He's also developed a new lesion on his right front leg. It doesn't seem to bother him so at this stage I'm letting it be. He has allergies so he's on Hydroxizine. The problem is that in his weak condition it makes it hard for him to even get up off a hard surface floor and that's a problem. Since he was a puppy he's loved sleeping on tile, wood, concrete, anything hard and cool. When he's not on the medication his eyes swell and droop and his already very limited eyesight gets even worse. Medicate or not? I try and watch so I can medicate when he needs it but not so much that it causes more problems. He's had a hard time getting outside. It's a rare day when he doesn't have an accident in the house. It bothers him, I can tell. He hates it when he can't make it outside. Don't tell me a dog doesn't understand. Trooper knows.
What can I do? Just as I loved him as a puppy I love him as an old dog. He's earned the right to be an old dog. Earned it and I owe it to him.
But when is the time to say goodbye? How do I judge such a thing? This life is literally in my all too human hands. How do I say that's enough, your life is no longer worth living and it's time for that last ride?
I spend my days with him, every day, as close as I can. I stay up late to help him get outside for his late night visit to the backyard. I tend his conditions, medicate him, feed him and watch him with my heart in my throat and my ears cocked for signs of distress.
I sit with him and touch him whenever I can. It seems to help. He's most relaxed when he's near me, physically touching and being touched. I love him and ask myself the question. Every day. It's all I can do.I was overjoyed when I was able to keep Trooper alive in April. I was grateful for the chance to spend more time together. But. In the back of my mind there is that place I hate to visit. The place where the voice tells me things I don't want to hear. That our time since then was always going to be limited, difficult and ultimately short. It is the logical part of my mind that is always watching, evaluating and weighing. The emotional part of me is stronger still but the awareness is creeping in again. The knowledge that I can't put it off forever. That our time is drawing to a close. But not now. Not today. We will get through today together.