My dog is ten years old. Ever since she was about one year old and was X-rayed to see how hips and elbows were, I’ve known she’s got a rather bad body. She’s a small girl and doesn’t weigh much, which has served her well during the years. But; she is ten and a couple of years ago, her hips and elbows began showing. And it hasn’t gotten any better.
About six weeks ago or so, I was sitting on my couch, both cats and dog there with me. Suddenly, my dog raised her head and looked at me and suddenly – I knew. Later that same night when we were outside, it became even more clear to me. She was telling me to prepare myself, because on the inside of six months she won’t be here anylonger.
Do I need to say that I’ve spent quite some time crying over this?
Since then, we’ve had two incidents. First, she had a urinary infection (google translated) that needed medicine. That was only maybe two weeks after her telling me to prepare. Not too bad, though, compared to what it could’ve been. The next thing was and is worse, however.
Last weekend, just before my birthday, she had an episode where she was in so much pain. My dog, who’s always more or less hysterically happy, curious about everyone and everything. She could hardly walk. She could hardly stand up. She was in pain sitting. I called a friend in my neighbourhood asking her to take a look from a distance, and all she could say was wow. Oh, wow. That does not look good. Then she came out to see how my dog would react, and we both noted very clearly that my dog was not happy. And trust me; she is always happy. Always.
So; we’ve been to the vet today to get pain killers for her. I had a few at home (since the urinary infection) and they’ve made all the difference. What was not as pleasant was learning that she most likely has mammary tumors (google translated) – one bad and evil, and one all cute and sweet (high level irony). She’s too old for surgery (and I don’t have the money for it), so the only thing to do is to keep her free of pain as long as it lasts, and when it’s time – it’s time.
Over ten years ago when I was just starting my business as a portrait photographer, I recieved a strong, serious warning in a dream. I told my best friend and some other people about this, and they all said that I shouldn’t allow my dreams to dictate my life. That is one of the biggest mistakes I ever did in my life, and I’ll never do it again.
So; when people tell me now that my dog can live for a long time with these tumours, that the feeling of her telling me it’s almost time may have referred to this or that rather than her dying soon… No.
No, I am not going to listen to other people when the feeling I got was so strong, so vivid, so true. I know this. I can’t say for sure if it means I’ll loose her next week, or the last week on the inside of these six months (of which at least one has already passed by), but I do know it’s going to happen sooner rather than later. But I can’t give myself some false hope to have her around for couple of more years, when I know deep into my bones that I am loosing her soon.
I can see only one “good” thing on this matter, and that is the fact that she’s old. She is ten years old, after all, and at that age, as a german shepherd, it’s all right to die. And I actually am ok with that. I will mourn her more than I care to think of, but I am still ok with it. Just as I was with my oldest cat who passed about seven years ago. He too was old and sick.
But the whole point of this post is discussing this knowledge, this intuition. I’ve been lacking this for many years, due to my bipolar disorder – and even if I don’t enjoy the message at the moment, I still do appreciate the skill returning.
But I cannot really imagine my life without her, that’s for sure.