Kaylee 325

June 11th, 2013 9:00 am by mad mags

Yup, I’m still here – and yes, I’m still grieving. After sorting, naming, editing, uploading, and captioning all of Ralphie’s photos – no small task, it took me the better part of two days – I quickly got started on Kaylee’s batch. Like ripping a band-aid off, right?: best to do it nice and fast. Compared to those of Ralphie’s mostly joyful last few days, though, Kaylee’s pictures proved terribly depressing. So much so that they landed me in bed for two days straight. It was a few weeks before I was able to force myself to finish the task.

And with that, I bring you a small selection of Kaylee’s final 325 photos – with a few extras from early 2013 to help brighten the mood.


 
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Early 2013

These are just a few of my favorites from earlier in the year, before all this horrible shit went down. This is how I hope to remember Kaylee: happy, grateful, and full of life.
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1/5/13 – Kaylee & Ralphie, sharing a rare snugly moment.

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1/19/13 – Four Dogs, One Bed

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2/23/13 – Soaking in the sun.

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3/4/13 – Dem teefies!

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3/4/13 – The abominable snowdog.

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3/4/13 – Incredibly close (always!), but extremely loud? (Rarely.)

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3/31/13 – This is her snotty, “I can’t believe you’re
paying attention to that little runt Mags!” look disney+ macbook.
I can’t lie, I adore it.

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4/9/13 – Barreling towards mom.

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4/30/13 – Taken during the first days of Ralphie’s illness, before we knew it was the big bad.
Review forthcoming, natch.

 

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5/6/13 – Outside with the Other 6

After bringing Ralphie home from the hospital, I let he and Shane have a few hours alone to nap and snuggle in the bedroom. The other six buggers were starved for attention, so I took them outside for a little R&R. And photos, of course.
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5/8/13 – Kaylee

Just a few random photos. You can never have enough, can you?
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5/8/13 – Ralphie’s Last Night

After Ralphie came home from the hospital, we made most of the other dogs sleep in the living room so that Ralphie could have Shane and I all to himself. Also, so no one would be all up in a sick old dog’s space. (It went over like gangbusters. The first two mornings, I woke up to loose piles of poo all over the living room floor.) Kaylee was the exception, since she’s no trouble at night – she keeps to herself and barely changes position.

In retrospect, I’m so relieved I let her, since it turns out that she was a sick old dog too. :(
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5/12/13 – Mother’s Day at the Hospital

Of all the dogs, it was Kaylee who took Ralphie’s death the hardest. (This came as a surprise, since they weren’t particularly close in life.) Occasionally a finicky (but otherwise enthusiastic) eater, Kaylee skipped a meal here and there during Ralphie’s illness, and after he passed she stopped eating altogether.

At first, we thought that she was miffed at me for redirecting all “her” attention to Ralphie. But when we showed the dogs Ralphie’s lifeless body, it became clear that his death affected her deeply: whereas the other five dogs took care to avoid the body, Kaylee camped out on the king bed opposite where Ralphie’s body lay and stared, intently, as we mourned, cuddled, and washed the body. Even after we packed it away, into a plastic pirate chest and then the freezer, she continued to keep vigil in the bedroom.

Saturday morning, in an effort to ease Kaylee’s grief, I took her – just us two gong sound herunterladen! – to the park. Specifically, to the fort where we spent our last morning with Ralphie. She sniffed around a bit but wasn’t especially interested in sitting in the fort, nor did she want to walk – her back right leg was giving her a bit of trouble. Instead we lay in the grass and I sang to her – “The End of the World,” which is what it felt like at the time. She seemed to enjoy it, taking in the sun and the sound of my voice, which should have been my first hint that trouble lay ahead:
NO ONE enjoys my singing.

That evening, nearly 48 hours to the minute that Ralphie’s heart stopped beating, I happened to find a small snake bite on Kaylee’s belly. Shane rushed her to the ER, where they just happened to run some blood work – “just in case.” The results revealed that Kaylee was in renal failure, just as Ralphie had been.
(The snake bite? A minor and very treatable injury.)

Shane raced home to pick me up so that we could discuss our options with the vet together. (I was too panicked to drive myself.) I also wanted to visit with Kaylee, and bring some of the other dogs in to get checked out, in case there was some weird environmental cause; two dogs in renal failure in less than two weeks is too crazy to be a coincidence, right?
(Wrong. Everyone else was fine.)

