Sunday, March 12, 2017

In Rance We Laugh

It's been a tough week, and blogging has taken a back seat.

For starters, I've been under the weather. What I thought was a bad cold has since been diagnosed with Flu A, despite my flu shot in the fall. It's not fun, especially because I'm past the window of symptoms where Tamiflu will actually work. So I wait.

I hate letting five days go between blog posts, but I just had no desire to fire up the computer or scan a card.

But the flu will get better in time.

What's going to take a bit longer to heal is my heart, as I said goodbye to our family dog yesterday. I know many of you have shared losing a pet, and man, it's tough.

He was doing fine last week, but on Tuesday and Wednesday his breathing started picking up for no real reason. I figured he might have my cold. He started to lose his appetite. He wasn't touching his wet food, which for him, is odd. He usually gobbles it right away.

Friday morning, my wife took him to the vet. I figured he just had the dog version of cold, and would get some meds to clear it up. But about 20 minutes after arriving, my wife called me and said, "I think he's really sick." I could hear it in her voice.

I got out of bed and met her at the vet, where they showed us his x-ray. His lungs were cloudy, but the vet couldn't say if it was an infection...or if it was cancer. I think the doctor knew, but wanted a second upon with a radiologist, so she sent his results away and said we should hear back by the end of the day.

At around 4pm, she called back.


So we knew we had a tough decision to make, and he was having a tougher time by the hour. We knew we needed to put him to sleep. They offered us a time later that evening, but I selfishly said no, and that I wanted the dog to have one more night with us and the kids, and we'd take him in the morning.

In hindsight, it was selfish and I really regret it. He suffered a great deal on Friday night. I had hoped he'd be lethargic and would just lay around with us, but his breathing kept him up and he didn't sleep. Neither did we.

At about 7:45am, it started to happen. I'll leave out the details, but it was tough to watch. He passed away on our living room floor, 15 minutes before the vet opened, and about 3 hours before he was to be put to sleep.

I took a moment, then wrapped him in his blanket and we took him to the vet, where he'll be cremated and his remains will be returned to us.

He was my buddy, and I'm having a tough time looking at the spots where he liked to lay, or seeing his leash quietly hanging on its hook. I know it'll get better, but after 27 hours, it still hurts.

It's hard not hearing his nails on the wood floor, and it was weird locking up the house for the night early, knowing I didn't need to take him out one last time before bed.

Needing to get out for a minute yesterday afternoon, I ran to Walgreens to pick something up for my wife. I also got a 100-card repack to open to feel better. And you know what the second card behind the one in the window was?
Yep. Rance!

As some of you have seen, Napkin Doon and I used to send each other Rance Mulliniks cards as a joke. I forgot how it even started, but we took it pretty far, including sending graded copies back and forth. It's not a joke about Rance - he had a fine career - it's just that he's our own version of Bip Roberts.

I couldn't help but laugh when I saw that card, and man, I needed it.

It was a small distraction, but certainly welcome.


  1. The worst thing about truly loving your pet is making that decision. Savour all the wonderful memories you had with your little one.

  2. Really sorry for your family's loss. I certainly teared up a bit reading this...and looking over my laptop at the our ol' lady laying in the floor looking right at me.

  3. Heartbreaking to hear it, AJ. My condolences to you and your family.

  4. Man, what a tough week. Colds and the flu really get me down, but having to part with a member of the family is really tough. Hang in there, AJ.

  5. Sorry to hear about your loss. In time it'll get easier to remember all the wonderful memories you all had together.

  6. Sorry to hear that, my friend. Thinking of you and yours.

  7. Very sorry for your families loss my friend

  8. That's tough. Not looking forward to the day I'll have to say goodbye to my bud. These things always hit you harder than you imagine they will.

  9. Sorry about your dog AJ, that is rough. Hang in there buddy.

  10. It's never easy to lose a family member. I'm so sorry for your loss.

  11. So sorry for your loss, my friend. I hope you find peace soon as the sadness is washed away with an endless tide of memories...

  12. Damn sorry for yours and your family's loss, AJ.