22 May 2008

Here is a whole thing on an agility blog about not doing any agility.

For the first time ever, I guess, I bailed on agility all week. I didn't stop at the field to practice. I did no weave poles or contacts in the driveway. We're on a hiatus from Dirt Nite for a few weeks. I'm not going to practice on the way out to work today. I just want to spend that extra little bit of time around the house with Timmy. He seems to be perkier in the morning so maybe it helps him if me and the other dogs are around for just a few minutes longer before we drive out to work. Not sure. But that's just how we're playing it this week. It sort of creeps me out, like what is my next phase in all this? Like then I have to start canceling work and not leaving the house and dragging Timmy around in a baby stroller and never get out of my bathrobe and stacking newspapers in towers all around my house? Whispering to strangers the life story of Timmy, Best Dog, with a sort of glazed over look in my eyes?

I think I might be playing mental voodoo roulette about him. Like if I leave 25 minutes later for work, when I get home tonight he will be 67% better! If I skip agility practice, he will notice and be so thankful that he will be able to walk and see the stairs he is about to fall down. If he spends an additional 15 minutes around the other dogs, he will be revived to a more youthful status, say that of 3 weeks ago. This is probably not a healthy way of thinking. Is probably sort of grasping at straws. Apparently I am at the graspy stage of dealing with the future of not having Timmy, a future that just seems so very sad. Is sort of like when you are driving, and you think for a moment, death is the best thing for him. His quality of life is very low, he doesn't do anything he used to enjoy. It is time. I am OK with this. And then, in a blazing second later, as soon as you think I am OK with this, then you think, I am Not OK with this. I am not going to end the life of him if he wants to have some more life even if it is a peeing on the floor and dancing around in the puddle kind of life then running top speed across the kitchen floor and crashing into a wall. Then unable to walk 5 minutes later faster than a drunken shuffle like an old guy sitting in front of the Vets Hall with a cold one in a brown bag. Who drops the beer and starts to yell to no one in particular about something incomprehensible but possibly involving South American rodents. Little dribblets of saliva all over his chin.

Like yeah. He is crazy. He is a mess. But really. He used to be someone else, and he's still here, and maybe we need to just let him hang on a little bit longer. Because no one is talking about euthanizing the drunk guy in front of the Vets Hall. All the old folks we visit in the old folks home, they aren't who they used to be. But we let them go on and live out their lives, even if they are sort of weird and crappy lives that really suck compared to who they used to be. This is not Logan's Run. Remember? Farrah Fawcett is in that. And at the very end, instead of everyone dying before they get old, they find out they actually get to live to become old homeless guys sitting in front of the Vets Hall with a beer. I think the sun comes up on their Logan's Run future city like it's a new day. It's just a new day that someday is going to really, really suck.


Double S said...


There is just no nice way, no best way, no single appropriate way for you both to go through this. You will receive the psychic text message when it's right. If you feel that he is relatively happy being an old man sitting on the front stoop of the Vets Hall, drooling little rivulets of saliva down his chin, that's your call. You'll know when it's just too hard for him. Or he'll go on his own.

BUT please don't model yourself on my kitchen sink drain-- you need to hold the joy in your life, not let it slowly drip out. No crazy lady stacking newspapers in her bathrobe taking Timmy out in his stroller. Not to be selfish or anything, but we out here in cyberspace RELY on you for our daily fix of (in)sanity and humor and grammarlessness. Let yourself deal with this as you go, you'll figure it out, but don't start hiding out in the hide-y place under your house please? It will suck, Timmy will be gone and you'll have to go day by day. You might even find yourself on the front stoop of the Vets Hall during that time. But it will slowly, gradually become less about the loss and more about the life of Timmy. We will all miss Casper! I personally believe that he has been preincarnated as Gustavo... that's what I'm going on. He'll be here still, warts and all.


As an extra special way to keep you guys in my thoughts today, I'm wearing cargo capris(!!!) and a cute little floral button down shirt that I have to iron . Do you think anyone will know where I get my fashion sense???

Urban Smoothie Read said...

is a terribly hard decision..

i never deal with an old dog issue b4, but thinking of it makes my heart-aches..

Anonymous said...

You and Timmy are just doing what you need to do. It's not that you're not doing something, it's that you're doing something. Feel good about what you're doing now, and then you'll be okay with the next phase. Don't rag on yourself so much. You know those pics of bony claw agility? Well, who's the one who got Hobbes his needed leg, huh! Your instincts are always right. Just trust them.

Anonymous said...

Hi again,

I just want to reiterate my suggestion that you go find a copy of "Merle's Door" to read. I think from what you write that Timmy will probably find his own way out the door when the time comes, as Merle did, and if this works for you I think you will find validation in reading the words of someone else who chose that path. Plus, Ted Kerasote is a good writer.

Another thing I think is that even though these uncertain days seem like they could last forever, maybe longer than you feel like you might want to go on in this uncertain state, they rarely do. Unless Timmy is whining uncontrollably, desperate for some help in ending things, just stay the course if that's what you feel like doing. Whatever comes next in life will come soon enough; there's really no need to hurry it along.

I'm liking the concept of Timmy being preincarnated as Gustavo. Liking it very much :)

Anonymous said...

Laura, Do you have some picture of *you* and Timmy In the Beginning, In Some Middles, and Now, that you would share with us?

I had a cat who died at 21, (I was about 40) and what untethered me was that she, of all living creatures, was the only being Who Knew Me Whens, i.e., who knew me during very different periods of my life. I did many different things during these "whens" of my life, and no one person knew me through them all. Just my cat. It freaked me out that I would be the only testimonial to who I had been.

Take care of yourself. You have touched many people by writing this blog. (Hokey, but true; Sarah, above said it so much more eloquently.) You are very cute in your bathrobe.

team small dog said...

Thanks all of you. Very cool to know you are all thinking of us. I had a nice wildfire to deal with today that totally took me from bathrobe freaky weirdo to competent ranch lady in zeo-sixty and am hoping can go back to bathrobe but in a less crazy newspaper stacking way tonight. Like maybe even get some sleep. It is still burning but looks like our ranch will be perfectly fine and hopefully we can just collect all the horses we sent away today tomorrow and get back to things like dog agility and just being more zen with Timmy.

Sarah, that is the kind of advice I can relate to-you can be the new TSD therapist!

Lisa B. said...

I think if I have the vacation time I'll take off work when I think time's almost up for my lovely Lucy dog. I'm hoping that time is many, many years from now (she just turned 10). So I think taking a little time out from agility for Timmy, best dog, is the best thing.

I'm getting a little teary-eyed now ...