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.
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.