Viking’s Valour

Here it is, my first post of the new year. Honestly, I don’t remember the last time that I’ve actually felt like writing. I still don’t feel like it, but her we are. I have been avoiding my blog for a few reasons, mostly because I haven’t been able to feel cheerful in some time, and who wants to read a post in which I report that nothing has changed? I had a lot of great things happen to me in the past year, but it’s not in me to be the person that only focusses on the good. I dwell on anger and sadness, it’s what helps me relate to humanity. Pain makes me feel human.
On Christmas day, my dog collapsed while we were on our family walk, and could not get up. He didn’t seem like he was upset or was in pain, so we waited for him to get up to finish the walk to home. After finally realising that he couldn’t get up by himself, a friend picked him up with his car and brought him to the house. (we were less than a block away)
After a day of pretending that he was just tired, and a night of panicking, on the morning of the 26th, I took him to the emergency animal hospital. I was separated from him for most of the day, which was very stressful for me. I was so worried, but the office was so busy that it took us a few hours to be seen. Because of his size and his inability to use his back legs, they made a bed for him in the back office, and were monitoring his vital signs. Every now and then a nurse would come and tell me that he was doing good, looking happy, he didn’t seem like he was under too much stress. Thankfully M stayed with me, in spite of her allergies, and helped me maintain my sanity while I waited. Even though I wanted to be with my boy, I was also a little bit happy that I was still waiting, because if I hadn’t seen the doctor, no one could give me bad news.
When the doctor finally came I was full of cautious optimism. Perhaps he had a pinched nerve, maybe a pulled muscle, maybe he was faking it because he had a flair for the dramatic (true story). Things went downhill so quickly that there were points that I struggled to stay breathing. After blood test analysis, it was determined that he had cancer in his blood, and it was so advanced that there were tumours in his hip and surrounding his heart. They could operate on the hip, but it wouldn’t do him any good. He had a week left at most, and according to the doctor, we were ‘lucky’ that he collapsed when he did, otherwise he probably would have died at home. I went in expecting to spend a few hundred bucks on treatment and medication, maybe he wold have an overnight stay at the hospital. It was then that I realised that I would be leaving without my dog. My boy. My Murphy, my Viking’s Valour, at the age of 7 human-years, was going to die that day – and I had to be the one to sign the form and say yes; I authorise you to take my dog’s life. I had his life in my hands, and I had to make the choice that was right for him, not the choice that was easiest for me. The doctor was so kind to me, I can’t imagine having to tell someone that they are about to lose their pet. He wasn’t a pet, he was my boy. My best friend, my biggest source of emotional support, and my foot warmer. He was one year less two days older than my oldest daughter, and we have had him since he was born. He loved my kids and they loved him. He was almost always a good boy. Never rowdy, never too loud, and only sometimes would he get into the garbage. (he had a thing for diapers and coffee grounds). In the end he was calm and ready; I was a total mess. We laid with him on the blanket while the vet first put him to sleep, and then euthanised him. As I felt his breathing stop I felt a piece of my soul die. I really did. i am forever altered by the loss of him, and although I know that it will get easier to live without him, I will never be the same. One of the lights in my heart has burnt out, and nothing can reignite it.

Good things have happened this year, so I will end on a high note. Most importantly, baby H was born this year! She is a magical little person and we as a family are so lucky to have her. Every day with my three girls is wonderful, especially during these few weeks of sadness. They have been able to help me through the darkest of days, and as always, I am eternally indebted to them for keeping me alive.
This year has given me new relationships, some unexpected and some long overdue! I look forward to growing with these new found treasures, and one goal for the year that I have is to better connect with the people that truly mean something to me – and not just via social media. I have spent so much time isolating myself, but the grief of losing Murphy has helped me reach out to people that I had forgotten how much I care about.
The girls have continued with their 100 acts of kindness project, I will make a separate post in the coming days about their progress!
Christmas brought us lots of treasures, including (for me) a signed copy of Col. Chris Hadfield’s new book, a new Nintendo 3DS to replace my old one that the kids broke, and a Jawbone Up24 band to help me step up my fitness game. New Year’s eve was spent with good friends, lots of food, and a bottle of wine to myself. I am continuing to work with Speak Up!, and was in YVR over the weekend to work on a project, and will return mid-month for a wellness fair. I find my time with them very fulfilling, and I am determined to not let my interest or commitment peter out, as so often is the case for me.
I have also decided that my 30th birthday will bring travel with friends. I have finally found the people who I want to travel with, and feel like by the time I reach 30 I will not only have enough money, but also have less anxiety over leaving the girls and Big Daddy. I still have a few years to hammer out all of the details, but I’ve decided that this year is going to be a year of change for me. No resolutions, just an overall life goal of making better decisions, committing to things that I say I am interested in, and making conscious behavioural changes that will benefit myself and my family. It is an ongoing process that will last the rest of my life, I will not put an end date on it by calling it a resolution.
Its finally time to say out with the old me, and in with the new. Im really ready, and I look forward to transforming myself in front of this blog, and I trust that my reader(s) will hold me accountable for the promises I make.

The year ended on a low note, but I have never felt more encouraged to be a better version of myself, and not just on the outside – on the inside, too. My pity party is over. Is anyone else making big changes to their lives? If you feel comfortable, please share your plans with me. We can all learn a lot from each other!

Cheers to a new year of adventure.

Baby Haych

Big Daddy and I with Murphy when he was a wee pup

Christmas morning