Saturday, May 30, 2009
Our Grand Old Lady Khira began acting lethargic on Thursday night, and wouldn't come in the house. By Friday morning she was vomiting, trembling, and not eating.
Mrs. BR took her to the vet. The root diagnosis was that she is old, and her body was beginning to shut down. How old we do not know, as we adopted her from a rescue four years ago, but best estimates place her at 12 to 14 years, which is fairly ancient for Alaskan Malamutes. We were faced with the decision that pet owners do not like to make. Is she suffering, and should we let her go now? We went through a similar bout with her about a year ago, and she bounced back. After some reflection, we decided to wait 24 hours. If she was not better by noon today, then we would end her suffering.
Friday was a hard day. She wouldn't eat, and although she drank as much as possible, she would immediately vomit the water. By late night, she was curled up on the lawn, unmoving. She was awake, but the light was gone from her eyes. More than a few tears were shed around Che Buckskins last night.
I sat with her for awhile around midnight, petting her, and told her that it was okay if she needed to leave. As listless as she was, she rolled on her side and lifted her leg so I could scratch her belly.
I came in awhile later, questioning our decision to wait, now that she was clearly suffering. I went to bed, saying a small prayer for her, with little doubt in my mind that I would find her at peace in the morning.
Waking up this morning, I heard a ruckus downstairs, and the sound of happy voices. Could it be? Going downstairs to investigate, I found our old lady back to her usual self, begging for food and a pat on the head. As though nothing had ever happened. This evening she is as healthy as she was earlier in the week. She is on a diet of hamburger and rice for a few days, which doesn't seem to bother her a bit. Go figure.
I do not believe that anything happens by chance or accident. Everything occurs for a reason, even if we do not understand the reason at the time.
And there is a very clear reason that we decided to wait 24 hours.