Thursday, January 29, 2009

Dog Whispering

Pippi is still dying. I have decided not to hasten his death. He eats and poops and walks upstairs and wags his tail when I come home. When he walked outside yesterday he and rolled in the snow and expressed so much joy, so I feel reassured about my decision. I really had no idea what to do when I came home from Ecuador. The dog-sitter had arranged for him to be euthanized the day after I arrived. My oldest daughter was horrified that I would even consider such a thing, and wanted to see him and spend some time with him before he dies. I canceled the appointment with the vet and started asking questions.

I learned that I am not a dog person. I have two dogs and I enjoy their company, but I do not sleep with the dogs or spend a significant amount of time attending to them. I feed them, I let them out, I feel comforted by their presence, but I pay a limited amount of attention to them. I am incredibly lucky to have two kind and gentle and loving dogs. Elmer chewed alot until about six months ago, and I was very frustrated with him for a long time, but I have forgiven him.

I was told that my dog will show me when he is ready to go, that I will intuitively KNOW. For now, I have not got the message from him or any message for that matter. I don't have a clue when the right time is. I can see that he has aged noticeably since we left for a week at Christmas. He suddenly looks like an old and wizened man. Since we came home from Ecuador, it is clear that he has tumours all over his body and open sores which he chews at constantly. Luckily he has this wonderful whitish coat which covers up alot, so he is not too unsightly unless one looks more closely. I decided when I saw that he could climb up and down the stairs without much difficulty, that he was not as far gone as I had feared, and now that I have been home for more than a week, I have an easier time ignoring how awful he looks. I don't want to touch him much because eveything looks so painful.

My daughter did not come home on the weekend to see him or to say goodbye. I did not want to leave the house much, knowing that his days were numbered. I wanted to take photos of him, but he is truly unsightly and was once such a handsome dog, I do not want to remember him this way. By not doing anything I have made a choice.

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