Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A Sign from Razzle

Yesterday I was feeling particularly down and missing Razzle. I got home from work and went over to his empty cage. I took the canister of his cremains and sat and talked to him a while, then sang him one of his favorite songs, Edelweiss. (I change the lyrics to "Baby Raz"). I told him that I really wanted to know that he was okay. I still worry about him, even now.

Today during my lunch break, I wandered over to a Barnes & Noble. I haven't been in there in months, as the Chicago Public Library is literally right across the street. But today for something different, I headed over there to browse through the shelves. Within a few minutes, the instrumental music that was playing throughout the store caught my ear: Edelweiss.

Not a song you hear every day. I certainly have not heard that song played anywhere except by me (I just learned to play it on guitar). Funny how I happened to walk in at the very moment that song started playing.

Thank you Razzle for your sign today. Hearing that song made me feel like you are around me; that you could hear me singing your song to you; and that...wherever you are...everything is just fine.
The song I used to sing to Razzle. The words are pretty silly, I know, but it was made up on the fly one day and Razzle seemed to like it.

Baby Raz
Baby Raz
He's my Sweet Little Pumpkin;
Sweet and Bright
Fluffy White
He's my sweet little Pumpkin.

He's so cute and he's so sweet
And his crunchies he likes to eat.

Baby Raz
Baby Raz
He's my sweet little Pumpkin

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Beyond the Rainbow

As much as I loved the life we had and all the times we played,
I was so very tired and knew my time on earth would fade

I saw a wondrous image then of a place that's trouble-free
Where all of us can meet again to spend eternity.

I saw the most beautiful Rainbow, an on the other side
Were meadows rich and beautiful - lush and green and wide

And running through the meadows as far as the eye could see
Were animals of every sort as healthy as could be

My own tired, failing body was fresh and healed and new
And I wanted to go run with them, but I had something left to do

I needed to reach out to you, to tell you I'm alright
That this place is truly wonderful, then a bright glow pierced the night

"Twas the glow of many candles, shining bright and strong and bold
And I knew then that it held your love in it's brilliant shades of gold.

For although we may not be together in the way we used to be
We are still connected by a cord no one can see

So whenever you need to find me, we're never far apart
If you look beyond the Rainbow and listen with your heart.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


"Purple Razzles"

It's been 10 days. In some ways, I can't believe 10 days have already gone by. In other ways, it feels like 10 years. I miss Razzle so much and July 5th seems so long ago now. It feels like forever since I held him. It's still hard to believe he's really gone.

On the evening of Razzle's passing, we had a "birthday" party for Razzle. Razzle's birthday was Tuesday July 3rd, but we had planned on having a birthday party that Thursday night when my friend Kathleen and her boys, Connor & Gavin were visiting. Little did we know what would happen that morning.

We still had the cake in honor of Razzle. It could be said it was still Razzle's birthday...the day he was born into an angel. I hope he was celebrating with all his new friends...

On Monday night, we had an on-line Candlelight Tribute ceremony at Click on the photo to see Razzle's entry:

Razzle's Candlelight ceremony

It was also the same day I got Razzle's ashes back. His ashes came in a plain black metal canister with the words "Always Remembered" in gold.

The canister is meant to be temporary, with the idea that you will buy a nicer urn. I've been looking on-line at urns and have not seen anything I felt was "Razzley". So I've decided to make my own urn. I have to think about what I want and design it, then go to the art store and get the materials I need. I'm thinking of a small wooden box, decorated with craft leaves and some mini pinecones I picked up several weeks ago when visiting the Chicago Botanical Gardens. The mini pinecones reminded me of Razzle.

It's been hard looking at a cold, metal canister knowing that the contents inside were once my baby. I haven't had the courage to open up the lid. Just looking at the canister itself has been hard enough.

The canister resides inside Razzle's igloo for now, cushioned by his favorite blankies. I kept hoping that I'd wake up from this bad dream and go over to Razzle's igloo like I did every morning, lift it up and see my sweet bundle of quills looking up at me with his cute little look that says:

"I'm FINE mom! You can leave me alone now!"

It's 11:49am....

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Rest in Peace, my Angel

Last picture taken at home of my sweet Razzle. July 5, 2007.

Today, at 11:49am, Razzle was put to rest. Truly one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make.

His health had declined to the point where he could no longer walk. I had been syringing him food and water every 2 hours since Tuesday with no improvement.

