Happy New Year everyone! I hope the holidays were good to all of you! My holiday was incredibly fantastic, punctuated with some unexpected deep heartbreak.
I’ll start from the beginning though. Edgar and I headed for the Fort Worth area to spend the holidays with my family. The plan was to spend 10 days there, since we couldn’t afford to make the trip to El Paso to visit his family, and we wouldn’t be able to transport and lodge Casper for three days.
Christmas day was wonderful. I think the most wonderful thing about this Christmas was the fact that everyone was excited to give to others. And unlike any other Christmas of ours up to this point, gifts from “Santa” were pretty much equally balanced with gifts from the “kids.” I think every gift was more meaningful the year, and we shared so much joy in giving to others.
The next day we spent Christmas with my extended families. I made cookie dough balls, which were a big hit!, and the best part was that my cousin, Danny, whom I haven’t seen since his wedding three years ago, showed up! The next day we visited the ICE exhibit, which I mentioned in my previous post, and while we were there we got a call from Edgar’s parents saying that his grandmother was in poor health and he needed to come visit her, so they arranged to pick us up from Plainview on Friday and take us to El Paso for the weekend, and we would leave Casper with some friends in Plainview.
Tragedy struck late Tuesday night, though. Edgar was trying to leash-train Casper, but the dog would have none of it. He (Casper) yanked on the leash several times, and within moments he started gasping for air. It was about midnight, and Edgar stayed up most the night with him to make sure he was okay. It seemed as if he was getting a little better, but by morning, he wasn’t able to walk. He was spitting up red fluid and barely breathing In the early morning we got in the car and rushed Casper to the animal hospital. Edgar put on the flashers and sped 85 mph on the shoulder, but just a few minutes into the drive, Casper took his last painful, heartbreaking breath in my arms. My mom tried to resuscitate him the entire drive to the hospital, but it was too late. The vet told us that Casper died of pulmonary edema as a result of a congenital heart defect, which we knew nothing about. He actually told us that there was no bruising around the neck, and that getting choked was not what killed him, but it may have triggered the stress reaction that caused his lungs to fill up with fluid. And because of this apparent enlarged heart, it was only a matter of time before some stressful situation would cause this exact response. And even if we were able to get him to the vet sooner, we probably would have had to euthanize him. Casper really didn’t have a chance to live a long, full life.
This broke all of our hearts. Casper had spent three weeks with my family and only 6 days with us. He filled our hearts with joy, and it saddens us immensely to think that we were never able to take him home. I fell in love with him as soon as I saw his picture.
The rest of the day was hard. We had a day trip to Austin that same day and the whole trip was solemn for us. It was my grandmother’s birthday, though, so we wanted to make it a good one for her. Thankfully, she was aglow with the celebration, so that made it worth it. 🙂
But the next day my mom started talking to us about pets. After Jack died last April, it took us a long time to feel comfortable with a new pet. We looked at the humane society several times, but it wasn’t the right time, and there wasn’t the right pet. We firmly believe that pets choose their owners, not the other way around. We didn’t feel right about going home alone, especially since we’d spent 8 months with a home ready for a pet, but no puppy to fill it. Our hearts were still open, and our home was ready. And Mom didn’t want this otherwise wonderful holiday eclipsed with the heartbreak of losing Casper. So we opened our minds and started looking at animal shelters.
We looked at a few shelters before we found Maggie, a 2-lb, 2 month old Chihuahua mix (though she looks nothing like a Chihuahua). She had been given up by her owner just one day prior, and she was the sweetest little girl. She curled up in my arms and fell asleep. It took a while for us to decide on her. Edgar took the longest, since he was still haunted with the fact that he watched Casper suffer for so long, but after taking the time to talk about it with me, he seemed to let those demons go and want to move forward. Maggie melted our hearts. While nothing could ever replace Casper, or Jack, and we still miss them dearly, we still wanted to share our love and our home with a new furry friend.
So here’s Maggie. 🙂 She’s our little beauty from ashes.
(she’s so small that we weighed her on my new food scale! 2 lbs, 7.5 ounces!)
Right now she’s still in Fort Worth with my parents. Since we had to leave for El Paso the next morning, we left her with my parents so she could have a vet visit (she’s healthy!), and so my mom and sister would have an excuse to come visit me later this week. 😉 From what I hear, she seems to be the active, courageous little tomboy! 😀
So back to Friday. We left Fort Worth early to get back to Plainview by noon-ish. Several hours later, Edgar’s parents picked us up for the long trek to El Paso. We ended up spending our New Years Eve driving 30 mph through the blowing snow through the Guadalupe Mountain pass. But we arrived at our hotel room just in time for me to turn on the TV and see the replay of the ball dropping, just minutes before midnight.
I am not one to make New Years Resolutions. I usually find them to be fruitless goals that people abandon weeks later, and in general I don’t like jumping on bandwagons. However, this year I certainly have goals for my family, my career, and my health. One of which being that I put more into my blog, so for this week, beginning tomorrow, I’ll be documenting everything I eat. It’s not something I think I want to do in the long run, but for this next week… I just feel like it. 🙂 And since I spent several hours converting the points values on Mom’s new Weight Watchers cookbook to the new values, I have a whole bunch of meal ideas coming up!
So now I’m glad to be back at home. I go back to work tomorrow, so I plan to try to spend the last few hours of my vacation as best I can—with maybe a movie and cuddling on the couch.