I always thought we were kinder to dogs than to humans when it came to dying. When my dad was dying in Hospice, they did their best to keep him comfortable with morphine, but the end wasn’t pretty, and I sometimes wished we could do more than ease his suffering.
But now, my precious Cocker Spaniel, Noah, one of my muses, is nearing the end of his life. They suspect a brain tumor, but the tests are expensive and since he’s not a candidate for brain surgery, the vet has recommended we don’t go to a neurologist.
The symptoms have slowly started to appear. About a year ago he started having seizures. Then a few weeks ago, his eye started to bulge. Today, he’s lethargic and can’t seem to get comfortable. But he’s eating and still wags his tail when I enter the room.
So, when to make the dreaded decision? I do not want him to suffer, I know that much. For now, I’ve decided to wait until he shows no interest in food. Then I will do what’s best for him. And I will be by his side when he crosses that rainbow bridge.
Noah has been my best buddy for thirteen years. I’ve loved all my dogs, but he’s extra special. Maybe it’s his very sweet disposition or the way he’s glued to my side. He’s been with me through some major life changes, so there’s that as well.
I can’t imagine the empty space on the couch, in our bed, in my heart that is looming. Our fur babies are more than just dogs. If you have one, give them extra loving tonight, as I’ve been doing with Noah. Their time with us is so short, but the joy they bring makes everything, even heartbreak, worthwhile.