May 9, 2017 by Soo Ee
My 13 yo pet dog seems to be reaching the end of his life on earth. He has been whining late at night for weeks now. His hip issues are not improving. He appeared disoriented at times.
I thought that these issues might have come from the walks we took every evening and/or the food he has been consuming, legally and illegally. He was always enthusiastic when we went for walks, and sometimes walked too quickly for his ailing hips. He didn’t have the healthiest diet with the free hands around him feeding him food of all kinds.
For a period of time, I stopped taking him out for walks. I kept reminding everyone at home not to feed him.
His whinings continued despite the restrains.
A friend advised me to continue the walk routines with him. Mickey looked forward to the evening walks. The first thing he would do when he is let out of the house would be to stand infront of the lift. He would stand there as if to wait for the ‘magic door’ to open so that he could go into it to the green world he loved so much.
I resumed our evening walks shortly after.
Frankly, I am not sure what I could do to make his existence more comfortable. I thought about painkillers and how it could help him sleep all day without pain. I could spend a bomb and have his hips mechanicalised robocop fashion though the surgeon said his old age with the surgery might kill him. I could put him to sleep but as long as he is eating and drinking and moving, this will not be an option.
I tried putting Mickey in the room with me at night because his whining woke my folks. He didn’t like being inside. He liked walking around. He liked being on the carpet outside my room. He would get up in the middle of the night, stared at the door and whines. I gave up after a few tries.
I gave him a personal pillow so that he didn’t have to fight with the other dog or squash her in his disorientated state. They still fought over the pillows.
I didn’t shower him often because he didn’t like being wet and cold. He smelled unwashed but he didn’t develop any skin issues, so that was good.
I met a lady on our walk yesterday. She commented that Mickey looked a little skinny. I told her he isn’t well and though his appetite has been good so far, he has been losing weight or not gaining much. She shared with me she put her dog to sleep because he was in too much pain. Her dog had cancer.
I felt a wave of pain through my heart when I heard that. I stole a glance over at the dog who was sniffing the grass and walking about with caution and enthusiasm. I thought I saw a smile on his face. That put a smile to my face and a resolution to my heart.
This morning, I spotted a rainbow trying to stand out among the dark clouds.
“In the way, it may rain a little too heavy for comfort sometimes, but if you look closely enough, you might find something good.”
I have learnt not to take anything for granted. When I first took Mickey into my life, I fulfilled a long time goal of mine to own a dog. I didn’t realize how tough it would be, the caring, the attention and the effort. Through him I have learnt patience and experienced unconditional love from a loyal pet. I have neglected him. I have scolded him when he misbehaved. I have forgotten why I got him in the first place – which was to have a dog to love and hold.
I remind myself to make a conscious efforts to spend time with him, to continue to take him out for walks, to scratch his ears and talk to him like he is listening, to pat him because he likes it, to make sure he eats well because he is a greedy mutt. As much as I can till his life expires.
I hope I am not too late.