Living On Forever in the Heart

A week ago today I had to make the very painful decision of whether or not to let my best friend of 14 years go. I read somewhere that writing helps to heal a broken heart so here I am trying, but in my opinion, only time will help. Jackson was the kindest, gentlest dog and he was also the first dog I ever had in my adult life that I had to care for and raise on my own. Losing a pet when you are a kid is hard, but its nothing like the attachment and bond that you form with an animal that you’ve had to care for and that you’ve loved for many, many years.

Jackson (2)

It’s quite funny how Jackson came into my life. My ex husband thought he would be good for me, since I spent a lot of time alone. I won’t get into why I was alone often, but that’s how Jackson came into my life. My marriage lasted less than 3 years, and I can tell you this, Jackson was the best gift my ex had ever given to me. Ever.

I bought my first home because of Jackson. No one wanted to rent to me after my divorce because I had a big dog, whatever. Some people even suggested “I get rid of him” – like he was some expendable “thing” that I could just toss away.

Jackson taught me unconditional love, loyalty, responsibility (because Lord knows, I was a wild thing back then) - he grounded me, and now he has taught me painful loss and pure heart break. You see, a piece of me died with him last week, but a piece of him will live on forever in my heart. “Animal people” will understand the huge hole left behind and that painful, empty feeling in their belly. Non-animal folks may think I am crazy, and quite frankly I probably am crazy, or I just don’t care what people think, because it’s my life and life is short. Cliché but true.

Animals do not show their pain as we do. My Jackson must have been in pain but he never let me know until the day before I had to make the decision of whether to let him go or not. I knew he may have had nasal cancer, but the testing for it was too risky because of his age, and there was no cure for it anyway, so I opted not to put him through that. He also had liver issues for a long time, and Laryngeal Paralysis and the typical old age stuff like arthritis. The day before he was limping badly and I thought it was attributed to arthritis. But the next morning, he did not get up, he could not get up, he could not walk.  I managed to get my son off to school knowing in my heart something terrible was wrong. I called my husband to come home from work and while waiting, I said my goodbyes to my best friend.

As weird as it sounds when people tell you that you will know when it’s time, it’s true, at least it was for me. I thanked him for being there for me for 14 years, through many ups and downs, divorce, moving 4 times, remarriage, childbirth just to name a few. I also promised him if it was anything bad, I would not let him suffer. We had to carry him to the car and off to the Veterinary ER we went. They took him right back and I sat in the waiting room crying. I’d like to thank the kind, compassionate woman whom I’d never met and probably will never see again, for hugging me and giving me tissues.

We were brought back to a private room and told that Jackson had Osteosarcoma, bone cancer. We were told his leg was like cauliflower and there was no cure. We were given the choice of amputating his leg and chemotherapy, taking him home only to be on strong drugs for the pain, where he would have to be picked up and held to go to the bathroom, or Euthanasia. Immediately I declined amputation, how do you cut off the leg of a 14 year old dog who already had arthritis? Did I really think he would even survive that? No. My next immediate thought, what kind of life would he have if I took him home to die? After all, the vet explained to me that this type of cancer caused excruciating pain. She also said to me, she was sure I didn’t think I was bringing him there to say goodbye, but she was wrong. I knew it was time, I knew before we left our home.

For those of you who have yet to make this decision, or to experience it, I can tell you it was very peaceful and very fast, almost instant. I cried like a baby. I cry like a baby every day. His ashes are in my bedroom, maybe I am morbid, but I kiss the box he’s now in each day, and in time that will fade, but I will be forever changed because of him.

The unconditional love an animal can give is like no other … it’s tough to say goodbye. But none of us live forever as much as we wish we never had to say goodbye to our loved ones, whether furry or humans … it’s so hard to do. In my heart I like to believe the goodbye is not forever and I hope when its my turn, everyone that went before me will be there waiting. I would not have wanted my baby to suffer, for how long was he suffering before he finally let me know? When he finally showed his pain, it must have been excruciating. I am trying to find peace with my decision not to let him suffer and not to let his pain continue. I would not have wanted to see him suffer. Last Thursday he was limping badly, last Friday, he could not get up, and he may never have been able to get up again, his leg bone was gone and he never let us know. Had I brought him home, he would have died a slow, painful death .. or maybe it would have happened quickly, I am trying to stop asking myself what if this or that … Incurable, terminal cancer is bad, they should give humans the choice to go with dignity as they do animals. When our animals are old and sick, we have to make decisions for them.

