What Do You Do When a Tragedy or Emergency Happens at Home While Traveling?

To know life, one must love many things.”

Vincent van Gogh

I wish I could buy a ticket to heaven for my next trip.  Heaven gained a new angel while I was in Europe last week.  Our Black Lab Shadow went to the Rainbow bridge on July 20th, 2014.  Shadow got along great with our cats.  We love him dearly and he will be so missed.

Shadow was a black lab who we found running around in the middle a busy street in Columbus Ohio.  He had been fixed, but was very skinny and had what is termed Separation Anxiety Disorder which is also known as SAD.  Separation anxiety disorder is likely caused by abuse and or abandonment.  Shadow became very attached to my husband and only my husband.  He went everywhere with my husband - to work, to the store, anywhere he could go Shadow had to go too.  If Shadow couldn't go with my husband he would just lay beside the door until he returned. 

As Shadow got older than about age 10 or so his separation anxiety decreased some.  When he was about 10 years old we thought he may have had a stroke.  It turns out he didn't have a stroke but he had a problem called "Old Dog" Vestibular Disease which you can read about here: Our Scare With "Old Dog" Vestibular Disease. 

We don't know exactly what age shadow was when he passed away last week but the vet estimated he was around 14 years old.  My husband took the best care possible of him that he could even when shadow became mostly blind and deaf and needed help standing up.  He took care of him the best he could.  My husband would take Shadow to the vet periodically to be sure Shadow was not in pain and or suffering.  Shadow had liver cancer which likely was not causing him pain, but in the end the cancer may have spread to his bones.  

 While in Athens I was able to check my e-mail.  It was then I learned that Shadow was in very bad shape.  That was on a Sunday and my husband planned to take him to the vet on Monday to see if there was anything else to be done.  By the time I got to my hotel in Santorini and was able to call home he had really gone downhill.  I did get to say goodbye to him over the phone, but I would not have been able to make it home on time to say goodbye to him.  

I looked into flights to get home from Santorini even though I had already prepaid my hotel.  It would have cost me more than $3000 to get home.  I really did consider just leaving right away and going home, and I definitely would have if it would have meant that I would've been able to say goodbye to Shadow.  Shadow, unfortunately, passed away long before I could've made it from Europe back to the US.  

Shadow had been very sick for a long time we really didn't know if he had days weeks or months he definitely seem to live and have a quality life for a lot longer than we ever would've imagined.  Whenever I left to go somewhere for more than a few hours I made sure that I told him I loved him and gave him a hug.  Upon reflection, I do wish that I had found a way home early from Greece.  I did not enjoy the trip as much as I should have.  I don't know if I will ever return to Santorini or Greece, I have no idea how much more I would have enjoyed the trip had this tragedy not occurred.  I really just couldn't wait to get home from the time this happened.  

I'm not sure if this will be a lasting feeling but this is made me realize how important being at home with my loved ones is.  We have other pets and I never would want this to happen again.  My cat Coco was diagnosed with cancer when she was only 4 1/2 years old.  I didn't dare leave her when she was sick.  There's no way I would've gone on a trip when she came out of remission.  If there had been services for a human being that needed to be attended, I would have spent thousands of dollars to get home I do always insure my trips, but unfortunately insurance companies don't consider an animal the same way they do a human being. 

I did not discuss this on Facebook when it happened, it was just too hard.  I knew I would get 1 million different opinions on what I could or should do.  It came down to being a very personal family decision I wish that I'd never gone on a trip, but Shadow had been stable when I left.  If I had thought for one minute that he would pass away while I was on my trip leaving my husband to deal with such sadness and grief I would not of gone.  In my opinion no amount of money is worse not being there for your family member when they need you most - whether it be a pets or a human being.  

I don't want my love for travel to end because of this tragedy.  I canceled a trip that was scheduled for the near future.  I just need to come to terms with what happened.

