Thursday, January 20, 2011

Time Marches On

Amidst all the preparing for new life we've been doing around here, there's been another sort of preparation quietly penetrating our lives, spinning circles around our sweet little hats, and booties, and nursery rhymes; aging has been rearing it's ugly head. And ugly, it is.

I've said it before and I'll say it again; I never saw myself as a dog person. Of course I have loved pets as a child, felt attached to them, longed for them to sleep in my bed. But the woman I am today would shock the daylights out of the woman I thought I was becoming (in oh so many ways). Nevertheless, Jezzy is my girl. She is my Paris girl, the perfect companion for my fantasy life in Paris: slim and lovely, head held high, strutting her stuff because she belongs there. She's blended in perfectly with our family, behaved better than any other dog we've owned, converted my son into being a dog lover, convinced my niece she need not be frightened (at least of Jezzy), and comforted both Grandmothers who've known her. And now, she's aging.

I feel a bit like the old woman at the cosmetic counter believing desperately that Ponce De Leon did in fact find the fountain of youth and it has been bottled in that newest expensive night cream. I am constantly reading books, searching the Web, consulting our breeder (thanks a million Mary!) for the next thing to help our girl feel better. We've been to the vet more times than I ever anticipated, first removing some teeth, then to check on thyroid levels, and then again, and again, and finally to confirm that she does have arthritis in her hips. And I am giving my dog medication, a probiotic, changing her food, purchasing her a new bed, lifting her onto mine on the days she's reluctant to jump up there on her own. All with the deep, dark, nagging feeling that this is just the beginning of losing her.

I keep a hawkish eye on her watching as she climbs the stairs (did she trip?), monitoring that she's actually eating enough (did Luna bully her or is she not hungry?), counting her medications (did she get then all?), discouraging her constant licking. And just when I think we've finally addressed everything, something else creeps in and I start worrying about that too. But what alternative do I have, really? I love her fiercely and she deserves the best we can give her to make her comfortable and happy. I realize the inevitable end to this story. I'm not that much in denial. But I wonder how much longer I have with her. I can only hope she and I can both be as comfortable as possible until then.


Amy said...

I am crying as I read this. This is beautifully written and perfectly describes the way I feel about my pups. Miss Bennet and I have a deal that she will never die. I may still be living in some denial. Xoxoxo

mary said...

Amy I've walked this path before, you know that, but it never is easy. I'm sitting here with tears streaming down my face. No Jezz doesn't live with me, you've been the perfect family for her and she KNEW you would be the day she joined you by dragged you out the house. Thank you for doing all you are for her, I wish she could live forever. She's given so much all her life, been such a great little lass and for all she's done for you and your son she's been amazing. Enjoy each moment, if you feel like crying snuggle up with her and cry. Her warmth will envelope you and comfort your heart. If you need me, I'm here. I love you all, and please kiss Jelizabeth for me. Love you little Queenie.