Thursday, March 17, 2011

Auld lang syne

With Japan in ruins and idiot Americans blithely saying it's karmic or godly payback for Pearl Harbor (seriously), it's hard to navel gaze too much--don't want to fill my poor umbilical crater w/ puke and vitriol. On 9/11/01 our neighbor's wife had the poor timing to die of cancer. In the hallucinatory days after 9/11, while the nation was stunned and teary, I'd spy my neighbor walking in his private devistation, the mundane errands plus horrid funeral preparation echoing within the larger widespread bereavement or PTSD. I felt horrible for him, losing the privacy of his specific loss & mourning.

So, given the world and its devastation, malcontents, suffering, etc, I temper my sadness at the imminent demise of stolid, stubborn, sweet old Vargas. Her legs are beginning to fail. She's wasting away. She's just waiting. On one hand, she's not in active pain, and she hasn't moved but for food in decades, but it's clear where this path is leading.

And, that, friends, is the rub: we are uniquely positioned & equipped to address the suffering of our pets. Would that we could provide similar release for our own aged progenitors... But, when is when? We're basically waiting for Vargas to fall to justify what we know is coming. Annie and the girls would be hard pressed to (ahem) dead-lift her if she were to fall when I'm on shift. I could do it, but the poor girl would be in agony. We tend to inch up to the margin, then, guilt-driven and in denial, skid several days-weeks-months beyond that line. If she were merely old and wizened, it would be easy to comfort her and let her decline gently, which is what most people hope for but few truly receive. But with failing limbs and a big dog, it's not likely to be a gentle into that good night. Her mind is tired but still present. She moves awkwardly, her legs sliding apart as she stands, or quivering to support her up the mere four steps from yard to house. She yelps when the pup tries to play w/ her. There is no way to ignore the likelihood that, while awaiting the Death Fairy to snatch her in her sleep, Vargas will slip, sprawl, break, and her final hours will be pained and anguished. I don't know that will happen for certain--ain't a man born yet who knew what was coming for dead sure--but it's pointless to pretend the odds and likelihood are anything other than what they are.

Kids are doing all right with it, conceptually.
She's been a wonderful family pet. A total pain in my ass but a sweet, sweet dog. Best dog Harper could have had. That head, that head. I'd really like to save her skull, I'm guessing that won't happen.

On other note, liars are still fomenting faux revolution, making mockery and misery of discourse and direction. It's St. Paddy's Day, amateur night #2, and even when I was drinking, I understood it wasn't a night for the Irish or true drunks. It's also my fifteenth anniversary w/ Dame Ace. Not the longest time, but not short. We've passed our late-early-adulthood and moseyed toward middle age, as it's called. Strange, since no one calls themselves middle-aged any longer, even though we are. Older, creased, less dewy, scarred, perhaps wiser. She's a good one to make this march with.

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