Posts Tagged With: death

My little pig Monty…

Early Tuesday morning, about 2am, my little pig Monty died in my arms.  I felt his last breath on my cheek.  He looked so peaceful when he finally died, his spasms and seizures over.  He was a brave little pig and really fought hard against the poison the vets think was ranging in his body, causing him to basically bleed to death from the inside out.  I haven’t stopped crying in the last 24 hours and I’m sure it will be a few more days before the fountains stop.  To be honest, my relationship with Monty is the first close relationship I’ve had which has ended in death.  I’ve known acquaintances who’ve died and my grandparents as well but they were all slightly distant relationships and many of them died when I was young.  I’m not trying to say that pets are more important than people but I’m sure you get my drift.

I guess I’m writing this mostly for myself as I don’t really expect people to understand how one can love a pig.  After all, he was an uncommon pet and, unfortunately, no one except Josée and I spent enough time with him to see how sweet he was, how he loved us and communicated with us (pigs can make up to 20 different noises you know!!) and how his cute little habits, like poking his head out of the dog house when we came home or knocking over the metal food bowl so we’d let him in at the door or sneaking away to a quiet corner to eat a bun, grew on us til he held a most special place in our lives.  Some people couldn’t get their heads around the fact we had a pet pig and he lived in the house at night, just like our dogs and cats.  Some people experienced the dreaded Monty nip as he tried to keep his place in our social hierarchy; but they didn’t see the intimate nuzzles he gave us, the endless times he would curl up and spoon us, grunting and oinking softly as we rubbed behind his ears or along his (rather ponderous) belly.

Our vets and their staff, at Shamrock, were wonderful, very supportive and concerned, as were my parents and our friend Lynn.  Monty was near death Monday morning, his red blood count at 10 when 40-45 is normal.  Joan and Saskia said if it dipped below 10, life was not sustainable.  Through a combination of treatments, they managed to raise his count by late Monday afternoon to 15, an increase they said was encouraging.  We took him home Monday evening, scared but a little more optimistic.  We fed him Gatorade, trying to help re-hydrate him and he gulped down syringe after syringe, obviously thirsty for the fluids and nutrients.  He had a few min-seizures or spasms but these last just seconds and then he relaxed.  Eventually, he started to breathe more regularly, even snoring gently a few times – as sign of improvement we thought.  Around 2am, Monty started into a seizure from which he just couldn’t recover.  I told him he could die if he needed to, that he didn’t need to fight anymore, that he didn’t owe us anything; anthropomorphizing, I know, but I loved him and I think he knew that even if he didn’t understand my words.  He started to hold his breath between spasms and then finally took one big breathe, exhaled over my cheek and he was gone.  I never knew the meaning of the expression broken heart until that moment but I do now.

I lay with Monty, soaking his peaceful, smiling face with my tears.  Mum and Dad arrived and gave us some hugs, as they’d done at the vet in the day time.  They didn’t say much and didn’t need to as just their support was nice.  We wrapped Monty in his blanket and I slept in the room with him; Josée slept with Tegan and Jack, our dogs, who were aware something had happened but weren’t quite sure what.  This morning, I got up and in the rain, dug a grave for Monty, a nice spot on the ridge near our ponds.  I think we’ll plant a dwarf apple tree on his grave because he loved apples!  Mum and Dad came back down and helped us move Monty to his grave; it was a very sad moment but I’m glad we buried him on our place.  Maybe I’ll put a bench up beside the apple tree as well for us to sit and reflect on the fun and loving times we had with Monty.

My grief is made worse by the tremendous sense of guilt I have.  Monty stopped eating on Friday and that should have been the number one warning sign but I downplayed it, thinking he maybe had a cold or just was feeling under the weather.  I should have taken him to the vet at that point to be sure and, while Monty probably would, I will never forgive myself.  Everyone says that I shouldn’t feel guilty, that it was “just his time” or a cliché of that ilk but they really don’t know and it doesn’t make it any easier, nor does it ease my feelings.  My guilt may never leave me but I know in time I will be able to remember Monty without the pain.  Until then, I will keep my pain beside me as it serves as a reminder of how much I loved Monty.

Thank you for your messages and condolences.  We have no children but Monty was our baby.  I think he had a short but sweet life with us and we were blessed to have him in our lives.  Rest, my little pig Monty – I’ll always love you.

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Categories: Family & Friends, Pets | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Tsunami – world videos…

Another collection of videos.  The devastation is unimaginable but thankfully the death toll is not where it might have been.  I guess I should clarify – at present, JapanToday is reporting deaths of around 10000 which is obviously tragic but thanks to the emergency response plan of the Japanese, it is massively less than it might have been; remember the Boxing Day tsunami – over 250,000 dead.

