good…period. I know he turns his nose up to food because he feels sick because I can get him to eat decently (at best) after he has had his full doses of Cerenium, Ondansetron & Mirtazapine. Cerenium and Mirtazapine can only be given every 24 hours and we have added the Ondansetron, which can be given every 8 – 12 hours, to keep him from feeling yucky. I have him at work with me today so I can make sure he can get his meds every 8 hours because my work schedule and commute otherwise keep me away for 12 hours. By the time I get home, he is just not himself and it pains me to see him like that.

When we began this journey for the 2nd time, I promised myself that if the chemo was wreaking havoc on his 9 year old body I would not continue. Of course, in the back of my mind I was hoping he would make it through the protocol like he did when he was 3 and that I would not have to contemplate what to do. Honestly, there is nothing to think about. Bart can’t live like this and there is nothing to suggest that he would miraculously do better after another 2 rounds. So, no more chemo, Bart, no more. I promised I would take care of YOU and I will do that even if it requires making tough decisions to give you the quality of life you have earned and so deserve.

Do I feel defeated? A little…

Am I disappointed? A little

Do I believe that caring for Bart in this fashion is the right thing to do? ABSO-FREAKIN-LUTELY!!! He is My Barty, in some circles he is knows as Our Barty, and he is going to live life to the fullest…I owe him that for all he has done for me and those he has met in his life.

As soon as we get this nausea under control, we will venture to the next chapter in his life which will include keeping him as healthy as we can. I am blessed to have a great holistic vet in our corner who I trust to lead me in the right direction in a manner that does not include chemical warfare destroying his body.

This is when Strength & Courage take on a real persona.

This is when Strength & Courage are more than just words.

This is when Strength & Courage will shed light in the darkness.

Thank you for allowing me to give his tough decision a voice and to release the energy I have been holding in for a while.

Love & Wiggles,

Darcy & Bart

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