John Corson's Blog

for September 16, 2021


On this day, five years ago, I lost my loving little girl and the friendliest of companions I have ever known or had. Five years ago was a Friday and she was scheduled to be groomed, her undercoat trimmed her overcoat brushed out and both coats shampooed, nails cut and the fur between her pads shaved out.

The groomer was finished with most of those things and it was time to blow dry her fur, but she couldn't stand. She kept dropping, the muscles in her legs just seemed to stop working. Her doctor, the veterinarian had already gone for the day, but the technician was on hand and called me to come and pick her up, that maybe she needed some nourishment and some sleep afterwards. But I knew better.

You see, Princess had been diagnosed a few weeks earlier with an advanced staged carcinoma in between her throat and jaw and although some of the test were inconclusive, the emergency vet we took her to back in July for bleeding gums, was certain and the specialist who worked with her took x-rays and a scan of her mouth and throat was also certain she had cancer. She just forgot to tell me, but forwarded the results to her regular veterinarian. When those results arrived, her regular doctor was on vacation and another in her office did the follow up, but she didn't tell me,. thinking I already knew. It was over two week before I found out and that was from her regular vet who called to check up on her. When she asked why I was surprised about the diagnosis I could only tell her than none of the vets who saw her told me about it. It was stunned, despondent and started to cry. When shown how it was staged and that there was no hope to recover from it, I found it hard to accept and chose to live in denial.

A couple of weeks later, about the last week in August, she was resilient and I asked Dr. Harrell (her regular doctor) what were the chances of a misdiagnosis. She did tell me that it has happened, even by the specialist who diagnosed the cancer. A week later she was at the top of herself! At fourteen years and three months of age, she was partially blind (which was to be expected), half-deaf and had a touch of arthritis.

On the morning of September 16, I roused her up from a deep sleep (she was doing that a lot since around the first of the year), and gave her something to eat. She ate every bit of her breakfast; drank some water and a few minutes later we were off to the groomer. She was not showing any signs of pain and only a little sluggishness in her walk.

But when I picked her up from the groomer, she couldn't stand, just like the vet tech described. I had a towel for the front seat and used it as a blanket for her to lay on. I always had something in the car for her as she was a constantly shedding Shetland Sheepdog. All Shelties leave fur everywhere, on the couch, in the chair, on the carpet, you name it. I didn't want my car to be full of fur. On the way home she just laid there and other than breathing, she didn't move. As I turned into my street I heard her pass gas, but it wasn't gas! She had lost control of her bowels. She pooped on her towel and down the side of the seat next to the door. I knew then, we were in trouble.

From about 2:00 on I watched over her and a couple of times she tried to get up. Once I sat her up and took one or two steps and completely fell over. My hope was a false one and by the time Janice got home from work (5:30 pm) I told her that she was in trouble. Neither one of us ate but sat around her as she again lost control of her bowels. I had placed her on another blanket and laid her up against the fireplace hearth where she would be cool and a long evening vigil took place.

Janice and I started to pray and in those prayers we asked God that if it were her time to take her as she was having a hard time breathing. We also were praying for a miracle, but whatever, we wanted her to be pain-free and it didn't take lone for us to realize that she needed help. We made the decision and called a service which specializes in ... I can't say the word. Janice told me as she was dialing the number that Princess wants us to help her get out of the pain. That she is looking to us. We made the call and within the hour, the doctor was at the door. She checked Princesses vitals, had that face of sadness on her and then went over what she was going to do if we consented.

Janice held Princess's head up a little, I was stroking her head, back and side, we both spoke to her and told her how much we loved her and how it was killing me to see her go, but that I would never stop loving her or missing her. And I have kept that promise!

I need to backtrack just a moment to when I first brought her into the house that afternoon and at first she was laying the den floor next to one of the couched nearest the hallway. We have two cats, Whiskers and Pixie, and, of course, there is Reggie. Both cats came around to see what was going on with Princess and it was the fast-paced precocious Pixie who paused for the longest time. Given to constantly being on the move, she wasn't that day; not until she gave Princess a thorough lookover. Whiskers laid bear her and watched her for awhile, but both of those cats acted different than they usually did, so that was a clue.

But it was Reggie who was unsettled and came over to her for a few minutes. Princess was looking at him and I noticed her sniffing the air around or near him which she didn't do when the cats were close. He sat up near her, seemingly sniff her head, stayed in that position for about twenty seconds, as if almost frozen, then he slowly backed away and walked down the hallway toward the kitchen. He had food in a bowl, but he didn't eat it. Strange! He just sat in the kitchen.

Now I have come to believe that Princess and Reggie were doing some communicating. I came to that conclusion a few days or weeks later when I suddenly realized that Reggie was staying close to me and always wanted to go out when I went out and be in whatever room I was in. He didn't use to do that. Could it be that Princess was asking or telling Reggie that he was to be in charge of my "care." Did she tell him that I would need a very close companionship with me, that she was leaving and she didn't want me to be alone and sad? Reggie has, for the last five years and without fail, been ever so close to me. He has moved into that position of being my very best friend.

The difference between Reggie and Princess - as far as their relationship to me is concerned - is that Princess was like a child, a daughter if you will, to me. Reggie, who started out as Janice's dog but gravitated toward me a few years later, is a pal, a friend, not so much as a "son" or one of my children (as pet owners are prone to view theirs). If he were a human, we would be joking, playing pranks on each other, riding around town together and talking about "Guy" stuff. Princess and I would look at each other in the eyes, Reggie and I just walk together side-by-side, not really making the "intimate" eye contact. It is weird describing the difference but there is a difference. Either way, both Princess and Reggie were (is) a part of my innter family and because of that, I was (am) very very close to them both.

So, on this day five years ago, I lost a daughter; not a human daughter, but a daughter none the less. I haven't gotten over it! I confess - it is too hard. As I sit here, the snot is running! I can't go on.

Please click here for a tribute I made in these blogs back on May 19th, which would have been her 19th birthday. My feelings and thoughts have not changed and my love for her has only grown. When I go out to her resting place, I always talk to her as if she wre alive and standing right next to me. I always tell her these words: "I love you Little Girl. And I love you more today than I did yesterday and more than when you left me. And I miss you just as much."

I do Princess. I love you! And I miss you so much!

Blog for September 15 Blog for September 17


Blogs are about the blogger. It's as if he or she merely toots their own horns about the things they do, say and love.

My life is boring. I read, I watch Glenn Beck and Mark Levin. I listen to Andrew Wilkow. I engage in some conversation with those who are willing to listen (they being masochistic and enjoy killing themselves with my banter).

I plan on just laying out the things that bother me and the things I love. Nothing in-between. I hope you find whatever I put here amusing.