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 Post subject: Pet Stories
PostPosted: April 19th, 2004, 6:20 pm 
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Excerpted from http://www.booklocker.com/books/1541.html.

Leaving Baysha
by Angela Hoy

After a violent divorce from my first husband, I met and married a wonderful man and we relocated to the Northeast. Sadly, we couldn’t find any apartment complex or rental home that would allow dogs. Cats were fine, but nobody wanted dogs. So, we had to leave our dog, Baysha, with my mother in Texas. I was quite distraught about leaving her on the day we drove away in the moving truck with everything we owned and loved—except our beloved Baysha, who we had saved from the pound as a puppy eight years earlier. She was like another child to me, and I have still not gotten over the guilt of abandoning her like that.

Sure, she was well taken care of, spoiled, in fact, by my mother and the rest of my family. But I know she missed the children and us with an intensity that I will probably never understand. To this day, I still feel tremendous guilt over leaving her behind, and I’m crying again over my guilt and deep sadness as I write this.

I had a speaking engagement in Texas a few months after our move, so I was able to visit Baysha and my family. Baysha was so happy to see me! She jumped and barked and crawled in my lap and didn’t leave my side the entire time I was there. I think she thought I would be taking her home with me, back to the three children she’d loved and protected for almost their entire lives. But I couldn’t take her with me, and again, my heart was being ripped out, knowing I had to leave her there, once again. On the last day of my visit, Baysha knew I was leaving alone, that she had to stay behind. She whined and cried all day long. And once again, I did the wrong thing. I left her there, knowing my mother would care for her, but not knowing the extent of Baysha’s emotional pain nor the extent of the pain I would experience from my guilt for the next several years.

By the time we purchased a home, Baysha was too old and ill to make a trip by plane to our new home. She had lost her sight and developed a horrible skin condition that left her scratching continuously

One morning, our son, Zach, came in our bedroom looking very distraught. He said he’d dreamed that Baysha died. The dream was so realistic to him and he was so upset that we called my mom to check on Baysha. Mom said, “Well, honey, she is dead.”

My mother and step-dad had finally decided that Baysha was suffering too much from her skin condition to be forced to endure even one more day of physical torture. So they held her tight while the vet put Baysha to sleep. Mom had been trying to find a way to tell us that our beloved Baysha was dead, but she had not yet been able to do it.

Oh, God, how we cried and grieved. I cried because I missed her and, again, from the guilt of abandoning her. To this day, I know that abandoning a member of our family, someone who was like a child to me, was and will probably always be the biggest mistake I ever make in my life. I should have smuggled her into the new apartment and just risked getting caught. Such a fool I was at that time; so intent on following the rules and doing the “right thing.” But sometimes the “right thing” is dead wrong when it involves someone you love.

One day, earlier this year, while attending a dinner party, our youngest son, Max (age 18 months at the time), choked on a tortilla chip. While he was trying to breath and I was trying to clear his airway, he started vomiting blood. Richard and I ran out the door, leaving the other children at the party, and raced to the emergency room, almost having an accident on the way. It was 20 degrees outside and we hadn’t even grabbed our jackets. The hospital was only five minutes away, and we knew it would be faster to get him to the hospital ourselves than to wait for an ambulance.

Thankfully, Max was fine. By the time we got to the hospital, he was breathing normally again. His airway was clear and they determined the tortilla chip had cut his tonsil, which is what caused all the blood. We returned to the dinner party, shaken, but relieved.

Later, as we were getting in our van to leave, I looked down and was absolutely stunned speechless when I saw Baysha standing next to me, looking up at the van door, waiting for her turn to hop in, just like she’d always done in Texas. I pointed and moved my mouth open and closed a few times before the words finally came out. I said, “Baysha is here! Baysha! It’s Baysha!” By the time I finished, she was no longer visible and I, nor Richard or the children, could see her anymore. But, I knew she was there. I even said, “Come on, Baysha! Up!” when I crawled in the van, so she would know I had seen her.

