Monday, July 14, 2014
Queenie is my old lady dog of 17. She was my oldest son's 12th birthday present. He is 28 now. Just like in "My Dog Skip" the kid moves away and leaves the dog at home. They get on with their lives and leave their pasts in the dirt for moms to clean up and take care of. Another role of a mother: we nurture dogs also.
Sometimes I look at her and wonder if she remembers him and misses him? I know now I am her whole world. She can no longer see clearly or hear. Her bones ache and she is frail on her legs. A lot of time she stands and stares for the longest time as if to say,
"Now what was I going to do? Or where was I going?"
As I watch her decline I worry about her. The biggest worry is,
"When am I going to have to make THE DECISION?"
I worry when she doesn't eat. I worry when she looks confused. I worry when she can only walk 50 feet and then look up at me as if to ask,
"Please carry me now."
I come home and always quickly check to see if she is moving or breathing. I worry every time I have to leave her alone.
I think this is probably going to be her last summer. The times she is weak seem greater than the times she wags her tail and smile at me.
I know she is feeling pain from her arthritis. Her last medication caused her liver enzymes to go way up. Last week I got her some new meds. These could cause kidney problems. So yesterday when she would not eat and I did not see her drink my first thought was,
"Is she starting to have kidney failure?"
Today I did not give her the meds just to see. She turned her nose up at the chicken noodle baby food but did eat a wee bit of honey yogurt. She drank some chicken broth and Dog Ensure. She doesn't seem to be drinking as much water. She is still peeing and had a small poop. (Can you tell she is consuming my life right now?)
At one point today I looked at her and she seemed so sad and confused. It occurred to me it may be time. Just as quickly as the thought occurred, I pushed it out of my brain.
Once she is gone it will symbolically end my past life of husband and family. She is the last tie left. I dread the sorrow and mourning I know I will experience once she is gone. I don't even know how to prepare for it. I cry now as I even write this down.
I had to make this decision with my Allie dog a year and a half ago. I know the hurt fades as do the memories. I still remember the rawness of the loss and the many tears.
I think what I fear the most will be the bitterness I will feel for my son for abandoning her to me and never once checking back on her to see how she is doing. I fear I will have a difficult time forgiving him for what seems like such a callous abandonment.
What I will do is tempt her with juicy morsels of whatever I can find she will eat. I will hug and kiss her which she just tolerates. I will continue to worry about her and plan my day around not leaving her alone too much. I trust I will know when the time is right to say goodbye to her.
I know the tears and yes, gut-wrenching sobs, will happen but I know the hurt will fade. She will forever be in tombed in my heart and symbolic of the end of a marriage and family. For she is now my only immediate family I have left.
Pastor Bill Cwirla told me on the death of Allie that he believed the closeness that man feels toward dogs is a remnant left from the garden before the Fall. I like that and it gives comfort.
My Queenie Beanie will be my precious memory. She has been a companion that has never failed me or left me. She loves me unconditionally.
I won't miss the poop and pee stains on the carpet though.