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Where in the world is Carmen San Diego The Dainty Pig?

Well guys, my life has been kind of chaotic, sad, and just overwhelming the past few days. I truly believe that things come to you at just the right time in your life, when you need it the most. In this case, it was reading Marley and Me.

Last wednesday, my dog Amber started bleeding and bleeding, whenever she tried to go pee. We took her to the vet, and found out that our seemingly super healthy (and gorgeous!) 13 year old golden retriever had a tumor in her bladder. Then, upon further examination, we realized that her lungs also had tumors. The lung cancer was not at a bad stage yet--the vet said she would have a long time before it progressed. But, the bladder cancer was fairly imminent, and we were told we'd have about 2 months to either put her down, or do another surgery. We were all sad, because we knew the right answer was NOT another surgery (we removed a tumor in her leg about 9 months ago).

But, two days later, the bleeding was back, stronger than ever, and she couldn't go pee. We took her into the vet, and they told us that we'd have to do something within the next two days, or we'd risk having her bleed out. We all decided that we wanted her to go gracefully and with dignity, and not ever let her suffer.

On friday, we took our beloved dog for a last swim in the lake, and a good romping around chasing ducks. We bought her a stick of pepperoni, and spent the whole day outside. When we came home from the swim, we knew that she definitely wasn't feeling good, because she started shivering uncontrollably--something she's never done in her whole life, even after swimming in the coldest waters. She was so strong and stoic; she may have been feeling sick for a long time, and never let us know because she was brave. Here is a photo of me and my momma with Amber by the lake:

Then, on saturday, we spoiled her rotten. All day we laid in our backyard with her, petting her, and telling her how much we loved her. She had a pancake breakfast, followed by a steak lunch, and an icecream cone for dessert. In the afternoon, our close friend and longtime vet came over and in the beautiful sunlight, we said goodbye.

It was hands-down the saddest experience of my life. I have never seen anything die...I have seen dead things, and seen things before they die, but have never been there in the actual moment. I looked her in the eye, and told her that I always loved her, that she was the best dog, that it will be okay, and that we'd meet again. It is definitely going to take me a long time to get over the feeling that WE took the most precious thing--LIFE--away from our beautiful dog. Amber has always felt like my sister, and even thought I know in my heart we did the right thing, I still can't help but feel like who were we to say that Saturday was when she had to die? Have any of you ever been responsible for making the decision to let someone/something die?

I started out by saying that Marley and Me came to me at the exact right time. And it did. Although I have been overwhelmed and sad these past few days, I felt like I had gotten a lot of my grieving out when I read that book a couple of weeks ago. It almost seemed like the universe's hint to me that this was coming soon, and the book found its way to me so that I could mentally prepare.

Here is a photo of my big girl on her last day with us. In typical golden retriever fashion, she was smiling, even until the end:

So this big life change, along with various hormonal tests and ultrasounds my doctor is getting me to do, the passing of Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois, and not to mention all the added classes I have been teaching, have left me super busy and drained feeling. I did not feel recently, like I could write a satisfactory post, but I did find some daily comfort in the wonderful weather and sunshine, and in reading your beautiful blogs.

Amber was a beautiful soul, and I have learned much from her. One thing that really sticks in my mind from this past weekend, and seeing Amber in her last moments, is the full realization of just how precious life is. Take every moment of sunshine you get, and use it! Write your blog outside on your laptop. Go for a beautiful walk whenever you can. If you feel like having some icecream, do it! If you feel like skipping yoga and sleeping in for a few days, that is okay. Listen to yourself, and do what feels right, and feel happy with your decision.

So on that note, i'm going to go do some yoga by the balcony, with the fresh spring air drifting in. I also have about a billion foodie pics and a few recipes coming soon...perhaps this afternoon. It shall be a nice break from these past few serious posts (what? the dainty pig is a blog dedicated to food and a healthy lifestyle? who would have guessed). Until then, thanks again for letting me rant and talk. xoxo