Nobody questioned me, and the children seemed thrilled that Baysha had dropped by for a visit. I can’t adequately describe the comfort her visit brought to me. First, I knew Baysha had shown herself to me to let me know she’d been there with us on a night when I thought my baby was going to choke to death. Second, she’s not mad at me for abandoning her for the last year of her life (though I still live with the guilt).

Baysha showed up another time, shortly thereafter, in our upstairs hallway, and confirmed my suspicions that she is, indeed, dropping in for visits, still loving us, and still protecting us.


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PostPosted: April 19th, 2004, 7:17 pm 
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Angela,

I'm on my third tissue as I write this. I do understand why you feel the way you do about leaving Baysha behind, but I have one question for you.

When you would call your parents during the time Baysha was with them, before she became so ill, did they ever say that she was pining away, refusing to eat, not playing with her toys, not responding to their petting and attention? I'm guessing your answer will be "no."

I'm sure she missed you and the rest of your family, but nobody knows how to spoil a child (a furry one as well as the unfurry kind) like grandparents. Chances are, Baysha really enjoyed their more sedentary lifestyle at that stage of her life.

And make no mistake about it, animals -- especially dogs -- know how to send you on a guilt trip. Even going away for two days on business can elicit the soulful looks, the sighs, the drooping tail...all that's missing is the violin!

I would bet that Baysha didn't suffer as much emotional pain as you think she did. Have you ever thought about contacting an animal communicator? I don't have any personal experience with one, but I've read two books by Sonya Fitzpatrick, the Pet Psychic on Animal Planet, and I wouldn't hesitate recommending that you look into contacting her.

I'm glad Baysha came to you directly, though. And I'm sure she'll be on your welcoming committee when it's your turn to cross over!

Major hugs,
Nancy

_________________
Please spay or neuter your companion animals.
And when it's time to add to your four-legged family, adopt from your local shelter or rescue group.


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 Post subject: Pet Stories
PostPosted: April 19th, 2004, 7:30 pm 
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Posts: 108
I too underestimated the connection pets make to us. And having realized it, it changed how and why I take an animal "in."

In my 20's, I had a Weimeraner "Zoe." I had her for 3 or 4 years when I gave birth to my first daughter. She was good to the baby but very jealous pooping every night in front of the crib! It just got to be too much. I placed an ad and a man whose wife just died wanted companionship. I drove her, 20 some miles down a busy main road to his house. It was very hard to leave her. I stopped by and checked on her the first year and then disconnected.

I eventually divorced. My ex kept the house and I moved an hour and half north. About six years after our divorce, my ex called to say that "Zoe had come home." She broke off her lead and after 7 years, found her way 20 miles up a busy road she had only been down once. He said she was very sick and came home to die. Which she did, in our house. That story riddled me with so much guilt that I thought, there is no casual relationship with animals. I think they connect even more deeply than we do. We have other relationships that distract us and divide our affections. They dont have as many as we do. And perhaps, they are more loyal than we know how to be!! Sandy


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PostPosted: April 19th, 2004, 9:00 pm 
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Sandy,

I absolutely agree with you that there is no such thing as a "casual relationship" with an animal. I also agree that they are more loyal than we know how to be.

But I've also come to realize the depth of their understanding of us and our motivations.

(By the way, just to let you know where I stand on the loyalty-to-animals-scale, I have a kitty who has to have heart medication twice a day. She's been on this regimen for the past eight years, and she won't allow a stranger to medicate her. So I have not been away from home overnight for the past eight years. I don't consider it a sacrifice.)

The story I wanted to tell, though, is about my niece and the dog she had when she met the man who is now her husband. He was very jealous of her attention to her dog, and gave her an "it's the dog or me" ultimatum. She chose him. (I would have chosen the dog!) The dog went to live with her parents, where he has been having the time of his life for the past ten years! When she and her husband come to visit, the dog is polite, but gives my niece no special attention. That little dog knows what's what! And he definitely got the better end of that deal!

Hugs,
Nancy

_________________
Please spay or neuter your companion animals.
And when it's time to add to your four-legged family, adopt from your local shelter or rescue group.


