Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Countdown - Part 2

        Tuesday 9:00 AM – She’s happy today. She was up early and ready to be fed. She’s insistent about meals these days, not because she’s hungry but because she’s figured out that the pain pills come with the dog food. She keeps trying to move meal time up earlier and earlier. It’s not about the food, it’s about the pain.
       So we go outside and she totters around the north pasture a bit to take care of her business. She doesn’t like to walk outside much anymore because the footing is uneven and she stumbles and sometimes falls. She’s thin as a snake, weak and teetery. If she was bipedal, she’d be using a walker. But we go very slowly and she manages. She likes the concrete driveway – there’s nothing to trip over. I brush her and a cloud of hair goes sailing off into the breeze. She’s blowing her dry, brittle coat like crazy.
      We come inside and I feed her – canned dog food now because her teeth are just about gone and she has a tumor about half the size of a tennis ball under her tongue. Her tongue lolls out to the side because it has nowhere else to go. It breaks my heart to watch her eat, but I hide the Tramadol inside a chunk of dog food and she gets it down. Within minutes she’s resting quietly. She’s an addict, the canine Judy Garland.      
     She watches from the office window as Grandma and Jora go for a run. Three years ago, she was there. Chasing a cottontail, following a fox track. Not now. She watches them disappear in the distance. Another heartbreak. So we sit together and talk about the old days when she felt good. She doesn’t feel good any more, except when she can sleep.
        Last night, Grandma laid down beside her on her bed and just snuggled her. She’s always trusted Grandma. She relaxed and fell asleep. I hope that’s the way it goes when the vet comes tomorrow afternoon. I had hoped she would pass that way on her own, maybe even go when we were at the cabin. But that’s not going to happen. She clings to life like she’s afraid to move on. Maybe we all do, to one degree or another, when the time comes.


1 comment:

  1. Grandpa, you are going to make me cry. After knowing Missy personally, I know much she went through, and it was not an easy burden.