We spent the morning together and I held him and talked to him. I told him all the things I wanted him to know. When we got to the vet's office, they had a room ready for us and they gave us as much time as we needed. We were there a good long time, holding Razzle...telling him we loved him and that we'll never forget him. I told him he can come and visit me anytime.

Razzle was so weak that he could barely move. Moments before we were to let him go, I put him in his hedgie-bag so he wouldn't be scared. He was unable to move his hind legs and I had to put him in the bag and try to make him comfortable. I put my head down in front of the bag and was looking at his quills on his back, when he mustered up some strength to turn his entire body around and stuck his head out at me. I kissed him, and he turned back as much as he could before tiring out. It must have taken him every last bit of strength to do that. That little boy amazed me until the end with his bravery and courage.
Razzle and his daddy, one last time.

We spoke to the doctor and we decided it was time. It was either that or put him in intensive care. I kept flip-flopping back and forth and wondering: but what if? What if he can get better?? The truth is, he might get better for a while, but this would happen again and again. Razzle hated being in the hospital. I couldn't do that to him again.

I thought about letting him go, and was sad for me. I thought about putting him in the hospital for God knows how long in hopes he'd get better - and I was sad for him. Then I knew.

The hardest thing I've ever done was hand him over.....

Driving home from the vets, we looked up in the sky and I swear the clouds were shaped like all different sized hedgehogs.

I love you Razzle and I'll never forget you. I hope you are somewhere in those clouds...running around free of pain and yucky-tasting medicines. I hope there is a never ending supply of shrimp and hamburgers. I hope you had a happy life with me and know that I did everything I could for you. I'm so sorry I couldn't do anymore. I hated to let you go, but I hated knowing you might be in pain even more. I hope to hold you again one day, pumpkin. You'll always be my baby.

I'm not good at goodbyes....

I called Razzle's doctor...crying...she agreed it may be time.

Steve is coming home from work to get me and we are going to go in together. I'm going to spend time now with Razzle...knowing it may be our last times together.

I knew this day would hard...I've dreaded it from almost the beginning. I want to do what is right for Razzle, even if it means letting him go.

I'm going to go talk to Razzle now and let him know it's ok if he needs to leave me. He'll always be with me no matter what.

I love you Razzle.


Razzle is not any better this morning, and possibly even worse. He can barely walk or even really move much at this point. He did urinate, which is a good sign that maybe his kidneys are functioning. It gave us a glimmer of hope, but it's starting to look a bit like this is it.

The vet's office opens at 9. I will call them and talk to the doctor about our next steps. Maybe there is a slim chance there is something that will turn him around. It would be nice, but I'm not counting on it. Razzle looks so weak and tired. So hard to believe that just a few days ago he was as spunky as ever.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

This was Razzle earlier today. You can see how he is hobbling and moving very slowly. He also gets tired and "plunks" down. I'm still hoping he can pull through...

On the Fence

I wish I had better news.

Razzle isn't doing any better. I've been syringing him 2cc's of Pedialyte every 2-3 hours. The doctor said to stop at 11pm. I started up again at 7:30am this morning. He hasn't shown any interest in eating. He didn't come out of his igloo at all last night.

He is very, very weak. I called the emergency vet and they, of course, say it's up to me as to whether or not I should bring him in. They said if he's not getting better (or getting worse) he might need something more (like oxygen) that I can't give him at home.

This is quite the conundrum. Going to the doctor's stresses him out big time. Stress is what got him into this situation in the first place. Do I risk putting him under even more stress by taking him in? Furthermore, I know he will not eat at the vet's and has a better shot at eating here. I can syringe feed him here without much of a struggle, where it is almost a feat of impossibility for the poor vet techs to syringe feed him! (Not to mention how taxing it is on Razzle). However, they are the experts, not me. If I do this from home, I'm not sure I'm doing this right; or giving the right amounts. They can't tell me unless they see him.

I know he's more comfortable at home and I'm doing all I can, but I don't know if it's enough and he needs more than I can do. I just don't know if putting him through the stress is going to be counter-productive. The emergency vet said maybe to wait and see how things go in the next couple hours, but I know things aren't going to change. Razzle is exhausted. I hate having to keep bugging him to give him his fluids. I can only hope that what I'm doing is correct.

Uggh, what to do...what to do....
Well i've pretty much decided to keep Razzle home rather than subject him to the stress of traveling and being poked and prodded. If he starts taking a drastic turn for the worse, then we'll think about taking him in.

I just gave him two more CC's of Pedialyte and he is tolerating it well. He even seems to be a little spunkier. Maybe he is turning the corner?

