Changes. Again. So Sad.

It’s Sunday, June 13. Day whatever.

My boy, the white bull terrier, PJ, is dead. Most of you know that from Facebook. It was sad. We knew he had a bad heart but he seemed so healthy. Because of the meds. But then one day, no amount of meds is enough. Little f-cker, he was sweet. But he didn’t know he was sick — I have to keep reminding myself. He lived very much in the here and now and had a good three years with us. And now well, things are changing again.

For one, I will no longer be flying with a dog in cargo. Funny, we thought Rosie would go first. And the new rental house in Vancouver, really, we got with two dogs and eventually just PJ in mind. So things do change. Nice house though, good location, and I’ve got 9 – 10 months to kick some ass in Vancouver and we can figure out what we want to do, where we want to go, where we live (Vancouver for a couple more years or back to the Island). That’s plenty of time to figure it out. I am more mobile. But I’m truly broken hearted.

You know, in November 2019, when we left PJ with the trainer for two weeks when we went to Canada for CW’s back operation — I did up two weeks’ worth of PJ’s medicine in pillboxes for him.  And that wasn’t even the 52 pills in the fridge for that time period — and I thought, what are you doing, keeping this dog alive? Is this kind? Plus, they upped his doses and he was getting three of those orange/whites a day (plus three refrigerated ones and the ones you see in each little ziplock). But he was such a joyous and happy guy. I had to keep trying. And now, it will be very different. I can’t say this was unexpected. Just sad. I will be okay about it in a few days. I have tons of photos and he was a goofy little pup 🙂

So, unless I think of something brilliant to say, I’ll talk to you tomorrow and fill you in on what we’re thinking now.

Monday, June 14, 2021. Day 458. Up before dawn, but not as early. Around now (5:45am), PJ would shake and come out for his dental stick. I will miss him. But I must just carry on. I worried about taking him away from Mexico, he loves his trainer, he loves his pack. Loved, I guess. FM. Why does everyone have to die? I guess that’s an ongoing question since we started rubbing two sticks together. My friend sent me a very nice message yesterday about how sorry she was and how much pain I must be in — my friend who lost her husband, mother, father, then 15-year-old dog this year (the humans to Covid). I can’t believe the compassion of people. What I was thinking earlier was that my loss was nothing compared to hers. I have some nice friends. I will keep crying out of nowhere. But it will pass. I have some good memories. These are the times I miss all the dead ones and especially Junior. And Caesar, even though it’s been almost 30 years. That dog, he was my road manager. Can’t lie. My heart hurts about PJ. It will for a while.

So, our plans. We are waiting for an announcement about when (there was a pre-announcement saying that it’s coming) the hotel quarantine and 14 days will be rescinded for returning Canadians with two vaccines. We need proof of vaccine and a negative PCR test, we get tested at the border, and they let us know in 1-3 days if we are free from quarantine (negative again). I’m booked on the 14th of July, but may move it up to the 4th. If they have put the new rules into effect by then.

Dad is in the hospital still (the broken hip) but on the mend. Took him a few days to come out of the operation, but he’s older. He is sounding good now and that’s a blessing. I’ve got tickets to go in August. PJ was supposed to be at Bowen Island dog camp while I was gone. I have to stop with those little tidbits of now irrelevant info. I have to train my mind to not go there for a while. But a great deal has changed in our lives with the passing of this dog.

I was saying to CW yesterday, that really, dogs have been the underlying theme our entire time in Mexico. And not a good one. The first thing is – it’s probably half of why I came to Mexico. My friend in San Miguel wanted to “build something big” for the dogs (dog rescue/neuter/spaying) and had the funds to do it (richer than God). And all the other things, yes, the adventure, the climate, the flowers. But helping dogs was really, I felt (subconsciously maybe) going to be my purpose in life.

