What Do You Do When Your World Comes Crashing Down?... When Tragedy Strikes Part 1

   On January 26, 2016, my sweet Princess Gemma Madeline crossed over the rainbow bridge. To say I am devastated is an understatement. I have been so depressed and broken and just couldn't bring myself to blog but I know that this is not what Gemma would have wanted. I know that she would want me to kick myself in the ass and get back on the blogging train. It might take a little while and start slowly and inconsistently but I am going to do it.

   If you didn't know much about my sweet fur baby, you can read a little bit about her in Meet Gemma (Furrkid #1 of 3).

   She was the sweetest most amazing miracle to come into my life and came into my life at the perfect time. Gemma was a true angel and I know that she is now my guardian angel still watching over me. Cue the tears.

   My little baby had a brain tumor. Or at least that is what the final vet said, which I think was correct. He was the most realistic and helpful- plus, it doesn't hurt that he was named the best vet in Lancaster County (or something along those lines). Gemma had been to 2 vets, 2 pet ERs, and had a phone consultation with a neurologist. Putting her out of her pain and suffering was the best thing I could do for her and even though I stayed there at the vet crying forever before and after it happened, I know I made the right choice. I will always put what is best for the animal before what is best for me or my feelings. I had her purple kangaroo in the car (her Christmas present that she LOVED but barely got to play with because of miss naughty pants Audrey trying to destroy it) and they cremated it with her for me, for her.

   I still find myself wondering if there was something that I missed. First of all, I don't for sure know her age. When I adopted her on August 4, 2012, the shelter had told me she was 1 1/2 years old but shelters just guess and sometimes they say they are younger than they are to try to increase their chances of being adopted. Even if they had given a more accurate guess, I still would've adopted her no matter what. As she got older and when I asked the opinion of one of her many vets, they estimated her age to be 8 (at the time of her passing which was 3 days after her estimated birthday that I gave her).

   But back to second guessing myself... I took Gemma to the vet ALL THE TIME and so of course they started not taking my concerns quite as seriously (they all knew her by name because she was there so often). So as time went on, if I had a possible concern, I didn't always take her to the vet. She would have little cysts pop up, mainly on her head. This was something none of her vets were worried about but I wonder if it meant something. And probably in the last year that I had her, she would randomly just stare into the distance at nothing, not move, and not listen when called. She would just stand there. And now I wonder if those were seizures (different types of seizures vary so much and there is a type like this).

   I know that I can't keep doing this to myself, going over everything in my head and wondering if there was something that could have been done had I caught a sign earlier. But what's done is done and she is no longer in any pain. And that is what mattered. She had a very rough life prior to me becoming her mommy and I know that her last few years were spent spoiling her and treating her like the true princess she was always meant to be.

   The vet took her paw print and paired it with a lovely perfect Eleanor Roosevelt quote that I framed and put in the dog room and they put her ashes in a gorgeous little box/ chest with her name on a plate that sits in our living room where she loved to lounge on the couch watching "our shows". I will be forever grateful for that and all the amazing care Manheim Pike Veterinary Hospital gave Gemma and has given my other fur babies.

 Snowstorm Jonas

 On her final birthday.

   I love you sweet baby girl. Forever, forever, forever.



  1. It was hard to read this without getting upset. It was abundantly clear you loved her and she, you. Try to be more gentle on yourself, as you said beating yourself up wondering the what ifs or if you missed something, it'll eat you alive and that isn't fair to you. She had a fabulous life with you, albeit short but it was full to the brim with love and happiness.
    Hugs to you my love. xoxo

    1. Thank you Lindsay!!! Your words truly mean a lot to me. I am so glad that I finally finished and published this post.


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