This week my little Lhaso Apso passed away. Rather, I had to take him to the vet and be put to sleep. Let’s talk about that first and then I’ll dig into my emotional shit relating to him. He was diagnosed 1-1/2 years ago with a large lung tumor. How he lived this long is anybody’s guess, but he continued on with some coughing, but for the most part he was status quo. Dogs are resilient creatures — he didn’t know he was terminally ill, so he just continued being who he is. May we all be able to do that…
Over the past two months his decline sped up. He lost more weight, coughed a bit more, couldn’t jump up on the couch without help. The end was coming. The Hunter, who was never fond of him, felt bad for him and finally told me this week that it was time. He told me that by delaying the inevitable, I was pissing him off. That woke me up because he was right. I just wanted to avoid the whole situation. The poor dog stopped eating and was sleeping most of the time — these were the necessary signs the vet told me about. I promised to resolve it within 24 hours and I did with the Hunter by my side.
We went to the vet with the little guy wrapped up in a cozy blanket. He had been snuggling with me quite a bit over the past couple of weeks, more than usual, so perhaps he knew his time was drawing to a close. Anyway, the vet was a little busy because I was unexpected and they had some type of emergency. This meant we had to sit in the waiting room for about 15 minutes. No big deal until some friggin’ busybody walked in with her yappy dog.
She looks over at us and says, “Is your baby going to sleep?” Are you fucking kidding me? I should have snapped some reply of minding her own business, but I simply nodded. This apparently granted her permission to launch into a whole monologue about putting her other dog to sleep a couple of months ago and her yappy dog’s current ailment. Like I cared. I stared at her in disbelief that she felt like she could drone on and on. Staff was appalled and scooted us into a room as quickly as possible. Too late.
Anyway, the process was quick and when we left, I blazed past her still in the waiting room with no words, no looks.
This dog was my mom’s dog. Actually he was given to her by her dog boarding place because he had been taken away from his first owner who neglected him. He was the perfect old lady dog — great companion, snuggled with you every time you sat down. He loved a walk, got along with every dog he met and charmed every person. At home, I always saw him as some little old Asian man that chose not to understand us when it was convenient for him. He always pretty much did what he wanted. The Hunter and I discovered that he was a phenomenal camper — he loved it and would chill in the hammock with me. Stellar companion.
I promised my mom as she was dying that he would always have a home with me. I fulfilled that promise and he ended up living with me longer than he did with her. It struck me a bit hard because this was a living reminder of my mom and that is now gone. He was the last responsibility of my old life — in the past two years my cat passed, then the horse and now him. No more responsibilities (the Kracken doesn’t count since he is the Hunter’s).
My kids were lovely and sympathetic. The Hunter was fabulous. He went with me, held my hand, drove me home and got me my favorite pizza and fed me the best chocolate dessert in town but left me alone to mull it all over.
I feel free but also a bit adrift. With the job search/change, moving homes, income worries — it is all a lot to process. I talked to Taz this week about most of it and she was supportive and empathetic. She confessed that her hubby has some job uncertainty, so they are battening down the hatches and preparing for big changes as well. They will be fine because they are attacking the issue head-on. 2018 is proving to be quite a year. Oh yeah, my uncle is in hospice and I’ll soon have a funeral to add to my schedule. Let’s see in the next 8 weeks I will be: finding a new place, packing and moving, going to my son’s graduation, the Hunter will be off hunting for a week, possible funeral, job search, work….. you might not be hearing much from me….
Not him, but his doppelganger…RIP