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Good Times, Bad Times

Bat Dog 2.0 (and some no good very bad news)

So this is Beau.

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He is a three-year-old super-mutt, technically declared a mix of Miniature Schnauzer and Yorkshire Terrier, but definitely has some wire-haired Dachshund in him as well. Possibly some Jack Russell or other assorted terrier breeds. Also, Ewok.

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We don't know that much about his background. He was surrendered to a rural-ish shelter by an owner who could no longer care for him, but volunteered that he came from a home with multiple kids, cats and dogs and got along well with all of them. No evidence of abuse, but he was underweight, lacking vet records, and was shaky on both house and leash training. 

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A local rescue group took him in a few weeks ago and he's absolutely flourished in foster care. Healthy, well-socialized, and cute as all hell. He knows a pretty good number of commands (sit, stay, come, drop it, get down, no, etc.) so he had some training, once upon a time. The rescue's best guess is that he had owners with the best of intentions who simply got overwhelmed with too many animals. (Beau wasn't their only surrender.) 

Beau is his original name...his foster mom tried calling him something different but he wouldn't respond to it. So while Ike REALLY wanted to call our new dog Chewy Fluffy Bony (?), we've decided to stick with Beau. It's what Jason and I have been calling him ever since we fell in love with his picture two weeks ago, so it works. I believe his full name shall be Beau Montgomery Chewbacca Storch. Bobo for short. 

We brought him home with caution, space, and TON of good guidance from his foster mom. He's still on-leash full time (in house and in the yard) so he can be quickly brought under control if needed, but other than marking an empty Banana Republic shopping bag as MAH TERRITORAYYYY, he's been a very, very good dog. 

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The boys love him. 

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He thinks they're pretty neat too. Especially the small shaggy one who drops lots of food.

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He LOVES to play, play, play, play and jump, jump, jump, jump (so many of my pictures literally are just blurry brownish areas with points)...and then the second he's tired out he finds the nearest lap to collapse on for snuggling and kisses. 

So far he is a quiet, affectionate, and well-behaved little gentleman who seems awfully happy to be here. 

Max took one look at him like, meh, whatever. Beau tried a couple times to go in for some cuddles but Max completely ignored him. Which was really his M.O. with Ceiba up until their last years together.

And on that note (and oh my God, OH MY GOD I can't believe I have to type this motherFUCKING dammit), I hate having to piggy-back such bad news on what was supposed to be the fun puppy-pic post, but alas. This is also happening.

As I very much feared, Max did not take Ceiba's passing and our subsequent trip well. Our pet sitter reported nothing amiss for the first couple days, other than the constipation seemed to be back as there wasn't much poop to scoop, and when we got back we were greeted with his typical MEOW MEOW I AM SO MAD AT YOU MEOW OKAY I'M OVER IT LET'S CUDDLE behavior. But I noticed there were more cans of unused cat food than we were expecting, and then discovered he'd been using our closet as a full-time litter box for a least two or three days. (THAT'S FUN.)

We couldn't entice him to eat much on Wednesday. He ignored his nightly catnip treat. He got up to be sick in the middle of the night and I noticed his back legs were wobbling. Then Thursday he wouldn't eat at all, or leave our bed. (This was all pre-Beau, BTW.) 

Last night, we crated Beau outside our room (he did great!!) and spent about an hour solely focused on Max. We gave him a fluid injection and tried to force some medicine in. Jason wanted to rush him to the vet for...even he didn't know. And eventually we came to the terrible, heartbreaking realization that it wasn't just time. It was past time. We'd been so preoccupied with Ceiba's final days (and admittedly unwilling to even consider the possibility that we were also in Max's, soclose sosoon), that the moment had come and gone and we'd missed it. He's 17 and a half damn years old, his kidneys are shot and he's miserable. 

He still won't eat, he's skin and bones, he's weak as a newborn kitten, and today even my holding him seems to be making him uncomfortable. 

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(Last week he was stealing my cheese. Even 36 hours ago he still enjoyed a good beard skritch.)

