I know everything that lives eventually dies – people, plants…dogs. But in a perfect world, we’d get to say when. And right now, I do not say when for my dog Mathilda. I need more time.

Don’t we all.

Ten-year-old Mathilda woke up this morning paralyzed in her hind legs. This afternoon she was sedated, x-rayed and examined thoroughly by our vet, and now she’s spending the night at the animal hospital, being fed morphine and steroids in hopes that tomorrow she’ll walk again like the lame man at Bethesada.

Mathilda is a little of this and a little of that, an odd-looking creature with floppy ears and a freakishly strong tail that will leave bruises on your shins when you scratch her back. Her nickname is Princess Rolls in S*it because she’s all about smells. The more disgusting, the better. She even rolled on a frozen dead fish once.

She joined our family when I went to the animal shelter in search of a companion for our Golden Retriever, Jake – a perpetual puppy until his last breath in December. Her original name was “Whimsy,” and she’d obviously been obtained on a whim by her former owners because their excuse for leaving her at the shelter was, “Didn’t have enough time for her.” Poor thing was shaking in her crate, and it was three months later before she barked. Surprised the heck out of all of us, and we praised her like she’d thrown the winning pass in the Super Bowl. (In the photo: Jake, Mathilda and Cooper)

There is so much I could write about Mathilda, but the words I want are disconnected and free floating in my head and making no sense. I’m sad and I’m nervous and am pretty sure I will not sleep much tonight. Mathilda’s fate is in the hands of some very powerful drugs, and I can only hope and pray tomorrow morning she will walk.

I know death is part of pet ownership. But death seems forever away when you’re waiting for baby Rover to pee for the first time outside or when you’re throwing a yarn ball at Kitty. In 8, 10, or 15 years, you have to play God, and while I’ve made “that” decision before, I make a really lousy God.

Cooper, the late Bungee the Cat (Mathilda’s best friend) and Mathilda

22 thoughts on “Mathilda

  1. oh my thoughts and prayers are with both of you. It may be that time for her, and we are never ready. I know this may sound far fetched, but I've been to vets that are certified to do holistic treatments like acupuncture as well as traditional medicine. I've helped hold a friends' dog during a treatment and saw that dog have immediate relief and walk better afterwards. And when my cat was ill they did a treatment on her as I held her and she completely relaxed and started purring as it worked.

  2. Lynn My thoughts are with you and your husband with this difficult time. It doesn't matter if it's a person or a beloved pet- the hurt is the same. I hope you both don't have to make that decision, but if you do I know you'll be thinking of Mathilda's best interest.

  3. Love that dog. Give her extra pets for me tomorrow.

    But think, if the worst should come, she'll get to be bitchy at Sasha and find Bungee in heaven.

    Love that cat, too.

  4. I'm sorry to hear of Mathilda's condition, Lynn. I believe that the final act of love we give to our pets is a peaceful passing. While I hope her time isn't quite yet, I also wish her a smooth journey to wide open fields, where she can run to her spirit's content.

  5. ((((hugs))))

    This past weekend, my sister and I sat with my other sister and supported her as we all said goodbye to her 20-year-old cat. The loss is still very fresh; I can definitely empathize with the emotions tied up in your decision.

  6. Oh man, Lynn. You know I can relate to you right now. I am hoping for the best for you and Matilda. Dogs do have miraculous powers of recovery. She is a darling dog.

  7. I’m so glad that I came across this blog. It’s great to see someone else who is into living a healthy and fit lifestyle. I myself has lost 125 lbs. and my weight loss story will be featured in the November 2010 issue of Shape magazine. This is really exciting for me! I also have a blog which documents my own weight loss and fitness endeauvers. Come check it out if you’re interested 🙂 Anyway, I look forward to reading more of your weight loss journey. Take care! ❤ Laura

  8. It's so emotionally wrenching to be in the position to have to make those decisions for our loved furry friends. They truly are family, and are intwined in our hearts. I hope a Miracle for you and Matilda.


  9. I'm really sorry about Mathilda…I can relate. I have a doggy named Buddy who I've had since I was 12. He's almost 16 now. He's def part of the family, just as I'm sure Mathilda is yours. My thoughts and prayers are with you and Mathilda. One day at a time…

  10. I loved your story of Mathilda. She looks like a sweetheart. Good-byes are so sad for those who remain behind. But what a good time she's had with your family both human and animal.

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