We are all one

We are all one
Jennifer Varenchik

Friday, January 07, 2005

My Hana. Posted by Hello
We had just finished hiking in Eaton Canyon, she was resting after playing in the water. That day was probably one of the best times we had together.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

My Han(a) Solo

Hi Cyber world-
It's been quite some time since I hit the keyboard, but here I am once again.
Let's review! Since May 2004 I have: Traveled to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where I not only conducted my first Daughters of Tradition training, but I also met and spent time with the Tiger sisters (Dana and Lisa).
Held Daughters of Tradition trainings in Grand Rapids -Michigan, Great Falls- Montana, Sacramento- California and Albuquerque - New Mexico.
Put together my first conference called "Strengthening Our Community" on the Ft. Duchesne Ute reservation in Utah. 3 days of wellness, fun and learning!
I resigned my position working with the SCIC youth council, with great regret, but I am looking towards the future.
In Sept. ’04 I started training again for the 2005 LA Marathon
and….I've unfortunately just recently lost my dog, Hana. I thought I was doing well with it, but I guess I'm still grieving. I miss her a lot. In fact, after just having a moment thinking about her prompted me to start writing again.
I haven't really shared with any of my friends about her death. Dealing with death is kinda personal and I don't want to bring anyone else down. I know I am definitely a dog person, but not everyone out there loves animals. I'm choosing to wallow in my pain by myself- just deal with missing my Hana in my own way. Man, she was a great dog.

So I guess that's where this entry is going, talking about the death of my beloved Miss Hana. That's what we would call her, Miss Hana, or Han-Han or Hanaleya or plain HANA!, when she was in trouble- which was a lot.

In Burbank there is this public access show that features animals from the Burbank pound, advertising them for sale. We used to always watch that show, clap aloud "Dog Show" when it would come on, and kinda browse the pets. But one day, Manuel saw a dog that he said would be the perfect companion for our other dog- Leia (Yes, as in Princess Leia). When the show re-ran, I caught a glimpse of her- ohhh, she was soooo cute. The show said she would be available the following Tuesday. When Tuesday came we jetted over to the Burbank pound, we were the first ones there when the doors opened. I remember the worker thought we were crazy. We said that we saw the little black and white dog on the dog show (clap- clap....never mind), and we wanted to buy her. We asked if anyone had inquired about her, was it too late? Had someone else put a bid in on her before us? Nope! He said sometimes he wondered if people even watched the show. A lot of the pets don't get any buyers, she was still there.

He warned us she was a little traumatized. The found her abandoned and tied to a pole in a local Bank of America parking lot- she was just a month or two old. She needed lots of love, and we were ready to give it to her. With a quick signature and a few bucks she was ours. I was so happy! There she was, in a box in my front seat. I took her to work with me that day because I wasn't sure if she would get a long with Leia- so we would wait to introduce them until that evening. And so we named her Hana, as in Han Solo, but a girl....yes, I know I'm a Star Wars freak (episodes 4, 5 and 6- not the new CG ones).

Hana and Leia got a long great; they instantly took to each other. Times were wonderful, lots of walks, playing, rolling around on the ground cuddling our dogs.

But then, about6 months after we got Hana...maybe it was a year, they started fighting. It was pretty bad. Once Manuel tried to separate them and he got bit- we had to go to the ER for stitches. We would separate them during the day while we were at work, I could barely sleep- it was a bad time. We were told they were fighting to see who would be the Alpha dog. Leia would always win. I don't remember how long that phase went on, maybe a few weeks, but once it ended I was so relieved.

The only other dark period we had was this one time that Hana ran out in the street and got hit by a car. She dashed out the door, wouldn't come back when I called her, but then came limping back seconds later. I rushed her to the vet and they fixed her up- not much damage other than to my wallet.

What I remember most about Hana was her ability to jump. Man, she could catch some air! The neighbors behind us said they would trip out on her. They would be in their backyard and all they would see is this little head popping over the fence every now and then- like she was on a trampoline. In fact, it was more of a hop than a jump. We would watch the dog Olympics, where they would compete with Frisbees and stuff..... and I would think that Hana could be doing that- she would kick all their butts- she was the highest jumper I had ever seen.

Once I moved in with my Grandmother, our time together was limited. I do remember one time that they came over, I got nervous because Hana left paw marks all the way at the top of the fence from her jumping. Some of them are still there, I'm glad about that.

Well, now here comes the bad part of the story, how Hana died.

Over Christmas Manuel took Hana and Leia to his family's house in Palm Springs. They were hanging out with the other dogs, just chilling- everything seemed cool. Manuel had commented that Hana would act kinda timid around the other dogs whenever he brought them out the desert. He would ask why she was such a wuss…we guessed she had some “issues” with being abandoned and maybe all the fighting she did with Leia when they were younger. Acting timid didn't make any sense, the other 2 dogs are tiny- one's a pug and the other is a Chihuahua.