(#FUCKKIDNEYFAILURE)

I like to think that maybe he and Ceiba were holding on for each other, knowing the other was sick, and now that she's gone he's just finally ready to go. Magical thinking, sure. But my brain can only take so much awful reality in a single month. 

I called the at-home euthanasia practice this morning, like hi. It's me. Again. Yeah.

It's a weird place to be. We are elated by Beau's presence while dreading Max's departure beyond words. I still miss Ceiba terribly. (And also my dad, who we buried five years ago today, WTF IS WITH THIS MONTH.) I kind of just want everything to stop already with the roller-coaster-ing.

I want to cry when I see Max and then I turn around there's Beau's big wide-open excited face, ridiculous tongue, wagging tail and flip-flopped bat ears, looking at me like HI HI HI IT'S YOU IT'S YOU I LIKE YOU LET'S GO DO STUFF TOGETHER and I practically burst out laughing. 

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And wow, do we ever need some laughter around here right now.

Comments

Nancy

Oh no, I am so very sorry. Watching our fur babies go just sucks - there is no other way to put it. For what it is worth - I think your magical thinking is spot on.

Cait

I got nothing but *hugs* so so sorry lady :( and I definitely know that feels

liz

Sending you so much love.

Heather

I'm so so sorry. Just ... Sorry.

Kathryn

OHMYGOD, what an adorable little bug!!! I'm so sorry to hear about Max. You guys are having an awful few weeks, but I'm glad that Beau is there to bring some much-needed joy back into your family.

StatMom

I was so worried there was something wrong with Beau when I read your headline. But aw, Mr Max! We said goodbye to our old man kitty (19 years old!) not too long ago, and now looking back at pictures, we know even more that we made the right decision on him. Didn't make it easy, even though it was right. Peace, Storches.

jodi

Oh Amy, how horrible. I hope Beau brings you so much love.

Sue W.

And this is exactly why I will have another cat when something happens to almost 19 year old Savannah kitty. I CANNOT come home to an empty house. We lost my in-laws one month to the day apart in 2014. Dad on March 24 and mom April 24. They were holding on for each other. We joke that dad got one month of peace without mom. He had his boat, motorcycle, fast car(s) and wild wimmens for 30 days. Then mom showed up and told him to get rid of it all because she was back in charge. Laughter is how we cope in this family. I am so sad for you for losing Max so soon after Ceiba and so close to the anniversary of your dad's death. Maybe it's a mixed blessing that they all fall so close together. Your dad will now have two precious ones to keep him company. I hope you find comfort in that. And Beau!

Rachel

Sorry about Max (now I'm in tears at my desk, which is crazy since I've never met you or Max IRL. Also, it was dumb of me to read this at work after I read the blog title, I mean, come on, there was a spoiler alert! I knew it included bad news!)

Glad Beau is doing well.

I'll be thinking of all of you as you go through the difficult days ahead.

Lori in CT

My heart is breaking for you guys...this is all too much at once. Snuggle that adorable pup as you send off sweet Max. I'm so so sorry. Oh life...wow.

Claire

Oh I'm so sorry. That's just so sad.

Beau is just beautiful though, I'm glad you have a silver lining x

Beth Rich

I'm in tears as I write this. I will probably never meet you in person, but I feel like you all are fambly. I think you're right about Max waiting on Ceiba. Our two cats, sisters, did something similar. Peace Love and Big Hugs for all of you. Especially the girl in the group.

Joanna Moore

Thinking of you all and Max!

ccr in MA

Oh God, I am so sorry. Thank heavens Beau is there to take your mind off it (for whole minutes at a time, perhaps). Still, so so sorry.

LauraL

Oh, Amy! I am SOSOSOSOSOSOSOSOSOSO sorry. This sucks beyond words, but I am really happy that y'all decided to go ahead and get Beau. Sounds like y'all are going to need him.

Shelbey

UGHHHGHGHGH. That sucks. But that puppy sure is cute.