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PostPosted: April 20th, 2004, 9:46 am 
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Hiya Everybody,

Sandy,
It's incredible that you mentioned Sonya Fitzpatrick, the Pet Psychic, because (are you sitting down?), when Baysha lived at my mom's, she lived RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET from Sonya Fitzpatrick, in The Woodlands, Texas. Yes, Sonya was my mom's neighbor. She still lives there, as far as I know, but my mom sold her house last year and bought a ranch nearby.

Mom felt bad imposing on Sonya for help with the pets, even though Sonya never charged her anything, of course. Sonya knew when one of mom's cats would come home after it ran away. She knew that one of my mom's employees gave the cat "sweet milk" (she would eat a bowl of cereal and leave the milk for the cat each morning). There were a few other things, but that was so long ago I'd have to ask my mom for details.

She was visiting my mom's house one day and said one cat was mad because the other cat had received a new red collar. At that moment, the "mad" cat bit Sonya! My mom thought that was hilarious. Maybe she interpreted the message slightly wrong and the cat was trying to tell her something else? Anyway, the irony of the situation (cat biting the pet psychic) still tickles my mom to this day.

She was a really nice lady, but mom is a really, REALLY firm skeptic (you can imagine the lovely comments I've had to deal with while writing my book) and while she can't explain the messages Sonya gave, she's still not sure she fully believes any of it.

I"m sure you're right about Baysha not being sad and you're right about dogs being good at giving us guilt trips (our current dog, Percy, is the king of that!), and I'm hoping as time goes on to be able to shed my guilt over abandoning Baysha. I've tried reasoning with myself on this issue, but I still feel horrible. And, yes, my mom and siblings and step-dad spoiled her rotten. :)

Sandra,

I love the Zoe story! I'm so happy she was able to find her way home to die where she wanted. :)


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PostPosted: April 20th, 2004, 12:02 pm 
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Angela,

Wow! Your mom was Sonya's neighbor? I am so envious! I would LOVE to meet that lady.

As far as psychometry goes, I'm interested in it, but I don't think I have any talent for it. If I did, I'd get images/symbols whenever I picked up something that belonged to someone else, wouldn't I? My husband and I are huge used book sale fans. We attend several very large ones in our area each year. In all those times of handling books that belonged to other people, I've never once received any images or symbols. :-(

Hugs,
Nancy

_________________
Please spay or neuter your companion animals.
And when it's time to add to your four-legged family, adopt from your local shelter or rescue group.


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 Post subject: OOPS!
PostPosted: April 20th, 2004, 12:07 pm 
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I combined my responses to two of your posts into one, above.

The psychometry issue belongs in the TV Psychics thread!

Sorry about that.

-- Nancy

_________________
Please spay or neuter your companion animals.
And when it's time to add to your four-legged family, adopt from your local shelter or rescue group.


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 Post subject: Pet Stories
PostPosted: April 24th, 2004, 11:23 pm 
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Angela,

Thank you for this area. While it hurts to write and think about my old pets that have crossed over, I guess we all need to or else no one would write.

Those of you that don't know me will when they read Angela's new book, as I was able to contribute. What I didn't tell my Huggy little friend was that I have dozens of stories when it comes to pets. A few leave me guilty until I think back to the life they might have had if I hadn't given them an open door to live with me and my wife.

In my back yard are so many of my little friends that there is scarcely any room to put more. Several of our cats have lived in excess of 20 years. ALL have been rescues! We find each other in many strange ways that would take an encyclopedia set to relate. The love is mutual and never selfish from either side. At last count there are 14 cats and 3 dogs graves there. Two dogs and three cats are elsewhere,

On nights when the moon has it's glow just right, I will go sit out amongst those lonely little graves on a bench and cry. I want them all back with me. Sometimes I can get an answer. A faint meow barely heard, a brush by my shin as if a passing rub, or a pressure on my dangling hand as it a head that isn't there just asked to be rubbed. I always feel better later, but I haven't shared this before. I guess my "macho image" might be harmed if it got out that a six foot 230 lb. man was crying over some dead pets, but you'll keep my secret won't you?

