A blog about my life with dogs.......

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Beside myself. Beside Harry.

I am beside myself. Right at this moment Matilda, who is here visiting, and Harry are cuddling again(as shown in this picture) on his new Crypton dog bed. But instead of hearing Matilda snoring, I am hearing Harry struggling to breathe. Before it was panting, something the vet told me to expect, but now it is just struggling. Earlier in the day it was panting, but as the day goes on the problem increases. I have worked 40 hours in the past 2 and a half days, and have had my mother and Craig looking over the dogs for me as I care for my clients at work, one of whom is dieing and is herself struggling to breathe. I just tried to call the vet, who I guess closes early on Wednesdays. In this moment, this thing I was so optimistic to battle against just a few days ago seems like it has already won. Will this labored breathing pass in a few minutes and my sudden urge to call the vet and end his pain subside? Has Harry been suffering all this time I have been away at work and I didn't know? Should I pay the fees to have the vet take my call as an emergency??

I decided to lay on the floor next to him for a while and massage his sore legs.

The phone rings, a visitor arrives, a game of fetch breaks out in the basement. Little Matilda trying to steal the ball from the mouths of the big dogs and Harry's labored breathing has stopped, his panting comes off and on but the worst of the day has past for now. I am relieved and emotionally exhausted. Advocating for one who can't communicate their desires, speaking and acting on the best interest of another, it is a daunting task.

Harry ate well this evening, but after dinner he began to limp. So I'm laying out all the cold hard facts. Here I have an old dog who is a little hard of hearing, has some sight loss and cataracts, arthritis, mobility issues including limping and stiffness, excessive weight loss, terminal cancerous tumors, as well as panting and wheezing fits that come and go (the later of which is difficult for me to bear). Harry has brief moments of happiness, most notably when his favorite people show up, meal time and when he gets pizza crusts as a snack. Now only sometimes does he really seem to enjoy his walks.
Wow it seems like this all came on so fast.

So, I'm going to spoil him rotten, snuggle close with him at night and lay next to him on the floor now and then. I'm going to feed him his favorites, make doubly sure the other dogs don't bump into him and take him for a last visit to the farm. I'm going to call the vet and see if they make home visits. I know I will cry, I'm not going to try to pretend I'm a tough-guy even in the public land of blogs. I'm going to cross my fingers, my heart and wish on a star that Harry might go peacefully in his sleep this night or the next. I'm going to admit to myself, and to you blog readers, that I can't read enough books, have enough special diet plans or daily routines and regimens to save an old dog from terminal cancer. I'm going to do whats tough for me and easier on Harry because a slow death is peace for no one, least of all the dieing. 

Here's a photo I took this week of Harry enjoying a jar of peanut butter. This is an occasional treat at my house. Any time I finish a jar of peanut butter I put it in the freezer, then when I have enough for each dog to have one they get a jar to lick clean. They love it.

1 comment:

  1. Jeni, i am so sorry for your situation. I have seen this in my own pet family twice, and it is gut-wrenching. But you gave an older dog a chance at the best life he could have, and he changed yours for the better. For you both, a job well done! I hope youre able to find a little peace and comfort, and i wish for your remaining time with Harry to be fulfilling.