With Peedee and Mags looking on, Shane and I discussed possible treatment plans with the vet. Normally she’d receive the same treatment as Ralphie: IV fluids to flush out and hopefully stabilize her kidneys. But her heart murmur complicated matters: push too much fluid and we might send the poor girl into congestive heart failure. After an hour of emotionally laden deliberations, we opted for a conservative treatment plan; Kaylee would start out with about 1/4 of the fluids Ralphie received, and they’d play it by ear from there.

We arrived home, exhausted and defeated, at 1AM on Mother’s Day. After troubled sleep we headed back Sunday morning, this time with O-Ren, Jayne, and Finnick, who still needed to have their blood drawn herunterladen. Kaylee’s heart was pumping strong as ever (in fact, by Monday it was no longer a concern), and we were able to visit with her in an exam room, since she didn’t need to be on fluids 24/7, the way Ralphie had. She was glad to see us, but also mad (understandably so) that we’d “abandoned” her overnight in the hospital. You can see Rennie photobombing some of the pics Shane took with his cell. The baby food we tried to coax down Kaylee’s throat didn’t improve their manners any.

So Mother’s Day was spent at the ER, loving on Kaylee and worrying about all six of our remaining dog kids. Afterwards: crappy Pizza Hut pizza washed down with waterworks. I think I also opened my birthday presents that night (finally!), because things didn’t look as though they’d improve any time soon. (Spoiler alert: they didn’t.)
Another crappy May holiday. And, scene.
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5/13/13 – Eating My Feelings

This is what a bender looks like in the Garbato-Brady household.
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5/13/13 – Visiting with Kaylee Outside

We visited Kaylee every day of her 4-day stay, always for an hour at the very least; sometimes for two hours or more. She didn’t need to be hooked up to tubes all the time, so we were able to take her outside the kennel area, which was nice. Monday was warm and sunny (unseasonably hot, actually!) so we brought a blanket and lay down in the shade of a nearby office building. Kaylee appreciated the sun and the breeze, as well as the opportunity to stretch her old bones. She was happy to see us, though eventually the repeated visits culminating in us walking/carrying her PAST the van and BACK INTO the hated hospital fostered some resentment and anger on her part.
(Yes, my fee-fees were hurt.)
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Stroking her ear, just how she likes it – a soft caress from base to tip, followed by a gentle little tug, as if I just can’t bear to let go. Rinse, repeat.

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5/13/13 – Eat, Kaylee, Eat herunterladen!

After our hour in the sun, the staff suggested that maybe *I* could try to get Kaylee to eat? They set up a little “buffet” of baby food and meaty stuff in an exam room, where – with little luck – I tried to coax, cajole, and sweet talk Kaylee into eating something, anything! Mostly this just consisted of me placing bits of food on Kaylee’s gums and the roof of her mouth so that she’d HAVE to swallow them. (Her missing teeth proved a huge advantage here: I could stick a tongue depressor in her mouth WITHOUT prying it open, if I found the right spot.) She was pretty annoyed by the end of it, not that I blame her.

I found myself wishing that she’d adopt my answer to depression: eat ALL the things!
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5/14/13 – Visiting Outside

By Tuesday, Kaylee’s condition hadn’t changed any: her kidney function wasn’t any better – but it wasn’t any worse, either word 13 kostenlos downloaden. (Ralphie’s kidneys deteriorated on the last day, despite the treatment he received.) Since she was on a more conservative treatment plan due to her heart murmur, we held out hope that it might just take an extra day or two for the fluids to do their job, and decided to keep her in the hospital.

Luckily, we had another day of gorgeous weather for our visit. We took Kaylee outside for our allotted hour, but she seemed a little more out of it than the day before – whether due to exhaustion, depression, or anger, I can’t say.

She was also having more trouble walking, a fact that concerned us but ranked rather low on the vet’s list of priorities. What was first diagnosed as a herniated disc could have been any number of things, each hard to diagnose in an old, sick dog, and impossible to treat given her renal failure.
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5/15/13 – Getting Discharged

By Wednesday Kaylee’s kidney values still hadn’t changed any, so the vet recommended that we take her home and see if she improved in a more comfortable and familiar environment. The most important thing was to get her eating and drinking again. (Unfortunately, she also stopped drinking while in the hospital, possibly because she was kept hydrated intravenously. That or she was just being stubborn, aka Kaylee.)

Though I was nervous – terrified, really – that I’d fail, I was so, so happy to have my baby girl back home. Up until this point, things hadn’t progressed as well as I hoped – but Kaylee also hadn’t declined as Ralphie had, the way I feared she would.