Many Hugs to You All

Steve


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PostPosted: April 25th, 2004, 4:38 am 
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Steve,

Bless your heart, I understand exactly how you feel. I, too, miss all my animals who have crossed over so very much.

Two things that have given me much comfort, though, are the fact that I know they'll be waiting to greet me when it's my time to join them...and what Sonya Fitzpatrick had to say about the subject of animals passing in her books. She says that they don't feel the same sadness about crossing over that we do. They recognize when it is their time and welcome the opportunity to discard their worn-out bodies.

If you haven't already read it, I think you would really enjoy Sonya's book titled Cat Talk: Secrets of Communicating With Your Cat.

My husband and I love both dogs and cats, but we've shared our home with only cats for many years -- all rescues, just like yours -- and two of them are now 19 years old.

Hugs,
Nancy

_________________
Please spay or neuter your companion animals.
And when it's time to add to your four-legged family, adopt from your local shelter or rescue group.


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PostPosted: April 25th, 2004, 3:50 pm 
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Nancy,

Thanks for the response. Too many times I have answered a letter or made a comment on a forum and felt I had halitosis on my keyboard... no one would respond or else it was something that showed their level of understanding was not too developed.

Thanks for the book mention, I'll look it up. I'm like a person I heard long ago (Can't remember who) said "If my animals can't go too, why would I want to?"

I have a bit of experience with parapsychology, but am still holding some reservations. Frankly the idea of a Heaven where you sit on a cloud and play harps all day is boring. Having wings might be fun, but so is hang gliding... for awhile. No if my cats and dogs can't be with me, it will be Hell.

Hugs (How did I get in this habit?)

Steve


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 Post subject: Pets
PostPosted: April 25th, 2004, 6:38 pm 
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Funny, I never dream about my animals. But last night I dreamt about my 20 pd cat Gabriel--showing up beat up and hurt. It was a painful dream.

Our yard too was a memory walk. It was hard to move away as all my children's pets were buried there. They didnt think it was right we should leave 4 hamsters, Gwendolyn the guinea pig, Hal and Remington the cats, and Chance the akita behind. It's were my children learned the most about church...we sang Amazing Grace to hamsters, my 5 yr old ( then) preached sermons grave side and blessed them as we tossed dirt and then had cookies and soda afterwards. She got pretty good at the sermons after 4 or 5 of them! Visiting their graves definately drew them more often then some of our human relatives! Sandy


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PostPosted: April 25th, 2004, 7:53 pm 
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Sandy,

I had a person tell me when I was a bit sad about the passing of a cat friend I had raised from a kitten to 23 years of age, that "Thank God it was only a cat and not a kid or anything important."

I am a fairly patient and kindly person so I walked away. He obviously did not realize that cat meant MORE to me than most kids. A child past a certain point has the skills and abilities to survive and prosper. That cat started out dependent on me and stayed that way. Animals cannot cope well in our world so it is our responsibility to care for them. Besides that cat loved me the very best he could and I am not so sure about my kids many times. My kids won't have to wind up in the back yard with an old man to mourn their passing.

My animals are all rescues of one kind or another, but they start out as rejects. I've been there and have pledged myself to make their lives better if I can. We (my wife and I) have a little friend that has had a stroke and lost most of his hearing, the sight in one eye and half his face is paralyzed. His sense of balance is bad, but he still makes it up on the bed with us to sleep between us every night. We know he is dying and so does he.

Buzzy came to us as a tiny, walnut sized head kitten, all powdered and pampered. Someone left him at our door as he was too small to have walked from even next door. Somehow the powdering made him a tough guy who would pick fights, so most of his life he lived in our bedroom and he seemed happy there. He had a friend for a while, but OJ died young mysteriously. I talk to OJ when I am out in the yard occasionaly, but I don't know if he answers. Someone does I am sure, but besides my old Yappy cat, I am not sure who else would.