Donna P

No wonder you fell instantly in love with Beau. What a face! So sorry to hear about Max taking a turn for the worse so quickly. That's just awful. I'm so sorry for you all, Storch family. 17 years is a long time...

Sam

We went from 5 cats to 2 in the span of a couple weeks. First one died at home of just, like, old age and stuff. Then we found out that another's mouth problems were a result of having contracted FIV and so we had to have him put down as well as testing the remaining 3 for FIV as well, and, of course, another one also had it. (Both were our only indoor/outdoor cats; the two that were safe were strictly indoors.) The whole experience sucked donkey balls.

::extends awkward shoulder pat::

Stupid animal parenting, making us all sad and shit. At least we're adults and had zero kids to worry about.

Nancy

I'm so sorry about Max and Ceiba, and also so happy about handsome Mr. BoBo - he's just what the doctor ordered, I think. Hopefully you'll share lots more pictures of him and maybe he'll even sit still eventually!

My thoughts are with you all -- this is never an easy thing. You're doing a great job managing this crazy roller coaster!

Becca

These posts have helped several SN mom friends of mine help their kids deal with pet loss. You're amazing and Max and Ceiba are going to love being over that rainbow bridge together. 💜💜💜💜

Erin

Oh gosh, I'm so sorry about Max. I'm with you on the magical thinking, by the way. They spent their whole lives together and it just didn't seem right for one to be here while the other is not. Anyway, I'm truly sorry. I'm also so happy about Beau! He looks like a wonderful doggie and certainly a lucky doggie to have such an amazing forever home. Lots of love to your family.

Audrey

Oh Amy - I'm so so sorry about Max. I cannot even begin to imagine having to let go of 2 beloved pets in such quick succession. I'm so glad that you have Mr. Bobo to help you through this difficult time.

Melospiza

Aw. (((Hugs.))) I'm so sorry (and Beau is the luckiest dog EVER>)

Kim

Poor Max. It's so hard to see them suffer and it's even harder to make the decision to put them down. =(

Stephanie

Aww. Poor Max. That just really sucks. I'm glad you have Beau to give you some laughter through tears. hugs

Brycanthe

Oh, he's delicious!! I can see why you adored him from the start!

I do want to find you and give you a gigantic hug, though (geographically impossible right now, but I really do) I'm so sorry that Max has gone downhill so quickly. Look after yourselves and snuggle Beau as much as you need to.

MaryC

Magical thinking is so so right.... hugs to the whole family...

Meghan MacMillan

Hugs, Amy. I'm so sorry about Max.

My friend Justina is a wonderful artist, and one of her specialties is her "pet-traits", a quirky and delightful way of remembering your fur-babies. Maybe when you're a little less raw you could contact her to do a couple of Ceiba and Max, as a special way of keeping them in your family.

Examples: http://www.justlittleart.com/blog/the-downton-abbey-animals

Sylv

I am so sorry you guys now have to say goodbye to Max as well. I hope Beau will continue to be a source of joy and happiness to you all.

Amanda

I suspect you are so much more right than you know. I had a cat who passed right before we were going to inject him, I swear he was just waiting for me to accept his leaving to go. Animals are so much more connected and in touch with these things than we are. Take some comfort in the fact that Max held on for Ceiba. He knows. It's all good. Much love to you guys.

Dori

What a sad/happy/sad sandwich for you all. I'm so sorry about Max. Thinking of you all.

MissingNoah

I am so sorry. Our cat is 13 and I know the time will come too soon. I can't imagine having to say goodbye twice so soon. Thinking of you.

Carmen

Oh Amy, I'm so sorry about Ceiba and Max. That is so hard to say goodbye to two beloved pets at the same time. I hope Beau will keep making you smile in the middle of the chaos and sadness.