From Russia Today: boats, houses – amazing power

The road is moving and getting flooded….

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From NHK…

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Categories: Commentary, General interest | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

John 15:13

“Greater love hath no man than he lay down his life for another”

~ John 15:13

Requiem for a Rooster

For the last year, we’ve had a rooster.  We used to have three but two of them went in the soup pot (see my post Sunday, Bloody Sunday).  Now we have none.  Josée came home today, late afternoon while I was still at work.  As she walked up the drive, she saw a white headed imposter up the driveway.  Hurrying inside, she saw another in the long grass, just out the back edge of the gardens, head bobbing up and down.  His gold eyes caught her look of shock as she realized what he was doing.  Feet quickly into her rubber gumboots, she sprinted up the path but to no avail as golden eye launched into the air, a pulpy, crimson coloured mass clutched tightly in one of his cruelly taloned feet.  Our rooster was no more; two eagles had made short work of him.

The other chickens were in the coop, terrified into statuesque poses, in the hopes that silence and stillness would cause the raptors to pass them by.  Two hens were outside still but frozen, unable to move.  Josée easily picked them up and took them into the coop with nary a fuss or cluck from either.  We’ll see how the hens are in the morning.  Hopefully they have short memories.

It’s funny how the death of a chicken makes me pause for reflection and I’m not trying to be silly here.  I didn’t mind our rooster, although he didn’t like my galoshes and often attacked them.  He did great work though; always chaperoning his charges around the yard, keeping a watchful eye on them.  If anyone (or thing) got too close, he was quick to rally them to the safety of the coop.  He’s dead and more than likely it was not a pleasant death.  He gave up his life to protect his chickens and when I thought of his last moments, I will admit that I got a little choked up.  Would I do the same for my family?  My friends?  My cause?  I don’t know.  This rooster was acting on instinct and reflex but he acted nonetheless.

How would you respond?

Categories: Commentary, Farm stories | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Ride to Conquer Cancer

I think most of us know of someone who has had cancer in some form or another.  My Grandpa died from colon cancer when I was about 13 or so and I know we’ve had other family and friends who’ve suffered.  One of the major fund-raising events for the B.C. Cancer Society (and other similiar organizations across Canada) is the Ride to Conquer Cancer. Organized for mid-June, the Ride takes place over a weekend and covers about 200km.  Riders cycle at their own pace – the main goal is just to finish!  You can click the link above to visit the site.

Josée and I are going to complete this ride but we need your help.  To qualify, riders must raise $2500 in donations.  The BC Cancer Society has to set a threshold of some level just to keep the ride to a manageable size.  Last year I think there were around 2500 participants and if they didn’t set a minimum donation size, they would have too many riders to organize safely.

In the next week or two, we will have our donation site set up.  You can make donations securely through the site and, as they say, size doesn’t matter so any donation is very appreciated.  We will be doing regular updates on both our training and donation status.  We’ll be sending reminder emails as well which you can pass along to your friends, families and co-workers.

If anyone wishes to join our team as a rider, please contact us and we’ll send you the info.  Thanks for thinking of us and thank you in advance for any donations or support you might provide us.

Cheers 🙂

Categories: BDFP, Family & Friends, General interest | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Thanks for the memories

DSCN0112This afternoon at Aspen School, Josée and I attended Bill Ross’s memorial. It was a good event as far as memorials go; lots of good stories, a slide show and a good show of support for Jo, Andi, Robby and the rest of the family. Several people did short anecdotal speeches; Tim wound things up with a very thoughtful speech. While it was obviously emotional, there were some funny moments as well – comments that Bill would have appreciated for sure.

Bill was my homeroom teacher through grades 7-9 at Robb Road Jr. Secondary. I have many fond memories of him. He touched a lot of people in the Valley with his quick whit and great sense of humour and we’ll all miss him. Here is his memorial from the local paper.

Categories: Family & Friends, General interest | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments

Too young, too soon

This afternoon I attended Nick Longland’s memorial.  There were a ton of people there, lots of guys from our Grad ’90 class plus family friends and many of the guys from his hockey team.  Nick was such a nice guy, always happy and so friendly.  I always had a quick two minutes with him when I was at the Blackfin for lunch.  I was talking to some of the other guys at his memorial and we were saying how we’ve got to stop sweating the small stuff, to enjoy life and love our friends and families.  You just never know when your time is up.  I know Nick was one of those rare guys who had a great balance between family and friends, work and play.  He lived a full life and I’ll miss him.  RIP buddy.

Here is Nick’s memorial from the Record.

Categories: Family & Friends, General interest | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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