Saturday, July 26, 2008
I took Kelsey, my fifteen year old shetland sheepdog, to the vet yesturday for her annual exam. her teeth needed some dental work so she had pre-op blood work done and it was discovered that her liver enzymes were too high to put her under anesthesia. The blood work signaled other pending health issues as well. The vet advised me to number her days in terms of thinking of radical health measures for Kelsey. For her size and breed, she is "geriatric." I was her to have a good end of life and discussed dog hospice care with the vet.
My brother, at age 48, and my mother, at age 75, were both in hospice care briefly until they passed. No IV's, no extra fluids, with the assistance of medication to make them comfortable to deal with pain management and then just letting nature take it's course. They both died quietly slipping away in their sleep. That was my prayer this morning for my dog, that she will slip away in her sleep and I will find her some morning in her favorite spot curled up in a sweet dream. As for now, we went on a very short and slow walk this morning with frequent stops so she could catch her breath. She enjoyed the sunshine and the birds as well as the passing of another dog, which actually caused her to quicken her step a bit. She still enjoys her chow and her naps.
While I watch her age rapidly before my eyes, my body too is going through a similar decline, although not so rapid, would that my souls's willfulness would experience as rapid a decay as parts of my body! Where my dog was trained in obediance and would heed my commands, I am not so often keen to obey the word of my Master. My dog is simply what she is, there is no pretense, and it would be crazy on my part to hold her responsible or be disapointed because in the end of her life she was judged as not living up to her potential as a dog. On the other hand, when I say "I am only human" it is a lie, because Christ lives in me. I will end with this quote, " My ego is like a fortress. I have built walls stone by stone. To hold out the invasion of the love of God." Howard Thurman