Thursday, July 5, 2018

Sorry for My Silence — An Explanation, Sort Of

I apologize to you all for not having been active in the conversation here for some days now. I have no elaborate excuse or explanation. I find myself feeling very ground down by what's happening on a number of fronts in my country at present — the separation of children including infants from their parents at the southern border, the caging and disappearing of those children, the brutality of the attempt of the current administration and its goons as they seek to terrorize prospective immigrants. 

I feel defeated.

On the heels of the first wave of news about all of this some days back, the Supreme Court handed down several more democracy-eroding decisions, and then Justice Kennedy announced his resignation.

More feeling of defeat.

On the home front, in the middle of all of this, we had to make the horrible decision to have the oldest of our three dogs put down. Flora was a rescue dog, the mother of our other two dogs Val and Chris. She came to us in the months after Christmas 2007, after she had been rescued in the summer of that year just after having given birth to seven pups, of whom Val and Chris were two. When we saw that the rescuers were seeking homes for the pups, we offered to take Val and Chris around Christmas time.

It was not apparent that Flora would be saved, after she was rescued. A puppy mill had been using her as a breed dog, and from all we can gather, when they decided that they had gotten as much use as they needed from her as she turned about two years old, they simply tossed her and/or stopped feeding her, so that when she was discovered with her seven newborns, she was starving to death, trying desperately to keep the pups alive, losing teeth due to starvation. 

She also had very serious heartworm infection, and it was that that made her rescuers and the vets think they could perhaps not save her, since heartworm infection is debilitating and treating it takes a severe toll on a dog's body. Flora was a small Pembroke Welsh corgi to begin with, and in her emaciated, malnourished condition after she was rescued, it was a touch and go situation for a while to determine if the heartworm infection could be eradicated.

By the period following Christmas time in 2007, her health had been stabilized and, when the rescue agency could not find a home for her and they asked if we'd take her, we were delighted to do so and to give a sweet little dog that had had such a horrific early life a chance at a good life with two of her pups. Letting go of her now, after 11 years, when she had been such an integral part of our lives, has proven to be very hard. She had developed congestive heart failure, which medication was no longer controlling, and was slowly suffocating to death — unable to walk in the last day of her life, when we decided we had to let go. 

(The puppy mill that did all of these atrocious things to little Flora is still in operation, by the way, and has been on the radar screen of folks in my area who monitor these places for shooting unwanted puppies — something that is legal for owners to do in our state — and for starving several horses to death. Apparently, though numerous complaints have been made about it and requests for investigations, it manages to avoid any kind of legal action against itself.)

I don't mean to share too much information about my own private life, my own grief. Everyone's grief is personal, unique to himself or herself, and we can't expect others to fathom the depths of our grief — shouldn't ask anyone else to do that. I'm telling you all of this just to try to explain, as best as I'm able, why I have felt so pulled down and worn out that I'm not able to work on this blog and take part in conversations here. 

This is one of several "projects" I'm having to curtail, for the time being, at least. One should perhaps not mourn a canine or feline family member as deeply as one would a human one, but the reality is, we do feel the loss of those other family members every bit as keenly as we feel the loss of fellow humans — or so it has always seemed to me. Or perhaps so it is in my own case, if not everyone else's….

A wise friend who reads this blog has suggested this might be a time for me to take care of myself, expect less of myself in terms of deadlines and chores and schedules, and "vacation" by reading recreational books, taking time to nap and rest more — and I've been following her advice. It strikes me at an intuitive level as just right.

So that's where I am at present, and I thought I owed you all some kind of explanation for my silence here of late, with good wishes to all of you and hopes that the summer is going well for you.

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