almond eyes

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I love you - just a little bit more than life itself

I know it sounds corny, but that's what I've been telling him all these years.

Things are not very good here this morning. After having a fairly long, energetic, full of beans walk with our gang yesterday morning, he collapsed as soon as we got home. He spent the morning on his bed in the living room with his head in my lap and I honestly thought he might die right there & then. This morning he's still too weak to get up although he seems bright and alert. Winnie Dixon's feeling worried, I'm sad and nauseous feeling and the cats ... well of course they're oblivious. Except Bleet, who has always believed Jake was his mother. Bleet is concerned, and wants to lie curled up on Jake (draped over a paw or curled up in that space between his neck and chest) as he does love to do, but he seems to know that Jake's not feeling well. So instead he sits near him and purrs that deep, loud Bleetness purr.

Jake's not going to get better, I realize that. I'm faced with the decision to try and do the right thing. Do I wait until things are really, really bad - desperate ? Or do I nip this in the bud and say goodbye while he has some quality of life left ? I feel somewhat paralyzed by this decision, and it's making me feel sick to my stomach.

It's very dramatic, the change that comes over him. In almost an instant he goes from healthy, hungry, goofy Jake to an incapacitated, sick and distant dog. These spells do seem more frequent and have become more long lasting. Today is our vet's day off but I will call her tomorrow and have a conversation with her, hear her thoughts and ready the wagon. Just in case.

Just my opinion ... but, a few things to not say to someone in my position as I don't need or want truisms

• you gave him such a long & wonderful life - I know that already
• you're so lucky that he has lived to be 13 - I know that too
• you'd be doing the best, most kind thing for him- uh huh, know that too

what I'd much rather hear, what I need and would prefer, what anyone grieving needs, I think ... is validation & comfort

• you must be feeling so terribly sad - I feel like I'm going to die of sadness
• is there anything I can do to help - thank you so much for asking
• do you need a hug - yes please
• he's an amazing dog - he sure is!

9:48 am That last bit sounds bitchy, for me. I think I'm feeling pissed off- I'm not sure what step or stage that is ... I think it's time for an Ativan, time for some blotting.

Bleet & Jake


  1. Goddammit!! I hate death and dying... for that matter I even hate getting older myself.. cuz everything gets full of wrinkles , falls apart or hurts and even if we are human...doctors still can't do much for most of our ailments either!
    I never got past anger, depression and guilt when I had to put my old cats to sleep all those years ago... I know that is stupid, but that is how I am. I was also just good and pissed off that other family members never lifted a finger to help me out. The passing of so many years has dulled the sharpness of it all..but it still lingers...still rears its ugly head unbidden every so often.

    Then, many years later... 10 years ago as a matter of fact... the same fate befell me in the death of my Mom. It was me that got to do the dirty. I spent the better part of a year at her apartment... while my husband and house were in a totally different province, never mind a different city. She wanted to be in her own home and so I had to go there in order to make it right for her. At the end I was pumping morphine in measure doses into a medi-port in her leg... wishing I could do something more...wishing I had a friend or sibling that would be there with me...... and in the the last few days, my sister did come, finally.

    Could you call your sister? Might she come for a few days? Failing that ..a friend? Unless you would prefer to be alone... .but then, Could your favourite vet come to your house to put Jake to sleep peacefully and in his favourite spot? I know there are some around here that do come to your home to do that. I know you also have your friend that will help with transporting Jake if need be....

    Even if I don't know you personally Susan, I do feel that I know you about as well as anybody can know a friend. I wish I lived on your street.... a hug is so far away when it is in a distant city...but I send mine to you anyway. This is just a shitty time for you to be having...and having it all by yourself, although, sometimes we do prefer to be alone in certain situations I know. My eyes are definitely not almond.... they are just damn good and red and puffy from crying ......
    I send my love to you and Jake..

  2. Thank you Vee for the big, big hug that I do feel coming from all the way out west. I really don't mind being by myself through this, I'm used to it and mostly completely content. And I have my Winnie Dixon (thank God), who's completely freaked by my upset-ness, and she's also a huge comfort. looking at me worriedly and giving me lots of little kisses.

    I just wish at times, especially in this weakened state, that there was someone to help "decide" with me. I question my instincts, even though I know in my heart I don't need to question them ... they've served me well for a very long time.

    And a small part of me just can't bare to say goodbye to him, can't even imagine that this could all be true and really happening.

  3. Oh, Susan, I'm so sorry you're going through this. Losing a loved one is hard, and anger is definitely part of the process. I can say, "I understand" or "I feel your pain," but it's only partially true, because while I've been in a similar situation and can empathize, it's not exactly the same and I'm not you. Just know that I wish the best for both of you, and have faith that you'll know when the time comes.


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