Seven Years

We are at Asilomar State Park for an annual conference. As I walked away to go get coffee, Wife looked at me out the window of our cabin. I got the shot.
Yesterday was a long day, not because anything particularly difficult occurred, but because I had too many engagements. But, I am ahead of myself.

During the holiday period, I generally write several articles and talk about the season, the reason, and how I am thankful. This season, however, I was distracted by my concern for The Girl. After her seizure in early December, I was in a bit of a panic. I do not want to lose The Girl. She has been at my side for more than eight years. She is my constant companion and keeps me centered in the moment.

But the simple truth is that I am losing her. She had a second seizure a couple of weeks ago. It was worse than the first in some ways, although I was better prepared for this one. Her recovery, once she recovered consciousness, took about two hours. She was then ready to settle down. We both slept hard that night. I have more to say about her condition in a moment.

Today marks the seventh anniversary of Wife’s death. I woke about 0500h this morning, asked Siri about the time, and then took a few minutes to remember Wife, her life, our lives together, and her departure.

As I reflected on that time, I realized that no grief came to me this morning. What I had was a sense of loss, a wishing that things had gone better, and a realization that nothing is permanent. Today I will spend several times remembering Wife, being thankful for the time we had together, all those fun, crazy times we had, and praying that her spirit lives on in the bosom of God. She deserves that.

As I laid in bed one recent morning, The Girl slept snuggled close to me. I love these snuggles.
After talking the her vet several times over the last few weeks, it is clear that The Girl’s departure is coming. I do not think it is imminent, but her time with me is limited probably to a month or two.

I believe the vet when he says she has a brain tumor. He does not know with certainty and I plan to take her to the research vet hospital in Davis to have a workup and imaging of her done. I want clarity and closure, even if treatment is not possible. If, as I suspect, she does have a brain tumor and it is diagnosed, then the local vet will be released to treat her medically. That means mitigation of brain swelling, seizures, and palliative treatment to make her comfortable the remainder of her life.

When her time comes, I intend her life to end here at the house. There is no reason for her to feel the anxiety of the vet’s office, deal with the clinical aspects of that location, and deal with all the other animals there for treatment. She can die here at home, in her space, with her things, and with her loved ones.

It would be a lie to say I have not grieved my dog already. Unlike her, I have the ability to anticipate the future. When I do, I imagine life without this wonderful creature and weep. Then she comes to check on me and brings me back to the moment, which is all we really ever have or know.

I am treating her with CBD oil. Based on my research, it will not hurt her and has every possibility of increasing her comfort, reducing inflammation, and reducing the probability of another seizure. I am not sure I have the buy-in of the vet, but I am not sure I care. As I wrote, I do not see anything in the literature that the drugs will hurt her. It seems reasonable that CBDs are not as harsh as some of the other medications.

It is cold and cloudy today. I am not looking forward to being out in the cold. But The Girl wants an outing and I am going to give it to her. The exercise will be good for both of us. The cold will likely make her frisky and that is always fun. She will exude joy at being alive and outdoors. It will be good.

Then we will return home. She will sleep most of the afternoon until she wakes and starts begging for supper. I will work on a few things and spend time remembering Wife. Remembering is a way of keeping her alive. She will never be truly gone so long as she is remembered.