Showing posts matching the search for birchbark

Birchbark Foundation

  Our beloved cat, Murjan, died three months ago tomorrow.  We still miss him! The emergency room vet who received him in his last few minutes of life kindly made a contribution to the  Birchbark Foundation  in his name. That was comforting -- as is the grief counseling that the BBF conducts.  Click on the link to learn more about the BBF and its great work.

When Pets Are Dying: Help in Understanding the Process and the Decisions

  When my beloved Murjan was dying from cancer , I was desperate for information, but my husband was dying from cancer at the same time, which gave me very little time for seeking out answers. Murjan was almost 19 years old and had been on chemotherapy for three years. His vet did not know how to help him further, but she apparently did not want to admit that -- and subconsciously I did not want to admit that she did not know what to do and had essentially given up on him. I was unable to get timely appointments, or any appointments at all, even in the emergency room. We do not have any vets in town. I have to travel no matter what. Murjan's vet was located an hour north of us. To get help, I contacted other vets. A vet to the west of us recommended hydration, and so we stated hydrating Murjan every other day. His vet to the north allowed as to how that might help. But Murjan kept losing weight. He was down to 5 pounds (from 16 pounds) when he died.  Finally, a vet to the south of

Cancer Diary: Pets and Cancer II (They Are Not Immune to the Ravages of the Disease or the Need for Support)

The cats in the window, Intrepid (tabby-mau mix) and Murjan (red & white Turkish van), were the best of friends. Murjan "raised" Intrepid after he was found as a small kitten crying in the grass after his mother died. Both were born in Jordan and were brought to the USA when we moved back home to California. Both were diagnosed at the same time with lymphoma though the vet said that it was pure coincidence. Intrepid was the younger by four years, but he had the worst case: his kidneys and liver were already damaged when we found out he was sick. Both began chemotherapy in summer of 2018.  Intrepid In October 2018, Intrepid , named for his daredevil approach to life, died. He was only 11 years old. As the days went by and the chemo did little more than make him loopy--actually, it was difficult to know whether the progressing disease was causing him to walk drunkenly or the chemotherapy side effect or both--he ended up on IV at home at times and IV in the pet hospital at t

When Pets Are Dying (and Have Died), Owners Need Support, Too

  I have written a bit about the process of pets dying before, along with the ways in which vets can be (or not) helpful. In that post, I shared a book by Barbara Karnes on understanding the pet-dying process, which I had found very helpful and which would have provided me with a fair amount of relief and guidance had I known about while Murjan was still alive. It explained much about his dying process and death that was comforting in retrospect. You can read that post HERE . In this post, I want to share the emotional aspects not only of the dying itself but also of the role of the support community (which should be supportive but in our case was not so, at least not to the extent that we needed and that could have been). As a result, my experience with Murjan's dying days were traumatic--more traumatic than they should have been because of lack of support from the veterinary hospital that should have been my source of support.  As I explained in the earlier post, Murjan had been