Day eight-thousand three-hundred ninety two of NaBloPoMo. Or something like that. At this point, I’m wondering if I’ll ever see Tara again.
November 7, 2007
My dear Doggo,
You gave us quite a quiet fright last night.
It took a while for us to realize that you hadn’t engaged in your usual routine of staring us down while we ate until someone (me) relented and allowed you to lick the dinner remnants from our plates. That you didn’t get off the couch when I did place my plate on the floor as I normally do (because you do such a great job of getting the stuff off the plates the dishwasher would have to work a bit harder to remove), was unsettling.
And when I finally realized you were just laying there on your spot on the couch (which is really a giant dog bed and we should have realized that’s all it was when we bought it) the RT coaxed you down to the floor where you sat uncomfortably, shaking a bit. Your paws were cold, too. Aren’t dogs’ paws always warm?
Not too long ago the MoH said that he could hear your hip clicking as you walked around the block with him in the quiet of the evening. We’ve known that you have some trouble with your hip because you’re a bit of a plus sized girl, and not quite genetically put together well; your legs are just too short for the bulk of your body. So that’s why we’ve cut back on the distance you walk each day, and have made sure that you get just the right amount of food.
I’m sure the RT won’t mind that you’re snuggling with his old blan-key. It’s pretty stinky, so I know you like it.
I encouraged you to lay on your side, and you complied, but seemed afraid and panted a bit. You wouldn’t even eat one of your favorite Milk Bone dog biscuits and it sat just beyond your nose until you nudged it and tried to eat it, giving up after a few seconds. But concern showed in your eyes whenever anyone touched it or moved it, so we knew you were interested in your bone.
I felt so badly for you (because you are always so perky when we’re all home together in the evening) that I went upstairs to get your bed, pushed you gently (which is no mean feat) to lay on it, and then covered you with the rug, watching your eyes close as you gave in to sleep. Watching the rise and fall of your body as you breathed.
I began to wonder how we’d get you in the car if we had to take you to the vet. I know we could, but I can imagine that you’d be quite embarrassed with the idea of it, not being able to do it yourself. I asked the MoH how old you were again, thinking that eight or nine isn’t that old — even in dog years, is it? I probably just don’t want to admit it.
Later in the evening after we’d all gone to bed and I had successfully gotten you to climb the stairs, I watched you sleep in your regular place next to my side of the bed. As I read, I kept watch for the sign of your breathing, just like I used to do with my babies.
This morning you were fine. Not stiff, tail wagging, and ready to eat that bone we gave you last night.
I’m glad you’re feeling better, Biggedy. It was unseasonally chilly last night, and I think that chill, coupled with your joint problems, just got the best of you. But I’m still unsettled about your health. I think we’re all getting to the point where we are feeling uncomfortable about the fact that our animals just won’t live as long as we will, and that as time goes on, the idea of starting all over again with someone else, is just more than we can bear to think about.
We love you Biggedy (Ann Jones the Third — as the MoH would coo in a falsetto),
Your Doting Family
p.s. I’ll go to the pet store today to look for some glucosamine. Maybe that way, your joints won’t be so sore. Oh, and I’m so glad we replaced the RT’s sheets and comforter. Goodness knows, I wouldn’t want you to have to take your naps on your dog bed while I’m writing. Heavens no.