Dec. 26th I got a call early in the morning asking for me to call Manuel back- I knew something was wrong. When we talked, he told me that Hana was in the hospital, she and Leia had gotten into a fight and it looked really bad- really bad. They hadn't fought for 3 or 4 years.....I don't remember a lot of the specifics that he said- just that the Dr. said she might not make it- he would know more after 3pm and he would call me then. I went down stairs to talk to my mom- I was really worried. I prayed for Creator to protect my Hana- please, please let me see my Hana one more time. Please let her be ok, let her make it through and I would do anything. 3pm came and they said that she had 50-50 chance; they needed to hold her over night for observation. Her pulse was weak, the nurse said that she didn't really respond to touch. I asked Manuel if he had seen her yet and he hadn't. He said he would go check on her and call me back. A little while later he called me and let me know that she didn't look good, but she wagged her tail slightly when she saw him. Yes! I was relieved- she was going to make it. We agreed to talk in the morning after the vet's office opened.

The next morning they decided to go ahead and finish giving her stitches and she could go home in the late afternoon. I told Manuel I would watch her while she healed. I got my room ready for her stay- I was looking forward to waiting on her, being there for her while she recovered. Manuel said he would drop her off at 7am before he went to work.

Tuesday Dec. 28th, Hana came to my house in Van Nuys. Manuel carried her in on her bed. She looked bad- stitches all over and a tube for some draining...it was hard to see her that way. Manuel said that she had been whimpering most of the night, so she might do that through out the day. I got all the instructions for her pills, etc. and said I would call him with a report in a few hours. Around 10am Hana started whimpering, I didn't know what to do. I lied on the floor next to her, put my head on her bed and was stroking her head. I remember her looking at me, she moved a little closer and gave me a kiss on the nose. I was talking to her softly telling her I was so sorry that this had happened to her. I gave her some water and prayed that she would be ok.

Soon her whimpers had turned into cries- she was in pain. Manuel called and said I could give her a pill early, but not too early. I told him she was really in pain, she was moaning. He said he would call the Dr. He called back saying we could give her one an hour early, I just had to wait a little bit.

I couldn’t stand her crying- it was like screaming. Plus, she had kept inching off her bed and sticking her head under my bed. I didn't understand why she was doing that. She did it twice- I thought maybe she was uncomfortable, so I laid her down on some towels on the floor. She didn't like that either, she kept putting her head under my bed. I moved her once more, facing her the opposite direction this time. I leaned her bed against a chair off to the side. She somehow inched her way and hid her head under her bed- whining and crying. I was freaking out, nothing was helping her. I laid on my bed and prayed to make her ok, please Creator, just make my Hana Ok. I could hear the next door neighbor commenting on the whining sound coming from our house- wondering what it was...it was that loud. Then it stopped. I thought, oh good, she fell asleep. I relaxed for a few minutes. But then I knew- I knew what it was. I jumped up and threw her bed back- Hana had passed away. For a second, I was relieved- she wasn't in pain anymore. I sat next to her for a second, petting her, thinking about our time with her. I then called Manuel at work. He answered and I didn't even say anything- when I finally spoke I just said "No, Manuel No! No!" He knew what I was talking about and said he would be right there.

I then called my mom and stared crying hysterically- why? Why did she have to die? I miss her already. My mom listened and comforted me. I then called my dad, a little bit calmer this time. He got upset over the phone. He said it brought back memories of his dog Goober that had passed away recently and of another family dog we had growing up- Sweetie. I then called Lucius, he was aware of Hana's situation and offered support.

Once the calls were through, I walked out of my room and told Joy (Grandma's caretaker) and my grandma. Grandma had no idea what I was talking about, but Joy did. She said she was sorry for my little dog. I went outside and started looking for a place to bury Hana. Shortly Manuel arrived and finished digging the hole we started in the back yard. We wrapped Hana in a little thin blanket and placed her in the ground. Before we covered the hole, we both talked about what a wonderful dog she was.

Oh, Hana, you were awesome. I know you never really recovered from what happened to you when you were just a puppy- but we did the best to provide a good home for you. I will miss you coming to the side of my bed in the middle of the night to give me a kiss, and then going back to your bed. I'll miss watching you jump and I'll miss trying to get you to sit still in my lap so I could hug and hold you. I wish you were here so I could hug you one more time...but I am grateful that I got to see you before you left. I look forward to seeing you when it's my time to go.....

So here we are today. One of the things my dad told me was to not hold it against Leia. She doesn't understand what she did. Poor Leia. Her only companion is now gone, she's all alone. I went over there the other night to take her out on a walk. She was so happy to see me. I'm going to go over there more often and have her come stay with me more frequently.

Man, it feels good to write about Hana. In some parts, tears were streaming down my face as I typed. This entry is more for me than anything. This is how I deal with my pain, I write.

Tomorrow is another day. I've resolved to keep blogging - so I will probably write about some of the other stuff that has been happening with me- all good.

Thanks for reading and check ya later!