Loss of Two; Gain of Two

silhouette of girl and dog

Back in mid August and about a month later, in September, we lost our two 13-year-old black mini schnauzers (Hutch and Rena–brother and sister), and it was a heart wrenching time for us.

Hutch and Rena October 20 2010

(Hutch & Rena, October 20, 2010)

But things work out (I believe God works in ways that are best for us) sometimes in ways that are for the best. We were moving in October to Colorado, and we think in the long run, another long, couple of days, road trip would have been very hard on both Hutch and Rena.

Rena had been struggling with dementia onset for several months before we had to put her down, and she couldn’t see much of anything or hear much of anything, either. She slept most of the day, only to get up to eat or go potty, for which we had to pick her up each time she woke, and set her outside in the backyard, then bring her back in when she was done.

Months before, the vet told us Hutch had the start of heart disease. We were given meds for him to take to flush out his heart’s valves. Seemed to work okay for around six months. Then, after his sister’s death, he seemed to be okay, handled it well. We think it’s because he was with her for several months up to the time she had to be put down. He had time to deal with her separating from us in a way, through her losing touch of her surroundings and sleeping a lot. I think he and our cat, Tipper, had said their goodbyes before we took her to the vet.

But then Hutch had a coughing/hacking attack on a Saturday, September 14. I told my son we’d take him into the vet on Monday if he got any worse. He got worse during the time I was at church the next morning. My son had stayed home. Turned out Hutch had something akin to a heart attack, and we rushed him to the emergency vet, and at that point, we had to put him down. It was devastating.

rainbow bridge 4

The one comfort in our loss was that both Hutch and Rena are buried in my mother-in-law’s large backyard with sloping hills, a frog pond, and woods bordering the property. It gave us much relief and assuaged some of our sorrow seeing they both could be there together, and my in-laws even put crosses at the head of their graves with Hutch and Rena’s names and date of death on them.

So, with the loss of our two dogs, we still had (and still have) our cat, Tipper (actually, she’s my oldest son’s, Nicholas’ cat). The move went relatively well with just the one animal.

But we knew we wanted to get a couple of kittens after our dogs passed. We’d planned that a few years ago. So, in November, we adopted two kittens five months apart, age-wise, and had to go through the difficult introductions with each one with Tipper. Now, the kittens are buddies.

Koukla and Aki December 5 2019

And the warming up between them and Tipper, especially the 8-month kitten, continues. We’re hoping Tipper will eventually be okay with them.

A few days after we adopted the kittens, I went out and bought Feliway, which is a plug in liquid that heats up and smells of a mother cat’s pheromones, that’s supposed to calm cats in new situations with other cats/animals or for anxiety and such. Unfortunately, the smell bothered my sinuses, but we managed to plug one into the hallway and more recently, in my son’s bedroom where Tipper usually sleeps.  I will probably go out and get some more in the next couple of days to put one downstairs (try again).

Anyway, after a heavy and sorrowful loss, our cat and kittens are filling our hearts with joy.




PS: I cried through selecting pics of the dogs and the rainbow bridge. You never know what will trigger your heart to tear open and for you to shudder tears over the loss of your beloved pets.




2 thoughts on “Loss of Two; Gain of Two

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