Loads of Juicers are caregivers, taking care of humans (kids, elders, the ill / frail), and/or furkids and other kids (feather, fins, scales, etc.). Caregiving is one of the hardest, least recognized, and least supported (financially and otherwise) jobs. But it’s also one of the most needed and (sometimes) rewarding. So I thought we’d try a thread just for caregivers and caregiving. (Sunday morning after the garden thread seems right, and please let me know your thoughts about the idea, timing, etc. Shall we repeat?)
Feel to share your story, including the difficult parts. And also feel free to post questions, needs, etc., that the commentariat may be able to help with. Let’s also make this a thread on self-care. Along with the fact that caregivers may need it even more than non-caregivers and yet are often reluctant to provide it for themselves, self-care, as poet Audre Lord noted, “Is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”
I’m going to dedicate this thread to my late, lamented Petey. He died almost exactly a year ago, and here is his obit:
RIP Petey Rettig-Tobochnik, 2002? – December 18, 2015
Yesterday we had to euthanize our beloved Petey–a.k.a., Pete the Sweet, Peteypie, SuperPete, and Petes. He had a colorful life with much pain but also much love, and he cheated death several times. His early life is a mystery, but in 2013 he was found severely injured on the streets of Kalamazoo after having been hit by a car. Although he normally would have been euthanized, the Animal Control Officer was so impressed by his sweet nature even under extreme duress that she got the folks at Kalamazoo Animal Rescue involved. He was fostered by the wonderful Dusty Reeds, a true general in James Herriot’s Army of Compassion*, who has fostered dozens of dogs and cats. And we adopted him in spring of 2014.
During his nearly 2 years with us, Petey weathered multiple ailments, two difficult surgeries, and a neuro condition that eventually immobilized him, all with incredible grace, humor, and sweetness. He loved his food–a lot–and two days before the end, could still use his outstanding foghorn bark to defend it against the predations of his opportunistic brother Billy (a.k.a., Chucklehead). But most of all, Petey loved human contact, and he loved love. He was a great snuggler, a great soul, and an overall exemplary member of the canine tribe. He will be missed.
*”I had often thought when I encountered cruelty and neglect that there was a whole army of people who did these unspeakable things, a great, unheeding horde who never spared a thought for the feelings of the helpless creatures who depended on them. It was frightening in a way, but thank heavens there was another army ranged on the other side, an army who fought for the animals with everything they had – with their energy, their time, their money.” – James Herriot
If you have a loved one you’d like to memorialize in a future Caregivers thread, please email me the details (and photo, if you wish).