>> Friday, May 29, 2009
My scrappy little Kelly is not doing so well. On Wednesday, he was lethargic, barely moving. My sad boy laid across my lap most of the day. The girls, Maddie and Annabelle, seemed to know something was wrong. They didn't even attempt to join us. In fact, they both were on the floor at my feet. It was a gloomy day.
I finally called the vet in the afternoon and said, "Kelly's not bouncing anymore. He's not eating either." The not bouncing part broke my heart. Kelly's a bouncing dog. He's never been a walker...not even a runner. Kelly's a bouncer.
The vet suggested I stop all Kelly's meds for 24 hours and see what came next. She also told me to enjoy him for the night and feed him anything he wanted...anything at all.
I tried cooked chicken. I tried cheese. I tried beef gravy on his dog food. Kelly wanted none of those things. Finally, late at night, I was munching on a Saltine cracker. That appealed to Kelly. He rallied on Saltines and no medications.
Yesterday was a better day. Kelly had some pep to his step and managed to mark spots in the backyard. Today wasn't so bad either. I took Kelly to the vet for some reassurance and advice and came home feeling better (even though Kelly's condition hasn't changed).
I know that Kelly's life is drawing to a close and I know that I'll never be ready for that. I also know that Kelly's gums are pink, (indicating he's getting enough oxygen) and his heart beat is strong and not muffled by the tumors we expect are somewhere near.
Thankfully, the growth on his neck hasn't changed much. The vet helped me by offering some solid advice other than "You'll know when it's time..." She said, "When Kelly is truly lethargic and hasn't eaten for 48 hours, it might be time. It will also be time when his tumor has grown enough to interfere with his breathing." Intellectually I already knew that. It was good to hear though. Somehow, part of the weight was lifted from my shoulders.
The vet spoke with tears in her eyes as she told me she'd lost her two fifteen-year-old dogs this past year. Somehow, having a vet that is caring and kind matters as much as her medical knowledge. She's a good vet. The kind I want to be with Kelly and me when it's time.