One sure is a lonely number. When you have spent a portion of your lifetime with five, fun-loving, crazy, rambunctious, howling Siberian Huskies who loved being together every day, you know somewhere in the back of your mind that having five all around the same age--three of them littermates, so three who are the same age--one day down the road, heartbreak was waiting; times five. We are now at four angels, with just one Pupster left, Wolfgang. Dear, sweet, beta-to-the-max Wolfie. Losing Bandit, a definite alpha and boss girl, so suddenly has left our dear sweet baby boy a mess. Being the last Husky standing sucks for him. While I stepped up going for walks and getting in lots of extra hugs and chats, I am not his sister Bandit. I am not his other sister Chloe. I am not his "momma" Harley, and I am not his big bro Gibson. And Wolfie misses snuggling with his pack family. Since September of last year, it has been just him and Bandit. They made the move with us and adjusted so well. They enjoyed exploring our new area together, meeting the new neighbors and their children and dogs. We've had good times just sitting around our backyard campfires together. Eating together. Playing together. And them two sleeping together.
Now Wolfie is alone. And I am FiveSibesMom of one.
Wolfie has suffered from anxiety issues since he was a young Husky. He came out of surgery for a torn CCL, and the medications made him so loopy, he was never quite the same after for him. That is when he started with crate anxiety, severe separation anxiety, and in later years, a form of Sundowners he has to this day. Over the years, and with the help mostly of his furry mates, he thankfully overcame the separation anxiety. We ditched the crates for all of them (all of them except Wolf loved their crates) and they had their own bedroom to snuggle together in, so that was no longer a worry. But, now in the wake of Bandit's passing, anything can or has made his anxiety come back and come back hard, on top of grieving. And, yes, he is grieving. Dogs most certainly do grieve. I saw it with Harley when Gibson passed, and although they missed Chloe when she passed, they still each other for comfort. But now that it is just one, it is tough for my very sensitive boy...heartbreaking, and just plain sucks.
Wolfie is a lover. He loves his family, especially the toddlers! He adores my grandson; they are best buds! And he loves to woooo to him and my one-year-old granddaughter, who woos back to him! Wolfie loves people to pet him and he loves to see other dogs, but will never ever tug, pull, or try to rip my arm off. He has such wonderful social manners. My pupster is now an old man, I guess. I mean he will turning 13 in a few days! So, he and I are well matched; we both are now seniors and walk at a very leisurely pace. While I am so thankful he is here with me, this birthday will be so bittersweet for his siblings will not be part of the celebration. Oh, all the fun times we had celebrating the Pupsters' birthday together. But, as with life, changes comes and we adjust; we must, while always being thankful for what we had.
Losing Bandit so suddenly was definitely a shock. Back in May she had surgery to remove a huge growth in her mouth and her recovery went so well. She was our healthy dog. A feisty, smart, survivor. Having her suddenly taken from us from a sneaky, crappy, rotten bleeding spleen tumor, hemangiosarcoma, was a shock. The same rotten cancer that stole Gibson from us five years ago. I know I am not alone in losing a beloved dog or two to this horrid disease, and it seems so many of our dogs are taken down by it. I can only hope that one day there will exist a way of detecting it early, and saving them. For Bandit, she did not suffer like Gibson did. She went out in true Bandit style, enjoying the snow, and then having family hold her as she peacefully went to sleep. It all still makes me cry.
So many of you have checked in on us to see how Wolf has been doing, and we are so thankful to you for that. It's so heartwarming to hear and read all the amazing letters, posts, and comments of support at our loss once again, and for the genuine care and concern for Wolf. It's now been almost three months since our dear Bandit suddenly left us and I believe that finally Wolfie's grief is lifting. He is adjusting to being the only dog. While there is sadness, there is also a perk...he gets all of the attention and twice (or four times total) the amount of kisses from me. It may sound strange, but we have "talks" - mainly I'm talking and he is listening, and occasionally woos back. When I am out, the hello I get upon my return is equivalent to fireworks on the Fourth of July - he is very verbal and so excited that I am home! (I absolutely love it! Not everyone in my house shares that love of a Husky's vocalness, but his momma appreciates it and welcomes it)!
Wolfie having his "woo" back is big. My FiveSibes were big wooeers...breaking out in howls many times a day, with one caveat--Harley had to be the first to start. The Pupsters would all stand by her and give a little woo or a bark (yes, Huskies can bark, they just don't care to!) until Harley started them off in singing. So when we lost both Chloe and Harley last summer, Wolfie lost his woo. So did Bandit, actually, but she always was on the quiet side. So, Wolf wooing is huge! And my heart swells when he does.
Losing healthy Bandit so suddenly really worried me so I had our vet come and give Wolf a good once over to be sure he was grieving, and not having something sneaking up on him. Thankfully, he seems okay. But, at almost 13, I am aware that is for now. He has had anxiety issues and gastrointestinal issues his whole life, and is going through some bad anxiety and IBS right now as a matter of fact. So sometimes I have to really figure out what is going on with him. The vet will be doing follow-up bloodwork just to check on his liver issues again (he is on meds, and his sister Chloe passed suddenly from acute liver disease that didn't even show up in her annual physical). I know my "pupster" is really in his golden years and has some increasing mental and physical health issues, but I just pray I have him healthy for a long time to come.
So, we are okay, Wolfgang and I. Sort of. All things considering. We are enjoying each other's company and our new routine now is pretty down pat. And, we are taking it day by day. Dogs really are resilient. Way more so than humans, I think. They grieve like us (and if anyone ever says they don't, they don't know what they are talking about). They need us, and they trust us to help them move through it and forward. So we can not ever let them down. And then suddenly, they perk up, move on, and enjoy the life ahead. Such a valuable lesson for us humans. As long at the dawn breaks, we have many blessings to count and be grateful for. Somehow, in their infinite and quiet wisdom, dogs know this.
It's time for Wolfie and I to get back to blogging! It may be slow, and it may not be as often as in the past, but we will be back. My heart is still only partially healed, a hurt that I know will never fully go away after losing four of my furbabies and knowing Wolfie has some chronic health issues and is in his golden years, but sharing life - the fantastic and the heartbreak - with FiveSibes, whether five, four, two, or one, has always been a blessing and a real joy for me. And there is much more Wolfie and I can share, even in these strange pandemic times. With loving our dogs and navigating life with Covid, we are truly all in this together to lean on, to cheer on, to cry with, to support, and to hopefully share some joy.
Thank you all for sticking with us, supporting us, and truly being our caring friends. Blogville has always been a wonderful neighborhood, and we are proud to be part of it.
We will restart our #FiveSibes #FlashbackFriday Blog Hop again soon to share fun and memorable times from over the past years. When we do, I sure hope to see you then on the hop!
Always and Forever the FiveSibesMom