Taking Comfort in Stock

We adults act like we can take anything life throws at us. And while most of us can, it doesn’t mean we’ll come out the other end unscathed.

I vacuumed out my car yesterday afternoon for the first time since Rumpy’s diagnosis. Why did I wait two weeks?

The cats have been careful to share time with Rumpy without bugging him.

Maybe for the same reason I didn’t pick up the dog poop in the yard after DeDe’s passing. I didn’t want to throw away anything that belonged to her, even her poo.

I didn’t vacuum the car because I don’t want to take anything Rumpy shares with me for granted.

I reminded myself now, as I did then, that dog hair in the car or dog poop in the yard does not change reality. And my having to deal with clothes covered in dog hair before walking into work does not show how much I do or don’t love Rumpy, just as a yard cleared of dog poop didn’t mean I loved DeDe any less.

I have to remind myself to practice self-care. Taking vitamins, keeping dry skin hydrated, and eating healthy don’t come immediately to mind, but need to still happen. I don’t want to cook. I want to just grab something that’s quick and easy.

One convenient comfort food I partake of almost daily is homemade vegetable stock. Homemade stock is easy to make, provides good nutrition and is surprisingly comforting. I heat up a mug each morning and sip on the drive into work.

Rumpy got to enjoy one more snow. 
I use the stock as a base for a quick soup and use instead of water when cooking instant rice or quinoa. But I prefer to drink it hot. To me, drinking a cup of hot broth feels like a lazy Saturday afternoon on the sofa under a coverlet reading a favorite book.

I feel guilty doing something that feels so good at a time when Rumpy is unwell, like how could I want to feel so good when my dog is dying?

We each grieve differently. Mumma and Love Bug are mourning in their way for beloved Bella who has an inoperable tumor. A Facebook friend has learned her husky has a mass on or near her pancreas after she went from happy and playing to hardly moving.

What we must do to cope is unique to each of us. I don’t know what’s right for you. You don’t know what’s right for me. I’m not sure I know what’s right for me either, but I am going to do what I feel is best for me, and respect Rumpy’s decisions as to what he wants.



30 thoughts on “Taking Comfort in Stock

  1. Nothing is easy about having a loved one die. I still have my mother’s wallet. I used to have some of her hair from a brush. I fully understand where you’re coming from wanting to keep the last scrap possible of someone you love. It makes sense. You need comfort too. These are hard times when they come. It isn’t just Rumpy who is leaving you, you’re losing someone who means the Earth to you. He’ll be waiting at the rainbow bridge, hanging out and you’ll be here without him. 😥

  2. Whatever you feel to do is right for you and your fur family. I have the empty last can of food they ate from, a special dish if they had one. Tufts of fur.

  3. It is always so hard…and yes, we all deal with it differently. Realizing that is so crucial in the healing process. Taking care of ourselves, whether our children are human or animal, is always in second place. It’s our nature as parents. Prayers for you and for Rumpy…You are both loved.

    1. Making myself sick in the process would not be helpful and would take away from our time together. So I am hoping by putting out there, I’ll do a better job of self-care.

  4. Rumpy’s mom, I belong to a FB group called Support for Parents of Pets with Cancer (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1382110318689049/). One of the group members runs a monthly workshop on Anticipatory Grief. The announcements for the workshop are posted on the group page. I just attended the March workshop (my cat has intestinal lymphoma), and I found it very caring, helpful, and uplifting. Full disclosure: The woman who runs the workshop is a dear friend of mine. I’m just passing this along in case it would be of interest to you. Sending rumbly, healing kitty purrs…

  5. Iam so sorry… Comfort yourself any way that helps you. Take comfort in knowing you gave Rumpy the best life and you love each other unconditionally. It’s so hard knowing what is to come.

  6. When I sold my car in September, I took a picture of the designer nose prints on the windows. I had the car for over 14 years and at least 8 Scotties had ridden in it.

  7. My parents and I had to put our German shepherd, Joshua, to sleep in 1985. Previously he had a habit of snatching gloves my dad would use to work in the yard and bury them. As with most animal behavior, only he understood his acrimony towards such items. About a year after his death, my dad was digging around in a flower bed and came across one of those old gloves. He said he didn’t want to throw it away. After my miniature schnauzer, Wolfgang, died last October, I happened to find a number of the tiny pills he was supposed to take for his heart murmur. He had spit out a few of them in the days before his death, but I didn’t realize he had spit out just about every single one of them. I still think my father had come for him; thus the pills were useless.

    After Joshua’s death, my father bought a small statue of St. Francis of Assisi, the Roman Catholic patron saint of animals. We had all pretty much left the Church years ago, but we believed in the power of animals’ love and intellectual prowess. Wolfgang proved that to us more than we’d ever thought possible.

    As always, Jen, thanks for what you do for the welfare of children and animals!

  8. Sending Boxer dog hugs, no words. Our old boy was poorly at the end of last year but has bounced back so we enjoy every moment with him x.

  9. I love that your fur-kids can hang out together.i imagine you not wanting to do the cleaning up thing is you being depressed. I made the decision to take Jamima to the vet last week. As it was time and I didn’t think she was coping. Worst day ever after 16 years together but we do what we have to do and we all copy differently. Hope you have more time with the Rumpster! 😍

  10. I’m worried of you Jen…..I very much understand how you feel now because I experienced almost the same thing when my Kevin was diagnosed as a cancer, which gave him only two weeks left…..I think that Rumpy feels happy whenever you feel good as he loves you so much. He feels ok if you feel ok. I still have my Kevin’s hair, teeth and his belongings,,,that I don’t think I can throw them away. I think that what Rumpy wants now is times he spends with you together because he loves you. I don’t want to loose him either….whenever I realise that Rumpy will be gone someday, that makes me in tears……Jen…I want to give you and Rumpy huge hugs if I could…..Love, angel Kevin and mom.

  11. In normal life it can be difficult because others don’t always understand the love we feel for animals. Here you know that others understand that. Sending some hugs!

  12. Grief is so very personal. Do what you need to do, whatever that may be. But above all, please find ways to be kind to yourself as you go through the process. You and your fur-family are in my thoughts x

  13. Thinking of you and Rumpy, was sad to read about his heartbreaking prognosis. It’s been almost 6 months since we lost our Maxi and I still have her bowl out, I felt guilty putting her blankets away. Each to their own when grieving, it is such a personal thing. Love and hugs to you all.

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