Our San Miguel house

Those of you who have read this blog from the start (10+ years), when it was San Miguel Gringo (more on that later, btw, I am reviving that TV pilot), you know how heartbreaking it was. I fostered a dog who supposedly was dragged by its feet across the jardin by animal control while all the gringos watched, aghast. His name was Waylon (cuz he was wailing all the way across the Jardin). This is the animal control that would put them all in the back of a truck and shoot them and take them to the dump. We all know that my time with Waylon ended up in disaster. Primarily medical reasons but a complete lack of examination or vetting by the group that placed him with me. And I got called everything in the book by some dog rescue bitch for daring to try and save his life. There are nasty people in dog rescue, in San Miguel at least. Wouldn’t know about the other places as SMA sent me running from the dogs.

And selfish people, too. Like the friend I was going to work with and build something “really big for the dogs”. I can’t even. She’s the reason we left San Miguel, in retrospect. But I learned to walk away. I hated San Miguel, I couldn’t believe how horrible dog rescue people were, how dog people threw their money around to get her own way. I was (still am) heartbroken about the way dogs are treated in Mexico. My dreams were shattered and I did nothing I had been hoping to do. We should have just gone home for good then.

But then there were the lessons of Cuernavaca, getting ripped off, getting victim shamed and finally telling a few choice gringos to f-ck right off. With dogs here, I refused to get involved with the rescues after what happened in SMA. But I did find four pups abandoned, barely old enough to be weaned. Rescued them (they had been left to die, and would have it I had no picked them up), keeping them separate from the other dogs, found them homes. It took about 2.5 months. It was a long time and every day, multiple times a day, feeding, cleaning up the dog area, letting them out to run.

The pups we found

And the dog who we found, injured, who had been tossed to the street because he was sick. Cancer or something, we didn’t know but his guts were hanging out. We knew him from the top of a roof on our walk. I know they didn’t have the money to treat him but they threw him out on the street. We got the vet rescue truck to come out and get him – to no avail. He had already moved and we spent a couple of days looking here and there for him, so the vet could put him down. Someone finally found him and the vet got him.

Old Junior

Junior died. Then all PJ’s heart trouble. He was very, very badly bred. I’m not going to get into it again. And then I had to put PJ down. As I said earliler, there was no choice, it was clear. But it was sad. I know he had a good life and I’ll carry that with me and try to get on with my life now. But the dogs I came to help – well maybe that was always just those abandoned pups, PJ and Waylon. Because they are the only ones I can say I did help. And it took a f-ck of a lot out of me.

There are many great things about Mexico and many horrible things. I still have to stand by my belief that many of the horrible things are either the gringos, or gringo-caused. Not all of it. And gringos have helped educate Mexicans about pets. A lot of Mexicans would still throw a sick dog on the street rather than pay to have him put to sleep. Just shoot the thing, ffs, if you can’t have him put to sleep humanely. Ah, what’s the point. It won’t change. There’s too much poverty. And that’s because there is institutionalized corruption. Anyway, a book one day. This has been a horrible eight-year period. I hope I learned from it because I don’t have that much time left. And I sure hope it’s over.

So, we are working on figuring out what PJ taught us, but I’m going one step further and working on what the last 8.5 years in Mexico have taught us (me). There’s no place like home? LOL. I will have to think about it. Friends, you gotta have friends. For sure, but I think we knew that. We are grateful for our friends and family, here and at home. Always. Four quarters and all that.

I will miss the ones who are here. Sure, I’ll see them on FB. And I haven’t seen many of them much during Covid, except for the last few weeks… we started seeing double vaccinated people outside for lunches or drinks and it feels quite safe and it’s so nice. Nervous about the Delta variant, but also trying to separate the hype or the wheatt from the chaffe, as they say. Who are they? Don’t ask me. I know that the news has had a good run, first with trump, then Covid. I think they’ll be a little loathe to give up the catastrophic clickbait model with their headlines. But it IS more contagious and sounds more serious (Delta)- can cause more illness, and more rapidly but don’t know, really. Many again are asymptomatic. Keep your eye on it. They are saying that the mRNA vaccines are effective against serious illness with Delta and that’a a good thing.

