Say What You Will: Day 2., Pt 1 by Rdfrdmom2
Artwork by Susan F. M. T. at FanArtReview.com
Say what you will about my love for my four-legged companion but don’t you dare say he’s just a dog. He has loved me when I wasn’t even likeable; comforted me when I was beyond comfort; remained by my side when no one else was around; licked my tears dry sometimes almost before I knew they were falling; danced with me across my living room; and picnicked with me by my parents’ graves. About whom can you say the same?|
(Where Day 1 ended)
As I leave the clinic, I realize I should not be driving, but I need to eat something. There is a mall directly across from where my car is parked so I drive over to find a place where I can both compose myself and eat something that might stay down. Unfortunately, the mall is slated to close in twenty minutes which is not nearly long enough for me to properly regroup. I manage to get a few chicken nuggets down with the help of that grand lubricant—ketchup.
I walk out of the mall at 8:59:59, the moment just before mall attendees turn into miniature sweepers that clean the floors before the next day’s opening. I’m unsure whether it is the contrast between the air conditioned indoors and the near record heat of the outdoors that has fogged my glasses or the free falling tears. Either way, I know it is in no one’s best interest for me to attempt to make the drive home.
There is a Friendly’s Restaurant about a three-minute drive away. I choose that as the safest place to complete the first section of this writing as well as to become emotionally strong enough to safely get home. I order a hot caramel sundae although capturing my emotions is more important than eating it. The waitress reminds me it is there. I nod, idly reaching for the spoon.
I finish writing, then complete the sundae, now more liquid than solid, much like my innards. I drive home to find Mac’s twin, Gwen, waiting for me by the door. She looks past me as I enter the house to where my car is parked, then looks back at me expectantly.
“No, Sweetie. I didn’t bring our buddy home tonight.” She is not pleased when I close the door.
I relay to my husband, Aubrey, the gist of what the two vets had shared with me, noting we would know more after the ultrasound is performed in the morning. When he asks how I am, I am unable to speak.
It has been an extremely long day. I tell Gwen it is time for us to go to bed. She gets onto the bed while I get on my knees and pray. While I pray Mac’s condition is treatable, I also ask for discernment to do the right thing for him if it is not. When my prayers are over, I crawl into bed. Gwen is in her usual spot, nestled on a pillow next to mine. After a few minutes, she moves towards the end of the bed where she sleeps alongside my legs as she does most nights.
I wait for Mac to make his move from the middle of the bed to the vacated pillow but he does not. I begin sobbing as I realize he may never sleep by my side again. Sleep does not come easily. Gwen and I are both restless as we both miss our buddy who has been a constant companion.
I wake up with a searing headache and swollen eyes. Gwen searches every room in the house for her twin while I get dressed and prepare breakfast. When I let her into the back yard, she checked every nook and cranny before coming back to the house. I share that I will be visiting Mac later in the day and hope to be bringing him home with me then. I feel guilty as I leave her alone so I can care for my granddaughter, Lexi.
Lexi, like Mac, is always happy to see me. As soon as I get still, she crawls into my lap and cuddles as I chat with her mom. After a bit, I realize it is late enough for me to call the clinic as Mac’s ultrasound should have been completed by now. I tell Cindy I need to make the call. Lexi is not pleased to lose my undivided attention.
“Hello, this is Janice Holland. I’d like to check on the status of Mac Holland, the Scottish Terrier brought in around seven last night.”
“Sure. Let me check to see if his doctor is available. Please hold.”
As I waited, Lexi repositioned herself so she could be cozy again, smiling broadly now that she once again, seemingly had her nanny all to herself.
“This is Dr. M. I’m afraid I have some really bad news. I was able to do Mac’s ultrasound earlier this morning. It clearly shows he has a much enlarged liver which is also very fibrotic. This is seen only in end stage liver disease.”
Only when I had to release my breath to speak did I realize I had stopped breathing once I heard the words bad news. Tears streaming down my face once again, I managed to ask what could be done.
“I can send him home with you with an assortment of drugs that might keep him comfortable for a couple of weeks. There’s really nothing else here that we can do to help him.”
I realize she is waiting for a reply but a boa constrictor has me by the throat and is tightening his coils unmercifully.
“What do you want me to do?”
My brain is screaming I want her to make him well but I know that is not within her power to do so instead I say, “I have to do what is right for Mac.”
“And that is?”
I cannot bring myself to actually say the real words so choke out, “I cannot allow him to continue suffering.”
“Do I understand that you want him euthanized?”
“No, that’s not what I want but I know it’s what I have to do for him.”
“I understand. You come when you can get here but be safe. Ask for me when you arrive and I will meet with Mac and you. We will proceed from there. I am really sorry, Mrs. Holland.”
“I know. Me, too.”
To be continued
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