Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Friday, May 14, 2010


I need to talk about our dog, Buddy, because he is quite sick and we may lose him. Buddy is the first pet I've ever had. My father didn't believe in pets. He said you'd get too attached to them and then they'd die. I sort of understand that philosophy. If you don't ever love, then you won't ever feel the pain of losing that love. However, I would choose over and over and over again to love, because the joy that comes from the giving and receiving of it is what life is all about. Without that, it's meaningless.

I've lived with pets who belonged to others, but the connection was between the pet owner and the animal, not with me. It's different with Buddy. We are completely connected. And I love him. Totally.

A month or so ago, he had neck pain. When we took him to the vet, she wanted to put him on prednison, a harsh steroid. In order to do that safely, we needed blood work to check organ function. Lo and behold, we found out Buddy had diabetes. We debated over what to do and in the end, decided to treat the disease and see what happens.

In order for Buddy to live the best life he can, the diabetes needs to be regulated. This means determining how much insulin to give and how frequently. He's been spot-tested and his blood sugar was still sky high, so Tuesday, he went in for the day so they could more effectively evaluate his levels.

We were told that evening that he is insulin-resistant, meaning the insulin isn't working to control his blood sugar levels. There could be three reasons for this. One, he has a urinary tract infection, which would block the insulin from working. That would be the best case scenario, because it could be treated with antibiotics. Second is Cushing's disease, which isn't curable. The vet doesn't think that's it. Third is cancer. She also took an x-ray and discovered stones in his bladder. Depending on the kind of stones, they might be dissolved with food and meds. If not, it requires surgery.

Hubby and I have decided we won't go the route of surgery, no matter what the diagnosis. So we're praying it's urinary tract and the stones can be dissolved. In the meantime, my heart is broken. Either way, I don't think we'll be able to do our trip to Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Glacier national parks, because Buddy will either be in the process of dying, or in treatment for stones and infection. I don't want to leave him.

I guess we're never "ready" to lose those we love. It's hard. But I know for sure my Dad was dead wrong about never loving. I wouldn't trade the cuddly moments with Buddy for anything, despite the pain my heart is in right now.



Tabitha Bird said...

Oh karen. I so understand. Are you up to the part about my dog in my memoir? Maybe don;t read it then. It might make you cry considering your Buddy. Hugs to you and Buddy. Dogs make the world spin a little easier :)

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I'm so sorry, Karen. But you're so right...it's worth the pain to experience the joy.

Mason Canyon said...

It is SO worth the pain. Keeping positive thoughts for you and Buddy.

Thoughts in Progress

Joanne said...

I'm so sorry to read about Buddy's struggles, but he's definitely in good hands. Love involves so very many emotions, including painful ones. It's the love that heightens them, and brings heart to them.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I'm sorry!
And although it's been difficult losing my furry friends over the years, I would not give up that love for anything in the world.

Glynis said...

Oh, how sad for you. We have four dogs, our eldest is in his 13th year. He is still fit and has never been ill, but I know time will take him.

I wish Buddy well and so do Jakeyboy, Lucy, Ginny and Max. :)

Karen Walker said...

Tab, no I haven't gotten up to that part yet. I've scheduled Sunday to read, read, read.
Thanks, all of you, for the well wishes. We should know more on Saturday when the culture comes back.

Sharon said...

I'm so sad for you, about Buddy and about the trip. Perhaps the trip can be postponed rather than missing it entirely? This has been a tough few months for you, with Mom, and missing the Oregon trip, and now Buddy. Blessings to all of you.

Elspeth Antonelli said...

I'm so, so sorry for what you're going through. I identify completely. I had a much-loved cat who died a few years ago and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't miss him. Hopefully, Buddy's problem is just a urinary infection and he still has many doggy years ahead of him.

Helen Ginger said...

I so understand, Karen. We lost our dog just before this past Christmas. She was almost 19. It hurts. Still makes me sad when I think of her. I hope you'll tell me if there's something I can do for you.

Straight From Hel

Karen Walker said...

It is so odd to love people you have never met, but I do. I love you guys. You totally "get" me.

The Old Silly said...

Nah I'm with you. Feeling the love is worth the pain ... anytime and all the time.

Anonymous said...

It IS better to have loved a dog and lost him, than to never have loved a dog at all. My thoughts are with you.

MissV said...

I'm so sorry to hear Buddy is sick. What a hard time for you! Take care and keep us posted.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Every time I start thinking about getting a pet, I remember how bad it hurt over the years whenever I lost one. It's so hard, isn't it?