June 28, 2003

A Dog's Life

I am writing around a lump in my throat. I just got up, for the second time. The first time was at 1:30 this morning, and I came in here and booted up the computer and worked half-heartedly in the eerie glow of the monitor, through some Photoshop 'lessons' just to divert my attention, maybe help me recenter my thoughts and maybe get some sleep again before Ann had to leave for work at 5:30.

In the global sense, a dog's comfort and well-being is a small matter. But if you search my stories and prose over the past year, our dog is a central character to our lives here. As the breed description says, "Black Labs want to be involved in all family activities", and so has Buster been, now for almost 4 and a half years. His joint pain that started in November, has now moved from his right front and back legs, to include also the left. The arthritis is either a symptom of or a comorbid condition of something else that the veterinarians cannot name. But the quality of his life is declining rapidly, and he is no longer well enough to be involved in any family activities. And he is in great pain. And when he groans and whimpers in the small hours of the night, I cannot sleep.

And we are at a point where we need to decide what is best for him. And we are damned if we do or if we don't. Some of you will understand.

So, life goes on. I have some things I need to work on outside, and maybe getting out of the house will be the best distraction just now. Except that if I put on my cap and my gloves, Buster will want to go, but cannot even lift his head to watch me leave. And so I will quietly slip out the front door in my sandals instead, and just walk somewhere. Alone.

Posted by fred1st at June 28, 2003 12:08 PM | TrackBack

Some nights, with Checkers sleeping at my feet, I lie awake dreading the aging and decline I know will come to him someday, and the sadness it will inevitably cause me. So I wish you and Buster alike strength and comfort as you work your way through this.

Posted by: steve at June 28, 2003 12:38 PM

Making that decision is one of the hardest things in the world, Fred. I know. My thoughts are with all of you.

Posted by: beth at June 28, 2003 01:35 PM

I'm sorry that you must walk down that lonely path. Shalom.

Posted by: Cop Car at June 28, 2003 03:57 PM

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