Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My Cal-erson Mush

Only a very select few people will understand the title of this post, and that's ok.

I went back and forth in my mind for awhile trying to decide whether or not I wanted to write about this, but I decided since I don't keep any other form of a journal I probably should.

I'll start with a little background to this story. About 7 or 8 years ago (no one can remember for sure, but I was in Junior High) we found a little family of kittens living under our front porch. Our dog Baxter was the first one to notice them and immediately notified my dad that he had found something. Initially my dad assumed maybe it was a raccoon so he took the hose and started spraying the hole where the dog was barking. Out ran five little kittens. Unfortunately Baxter got to one of them and it didn't make it, one got away, and the other three ended up living with us. I immediately gave them names, much to my Dad's dismay. Obviously we couldn't keep THREE cats, right?!

Not knowing the genders of these sweet little kitties, I named the black ones Dewey and Cole (it was around Halloween and there was a special "Black Mountain Dew" flavor out, hence "Dewey"). I was convinced the black and white one was a girl, so I named "her" Callie. (After their first vet visit it was confirmed "Callie" was in fact male. So...creative me shortened it to just "Cal") We tried pretty hard in the ensuing weeks to find them homes because my dad still didn't like the idea of keeping any of them. I remember asking all of my friends, telling them we HAD to find them homes. I couldn't see them go to the shelter. I found it kinda funny that EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON. I asked was either allergic or someone in their family was. All I've got to say to that is...you guys really missed out.

After trying for awhile to find them homes, we of course were attached. At that point I don't think I would have given any of them up had anyone actually decided they could have one.

Fast forward 7 or 8 years to the present. For the last few months Cal's health has been steadily declining. My mom found a lump on his back leg which turned out to be a sarcoma. He'd been losing quite a bit of weight, and was losing mobility in his leg. Most likely due to the size of the tumor and the fact it was probably pinching on nerves, rendering his back left leg pretty useless. He could still drag it around but it was obviously impeding his movement.

My mom decided awhile ago not to put him through chemotherapy. It would have cost thousands of dollars and couldn't guarantee he would get better. We just did everything in our power to make whatever time he had left comfortable and happy.

Last week my mom had noticed that his appetite was decreasing and he was having difficulty going to the bathroom. She made an appointment at the clinic to have him looked over. Upon completing an ultrasound, Dr. Pozzuoli found another mass in his abdomen and the prognosis wasn't good. It was resting close to his vital organs and possibly main arteries.

I was up four-wheeling with Riley and Jared that Saturday as my mom tried to get ahold of me. I wasn't in a place where I had cell phone service. It was a tender mercy that allowed me to understand what I'm sure was the Holy Ghost, telling me we needed to head back down earlier than we had intended. At the time I couldn't understand why I felt that way, but looking back it was such a blessing. We were able to make it down to the clinic where my mom, McKenna, Carter, and J were waiting. We decided that it was in his best interest to put him to sleep. I couldn't see him suffer and decline more.

I sat with everyone in the exam room and got to spend some time with my sweet kitty before he went. I held him in my lap while he got the injection. What a strange, cathartic experience. I believe I was able to visually "see" his spirit leaving his little body. I can't think of a better, more peaceful way to go. Most importantly he was surrounded by his family that LOVED him.

My heart is still broken over the loss of my little buddy. He was always such a good friend and the best listener around. I've always had a connection with animals, but little Mush was definitely one of my best friends. Whether he was drinking the water out of my fishbowl, curling up around my neck when I was trying to sleep, sleeping in the drawers of my dresser whenever I left one open, or kneading his little paws into my body while I pet him.

Every time I think I've cried all the tears I can over this little guy, I start thinking about it and it all starts over again. My eyes have been constant puff balls since Saturday. But I know deep down that we'll see him again. It brings me comfort to know that he's up in heaven with a fully working, perfect body. He's not being bound by physical restraints anymore. He gets to be up there with his sister Cole, Baxter, Jenny, my dad's old dog Bandit, and an army of fish we've had over the years. And I'm sure my great-grandparents, and my Grandma Grose are taking really good care of him :)

I know most people think, "Oh, it's just a cat". But I KNOW that animals will be in heaven. If they're not then I don't want to go. There have been many quotes that have brought me comfort but my mom found one last night that I really, really like. It's from a General Conference address in 1928 by Joseph F. Smith:

"So we see that the Lord intends to save, not only the earth and the heavens, not only man who dwells upon the earth, but all things which he has created. The animals, the fishes of the sea, the fowls of the air, as well as man, are to be recreated, or renewed, through the resurrection, for they too are living souls."

