Tuesday, February 15, 2022

On Death and Dying.

       I'm preparing myself to sit Shiva for my JRT.  She's dying, and she's taking her sweet time about it. This behavior is not unusual for her, as anyone who's been owned by a Jack Russell Terrorist will attest.  The entire world is at HER beck and call. My husband  (who is the primary property of this girl) cannot bring himself to believe that she is ready. I spend at least 15 hours a day with her, he spends about 4. When he pulls out the leash, she suddenly comes to life and hobbles out the door with him. All the rest of the time, she is sleeping or staring aimlessly into space, or doing what she is right now- alternately laying under my feet, trying to walk down the hall, stumbling, or looking like she doesn't know where she is.  It's breaking my heart...the thought of having to have her put to sleep by our vet. I would really like for her to go in her sleep, as I think that would be easier on all of us. Tonight I was telling her to "just let go. We will be alright. It will be alright." and through my tears I started laughing, because that damn dog NEVER lets go. Of anything.  She came to us at about 4 months old.  She is almost 17 now, which is past the best by date of a JRT. If you'd known her as a pup, she never stopped running. It was like she was charged up to the max and had more energy than she could hold. When we brought her home, she immediately marked her territory, which included about a 17 mile radius of neighbors properties as well as our little place. And for a lot of years she ruled that territory with a vengeance. She started slowing down a couple of years ago, and due to some issues we had to start putting her on a lead anytime she went outside. She had an indomitable spirit, but it definitely changed her. We had to start giving her arthritis meds a few years ago. Now her back legs will go out from under her randomly and she stumbles and falls sometimes. She's taking a maximum dose and there's not much left to do. Vet says, she's old and it's amazing she lived this long.

   The other animals have been sticking closer to her the past day or so.  I trust that they sense something humans cannot, and she is even sharing the dog bed with Sassypants, the special needs kitten. She has had it in for that kitten ever since she came here. We decided that she (dog) knew that something wasn't right with her (cat) and you know how brutal animals can be (in our eyes) with defective babies. Molly didn't want that kitten even breathing her air. Every time kitty crossed her path she would snarl and snap at her if she got too close. Kitty loved her anyway. lol When Molly would fall asleep, the kitten would sneak over and lick the pads on Molly's feet. It was hysterical. The past 6 months they have made friends. Now they share the dog bed that kitty took away from the dogs.  This old girl has been loved fiercely by us and she has loved us the same. Her loss will leave a giant hole in our life and I am not looking forward to it.  Over the past years together we have lost several animals that we have loved and every time I have said, No more, I can't take it again.  And somehow I survive it and somehow life goes on and somehow, we have memories enough to keep us heartbroken for years to come. 

     Maybe tonight is the night. Maybe not.  She wants to go outside now and howl at the moon. That's how I want to go too...