Monday, February 12, 2007

An old dog, new tricks


Tucking her into bed


Jed is worried about Maggie. Her cough is getting worse and she's skinnier than ever.

He even mentioned yesterday that he thinks she's only got two weeks left in her.

After the diagnosis last summer, I spent an anguished few days feeling numb. The idea of a house without this old girl of ours begging for tasty morsels and smiling at us as only a good dog can smile, filled me with dread.

But then she didn't die. As the months went by we began to feel hot under the icy glares of the veterinary staff as we continued to stop by and pick up two-week supplies of Hydrocodone; Jed started bringing her with him to prove we weren't just pocketing the drugs for ourselves.

Her birthday (Thanksgiving) came and went, as did Christmas and New Year's Day. And now as Annabel and I gear up for Valentine's Day, Maggie is still underfoot and under the dining room table where hundreds of paper hearts -- knocked over accidentally as we busily made cards this past weekend -- fluttered down upon her.

I'd forgotten how sick she is; how little time is left. She still lumbers up and down the stairs, eats voraciously and drags hers and all bowls of dinner-time giveaways away from Madeline every chance she gets. She doesn't have any pain. And even though we know it's inevitable, her death will still be a shock.

I worry about Annabel, and how she will take the loss now that Maggie is routinely sleeping in her room and generally watching over her at night. I imagine Maggie's absence in the house will make it feel cavernous to her, especially. "Is Maggie feeling better?" she asked me last night at bedtime, "'cause I want her to sleep in my room. I want her with me all night."

12 comments:

K said...

I'm crying for you, I have been there, and I wish for you that she would never have to go.

Firestarter5 said...

I feel your pain Toy. I remember when our first dog died that we had from the day she was a puppy. We even dug a grave for her in our garden..or at least I did...my brother was crying so much he couldn't do anything. We took her to the vet and they gave her that fateful needle and she just went to sleep forever.

Hopefully I'm wrong, but if Annabel has known the dog since she can remember, it's going to be a very bad day when that moment comes.

BlogWhore said...

all dogs do go to heaven...

and cats, too.

Peter said...

My Dog Jackson is close, it is sad. I hope Maggie remains comfortable.

stefanierj said...

Oh, honey. This is the flip side of all that love and laughter these beasts bring to us, and I for one think it just sucks sucks sucks. Annabel will be sad, but you know, Maggie will always be a happy spot in her memory. You guys will keep it that way, and even the new little one will get to know Maggie and her legacy, too.

{{big hugs}}

kfk said...

So sad for you. I'm afraid we will be dealing with this soon enough with our Tootsie. Make every minute count!

gingajoy said...

yep. seems like you are just about in the same place as i am right now (thanks for your comment) poor maggie...

Gail said...

I dread the day when you make the announcement. What a sweet and loving creature. I love that shot of Annabel sitting on her while she lays there, unfazed.

diana said...

Oh that's just heartbreaking. We've started to prepare Beast as best we can because one of our cats is older and frailer than the rest but oh. So hard and sad.

ECR said...

Bittersweet photos and words. My best to Maggie and you guys.

Be Still said...

I'm so sorry this is happening to you and your family.

Death can be hard to look at square in the face. It hurts but I'm certain you'll come away wiser and stronger Siobhan.

Hugs to you~

Tracy said...

have had a similar experience, with a beloved pet too. maggie is most fortunate to have your love, and care.