14 June 2008

Where you didn't think there was danger before.


When I got home from work last night, the house was really empty. Some punk rock show on the college radio station I leave on for Timmy to have a friend all day. Even though he's deaf. But no Timmy laying on the floor or pacing back and forth or dancing in a puddle of pee. We looked. You can tell Ruby to Go Get Timmy and she always does. But she didn't. Was like he was gone. Not a peep anywhere. I worried maybe Gary forgot him outside when he came home to take care of him at lunch, but wasn't outside either. Started looking under things for stuckness. He has sometimes gotten stuck at night under furniture and it is a sad thing to happen to a dog, mistakenly wedged under a couch or a cabinet where dogs don't fit and where dogs don't belong.

Yes. Was stuck. All the way wedged under my giant heavy armoire in the bedroom. Couldn't see much but little tufts of fur that maybe came off in the tussle with himself to undo what he did. Must have slid out on the slick hardwood floor and slid right under then that was that. Stuckness. It's a beautiful old primitive armoire, heavy distressed pine boards, roughly painted white and holds all my clothes just about. Sits a few inches off the ground and he was just flattened under there, on his side, soaked in pee. Like was quite a million evil clowns in a volkswagen trick to get under there but tricky he is. Started pulling and could feel he was still warm and breathing. Pulled him out enough to see his eyes, just kind of vacant but maybe a glimmer of relief. Pulled the rest of him out gently, not sure what I was going to get, but he was weirdly calm, had a eerily calm bath, and sat with him outside under the creepy orange light from the latest mountain fire up the hill from my house so he could dry off in the air.

3 comments:

sclmarm said...

You know Temple Grandin the autistic animal expert invented a machine for herself that squished her like a cattle squeeze chute. She said it helped her feel calm. Maybe that is what the giant closet did for Timmy. Squished him to the point he felt calm and relaxed.

Hope he is doing as well as a Timmy can.

Simba said...

For Timmie:

AUTUMN

What do we do when our loving pets face the last leg of the race? We do all
we can to help them finish well, of course. We take time to read the
unspoken needs of the friends we've come to know so well.
We give the simple reassurance of a loving touch when the old boy seems
confused for no reason. We groom them faithfully, but more gently, as age
brings muscle wasting, and the arthritic bones aren't so well padded. We
learn to slow down for their sake, as they enjoy the scent of the wind, or
track a visitors trail across their yard. We expect to be inconvenienced,
and aren't angry when it happens.
We watch for pain and treat it, watch for changes in vision and hearing and
do what we can to help preserve those precious senses for as long as
possible. We take care of their teeth, and make sure their food is a
manageable texture for them.
We remind them of the need for a potty walk when they seem to forget. We
remember the little rewards. We scratch the graying ears and tummy, and go
for car rides together. When the pet we love has an unexplained need for
comfort, we give it freely. When infirmities bring a sense of vulnerability
we become our old guardian's protector.
We watch their deepest slumbers, when dreams take them running across
long-forgotten fields, and we remember those fields too. When they cannot
stand alone, we lift them. When their steps are uncertain, we steady them.
And if their health fails, it falls to us to make the choice that will
gently put them to rest. But until that is absolutely necessary, we pause
to let the autumn sun warm our old friend's bones. And we realize, autumn
is not a bad time of year at all.
Old age is not a disease or a reason to give up. It is a stage of life that
brings it's own changes. Autumn can be a beautiful time of harvest. And
sometimes, the harvest is love.
--Author Unknown-

team small dog said...

Thanks. The autumn poem just was in a newsletter from the pet therapy group we are registered with this week too-it is totally awesome. I appreciate it.

He seems to be off on another bad spell again, maybe this time he tells me he's done. We'll see. I left him home alone with my husband and no other dogs for a couple days yesterday to drive down to LA to see my sister's new baby, so hoping he makes it through til I get home ok. Just last week, he thought he wasn't done. I guess he is leaving it up to me.