If you found this blog because you are feeling and experiencing this pain, I am truly sorry. I am right there with you. But always remember you gave them love, a wonderful life and a great home, you were their companion as much as they were yours, and the ultimate love you showed your baby in the end was putting their needs before your own. I will have this decision to make again, I had 2 Labs. My Cracker is just as lost as me. Cracker will be 6 in October, he had never been the only dog. The first days, he wouldn’t go in the yard alone. He will lay where Jackson’s bowls used to be. It’s quite sad. But we are finding comfort in each other. He’s been by my side, just as a dog does, showing me unconditional love. I’ve been letting him cuddle with me at night, because he used to lay with Jackson. He’s getting extra love and attention, and long walks. But he too, is lost.

DogsHurtToo

Time, time really does fly by, but also time will allow us to go on, somehow we all go on, life goes on. And one day soon, I will rescue another dog. Not to replace Jackson, as there is no replacing an animal, they are all as unique as we are as humans. But to save a life, to give that animal a home and shelter and love. I don’t think I will never be without a dog, unless one day I am too old and gray to take care of myself and a furry friend.

I thank you Jackson, I thank you for everything, but especially for teaching me unconditional love. It was time to go home, and I know in my heart, I will see you again some day at the beautiful Rainbow Bridge.

Please Rescue a Pet at PetFinder.com

Rainbow-Bridge-Poem

5 Red Hot Real Estate Deals

Is there a new home at the end of your rainbow?

Check out these local real estate listings in Philadelphia, Bucks, Montgomery and Delaware Counties!

Not what you’re looking for? Search All Listings – Click Here
Fox Chase Horsham Philadelphia Upper Darby Center City
Fox Chase Twin Estate Sale Now Only 148,500
Horsham Townhome Estate Sale Now Only 185,000
Upper Darby Multi-Unit Short Sale Now Only 95,000
Washington Square West Condo Now Only 88,500
Mayfair Row Short Sale Now Only 89,900
More …

 

Things to Do in Bucks County this Weekend

Bucks County Fall Things to DoBensalem, PA - Fall Festival is Saturday, October 5, 2013 starting at 11:00 AM and ending with a bang (Fireworks!) around 8:15 PM. Some of the events scheduled for this event are: Performances throughout the day by local high school bands and area entertainers capped off by a 6:00 PM evening concert … the Trammps (open act is Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes).

Always a fun, family event with a day full of activities including Rides and Games, K9 Police Demonstrations and Motor Patrol Performance, Fire Prevention Displays, NASCAR Remote Control Car Racing, Mini Golf and a Car Show is from 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM! Food, drinks and more so … Come out and support your community!

For a full list of events please visit http://www.tdbaevents.com/fallfestival.html

Langhorne, PA - Old Langhorne Harvest Day from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM featuring a craft fair, live music, food and fun for the whole family. Located in Langhorne Borough (Maple and Bellevue Avenues).

Please Visit http://www.tdbaevents.com/fallfestival.html for info.

For a full listing of things to do in and around Bucks County, PA please visit:  http://www.visitbuckscounty.com/things-to-do/

Keep checking back for updated events and an upcoming blog featuring ghoulish fall recipes collected from around the Internet! Have one you’d like featured? Email it to KimSchreiner@aol.com!

http://www.KimSchreiner.com
Kim Schreiner, REMAX
Serving Bucks County, Philadelphia, Montgomery County
and parts of Berks and Delaware Counties!

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NEW LISTING! Horsham, PA Home for Sale (Brookwood II)

Brookwood II Townhome in Horsham, PA ... Just Listed!

Brookwood II Townhome Just Listed in Horsham, PA .. Just Gorgeous! Click to SEE!

 

 

Bucks County Real Estate: Jamison, PA Home for Sale, Deer Run Courts

Jamison, PA, Deer Run Courts Home for Sale

Click Here for Complete Details Regarding this Lovely Listing in Jamison, PA (Deer Run Courts)

 

Philadelphia Real Estate for Sale: Bustleton Single Just Reduced

Bustleton Single for Sale in Philadelphia, PA

Click Here to Get Complete Details About this Awesome Home!

 

Things to Do This Weekend in PA

Fun Things to Do in PA
Check out one of my favorite websites to find fun things to do in the State of Pennsylvania.