Kaylee was tired and still a little miffed at me, but also quite obviously relieved to be leaving THAT PLACE.
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En route. I set up a nice little bed in the back of the van so I could cuddle her the whole way home avast free antivirus chip online gratis downloaden.

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I think this is her “Pull over, I gotsta pee!” look.

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Grabbing some much-needed rest.

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Home at last! And Kaylee assumes her rightful place on the couch, right next to mom.

 

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5/16/13 – Kaylee at Rest

While Kaylee rested, I made her some fresh “baby food” – mashed sweet potatoes and carrots. Turns out she never ate them – she ended up going on a special k/d kidney diet the next day. Peedee enjoyed them with his soaked kibble instead. He had most of his teeth removed right before Ralphie fell ill, and was cheated out of the sympathy to which he was rightfully entitled.
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5/16/13 – And a Feeding Tube It Is

At the time of her discharge, the vet brought up the possibility of “installing” an esophageal feeding tube in Kaylee’s neck in the event that we couldn’t get her to eat and drink voluntarily. At the time I recoiled in disgust: how barbaric! I know it’s not exactly the same – you can’t reason with a dog the way you would a human – but force feeding is considered a form of torture amongst h. sapiens.

And yet: not 24 hours and just two arduous meals later, I quickly reversed course. Kaylee refused to eat or drink on her own, and forcing food and water down her throat with a syringe was messy, time consuming, and – worst of all – quickly turning Kaylee against me. I feared that she truly would hate me after a few days of this. Plus there was her medication – so much medication! – to worry about.

Part of me feared that her refusal to eat was Kaylee’s way of letting go – asking me to let her die gopro studio. But she’s always had weird behavioral issues with food, and this time around they manifested well before she got sick – or showed outward signs of sickness, anyway. Though her kidneys weren’t functioning optimally, they were at what the vet called “livable levels”; as long as Kaylee stayed fed and hydrated, she could enjoy a comfortable life for weeks or even months. As long as there was a chance, we had to take it – right?

And so, late Thursday afternoon, we took Kaylee BACK to the ER to have a feeding tube put in. The operation was short – just an hour – and we were home in time for dinner. Baby food, in the neck. Yum!

(On the way to the hospital, Kaylee refused to lay next to me, on the little bed I made up for us. Instead she crammed herself as far back in the van as she could go, nestling up and using a bag of totes for a pillow. She was most definitely NOT HAPPY with her humans.)
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5/17/13 – Kaylee Cavorting Outside

The day after surgery, Kaylee did remarkably well. She was up and about in the yard and, though she didn’t show a whole lot of interest in food, I did have to intercept her many efforts to nibble on grass. Her back leg was still problematic, though not terribly so.

I spent some time chasing her around the yard, taking pictures. She was not amused.
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Her silly little lawn dances gave me hope, though I did have to discourage them on accounta her feeding tube.

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“DON’T look at me!”

 

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5/18/13 – Bathroom Break

Harassing Kaylee during a bathroom break.

While we relied on the feeding tube to keep her nourished through the rest of her life, Kaylee slowly showed more interest in food. She started off licking mashed veggies from my fingertip, and slowly graduated to eating a small serving of food right out of the bowl amazon prime videos im ausland herunterladen.

On the downside, the weakness/lack of coordination in her back leg worsened and appeared to spread to the left one, too. By the end she needed help walking; Shane held onto her sides to help support her and keep hear steady and, in an ill-fated move, we tried using a yoga strap, hooked under her belly, as a support. Great until the pressure made her throw up a meal she’d just “eaten.”
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5/18/13 – Reading & Sunbathing with Mom

Saturday afternoon was spent sunbathing on a blanket outside. Well, Kaylee started out on the blanket – then she went and plopped down in the grass a short distance away, in order to put some distance between her and her arch-nemesis, Mags. I read a bit – STUNG, meh – but, had I known that this was one of our last days together, I would have snuggled Kaylee 24/7 instead.

My heart is heavy with many regrets concerning Kaylee’s last few weeks on this earth. Chief among them: not treating her last four days as though they were her last. I thought we had more time; that was the whole point of the feeding tube, was it not?

On Monday, I took a much-needed walk – my exercise routine long since neglected – and then spent an hour picking up debris scattered in our yard by a recent storm. Not 24 hours later, Kaylee was dead. So much time, wasted. If only I had known. I should have known.
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5/19/13 – Kaylee’s Last Set

Sunday, May 19. Kaylee’s last set of photos. I just so happened to snap a few quick pics – just three! – when I spotted her lying, calm and peaceful, in the dog bed. I think I was at my desk, writing a book review. Wasting time with trivialities, as humans so often do.

