United States of Motherhood: The Good and the Bad and the Pragmatic

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Good and the Bad and the Pragmatic

We have good days.

We have bad.

It's so difficult when you have a pet struck down by illness. By metastatic cancer. Melanoma. Carcinoma. Lung Cancer.

You want to keep them with you as long as possible. You're selfish that way.

You love them too much.

You also want to balance this selfish love with their dignity, quality of life, crushing pain, and with what is humane.

Since getting getting the right dose of synthetic morphine Tamadol and the anti-inflammatory Rimadyl, luckily we are having more good days than bad.

I won't lie that I thought it was the end more than once in the last week, but then my girl comes back wiggling her rump and begging for table food.

I realize then there is much more life in her to be lived.

Her pain is under control.

Her cough is that of a 2-pack a day 20-year smoker in the mornings. She walks slowly with her head at an odd angle since the multiple tumors in her chest and lungs have impacted her range of movement.

She still sleeps a lot, but wouldn't you if you were elderly? She's at least 15!

Yesterday, she had enough spunk to steal Seb's chewy--an old trick for which our old Grendel was known.

She is telling me something I think. She is still kicking. Her tail is still thumping. Her eyes still have a glimpse of the old Grendel's sparkle.

So, we are not making a call yet. We will let her enjoy life as long as she can while we enjoy her.

It gives us more time to let it sink in for kids. For us.

We walk blind. Not knowing day to day whether this will be another sudden change like last week or continuation of a few more sunny days.

We know not to hope.

We are pragmatic.

She will be with us for months at best, days at worst.

We make plans. We can find humor because we know she has had a pampered existence and discuss having her stuffed.

Yep, that one's more the husband's idea.

More reasonably, we discuss cremation. My heart likes the idea of a sunny spot in the garden perhaps dappled by a auburn-leaved tree the color of my girl.

She loves the sun.

Always has with her suspected Basenji African dog roots. It most probably started this change of events.

At the risk of sounding like Bob Barker, please spay or neuter your pets AND put sunscreen on them if they are short-haired, pink-skinned, and sun-worshipping.

In the meantime, I want to thank you all for the comments, advice, and shared stories. They were beyond helpful and truly appreciated.

This community and compassion is why I blog.

As for that cancer?


Yep, gotta keep laughing.


Whit said...

I feel your pain. Poor, old dogs.

Dumblond said...

It's nice to see pics of your girl still kickin'! Gorgeous pics too!

Mari said...

great photos of Grendel. he looks happy. And this is how we should treat all our critically ill. Hugs to you and your family.

JustJennyRebecca said...

Our old dog has cancer, too. And we tell the cancer to "suck it" everyday. Love your posts and pics of Grendel.

followthatdog said...

I'm so sorry. I lost a dog to cancer 8 years ago and another to chronic renal failure 2 years ago. Each time it was so hard to know when the right time was. After we lost Rosie, the vet sent a card that reduced me to tears. I still think of it when I think of these two wonderful pets. It said something along the lines of "you have given your dog the ultimate kindness. You knew when to let her go."

Mama Kat said...

Awwwww so sad!!! Poor baby.

ZDub said...

Such a sweet doggy!

She's a lucky dog.

Jason said...

This is a great site that you have here. I have a site myself where people can freely express their opinions towards controversial debate topics. After looking at your site, I see that you have some valuable insight you can provide us. This is why I left this comment.

Keep up the good work. Maybe we can do a link exchange.


Grizzly Kitteh said...

She's a beautiful dog. I'm glad she's doing better :)

feefifoto said...

How sad to see a beloved pet suffer. You obviously love her very much.

Molly said...

i love these pics of grendel. shes so regal...as always give her smooches from me.

Wendy said...

i cry now even thinking of having to make such decisions in a few years for our fuzzy baby. hang in there! *hugs* for everyone!

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