I’m not sure what to do for Him. His dog, that blind, deaf, and malignant mutt, is dead. I don’t really have much sympathy.
She pawed haphazardly at the air in front of her, snorting and waving her head while she greeted you. I wondered whether she had lost her sense of smell too, given the way she crashed into visitors, but her perpetual ability to find her food bowl seemed proof that she had some sense left. Tumors speckled her spindly legs, the back right one in particular having wasted away to mere bone, skin, and bump. Some people age into cuddly grandparenthood, others becoming walking mortality reminders with their pale skin and paper creases and red eyes. She was all white muzzle, oily & matted coat, glazed eyes. Ah, and her smell! An odor one part garbage day and two parts flatulence, it still sticks with me.
Truly a pity.
Anyway, she was like this when I met her nearly a year ago. That she lasted so long and that no one had the pity to put her down amazes me. The two house cats, a fat ginger tabby and a runty black waif, leaped and swiped at her legs. Lucy stood bewildered. One time, she got so flustered that her legs splayed out flat below her. Unable to get up on her own, He had to come to her rescue.
I’ll spare you the details of her last days. They were messy.
It didn’t surprise me when He told me that He was the one to have found her. He’d spent the morning helping a neighbor move his mother, a curmodgeon-by-way-of-schizophrenia, to a new home. The neighbor, acknowledging how difficult the scene must have been for Him, paid well.
When He opened the door, did he see her right away? Was she spread-eagled on the floor like the last time he found her immobile? Did he try to lift her before he realized she was dead?
His mother was at a doctor’s appointment, heart troubles. His father, at work. And so He brought her to the vet for disposal.
She was fifteen, old for a Boxer.
He resisted putting her down. My roommate said that didn’t bode well if I went vegetable. She guessed he’d let me float indefinitely upon machine sparks and fluid drips, eyes closed and mind remote. Maybe inactive, not so bad, but what if…?
(What she really said: He won’t pull the plug on you.)