Whether you have a huge family to entertain or you’re just looking for some solo excitement, you will find it here!

http://www.visitpa.com/

3 Unsightly Ways to Not Sell Your Home

Upon showing thousands of homes over my real estate career, please allow me to share with you some of my experiences of how not to sell a home based on a human being’s sense of sight!

Sense of SIGHT

Sense of Sight, Eyes, Visual Impact in Real EstateMost humans, by nature, are visual creatures. I believe sight is the main sense you must appeal to when trying to sell a home. Smell comes in a close second, but right now, let’s focus on what buyers SEE:

1. PERSONAL PICTURES, BELONGINGS, ETC.

Many of my “buyer clients” enjoy looking at photos of your wedding day, your kids, your estranged family members and friends (sometimes doing weird things caught on film forever and showcased on the staircase wall) … yes, they thoroughly enjoy these photos.  They truly adore your Puppy Fido, your Kitty Kat, and your prize fish, Oscar the Algae Eater …  In all seriousness, my buyer clients really do love to stop and “Oooooohhhhh and Ahhhhhhhhh” at these things, who doesn’t love babies, puppies, kittens and weddings?
weird family photos

Now think about it, wouldn’t you much rather YOUR potential buyer focus on THE home’s unique features? The Travertine backsplash and stainless steel appliances that shine in possibly THEIR kitchen? The glass tile in THEIR bathroom? The stunning hardwood floors in THEIR living room? By leaving personal things on your walls, it takes away from what your potential buyer should be focusing on, the home itself and what could be THEIRS.  Buyers need to be able to visualize themselves in the home. This is blatantly obvious stuff to some, but not to all …

Recalling a lovely listing I had several years ago, it was located in a fabulous area with great schools, it was situated on a nice lot, etc… etc… it had the whole “Location, Location” thing going for it, but I had a hard time getting it sold. Why? Yes, the home was dated, but not in an unappealing way. The home was VERY well-kept, I’d say it was meticulously kept.  I believe it should have sold despite its somewhat dated décor because it was priced accordingly.  The problem was the “little things” the home seller refused to do, mainly for sentimental reasons, which is very understandable, but no matter how you look at it, you ARE moving, and moving for most people is a sentimental and emotional experience.  Please remember that your ULTIMATE GOAL is … to move.

The SmurfsAn example of a “little thing” – the child’s bedroom door, covered in crayon and Sharpie markers (as the child grew so did their choice of writing instruments) with things such as “I love Johnny/Harry/Joe,” whomever the crush of the month was, practicing signing “Mrs. Johnny/Harry/Joe,” stickers ranging from the Smurfs to Metallica (again, age progression), but you get the VISUAL?  Now mind you, said child is now off to college, but to the home seller this was a beautiful, physical piece of art, it was their baby’s childhood on that door, a reminder of life as it passed in their beloved home.  Cherished Memories. Again, all understandable.  Now on the flip side, to someone in the market to buy a home, one of life’s biggest purchases/expenses, they will look at said child’s artwork as having to replace the door, amounting to loss of their valued time and their hard-earned money.

The easy fix and one which was suggested: if an item means that much to you, if possible, take it with you.  Replacing the door with a simple builder’s grade door removes the “negative” for the buyer and will help the home sell for more money in less time, less of YOUR valued time and more money in YOUR pocket. 

Justin Bieber, Boy who makes girls scream really loud.Speaking of children’s bedrooms, when selling a home, the goal is to try to appeal to as many buyers as possible. By removing the posters of Justin Bieber or Selena Gomez and the neon lights where crown molding could be, you are neutralizing the room, making it possible for the buyer to visualize their office, a guest room, a future nursery, or even just a room for Fido/Kat.

And you may already know, a can of paint is cheap and goes a long, long way! Hate painting? So does most of your buyers! 

Onward …

2. Clutter and Disorganization – you’ve heard this many times, declutter your home before putting it up for sale.  Buyers need to SEE the home. If the home is buried under YOUR piles of laundry, papers, over-flowing drawers and cabinets, these things SCREAM to a buyer that you don’t have enough room for your stuff, which reads: they will not have room for THEIR stuff.  Besides the obvious, most buyers do not want to look at your dirty underwear strewn about the floor. Giggle.

