A little warning for the softies like me out there, grab some Kleenex because I might make you cry a little!
For those of you who follow me on Facebook and Instagram, you may have noticed things were a bit quiet around the beginning of April. We weren’t posting much, weren’t sharing pictures, and ended up delaying our relaunch by almost three weeks! And this is why:
On April 7, 2013 I lost my first love, my dog Browny. Browny was…so different from any other dog I have ever met. She was independent, self-sufficient, protective, sassy, so fierce and so gentle at the same time. I could go on and on. Although she was a super big baby, weighing in at 85lbs, everyone that met her (that wasn’t afraid of dogs) LOVED her instantly. Browny was always more of an outside dog. She loved to be outside, soaking up the Texas sun. She loved to bark at EVERYTHING from people walking by to airplanes in the sky and even the bugs in the yard; she was our little security alarm.
Early in March, my dad asked me to start planning a little family trip to San Antonio for Spring Break. Everything was ready to go, however a few days before we were scheduled to leave, we noticed that Browny had stopped eating. As she was never much of an eater, we weren’t too concerned. A couple of days passed and we began to get worried. We decided to postpone the trip to stay home and make sure Browny was okay. After a couple visits to the vet, we found that she may have a cyst in her intestines, which was causing the disinterest in food, as well as some irregular liver levels, most likely brought on by the stress of the cyst. As far as illnesses go, this wasn’t so bad, right? WRONG. A week went by with little improvement. The Dr. prescribed some heavy medications which were causing her to vomit everyday and she was still not wanting to eat. Feeling desperate, we made the decision to take her to a vet who was located 30 minutes away. This vet had treated Browny before and from our previous encounters with him, we knew he was VERY experienced and very very dedicated to his animals (if you live in the DFW area, I highly recommend taking your pets to him. His name is Dr. Tierce and I can guarantee you that you will NEVER meet a more dedicated Vet. Ever.). Upon examining her, he immediately observed that her abdomen was full of fluid. He recommended we leave her there overnight for bloodwork/x-ray/and ultrasound. Thinking we would be picking her up the next morning, we left without a second thought. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine the next time Browny was coming home would be in a box :’(.
We dropped Browny off to the vet on a Thursday, thinking we’d be picking her up Friday. Well, Friday turned into Saturday, which turned into Monday, and so on. The test results came back, and it was the worst news ever imaginable. It turns out that Browny had a number of tumors covering her entire liver, and those tumors were most likely cancerous. Her condition was untreatable. The plan moving forward was to keep her at the vet and figure out the best combination of medications that would keep her comfortable at home until the time came. That Monday, my sister and I went to go visit her. The Browny that came to greet us was a completely different dog. She didn’t wag her tail, didn’t express any type of happiness to see us; she had no emotions. It was at this moment that things began to feel real. No matter how many days she had left, she would not be the same dog that brightened my days. Over the next few days, she did not seem to be getting better. When they fixed one issue, another one popped up. We were told that we would not be able to take her home until she was eating on her own again and able to keep her food down. Over that week, we went down to visit with her several times. The last time we were able to visit was on a Saturday. That day was different. She seemed happy to see us, the life was coming back into her eyes and it just felt as if she was genuinely getting better. The following morning, my dad woke me up and delivered the heartbreaking news; Browny was no more.
This entire experience has changed me, forever, in so many ways. It has left me with so many questions, most of which I’ll probably never find the answers to.
The first question, is a series of what-ifs. What if we took her to the better vet in the first place? What if we didn’t leave her at the vet? What if we had taken her to the vet more regularly for check-ups? What if we fed her higher quality foods? The list goes on and on.
The next question- Where is she now? This is the one I have been struggling with the most. Growing up, I’ve never been much of a religious person. I was always conflicted about the existence of God, the afterlife, and all those other things that go along with following a religion. I always felt that when you die, you’re just…dead. You cease to exist. The end. But thinking that way about Browny…I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t accept the fact that she is just plain gone. I wanted to feel and know that she’s somewhere in some form, happy and healthy. There were two things that helped me immensely, and I hope they can help those of you who are dealing with a similar situation. The first was a poem, that I’m sure many of you have read before.
|Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.|
|All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.|
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....
Although this was just a poem, it was very comforting imagining Browny at the Rainbow Bridge, happy and healthy, waiting for the day that we’ll be together again. Thinking about the Rainbow Bridge reminded me of some things I vaguely remembered hearing about in the past; Near Death Experiences. NDEs are basically experiences that some people who are ‘clinically dead’ but come back to life have. Many people report experiences of going through a tunnel, seeing a bright light, being greeted by deceased loved ones, etc. While reading a lot of these NDE stories, I came across one that really stood out. I went to the bookstore the next day and picked up the book about this particular NDE. The author, a worldclass neurosurgeon reported about what he experienced when he was in a coma with no higher brain function. Although I haven’t finished the book yet, it was VERY eye opening. Usually, I am a skeptic about these types of things. But in this instance, I am going to choose to believe that his experience was real, that there really is life after death, and that I will see my babygirl Browny again some day.
You may be wondering why I’m posting my story and what my purpose is. Well, my main purpose is awareness. Did you know that over 50% of dogs over the age of 10 develop some type of Cancer. Compared to humans, that is a very high rate. A lot of it has to do with genetics, but a lot of it also has to do with lifestyle. One of the changes I have implemented to give my other two dogs a life that is as long and healthy as possible, is making them home made dog food. Although it is costly and time consuming, I truly believe that diet can make a huge difference in the overall health of our pets. Here are a few links to some dog food recipes. Make sure to familiarize yourself with foods that dogs should not consume, and if possible, go over your plans to switch to home made food with your vet to discuss the specific nutritional needs of your pet.
Something else you can do to increase the longevity of your pet is just do some research. Find out the specific health issues that your dog’s breed is prone to, and then take them to the vet at least twice a year for screenings to check for those problems.
While we were in our beginning stages of mourning, my mom suggested that I create a polish as a tribute to our Browny. For the first week after her passing, the feelings were just too raw for me to really do much of anything, let alone create a polish. I did eventually get around to it and was very pleased with the results. I then had a thought- what if I made this polish available for purchase and donate the proceeds to charity? And that is exactly what I am going to do.
I have created two polishes, one for Browny and one for everyone who has a pet waiting for them on the Rainbow Bridge. The charity I have chosen is the National Canine Cancer Foundation. It is my goal to raise at least $500 for this charity, and I need your help to reach this goal!
Browny Bear is a glitter topcoat with multisized brown and white glitters to symbolize browny’s beautiful coat. There are also some gold accents to represent the mischievious gold glint in her eyes. I chose to add some pink microglitter and pink hearts to remind everyone that she was a girl. Being such a large dog, people always mistook her for a boy.
Rainbow Bridge is a very dense multi-sized rainbow glitter topcoat with a generous sprinking of silver and gold holographic stars. This polish is dedicated to everyone who has a beloved pet waiting for them on the Rainbow Bridge.
Because the purpose of this duo is charity and not any type of profit or personal gain, it will only be available in fullsized bottles, and there will be no discount for purchasing both together. I also request that you do not use your rewards points for a discount toward these polishes, as it will reduce the amount of money going toward the donation.
The polishes are now available at www.GlitterDazeNP.com
I hope that my post has shed some light and brought some awareness about canine cancer. I hope that this information has helped someone who is struggling with the death or illness of their pet.
Lets raise a lot of money for canine cancer research! I encourage everyone to share this post or a link to the charity polishes so we can build awareness and make a difference!
Thank you guys for taking the time to read this long post! <3
Thank you guys for taking the time to read this long post! <3