Thursday, July 10, 2014

There's convenience, and then, there's love

It seems that nothing and no one I love is ever convenient. Arnold just peed on me. He didn't mean to. He was struggling to get away from me as I lifted him and held him tight and kissed his forehead. I think I may have to consider diapers or a pee pad. He can no longer control his bladder...that was the one thing he had left. And now he doesn't even have that.

I was going to put him to sleep yesterday. I had convinced myself that it was for his own good. Though there was still life left in him. Life left as he looks wearily at me, eyes full of love. Life, as he leans his chin on my feet, my ankles, whatever he can get his little head on. Life, as I wake up to find him wide awake, staring at me.

I will have to take off these clothes and jump in the shower. Again.

But no matter. I am not going to have him put down, put to sleep. Whatever the argument for it.

Yesterday when I decided to do it, I got a text. Saying the doctor could see him at 8.30 at night. After which all the vets would be closed except for emergencies. Putting a dog to sleep is not an emergency. It would buy him another day.

I stared at the message on my phone. I was at the post office, paying for some stamps before I went to buy Arnold's final meal, chicken rice. He loves the chicken, he loves the barbecue pork, the roast pork. But the message came through and I texted back.


And that bought him a day.

Except that it bought him more than that. The acupuncturist was horrified that I had even considered it. She said, Arnold was not in pain, in distress. Yes, if I put him in a corner and ignored him, that was a different case. But I didn't do that.

I wheeled him out to the park and sat with him. I stroked him and talked to him. He enjoyed some food. Yes, he was not recovering, he was not doing as well as he could be. But that was no reason to kill him. Would I kill my grandmother because I thought the quality of her life was not worth it? Would I kill my grandfather? My father? My mother? Anyone who couldn't do all the things other people could?

Who's to decide?

I was sobbing when I talked to her.

And after I decided, I stopped crying. I, who had been crying all day because of the thing I was contemplating...he was so precious and I loved him so much and this thing, this awful thing...this thing I had come to see as my duty, but how could it be my duty to hurt him, to put him away?

Of course it would have been convenient. I had taken the day off to do it.

But I couldn't.

And I didn't.

There's convenience (although it would have been convenient, not nearly, not even close).

And then, there's love.

And love will just have to do for now.

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