Someday we'll all spend a lot of time together I hope. All my little friends. I hope we can be together again because I do miss them so much.

Hugs

Steve


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 Post subject: pets
PostPosted: April 25th, 2004, 8:36 pm 
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All my animals have been rescues. I have two 140 pd each akitas. The female has been the hospital's pet therapy dog for the past five years but she is too old to get in the car now. So she retired after her Cmas visit. We tried to take her for a hike today and had to wait 10 mins for her to finally catch up. It's too heart breaking to even think of the inevitable regarding this. But what a blessing she has been to this community--I was just lucky enough to be her benefactor. People approach me in the grocery and say "I dont know your name but aren't you Molly's mom? She sat with me in ICU when I was sick." Or children who recognize her from the ER and run up to her when she is in town parades. She is a town icon--with loving reasons. Sandy


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 Post subject: to everyone reading
PostPosted: April 26th, 2004, 12:06 am 
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Hi,

I went out in the yard tonight while my wife was still at work. I sat by the pool and started remembering all the little friends there. At first I was sad and near to tears. Then I sort of accepted what was happening. I felt presences of little forms it seemed. I seemed to know one in particular. I sat very still as my old mentor Dr. Neihardt said that rapport was the most important and fragile part.

After awhile I felt as if the presences were all around me watching expectantly. Then I felt something in my lap. It honestly felt like a cat settling in. I reached my hand to touch whatever it was and just for an instant I thought I heard a purr. I could find nothing I could touch. I had on shorts (it's Az) and felt several brushes against my legs. I cut the tallest grass yesterday so it was something else.

Do I think it was my little friends? Maybe. I feel less sad now and I can't wait until tomorrow night to try again. Now I have my first headache in several years and I need to rest. I'll report any other things as they happen. Am I the only one who has these experiences?

Steve


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PostPosted: April 27th, 2004, 11:03 pm 
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Sandy,

Bless you for taking time out of your busy days to help Molly make her hospital rounds! That is so cool!! Gosh, and I didn't even know hospitals allowed pets inside! Would love to arrange something like that here for our hospital. It's only a 5-minute walk from our house (which is a GOOD thing when you have four children!).

Steve,

Ali (my daughter, age 13) and I frequently have that feeling of a cat rubbing against our bare legs! We always reach down to pet and find nothing there. The guys in the family thought we were nuts until last month when Zach, my skeptical and scientific 17-year-old felt the cat rubbing against his leg by his desk one night. He flipped! Ali and I laughed and laughed. I only wish I knew which cat it was!!

I'll tell a kitty story before I turn in tonight.

Our cat in Texas had kittens one year and we let each of the children pick one as their own (yes, we were nuts). Frank chose his and named her Iggly. He loved that cat so much! A few months later, we got a dog for Ali and Frank and named him Willie. Willie was a HUGE DOG and he KNEW I was terrified of him. (He wasn't huge when we got him, but I swear he grew several inches a day). ;)

Anyway, once Willie realized how much fun it was to chase cats, he started terrorizing the other pets. Iggly was a very petite young lady and would have none of that. One days, she disappeared. We assumed the worst.

However, several months later, I saw Iggly in the backyard! I was stunned!! I ran outside and grabbed her, kissing and hugging her and welcoming her home. I brought her in and gave her food...but she didn't want it. In fact, I noticed she was quite well off, chubby in fact, and looking healthy and happy. Frank was overjoyed and I vowed to keep Iggly inside to keep her from getting "lost" again.

Have you ever tried to keep anything inside when there are three children running in and out all hours of the day? You guessed it, Iggly got out within only a few hours. We never saw her again.

I explained to Frank that it was obvious that Iggly had found a new home and that she was quite happy. The new home obviously didn't have a humongous orange dog to terrorize her. Frank was okay with that...as he loved Willie, the dog, more than life itself.

It was very nice to have that type of closure and I'm so glad Iggly came back for one final goodbye.

Okay, off to bed for me. :)

Hugs,
Ang


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