“The tragedy of life is not death but what dies inside us while we live.”

Norman Cousins

 As much as I love to travel, there is nothing more important to me than being with family at a time of need, or especially in shadows case, at the end to say goodbye.  I'm sure there are some of you reading this that would have made a completely different decision than I did and would have spent any amount of money to get home to be with their family even after shadow passed away.  I understand that and I respect your opinion.  Trust me, there is nothing you can say that will make me feel any worse than I already do.  I do feel a little like this trip to Europe was a bit of a waste as the last half of it was not that enjoyable.

I'm very unsure whether or not I will want to visit Austria or Greece again given the memories that I have.  I do know that there is no way we can time or predict these things.  All I know for sure is that I would not have boarded the plane in the first place if I had known what was coming. 

Shodowcollage730Shadow got along great with our cats!
Photo 2(1)
Photo 2(2)Shadow when he was around 7 years old:
Pano (1 of 1)-121Shadow when he was around 11 years old:

Shadow1Shadow when he was around 14 years old in June 2014:

Pano (5 of 8)How we want to remember Shadow.  We got everybody "dressed up for St Patrick's Day in 2010:

Shadow2
Shadow's urn:

Pano (1 of 1)-255Here is our cat Jasmine being watched over by Shadow :)

Pano (1 of 1)-254These are two black dog figurines that I found in Santorini and bought in memory of Shadow:

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Goodbye our sweet Shadow RIP

Pano (1 of 1)-121  Thank you so much for reading and stopping by.  Have you ever experienced a tragedy while you were traveling? If you have any stories to share and don't want to leave a public comment, please feel free to email me my contact information is listed at the top of my blog. 

~Michelle


A Cure For Kittens Born With FIV?

 We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.
Immanual Kant 

 

Pumpkin13

  

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During the first week in April we took in a family of eight orange cats - a mother with her seven 1 week old kittens. They were found next to a Dumpster, the mother. Peaches was nursing the kittens there. I guess she was next to the Dumpster so she could get food.  They are pictured in the two photos above.

 A couple of days after taking them in, we took them to the vet to have the mother tested for FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus),  Unfortunately, the mother was positive :(  Although this virus is not a death sentence, it does make them harder to be adopted.  We learned that about 25-30% of all kittens born to positive mothers will be positive themselves.  We ran in depth blood tests on all 7 kittens and all were negative for FIV except the last 2 we tested.  They turned up positive.  I did a lot of research and found out about a very new treatment -T-cyte that I ended up needing to call the company to get information about.  This is a treatment to help both FIV and FeLV positive cats.  It's success rate is very high - 75-80%.  The best thing about this medicine is, if it doesn't help them, it won't hurt them!  They have also had a great deal of success with kittens who are born with the virus.  If they are treated very early with 4 shots, they are likely to become negative :)!

The photo below is of Buffy aka Poundcake.  He WAS positive.

 

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The next photo is of Sabrina AKA Pumpkincake.  She WAS the other kitten who received a positive result.
Pumpkin20The following photo is of me saying goodbye to the sweet mother who is thankfully in a good home with a relative who has no other cats.  She is being treated with T-cyte as well.  Her blood tests have improved dramatically and her vet says she is very healthy!

Pumpkin11When I called T-cyte for information, a vet answered the phone right away and explained everything to me.  He even agreed to talk to my vet about the treatments because my vet was not familiar with this new medicine. They were great to work with and communicate with!

Pumpkin9The photo below is of Pound cake and pumpkin cake in their new home.  I flew them to Kansas City at the beginning of July to be with a very nice family who wanted to adopt them even though they knew they were F I V positive...Once in their new home they were treated with 4 doses each of T-cyte.

It may sound like a miracle, and maybe it is, but the kittens were retested at 6 months of age after being treated and tested NEGATIVE - YaY!!!