One of the results of PJ’s passing, and I’m having a bit of a hard time because I don’t want to be at all happy about it (but seriously?) — is that flying became a lot easier. Living with only one dog is easier. I have to really be careful to get exercise now. And not be just at my desk all day. One of those old geezers who walks around the ‘hood in the morning. Egads. I don’t have a swimming pool anymore. The one here is 2.5 strokes and turn, not heated and we’re almost gone anyway. CW walks every day it’s not raining. I’ll walk with him. We can go get fruit from some corner store or vegetables. Give us a mission.

Monday. Later now. I’m sad today. I have a meeting in an hour with a client (zoom) so I’ll at least have to throw some makeup on. That will make me feel more human. I know I have to go through this. And the time will pass. I really need to be absorbed in projects for a while. I did some editing today for someone so shut out my brain for a couple of hours. It’s what it is. We knew he was sick years ago and he, and we, were lucky to have had this time. Such a little goofball. Everyone loved him, especially the guys. He was a guy’s dog. Ok, that’s enough. I think when his ashes come back it may be a bit more like closure. Until then, I have work to do.

We still know nothing more about the quarantine being lifted for fully vaccinated Canadians “in early July”. I’m sure I’ll be flying before the 14th now, but when? Should I keep that reservation, just in case? How many flights will open up? Enquiring minds want to know. Can I fly on the 4th (a Sunday)? That’s likely too early. Oy. Sit and wait. The story of the pandemic.

I also am discombobulated because I was in charge of him. We walked, I fed him twice a day, I gave him his pills five times a day. And now, all of those responsibilities are gone. Wiped off the face of the earth with him. I know in the end I may see what he gave me here as a gift, just not yet. I miss him too much 🙂

And now it’s Wednesday the 16th of June. I just want to go home. And we will. We *could* be out of here in 2.5 weeks. Did I tell you I am going to see dad in August (timing was built around PJ being at boarding school but it’s booked so I can’t change it to earlier). Then, back here for a week to clean up the house here in Cuernavaca and give the rest of the stuff away we aren’t moving (TV, air fryer, etc). I don’t really want to stay in this house though. Not sure I will. I dunno. Kinda like ‘what you say goodbye to, you leave behind…”.

Speaking of which, I’m done pussyfooting around people. I’m pissed and upset, still, after 6 years, that my old Galveston friend, John, ghosted me. I am worried that he’s already dead. I just don’t understand it. Is that something else that I just have to let go of? Probably. Maybe this will be my year of letting go. When I get back to Canada, I’ll work on it.

Galveton Pier

Not sure where that came from, but I wanted to get it out. I have a vivid imagination but it’s not beyond the realm that he’s dead. Some lessons in life are just plain painful. Actually, the older I get, it seems like more and more of these lessons are painful. Slow learner, I guess.

I am visualizing the place in Vancouver (north shore) as much as I can. It will be so interesting to be there and see how we feel. It’s been a long time. I know it will rain this winter and I am going to have so many good projects on the go that I won’t care. That’s the plan. And we can get away here and there once we’re settled and everything is running smoothly. And the Island house should be ready this fall. I’m not counting on late September. My bet is more like December. That’s fine too. But we need to get it landscaped pronto in the back, to take advantage of the rainy season.

I know I’m talking a lot about PJ. It’s hard for me when dogs die. But really, what we grieve is the future with him that we didn’t have. He had a good life. He didn’t know he was sick. I devoted (seriously) several years to him, he was my main responsibility every day with his meds, his walks, his training sessions. So my long-term schedule has been suddenly disrupted, now and it’s normal I am out of sorts, even for that reason alone. And now I have to figure out what’s what. I’ll stop soon. We’re talking no dogs for a while. Then, something easier to handle, if it all. We’ll see how long that lasts. LOL.

Terrace at the old SMA house

The next two weeks will be trying, I’m sure (forewarned is forearmed). We *could* be on our way two weeks from this Sunday, June 20 (July 4). If the borders are open by then. Like CW said yesterday, we’ll never watch Casablanca the same way again. CW and his friend, driving with me flying. We’ll see I guess. If not, we’re holding a plane reservation for one person and one dog on both the 4th and 14th, so we’ll get out of here by then, even if we both fly.

