Wednesday, January 13, 2016

But What Is Life

This will be the second time I have sat here and talked about the mortality of my dog, only this time there is a bit more certainty in it. My wife has finally convinced me that the best thing to do with our thirteen year old, rather large dog, whose back legs don't seem to work any more, is to speed up the process. I have never been a dog person, and for the most part it is because I am lazy, and overly emotional. Dogs unfortunately take a lot of work and in the end will die a lot sooner than you will, and I have never really had any use for either of those propositions. My wife on the other hand is a dog person, and she introduced a couple of them into my life, and now I have about a week to come to grips with the fact that the one I may have become accustomed too is probably going to die in my lap.

You see this is a horrible proposition for someone like me. I have fed this dog just about every morning for years, I have walked this dog, civilized this dog, taken this dog for rides (bye byes) in my car no matter how bad she stunk. This dog obviously loves me more than any creature on the earth aside from my wife, and there is probably a good argument as to who actually loves me more. I also unfortunately have always had a great moral issue with putting animals to sleep unless the need is dire, and the moral issue of what is and is not dire also. Again I have never had a use for these God like decisions and for that reason I have managed to avoid them and, now I can't. It's absolutely killing me.

I also have a rather horrible ability to over analyze things. Do I now spoil the dog rotten for the next week? It seems rather disingenuous at best and somehow like I am trying to bribe my way into heaven or something. I couldn't even look the dog in the eyes this morning despite how much she relies on me just to stand up half the time. I was overly critical of myself this morning as I was thinking about the things that I will no longer be responsible for (like shoveling the porch for her as I did this morning) and thinking that I don't ever deserve to be happy again for the mere mention of that. Of course the thought of eating has made me sick today alone which would make me happy if I weren't so distraught.

In the end I have felt all along that the only reason that dog has lived as long as she has is because she just doesn't want to leave Carrie and me, so that is another layer of guilt I just can't ignore. I'll get through it all but that doesn't mean there isn't an "all" to be getting through either. To anyone who has ever had a pet that became so entrenched in your heart that you never thought you would get over them, I am both happy and unhappy that I know what you feel like right now, and as soon as I get through it all, I may even be able to commiserate with some of you. Then again maybe I'll just take a moment to breathe.