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


The Happy Family - June 2007

I love my Razzle! - July 2, 2007

Today is the day we celebrate Razzle's birthday. His true birth date is unknown, but is estimated to be sometime in either April or May 2004. I celebrate on July 3rd, as that was the day that I got Razzle and my life was changed forever. I'll never forget the first day I saw him....a quivering ball of spikes. How could I not fall in love with him? He was so tiny and nervous. I was nervous, too, of those sharp quills! Oww! I had to use gardening gloves the first time I picked him up.
A scared prickleball - July 3, 2004

Already getting braver...

Three years. A lot has happened in that time. We drove from Boston to Chicago together. We got our first Chicago apartment together (Razzle had to pose as a *hamster* since we didn't want to have to explain to the landlord what a hedgehog was - ooh the humiliation of it all!). We survived our first Chicago winter together and sweated through our first summer. We met Steve and knew instantly that he was a wonderful hedgie daddy (and love of my life!) And I don't even need to go into all the medical ups and downs we've weathered.
Razzle in Vermont enjoying the sunshine - July 2004

I wish I could say today was truly a *Happy* birthday, but Razzle is still not back to his spunky self. I woke up in the wee hours of the morning to find a completely undisturbed cage and full treat bowl...again. I checked on Razzle and he was very lethargic. I let him walk around a bit and he is still walking in that slow, hobbled manner. He drank a few sips, but he wouldn't touch his food. I finally got out the secret weapon: Meal worms. He did eat a few of those. I also syringed a bit of Pedialyte. Already he's looking like he's lost weight. It's amazing how fast their little metabolisms are. The fear right now is dehydration again, and thus, kidney failure. I called the vet first thing this morning and she said to HYDRATE HYDRATE HYDRATE. I need to syringe Pedialyte to him as much as I can. Hopefully I can get home soon to tend to him. I think our office might close early *fingers crossed* so I can get home and start the Pedialyte.

I hope to report back with more HAPPY Birthday news.....

I left work early, flew into Walgreens for some Pedialyte, and rushed home not knowing what we'd find. I lifted up the igloo to find Razzle looking at me mildly annoyed. Not typical for him as he is usually HIGHLY annoyed when woken up during the day! The vet's office said to give him 1-2 cc's of Pedialyte every 2-3 hours. At 2:30, I gave him 2 cc's. It seems like an awful lot and I made sure to take breaks in between sips. Razzle is weak and can barely find the strength to fight with me now. I woke him up again at 5pm to give him another 2 cc's. Good news is he did eat 5 meal-worms! He's resting in his new red birthday igloo. He's so tired and weak. I can only hope this is just all caused by stress and he'll be back to his spunky self soon.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Ha!! Gotcha again!!

Snacks went uneaten. Wheel was not run on. All was quiet in Razzle-land last night.

He heard.

We tried to keep the (good) news quiet, but apparently it got out and Razzle wants to make sure we don't get too comfy.

Since his check-up, Razzle has been quiet and lethargic. He's hardly eaten. He hasn't run. This morning, I gave him his medicine and he threw up (very rare for him to do in the morning).

Tonight when I got home, I lifted up the igloo to find a big blog of poo on Razzle's foot and also stuck on one side of his nose blocking his nostril!! This is a new one.

First of all, Razzle never poos in his house, so right away this is concerning. Secondly, the poo was blocking a nostril and most likely blocking his already compromised breathing. Lastly, the poo was green indicating stress.

Getting the poo off his nose was not easy. It took a while of gently using a wet face cloth, but it eventually came off.

Talk about a brown nose (or green the case may be).

Something stinks!

This happens after every vet visit. Razzle must just get so stressed out that it takes him a while to get back to normal. I also think this is a reaction to getting "put under" (something his doctor HAS to do in order to exam him). It's really quite a catch-22. I just get so worried and hope he DOES get back to "normal". In his condition, he can't afford to have a day where he doesn't eat or drink, never mind two days.

Even in just a day, I can feel a difference in Razzle. When I pick him up, he feels small...weak...frail. I also noticed that Razzle was walking funny...kind of like his back legs were scrunched up behind him. He was sort of hobbling around slowly. He sniffed at his food without interest. He ate one mealworm, but it looked like he had some problems swallowing it. He took a couple sips of water, then quietly and slowly hobbled back to his igloo. I haven't even yet given him his medicines tonight for fear he might throw up. I'm worried that the poo over his nostril limited his oxygen intake? Uggh...what a freak thing to happen.

Oh Razzle....please come around. Why oh why do you love to make us worry?