Ok, now it’s Thursday. June 17. Day whatever. I’m out of sorts today, badly out of sorts. I should go back to bed. I threw up last night and this morning – we went for lunch at a hole-in-the-wall place – I don’t know for sure that it was the food as no one else got sick.

Ha! Now, it’s Thursday, June 24. One week later. I’m finally better. I had a really hard time with it – ended up being cyclospora – Montezuma’s revenge. An entire week – mostly in bed, not eating, sicker than a dog. One last kiss goodbye from Mexico. It was horrible. We have company coming tomorrow, vaccinated people. Our friends from Mexico City and the two kids. We will miss those guys. And a few other people. But the rest of them – nada.

Friday June 25. Chris pulls out July 11, I fly July 14. Can’t come quickly enough. Not sure how we will get through the next two weeks – but we will and we’re getting the f-ck out of here, finally. That’s where my focus will be. In the future. Still 18 days but then I fly in the morning. Have to get a negative PCR test, we have our vaccination certificates translated by an official translator. I won’t like being here after Chris leaves. I can spend one day getting rid of the last things (microwave etc that we might need) and then maybe head to Mexico City or something. I really don’t want to stay here any longer than possible. What you say goodbye to and all that. I’m already gone.

Stay safe, stay informed, stay kind. Get vaccinated.

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2 Comments

  1. Diane Cole Reply

    Hi Bev, I can feel your heartfelt pain over your sweet PJ. and my heart breaks for you. Loving a dog is like no other love, they are dependent on us like children but I think we end up being dependent on them for so much more. What they give us is unconditional and leave us grieving for them many times at a different not greater level than for a person who passes. I am so happy you and CW will soon be back in Canada, it’s been a long journey for you both…..you could write a book. But wait LOL that’s what you do…….writing is cathartic so I’ll look forward to whatever you write next.

    The last two years have been very trying, shit…..trying to break me. I mean I get packages off from a “contract” I had for 19 years only to be replaced by a younger person who apparently has fresh new contacts……turns out she couldn’t hack it so recently quit ha ha she was a real bitch and they were going to let her go anyway. That takes me full circle, thank God or whatever for dogs 🥰.

    Anyway, my daughter had 2 frenchies and an American Bulldog when I came to live with them in Pickering and now our 7 month old horse of a rottie. It’s funny that I live in Pickering I quite often think of you, me and Karen sneaking away from the CGIT picnic wading through the creek that had lamprey eels at Pauline Park to go to your Aunt Ruth’s farm….climbing the fence just to end up ankle deep in crow crap.

    Like you, I have been thinking about how much time we have left Karen and I went for a walk yesterday around Riverdale Farm (it will always be the Zoo to me) The paddling pool, the bunny mound where your Gram took the bunny home just because LOL she was a hoot. Or the skunk pen where you and I climbed in on a mutual dare and got hauled into the grounds keepers cottage. We laughed at where the curved roadway was at the snake house where you and I thought it would be oh so funny to watch Karen come down that blind curve on her roller skates right into the log we moved into her path. She still has a scar and brings it up whenever she can, she told my granddaughter just last week to ask me about how I helped give her that scar. Al in true form laughed her ass off.

    We walked past Sprucecourt and the buck buck tree, the K Club and of course our houses. My old house looks like crap, yours is almost hidden with all of the growth in front and Karen’s is devoid of the front porch where we would often play barbies and the lilac tree we would climb.

    And with each memory there is often the recall of a different pet we each had. Like the Banting rooster Karen got from your Auntie Anne that they would take to the cottage. And of course all of the dogs we each had, so dogs take us full circle. they are a constant in our hearts, please take comfort in that your little PJ is part of that.

    Love you my friend, once settled in Canada I’ll come for a visit and many 🍾🍷🍷🍾🥰

    1. admin Post author Reply

      Oh Diane, what a sweet message – you are my oldest friend (62 effing years haha!) and it gives me such joy that you are still standing. You’re a survivor, and I’m glad. See you in Vancouver – that’s a promise xo (and ps: you have a memory like a steel trap….)

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