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.