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."