Pumpkin8Poundcake <3

Pumpkin2Pumpkincake

Pumpkincake
I love happy endings!  I can't imagine this story being any happier.  Thanks to my friend Heidi and her family for adopting these two sweet babies and to T-cyte for creating such a miracle drug!   They are both very happy and healthy 8 month old kitties now who have an excellent family and forever home.  PLEASE spread the word because it's not well known.  Also, feel free to ask me any questions or leave a comment.

Thanks so much for stopping by and spreading the word!  I will leave you with a photo of Poundcake with Izzy, one of her lovely new family members <3

Pmpkin7


A Treat For My Kitties From "The Natural Pet Company" =^..^=

Please see this company's wonderful pet toys here:

The Natural Pet Company

 

Peanut loves the pink and purple jingle balls:

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I was thrilled to receive an e-mail from Florina at "The Natural Pet Company" regarding their new company that makes wonderful and NATURAL pet toys.  She had read my blog and was wondering if I would be willing to write a post about their new toys.  I normally don't write sponsored posts - this is my first actually, but Florina had read my entire blog so I knew her e-mail was legit.  After doing some research on this company I decided that I wanted to try and help them get some publicity for these very durable, attractive, and affordable products that I will be buying more of for all of my cats and many foster kitties that come in and out of my home.  Best of all these toys are fun for the cats to play with, safe, and natural!  

As you can see Peanut and Princess were very excited about their special delivery!

037The natural and as you will see irresistible catnip:  http://www.amazon.com/Premium-Quality-Catnip-Absolutely-Guarantee/dp/B00CORO4EU arrived very quickly!  I did not have to open the bag of catnip...Peanut took care of that!!!
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042Here are the adorable and natural items they sent my cats  =^..^=   Here is their link at Amazon: The Natural Pet Company

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   Here I am playing with our newest rescue cat.  His name is Jack, a one year old Maine Coon who weighs fourteen pounds!  Maybe you can tell from the photo that he really enjoyed the cat nip ;)  

057Some of the catnip spilled on the couch and there was no tearing Chanel and Peanut away from it!
046Jack loved the "mouse on a string toy"!!!
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Fleur and Lizzie were thrilled to have some new cat toys  to play with too!  http://www.amazon.com/Cat-Toys-Megapack-Interactive-Accessories/dp/B00CYRUIU4
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130Sasha and Jasmine loved the pretty pink and purple jingle balls!
137Sasha wanted to play all night!  Unlike my other cats, she has endless amounts of energy!
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Jasmine went to sleep cuddled up with the ball

 I didn't have the heart to take it away from her little paws and she was purring so loudly :)162
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Final Thoughts

The Natural Pet Company  is a new company that is creating high quality, well priced, and fun toys for cats of all ages.  The shipping is lightening fast as well!  The catnip is all natural and my cats acted and played like they were in heaven.  I will definitely be following  The Natural Pet Company on Facebook and be purchasing more of these fantastic toys for all of my cats and the many foster kitties that pass in and out of my home.  

Below is a photo of Peaches with her seven - 7 orange kittens that we found homes for this summer.

Peachesss
Thanks so much for stopping by and please remember to visit:

The Natural Pet Company

Our website: http://www.thenaturalpetcompany.org
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/thenaturalpetcompany 

AND visit their site to try some of these amazing catastic products here:  

The Natural Pet Company


USDA Approved Treatment For FIV and FeLV Positive Cats That Works!

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Please share with anyone who works with cats or could use this information. After initially hearing that just a few treatments are ~ $1500, I called about half the vets in FL including the University of Florida and no one knew anything...so I guess this is a VERY new treatment. I finally called the company and a vet answered right away. Treatments are about $70 each. An FIV or FeLV cat needs 3 initially within 2 weeks and then only 1-2 treatments a year. 75-80% success rate. No side effects and most importantly, if it doesn't help them, it won't hurt them!
Tcyte.com or call Vet Tech: 800 483-2104 X86 for more info