April 26, 2011
— dealing with death, dogs, my dogs, old dogs, the cycle of life, the human condition
We’ve had almost three years of complete, blissful denial. we’ve lived in the moment, we’ve pushed the past and, while admitting it was there, refused to acknowledge its presence. But now Jack is almost 10 and T is nearly 7. Jack has developed a lipoma and a bad cough that won’t go away. His anxiety, instead of easing with all the positive reinforcement and love & attention, has worsened.
I was halfway to the ER with Pickle this evening when I put the brakes on that panic; the fear that when something, the slightest thing, is wrong, I must.fix.now. He’s wiped out now on Benadryl (for the anxiety) and Tramadol (for the pain). I think his back went out, and it’s frightening him and he’s wimpering. It breaks my heart to hear him wimper.
It would be so easy for me to go back just 3-4 years; in fact, easy enough that I guess I’m in a way doing just that by writing this, but I did turn around on the way to the ER. Instead, we have an appointment tomorrow with our vet.
Xrays and blood tests are coming. Diagnosis, prognosis; it’s a matter of time before the weighty conversations come and consume our spare time. How long before we start checking off the positive and the negative in the back of our minds as we drive to work, on errands, going about our business. As we go about our business every day, our dogs age, and will eventually die. And today is the first day that I think I actually admitted that to myself. I took it from the abstract eventuality to a finite point in my future.
Both are asleep on the bed next to me right now, and after this post, I’m putting it all to bed. We’ll get on with whatever we need to get on with tomorrow. But for tonight, i wanted to acknowledge that yeah, I see what’s coming. It always does. Come back, I mean.
I do have to say, te past three years; as Billy Joel put it so beautifully in one of my all-time favorite songs, “I’ve loved these days.”