Annie

I'm so sorry about your 2 furry family members. I am 55 and have my first dog for 3 years now. I can't even imagine. Enjoy your new Beau. My guy is a terrier mix with Ewok too !! XO

Kari Weber

I often refrain from commenting, because I am just not sure if you really get around to reading these all... But, I have to say this even if to get it out into the atmosphere. I have never, in my 39 years, come across someone that I related to more when I read than you. Your heartbreak is palpable and real and raw, and resonates somewhere inside my soul in a way I can't explain. From me to you: I am so sorry. Losing a pet is hard enough. Having to make the decision is the most difficult. Watching them suffer is horrible. At the same time: having someone new and young and squishy can help to soften the blow. I pray for peace amongst your brood. I hope that Max's passing is peaceful for him and for you. And I hope that on this anniversary of your dad's burial that you feel a hug from him in some way. Hugs from California.

karolyn

Cats will make you crazy that way, so stoic until the very end and it can make you feel dumb that you missed it.

He knows you love him, he was being tough. I've had it happen as well.

meredith

So sorry for you guys. Two leaving at the same time is tough....but strangely not uncommon. But what a super cute little love bug you saved!

Another Stephanie

Oh, Amy. What a rough run you've had. So very sorry about Max. I think you're right that he and Ceiba were holding on for each other. I'm so sorry that you have to go through it again so soon. But I'm glad that you have a new doggy to help soften that blow. You and your family are (once again) in my thoughts.

Lori

Fuuuuuck. Dammit to hell.

Selfishly, I love seeing pics of Max because he looks like my cat I lost last summer and it always makes me smile. Maybe they'll be twin buddies in the great beyond somewhere. Ugh.

Sylvie

Beau looks wonderful and like the perfect fit for your family.

I am sorry about Max. Even when you know they had a good long life, it's still sucks when it's time to say good bye.

SarahB

So very sorry about Max. :(

Welcome Beau the Batdog!

Melissa

Oh I am so sorry! We have been thru the exact same thing but with 2 dogs. One passed and other other went from 100% fine to seizures and gone in 10 days. They bond to each other so strongly. I am so sorry you have to go thru it again. Thank goodness for that happy little Beau face to shine some sun in on all this gray. He's adorable!

Lisa

Oh Amy, so so very sorry.

Katrina

Beau is adorable, but I'm so sorry about Max :( Sending hugs.

Chi

<3 <3 <3

Lisa

That is so much. All my wishes for getting to the other side.

KImtoo

Hugs and more hugs. Beau is adorns, and Max knows he is loved. I'm so sorry, though.

naedawn

It took me awhile to figure out what to say. Here it is: AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!wtf!!!!

Kirsten

Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry. Yes, you're right, it's time. If he's not eating, it's time and past time. Cats that don't eat... they aren't like people. It doesn't just become okay when you get some food down them. It really messes with them. I had to do a lot of reading about it when we had to put our beautiful boy Reece to sleep because of acute pancreatitis last January. In the end, it was his self-starvation that made it necessary as much or more than the pancreatitis. I don't mean to alarm you and I don't want to sound cold, but if the euthanasia person isn't scheduled to come out tomorrow, maybe see if he can?

Just all the hugs and good thoughts for you and Max. My heart is absolutely breaking for you.

Vi

This happened to us too.
It was time for Meg's yearly physical, but we took Bracken with us because Bracken had woken up iffy and I if anything I knew he needed to see the Vet more. The Vet took one look and told us it was Brackens time to go, but because Meg was an old lady and not in the best of health herself we should consider being kind and letting them both go at the same time as she wouldn't last long with out him. Hard doesn't even come close, soul destroying is probably a closer description.
Big hugs and love from the other side of the pond.

Lauren

Oh man. The hits keep coming! I am so glad that you guys found Beau though, he seems so sweet and spunky. Hugs to you through this crappy spring. I hope Max can find peace. :(

Terry

I can only say to you...nothing.
I am thinking of you though. Thoughts & thinking...

MJ

Sending extra hugs your way. It does seem as though Max cared about Ceiba more than he let on. May you find some peace. Beau sounds like a perfect fit for your family. He's very lucky to have found you.

Ann Uphill

sending more love your way. I'm so sorry.