3. DEAD THINGS
Flowers, plants, weeds, bugs, rodents, rodent traps, and animals in general: Remove them, enough said? Nah? Ok …

Call the bug guy/gal, have the home treated, then maybe you could supply a buyer with a warranty (selling point).  I have to tell you, there is nothing like showing a lovely home and seeing dead roaches on a glue strip, or a big rat trap in the garage (true story).  If at all possible, please take care of these issues before you put your home up for sale.

overKILLDead animals in general:  I am referring to the trophy bear you have in the corner, the moose/deer head above the fireplace or the dead duck/owl sitting atop your hand-crafted cherry wood basement bar or your gorgeous stone mantel (which Mr./Ms. Buyer may not notice because they are too busy looking at the dead things that are staring at them) … these are YOUR personal hunting trophies. Please keep in mind that not all people share your passion for hunting or enjoy looking at animals mounted on the walls (this can also apply to your collection of 3 Stooges memorabilia, covering the room from floor to ceiling, true story, floor to ceiling) – yes, I love the Stooges, but this was extreme and kind of creepy. PACK IT UP. In my experience, these things give many buyers the shivers down their spines. I am not knocking any hunter or collector of 3 Stooges items, it’s most certainly your prerogative and your choice of sport/hobby. BUT! You are trying to sell your home, please take them down, you will soon be able to re-hang these things in your new space…. if … you take them down first.

Lastly, pull the weeds and the dead flowers, and remember … mulch is cheap; it looks fresh and clean and is low maintenance. 

In summary, if you depersonalize the home-selling process: you’re trying to sell a product; the buyer is paying good, hard-earned money for your product. If you want top dollar for your product, then you need to be ahead of the other products for sale and stop thinking of it as YOURS because you want it to be THEIRS.

Need Help?

Painters:
Rich Sidorski, 215-439-2058, juniorrjs@comcast.net
Sean Soley, 484-948-5573

Organization:
MP Organization & Creations: Facebook Page, Email: MP4theHome@gmail.com

Clean Outs, Clean Ups:
Pace Cleaning Company, http://www.pacecleaningphila.com/
United Maids of America, http://www.unitedmaidsofamerica.com/

Exterminators:
Pest Blaster, http://www.pestblaster.com/

Realtor!!  Kimberly Schreiner, Remax Affiliates
www.KimSchreiner.com, www.PaRealtyWeb.com
KimSchreiner@aol.com
Cell: 215.510.2149   Office: 215.992.1726

DISCLAIMER:  Kimberly Schreiner, RE/MAX and RE/MAX Affiliates are not responsible for any contractor listed above. These are just suggestions and it is up to the consumer to research and interview contractors. Please check with your BBB and ask for references.
Kimberly Schreiner, Realtor, will take full responsibility and credit for her work. Testimonials from past and present clients can be found by clicking here.

Things to Do this Fall In and Around Philadelphia

Pumpkin Patch It’s a beautiful time of the year here in Pennsylvania. The air is cooler, the leaves are changing colors, the scenery can be spectacular.

Try out local Shady Brook Farm in Yardley, PA. They have great hay rides which take you out to the pumpkin patch where you can pick your pumpkins, corn mazes where you really do get lost, and THE MOST AMAZING kettle corn on the east coast! There is nothing like a hot bag of this popcorn right out of the kettle! There are moon bounces for the kids along with pig races and pony rides and even a ride in a Monster Herse! But … BEWARE! At night, the freaks really do come out! The evening hayride is much more creepy …. so is the haunted house…. eeeeek!

Another local favorite, Styer Orchard great for picking your own apples and stop by the store for the best apple pie in town!

For those daring souls who want a little more fright in their Halloween season, check out Terror Behind the Walls in Philadelphia, PA 19130 – Eastern State Penitentiary, a real haunted prison with the most maddening, nasty ghosts in Philadelphia!

Enjoy the Fall Season in PA! And don’t forget to watch my favorite, It’s A Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!

Boo!

Its a great pumpkin charlie brown

Kim Schreiner, ePRO, SFR, Realtor
RE/MAX AFFILIATES
Office: 215.992.1726
Cell: 215.510.2149

Estate Sale! Philadelphia PA Homes for Sale 19135

Make this one your own! New electric panel/main cable. This brick twin features open front porch and a 2 car detached garage. It boasts large rooms with high ceilings and hardwood floors with beautiful inlays. Big, eat in kitchen features (gas) wall oven and cooktop. There is a formal dining room encased in classic woodwork. Powder Room and Laundry Room are on the main floor, washer and dryer included. Upstairs there are 2 large bedrooms with good sized closets and a roomy 3 piece ceramic tiled main bathroom. Basement is finished. Original but good condition, some updating and you have yourself a real gem!   Pictures and Details, Click Here!!.

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