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Decision Time Fast Approaching — October 26

The time I’ve dreaded for the last two months is fast approaching. Very fast approaching. I thought we would have so much longer. It hasn’t even been two months since we got the diagnosis. Sometimes life really isn’t fair but then that’s me questioning the Universe and its wisdom, again.

The last meal Maggie had was Sunday a.m. when she ate the omelet.  Feels like it was longer than two days since she last ate but think that’s because she’s only eaten her dinners for the last little while and very few if any breakfasts. However, even two days is long for Maggie — she’s never gone two days without eating something, i.e. treats. She’s turning her nose away from everything, food, treats, everything. I’ve heated things up, added gravy, added every conceivable treat, and there’s no interest in anything. She’d move away from me if I persisted.

Thought I could talk to Dr. J. this morning in a calm and collected manner. Nah. That didn’t happen. Did OK with the receptionist but couldn’t make it through the conversation with Dr. J. without crying. He agreed when I said I thought the time was getting close and said that if there were added complications on top of the pain, then something needed to be done within the next couple of days. The not eating would be an added complication….

If Maggie was eating, if we could control the pain, I’d postpone my decision because as she lies on the deck beside me, she seems happy to watch the birds and “arm-chair” hunt for squirrels. But she hasn’t been comfortable for the last couple of days and I’m not going to have her go through a lot of pain. Squirrel just enticed Tara to chase it and bark at it. Maggie hobbled across the deck on three legs and is now lying by the steps licking her leg. Not Maggie behaviour…

As I lay in bed last night, awaken by Tara’s need to go outside, and unable to get back to sleep, I asked Maggie to give me a signal when it was time. The thought that came immediately to mind was that I would see what she was like in the morning and if nothing had changed physically and if she didn’t eat her breakfast, I would make an appointment with Dr. J. to assist her in crossing over. A. had given her a different remedy so I’d see if that made a difference and if Maggie would eat. A. said there were a couple of remedies we hadn’t tried yet. She was still lame and didn’t want to touch any food.

Funny but I struggle with saying ‘have her put down’, ‘have her put to sleep’, ‘euthanize her’, as if putting it out there will make it happen. It is happening. What I’m doing is helping her die. Maggie dead. Wow. Can’t get my heart there. Can get my head there since I don’t want her to suffer but not my heart. It wants her here in my life.

Even though in my head I knew she would not live forever, I’m not prepared for her not to be in my life. It’s not death that bothers me. I’m OK with her dying. I know her soul will live on and she’ll be in a beautiful place and no longer in pain. I know she’s accomplished whatever it was she was to accomplish in this life time and that she did it with grace and graciousness. I was there and witnessed it. I’m witnessing the reaction of people as I tell them that her time is nearing. The impact she’s had on people is striking. Almost everyone comments on her eyes and her soul. I’m just not prepared for the day to day life without her physically here. To not be able to look into those eyes throughout the day and see the different expressions in them. To see that wisdom and knowledge and compassion. Her zest for life — greeting me as I come in the door, as I come down the stairs, barking at me when she wants something and I’m being dense about it and not ‘getting it’. Just being “Maggie”.

The spiritual part of me knows her soul will always be with me. The human part of me says “damn it, that’s just not enough”.

Funny how the tears stop. They’ve been uncontrollable a few times this morning. Well that didn’t last for long…The roller coaster continues and I imagine the next few days are going to be one big roller coaster ride….

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