Melissa

My love to you all. It sucks. My husband and I have come to the conclusion that the first four months of the year are the worst. Too many deaths and sadness. I'm glad Beau is there to ease the pain.

Tracy

I'm sorry.

Melissa

My dad died in April, too. Fuck April.

Chelsea

Good Bye Max. Thank you for the many laughs. So glad you got to leave this life surrounded by those who love you.

Welcome Beau. Be good to these guys, they really are the best.

Kathleen

So sorry. We just lost our cat to kidney failure (which I think I spotted based on some of your earlier posts) and it's crazy how fast it goes from ok to ...not ok at all. I felt like I had to justify to the vet that our cat really was ok yesterday..really.

Hugs to all and lots of fuzzy jumps.

Blanche

I'm so sorry about Max. We lost our dog to old age and our younger cat (who was a Siamese, like Max, but not even 10!) to kidney failure within the course of 2 weeks in February. It's freaking hard. Big hugs from our family to yours.

Beth Ann

So sorry.

Anna

Well, shit, Amy! I'm so sorry. Love you new baby, Beau! I'm really glad he is there to help you through this difficult time. RIP Ceiba and Max.

kimm

God bless Max and yall. He will be so happy to see Ceiba, praying so much for you.

Amy

OMG. I step away from reading blogs for a couple of weeks and come back to catch up only to find out about Ceiba AND Max! I have been reading a long time, though I don't comment often. I am so, so sad to hear about your sweet little guys. Sending much love to you and wishing you peace and healing. I love that you've found Beau- seems like he's going to be helpful and fun as you all process everything!

Amy A

Not this too :(. But I think you're so right that Max was holding out for Ceiba. Animals are so intuitive. Yeah, April 1 can suck, as personally today marks the one year anniversary of my adored BIL's passing.
Enjoy your Beau--he looks like a beloved dork, as it should be. And I'm thinking your menagerie, round two, is not yet complete, ammirite?!

Becki

Amazing how Max held on until you were all back home. . . .! And he likely saw you were in good hands with Beau!

Kriss

The notion of them holding on for each other has reduced me to a blubbering pile of big, fat, baby tears. I'm so sorry for your losses.

bessa

Beau is adorable. Be happy in Beau. It's good to be happy. And it's okay to let Max go.

Sarah

I just wanted to chime in, that this has been a very tragic Easter. I'm sad for you, sad for a local tragedy where I live, sad for the world, just unable right now to deal. I'm kinda sick of feeling sad, but at the same time I'm really glad that I can. I think that it is a big part of what makes me human, and it is part of life. Big hugs to your family right now.

Most important though, welcome Beau! He is truly adorable. Lucky you guys, lucky him.

Bozoette Mary

Oh, so so sorry about Max. And-so happy about Beau! Hugs hugs hugs.

Elliesee

So sorry - this is the worst part of having pets. I thought of your post on Ceiba this week. You did such a good job explaining it all to your kids. I didn't do so well. My first grader is presenting on cats and was ready to tell her whole class our cat got really, really sick two years ago and is still at the vet to this day. I had to be more explicit. And that cat is not replaced.

Trish

Mother. Fucker. Indeed.
Pets are magical, and I agree with others that your magical thinking is probably right on. My 18yo kitty Snowball taught me that when he held on till he knew I was OK enough for him to go...and maybe/probably Max did that for you, too. Cats are intuitive, furry little caregivers in a quieter, sneakier way than dogs.
Wishing healing snuggles and wags to you and your boys...all of them.

Cheryl S.

I'm so sorry. I really believe that animals do get attached and do hang on for other animals and sometimes people. Max did his job for Ceiba and now he can go in peace. I'm sure Ceiba will be thrilled to have his buddy with him.

Congrats on Beau. He's the light to help you all through this.

Lauren

Your magical thinking is logical and rational. It's not unheard of for animals to for relationships like that. And now Max and Ceiba can be together.

And your new family member is just perfect! I look forward to lots of Beau-stories! ~ L

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