Yesterday I rallied myself to start the task of a hair cut and bath for Sweet “B” Thinking she could go see Jesus soon I did not want her to look like the woofa wafus. Yes that is a real term my Nonnie has always used.
So I carried her in the laundry room and did not give into her demands. Panting, crying, fighting, yes, it was all part of the ritual. Two hours later we both emerged. Bailley looked cute as a bed bug, I on the other hand had patches of fur in my eyebrows, eye lashes, nose, mouth and every other orifice that was available. My hair was askew and I was exhausted. Bailley on the other hand was running, yes I said running, through the house like she had just single handedly taken down the Alamo. I am not quite sure what transpired in the laundry room but she obviously did not look like she was straddling the fence of life and death.
So here we are, back in the saddle again. She had a decent night and has not had a single episode of panting and pacing. Is this God’s way of preparing me? Is God being merciful and giving me just a little more time? One can never know what the future holds but between my grandmother and Bailley, I have learned a very valuable lesson as the events have unfolded over the last year. It’s not over, until it’s over. Until the final breath is drawn There is still a story to be told. God uses tragedy for good. We are all certainly headed for death but until it happens, life is something to find joy in, even if only for a couple hours.
On another note, I have been breeding dogs for 15 years. I can certainly say I have had more than one litter of puppies in that 15 years. This weekend was spent sleeping with a flash light, waking every time any living thing in our bedroom breathed funny. Those living things included, three dogs in bed with us, Bailley, Phoebe, and Peyton, Cody in his crate beside my bed, and Ella in her bed enclosed in a baby gate. Ella was the main culprit so every little bustle I heard I sprang to my feet, flashlight in hand, searching for her bottom to see what was going on. By the end of the second night I was exhausted and Ella was looking at me through her great big brown sleep deprived eyes like I was insane. I think I may have finally flipped that switch. After realizing the girls have just been running around all day like its party time I decided to take yet another look at the dates they were bred. Sure enough, I found the notes on the calendar written in big black letters were not the day of breeding, it was the day they started their heat. So now their due date is not until NEXT MONDAY!
As the sun started peaking through the darkness of our room this morning I slowly woke after a long night of keeping one eye open for the impending birth of new baby Shih Tzu and the up and down potty runs with sweet B. It seems she is having more episodes of restless panting that wake her during the night. She has also had them the last few days during the day. The only way to get her to relax and go back to sleep last night was a dose of Trazodone. As the pill started to work its way into her system I could feel the tension leave her body. She drifted off to a peaceful sleep that she welcomed with open arms.
Just as every other morning once sunlight enters the room, dogs begin to wake one at a time and with little whimpers they tell me its time to see what the new day has in store. I noticed Bailley in a strange position at the top of the bed positioned between Steve’s pillow and the headboard. She seemed lifeless. I reached up and touched her with no sign of life. I did not detect breathing it seemed for a few seconds. No twitching, nothing. I pulled my hand back and took a deep breath as if to brace myself for the thing I have feared most for years. I reached up again and I felt a little twitch. Was I relieved? I cannot really say I was. In the last couple weeks, the big DECISION has attached its self to me like a dark shadow always looming in the very corners of my mind. The decision and I are mortal enemies. I have noticed the last week or so the decision comes out of the shadow and gently whispers in my ear. Almost like it is time for us to have a short moment of truce. These moments of truce with the decisions are familiar to me in past experiences, but how do you call a truce with your mortal enemy when it means letting go of your soul mate.
Bailley has been the ONE consistent joy in my life for almost 16 years. There has not been a single night I close my eyes and not feel her warm fuzzy body snuggled happily by my pillow. My days have been filled with her antics of discovering new ways to communicate to me that she is the queen and I am her special subject. Bailley has never been a needy dog, she has always been full of self confidence. She would grace me with her snuggle loving and mushy kisses on her terms and when she did it was a treasured moment. Bailley seemed to understand that people treat you according to how much you value yourself. It has always been clear to anyone entering our home that Bailley is queen B. Bailley loves me in a way that I have never been loved. She would wait for me until Jesus came. She greets me at the door with tail wagging leaping happiness, no matter how long I was gone. Every reuniting was a cause for celebration.
Her light that shined so bright for so many years is now fading to a faint glow. I look at her and I know she is still in there but her body is betraying her. Getting around is difficult to get started, she cannot hear, I imagine most of her sight is gone as she bumps into walls, cant seem to find the nozzle of her water bottle and she gets lost outside unless we are there to guide her. Most of her light has faded in the last couple weeks with more coughing, almost to the point she cant seem to get it out. She eats sporadically. The episodes of her panting anxiously with constant movement trying to find a comfortable spot, have increased. She has restless nights of up and down to potty and then unable to settle back in bed because she seems to be uncomfortable, possibly in pain as she whines at times. It seems her quality of life is less that mediocre at this point. Is she having a bad day? A bad week? A bad couple weeks? I wish she could tell me, maybe she is and my heart is fighting a truce with the decision.
Even as I write this she is bouncing back and forth from her doughnut bed to the hard cool floor as if she is looking for a spot that she can find comfort. I have known for years this time would come. I only hope that God could intervene and make it a little easier for me. But I know life is never easy.