So it's not really goodbye, Mush. It's till we meet again.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

St. George/Las Vegas With My Family!

As I mentioned in my previous post we had plans to go down to St. George with my family this last weekend. My parents have been contemplating buying a house/condo down there for awhile now and they decided to go test one out and were gracious enough to invite Riley and I. My parents and Carter drove down on Thursday, and then Riley, McKenna, and I drove down Friday night.

We woke up on Saturday morning and decided to make the trip down to Las Vegas for the day. We had a total blast. Pictures explain it best so here ya go.

We spent some quality time at the pool. Fabulous 85+ degree weather...It was hard to leave.

Toured through the Venetian. Riley HATES all the little "towns" in the hotels. Freaks him out I guess. Kinda funny, though.

Of course we couldn't pass up some gelato. Mmmm..Riley and I got coconut and pineapple flavors.

My dad was awesome and bought us all tickets to see the Blue Man Group that night! It was seriously the coolest show ever!!! Highly recommend it. Riley kept turning to me saying things like, "That was awesome", "Did you see that?!" and, "Wwoooaaahhh!!"

I also took lots of pictures of the scenery around Vegas. The Bellagio wins though with the butterfly house and the thousands of flowers that drown out the smell of cigarette smoke.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Randoms from Riley's Camera

I just wanted it to be documented somewhere that we made it up to the "V" on our hike the other day. Just to prove to myself that I'm not as out of shape as I thought............well...I probably am. (But on a tangent, I've been good sticking to my "no sugar" diet for the past 72 hours and I haven't had caffeine/carbonation for nearly three months! Hopefully I won't be too much of a disaster in a swim suit this year because I bought some REALLY cute ones from Hapari!)

Since I didn't have my camera when we had our barbecue with a bunch of friends, we took Riley's camera. Because of that, I have like a million pictures of Riley and Jordan playing on a park toy..and nothing else. So I picked the best one, here ya go.
We're going to St. George/maybe Vegas this weekend with my family and I'll have my camera back by then! Yay!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Summer Is HERE!!

Well boys and girls, summer at the Gold home has finally arrived! That being said, this post is going to be just a random jumble of thoughts and events that have been happening the past little while! Now that all my energy isn't focused on school I'll hopefully be able to be a bit better with updating the blog :)

We welcomed the nice weather by enjoying a topless ride in the Jeep on Sunday! We started off the day at church, came home and packed a lunch, grabbed Benny and made our way up the firebreak road. We came to a stop just below the "V" on the mountain and hiked our way up. It was quite windy when we finally reached a stopping point but we still enjoyed our lunch nonetheless. Then we came back to my parents house for more food and then somehow convinced my dad to come on a ride with us. It was quite a squish for both me, McKenna, and J to fit in the back seat but somehow we made it work. My dad admitted that he was quite impressed with the Jeep and all the hills we managed to climb... :)

I had Monday off from work and spent most of the day doing things around the house and trying to play catch up on some last minute homework/studying I'd put off. I got a call that afternoon from the Animal Medical Clinic where I had interviewed a few weeks prior offering me a position! I'm SO excited about this new job. If anyone knows anything about me it's probably that I absolutely adore animals. Most days I'd rather spend hanging out with my dog than anyone else.

Call it pathetic but I was devastated when I found out Riley didn't exactly share my passion for dogs. Of course this information came after I had already fallen for him...so it didn't sway my opinion of him. But it was a hard thing to realize I would probably never be able to own 100 billion dogs and/or move to Kanab to work at the Best Friends Animal Santuary. For the past year and a half I've consistently bothered him about getting another pet. Dog/cat/bunny/anything furry, it didn't matter. I'd become really discouraged because all I ever got from him was a firm, "No". He can't help that he's allergic I guess...even though I'm still pretty sure he fakes it....

So this position really is a blessing in disguise for me. I pretty much get to play with dogs all day, how awesome is that?! The weather was nice enough today that we even brought out a plastic pool for all the doggies to play in. You would have thought it was just the greatest thing in the whole entire world.

Last night I took my very last final for the semester and it feels just wonderful to be done. To celebrate I went and saw "Born To Be Wild" at the IMAX with Sarah and Riley. We may or may not have ended up at In-N-Out for milkshakes and fries after as well. The movie was SO cute and I'm now trying to convince Riley into getting me a baby Orangutan. I'll letcha know how that goes...

Aannnddd that's pretty much it for now! My camera is at Best Buy getting the optical zoom fixed (AGAIN) ((well, they didn't actually "fix" it the first time, so yeah)). But hopefully I'll get it back soon and I'll take some fun pictures.