i can handle my loved ones dying, i can't handle not knowing if i caused it.
my dogs are my responsibility.

simon died last month. i thought it would have been my fault, i am his caretaker.  it was acute pancreatitis - a slow onset - i didn't think to take him to the vet when i heard him drinking excessively, i noticed he had trouble pushing himself through the doggie-door and that was probably because of abdominal pain. days went by, i took him to the vet because i thought something was wrong and the vet felt him and gave me pills for an intestinal infection. two days later, he was worse - so the vet gave him iv and twelve hours later i took him to an emergency vet because he was not really moving.

it was there i learned of his "acute pancreatitis," and he was there for around 7 hours when he went through his second cardiac arrest and i let him go. it has been about five weeks and i guess i have run out of reasons to blame myself. so i guess i am really letting him go.

for weeks, i have been telling myself that it was the air freshener i sprayed around simon and his brothers. it says "not tested for animals" on it, but it is 100% natural and non-toxic and all that. though there were no toxins found when he went to the emergency vet, i thought a light amount of toxins could damage his pancreas over time. i still am not sure about that, i guess i'll still research online for the answer, but it's been five weeks and he's not coming back (i looked at my outside cam when i heard scratching sounds on the outside of the doggie-door). i guess i will live with alvin and theodore and a hole in my soul.

i was relieved to learn that the air freshener was 100% natural and didn't have chemicals or toxins. i thought about the first vet only seeing an intestinal infection on wednesday, i thought about the previous week's excessive drinking and the inability to push through the doggie-door, and i guess i realized that it wasn't sudden. reading how dogs react within hours to breath mints, i guess i knew it couldn't have been bad food or even the 100% natural air freshener having been sprayed near the dogs' food.

alvin has a bad kidney, i learned after simon died. theodore does not, and i am worried that - since simon ate basically anything and alvin was almost as piggish - maybe it was the spray having gotten on their food. simon was basically the only one who ate the food that was near their couch, i am not sure if alvin sometimes did. but theodore didn't. i give them meat rolls, the other food is just there in case they get hungry.

i think i have exhausted my sense of guilt. the vets said it wasn't anyone's fault, but i held on to the thought that my negligence is what weakened his pancreas. through spraying the air freshener, i know i sprayed "hot shot" bug spray when i saw a "stink bug" every couple of days. but having read the breath mints caused a reaction in a few hours, i guess i am a little more comfortable that his death was not my fault.

i wrote three or four song parodies to deal with it, sometimes the song titles just speak to me as something i can relate my life to. i did "always something there to remind me," about his brothers being here - i did "there's a hole in my life" about the missing brother - i did "sweet release" about letting go of the guilt i felt - i did "total eclipse of the heart" because that's what simon's death was - i did "you're my home" about the three brothers. alvin, simon, theodore.

i can't cry anymore. shoot, maybe i'll do a parody of that song. he was so young, 7 1/2. i question whether i will cry when his brothers die - they were always 3...and with simon gone, well, the gang is gone.

check out my site, www.jaggedlittledyl.com , unless you're there now