Monday, December 12, 2016


It's been kind of a week.

(Or, to be more specific, it's been kind of a six weeks.)

After he was acting strangely for a day or two, we took Wilf to the vet to see what on earth was going on.  He'd been needing to go out several times a night, and the vet told us he'd managed to hump his Squeaky Cow into a UTI for himself.  And because that's so totally Wilford, we didn't even question it further.

But all the antibiotics weren't helping.  He went from being up and down a few times a night to being up and down every hour, day or night.  I was averaging less than three hours of sleep there for a while, even.  (Things were getting a bit surreal -- there are two days in there that I literally, even when reading back things I'd posted on Facebook or had written in my bullet journal, could not remember.)

His vet is a lovely woman who clearly loves her job and all her patients, and wanted us to be patient with him.  Some dogs, she said, just take a little longer to respond to antibiotics.  We shouldn't panic yet.  If one more round didn't work, they'd do other tests.  She calmed us and gave us Xanax (again, literally) for the little guy.

A week later, after a brief rallying, we noticed the W was losing a lot of weight.  We could see his spine.  His rib cage was visible.  This is not normal for a dog who could routinely eat his own weight in our other dog's treats.  He started throwing up one night, and when I called in the morning, they had us come in immediately.

It wasn't a UTI.  It was bladder cancer.

In less than an hour, we went from worrying about the surgery to remove kidney stones to having to make that most horrible of decisions.  The doc was relatively certain he wouldn't survive the anaesthesia for another surgery, and told us that, in this kind of cancer, you're looking at a 90-day prognosis, even with palliative care...and worse, that his pain would only get worse and worse as his body grew weaker.

J signed the papers and held him while he passed.  (I was at home with Cash, who has hip dysplasia and couldn't walk around with us if we'd gone together.  And to be fair, I thought W was just going in for another type of antibiotics.  Worst case scenario was surgery for kidney stones...not losing him altogether.)

I'm starting to wonder if I'm ever going to stop crying.

Grief is this weird amorphous, illogical thing.  

I flip around between thinking that we didn't do enough, didn't try enough to save him...and thinking that I was blind to how much pain he was in because I didn't want him to be sick anymore.  A UTI is uncomfortable, sure, and that explained everything, right?  The lethargy and vomiting were side effects from the antibiotics (which they totally can be).  How long did I leave him in pain because I didn't want to see it?

And then I'll have moments where the grief lifts a little and I don't think about it for a while.  Or I know that it's all okay now.  Or I think that yes, the decision sucked, but it was made out of love.

I do know that crying all the time sucks, but I'd rather cry all the time than be the kind of person who doesn't cry at all.

For now, I'm trying to put it all away so I can process the loss.  I stepped away from most of the internet, and I'm finding that moving around in physical space is helping.  I'm cleaning out boxes and closets and inboxes, and doing a fair bit of writing.  I'm getting all the benefits of a power outage, but by choice. :)

Still, I miss my friend, though.

I suspect I always will.



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