Wednesday, July 16, 2008

In Memorium: Spike Bernard

Dear Friends,
This afternoon, we had to put our beloved dog Spike to sleep. When I checked his birth certificate, I realized he was 16 years old, and had been a member of our family for 14 years. We adopted him soon after I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Three years later when I began taking a host of medication, I was sick every single day with so many terrible symptoms, including feeling like I had the flu (all the time), hair loss, weight gain (30 pounds), cognitive memory loss, constipation, diarrhea, and so much more. I felt absolutely terrible, but Spike never left my side. He was truly a loyal friend and remained so throughout his life...and mine.

He was a treasured member of our family, and we will miss him deeply. I know I will always have a special place in my heart for him. Yesterday Rob commented on a post, Pet Therapy, that I'd written about Spike quite some time ago. I think it's a fitting tribute.

P.S. I will resume posting and reading other blogs next Monday.
P.P.S. The photo isn't of Spike, but it looks just like Spike when we adopted him from Friends of Animals Foundation.


Bradley said...

I'm very sorry for your loss of Spike, Susan. If only people could learn from our pets.

KJ said...

Susan -

I am so sorry for the loss of your pet and friend.

KJ said...

Oh, that was a dear part of you that you shared with us. I wish you peace. I know how much pets can do. Mine is my saviour at times. I will be thinking of you. Take care and let yourself grieve.

naturalgal said...

Take care.

Jazz said...

You already know my thoughts are with you, Susan. Take care.

marja said...

I'm sorry, Susan. Sounds like this is going to be a huge loss for you and your family. Such a faithful friend to have had.
Take care - marja

Gianna said...

Your "Pet Therapy" post is truly a wonderful tribute.

Our animals, including a dog that sounds a lot like Spike (we got her believing she had traits of being mellow and calm---NOT), have been incredibly important in my healing journey.

Love to you Susan, while you heal from this horrible loss.

Mary said...

Susan: I'm so sorry for your loss of Spike. It is so sad when we have to lose any animal member of our family.
I have 2 dogs and I know I will be devastated when it is our turn to lose them. putting them down is not easy. We had to put our cat Nipper..hence my name nippercat down 3 years ago she was 21, and I still miss her a lot. Take care, I know its not easy..Mary

kara said...

I am sorry for your loss. I know it will be truly felt as you had described the close relationship y'all had.

I have a question for you. When you got sick like that was it all the result of varying Bipolar Meds? And do you have it worked out to where you don't take any today?

Thanks. Kara

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Bradley, KJ, Lizzie, Naturalgal, Jazz, Marja, Gianna, and Mary,
Thanks so much for your kind thoughts. I so appreciate it.


Wellness Writer said...

Dear Kara,
I'm off all medication, but that's just me. I was considered medication-resistant and most everything I took made me feel worse rather than better. It created "bipolar behavioral patterns" I had never experienced before. I've got many posts about this topic as do others.

If you're even considering going all medications, you mights also want to read Beyond Meds, and In Pieces, both listed on my Bipolar Blogroll.

Also, you should discuss this with your doctor.


bart said...

so sad, susan... pets are valued family members and probably less fickle too most of the time... i can imagine your feelings of loss after such a long together...

keep well...

Tamara said...

Very, very sad about your loss. Dogs truly are family and it is devastating when we have to let them go. Sending you much love and peace.


Wellness Writer said...

Thanks Bart and Tamara,
Very sweet of you to comment!


Annie said...

Susan, there is nothing like a family "peopledog" as I call mine. I am so sorry for the loss. I will be glad to have you back. Annie

Wellness Writer said...

Thanks Annie!

Rob Johnson said...


There is certainly a special place for Spike. I hope the other news turns out to be positive.

I look forward to your return and brighter times for you.


Wellness Writer said...

Dear Rob,
Yes, I agree there is a special place for Spike, and the other news turned out fine. Thanks for mentioning it.


Rob Johnson said...


I am "so" thankful. I have been drained the last couple of days caring for my friend in the hospital. He went in to have a kidney removed due to cancer. He's been in the hospital for over a week now as it has taken some time for everything to get better. I'm concerned because he's been experiencing severe pain in his left temple. I left there tonight and he was in such agony. I just didn't know what to do and I felt so helpless.

I'm glad your news was good. I'll take any good news right now.

Take care,


Wellness Writer said...

Dear Rob,
So sorry to hear about your friend. But in all of this, you need to take care of yourself. I've learned that if I don't do that--even in a crisis--I'm no good to anyone.