Monday proved a rough day. Kaylee showed more interest in food, but less control over her hind legs. Her stool was loose on accounta her liquid diet, and it got all over her rear end as Shane tried to hold her steady outside. She seemed terribly unhappy with her current situation windows 10 size. The vet advised us that, whatever was going on with her legs, it might take a few weeks of rehabilitation (or, paradoxically, rest) to heal. She was on antidepressants – both to help with her affect and stimulate her appetite – but we hadn’t seen much change in either as of yet. We began to discuss the e-word. Not as an imminent possibility, but as something to consider in the days and weeks ahead. How would we know when it was time?

And then Kaylee, bless her too-big heart, told us. A rough day turned into an even-rougher night. Kaylee, always prone to shaking (it’s a breed thing, I’ve been told), couldn’t stop; shaking turned into trembles and ticks. Neither of us got much rest that night, as I tried to soothe her to sleep.

Some time in the wee hours of Tuesday, May 21st, Kaylee suffered a stroke, or aneurism, or perhaps a blood clot (one unlikely but possible cause of the trouble with her legs) traveled to her brain. She slipped into a coma. I became aware of it at first light. Once I could actually see one of her more violent shaking spells, I knew immediately that she was seizing. (Shadow suffered seizures on a monthly basis for most of her life, so I knew what they looked like.) My baby girl was no longer there; what made Kaylee Kaylee had slipped away, unnoticed during the night.

After waiting 45 minutes for the at-home euthanasia vet to return our call – office hours didn’t commence for another 15 minutes – we decided to rush her to the ER instead. If given a choice, I prefer for my kids to die at home, in familiar surroundings and comforted by loved ones. But as far as I was concerned, Kaylee was already dead, her sweet, silly, awesome little mind having departed hours before, as her equally silly little body lay nestled in my arms. And I couldn’t bear to watch her vessel – part canine, part seal, part Dandie – suffer any longer.

Kaylee’s heart stopped beating at 9AM CST on May 21st. In the end, I was glad that we made the trip to Blue Pearl. The staff was understanding and compassionate; they carefully cleaned her body for us, removing all hints of the hated feeding tube; laid her out in a coffin-like cardboard box, all peaceful and serene; and, in one last unexpected act of kindness, even preserved her pawprints, in both ink and clay Subscribe to youtube. I’ll treasure these, always.
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“Aye,” Roland said, “but first we should see what Mordred had for gunna—there may be something useful there—and bury our friend. Will’ee help me see Oy into the ground, Patrick?”

Patrick was willing, and the burial didn’t take long; the body was far smaller than the heart it had held. By midmorning they had begun to cover the last few miles on the long road which led to the Dark Tower.

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5 Responses to “Kaylee 325”

  1. Mylène Says:

    My heart breaks for you. She was such a lovely girl and so obviously loved, just like the rest of your family.

  2. KD Traegner Says:

    I sobbed while reading about Kaylee. I lost my own Olli to renal failure 14 months ago and I’m still working through my grief. Much like your own story, Olli was hospitalized in acute renal failure but only after 6 consecutive visits to vet specialists to try and determine why she was so sick. Each specialist failing to perform the simplest of tests so that by the time it was known she was in renal failure, it was too late. A week long hospital stay led to her coming home for 2 days before she died.

    I also felt I should have known better. I have regrets. I look back at the decisions I made and wonder if I could have changed things, knowing that it doesn’t matter if I could.

    Kaylee was so obviously loved, so obviously cherished. I hope you take comfort in knowing how lucky she was to have you and you to have her. Let that ease your heart, even if it’s just a little.

  3. Kelly Garbato Says:

    @ Mylène & KD – I know it’s long overdue and you might not even see this (dealing with all things Ralphie & Kaylee is incredibly difficult these days; one step forward, twenty steps back), but I wanted to thank you both for your kind words.

    And I’m so, so sorry for your loss, KD. I felt terrible “abandoning” Ralphie and Kaylee in the hospital for so long, especially when it didn’t help in either case. But if I had to do it all over again, I can’t think of a thing I’d change. You do your best and hope it’s enough…and if not, at least you have all those other happy days to fall back on. That’s what I’m trying for these days, anyway.

    Hugs to you both. I know you’re no stranger to loss either, Mylène.

  4. Saying Goodbye (The Ralphie and Kaylee Post) » V for Vegan: easyVegan.info Says:

    […] In those last few days, we took 927 photos of Ralphie. Kaylee got a fraction of that: 325. […]

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