February 6, 2012

Its time to say goodbye. Again.

So when I started this blog, I was saying goodbye to my beloved cat, Maggie, who was 17 years old at the time.  She had survived two dogs, two cats and a husband.  She was my constant companion and my heart still hurts when I think about her.  Now, I am steeling myself to say goodbye to my Jenny-dog.  She is 14 years old and spent 13 of them with me.  A rescue dog that knew she had been rescued and was extremely grateful for everything she was given, she has been my constant companion through all the health issues, the births of two babies and many nights staying awake because I was in too much pain to sleep.  Now, its my turn to comfort her.

She has slowly been declining over the past few months but things accelerated a bit last week and she is now in liver failure.  We are trying a few things to give us some time to help the kids through the process of saying goodbye to a friend who has ALWAYS been in their lives.  They have no memories that do not involve Jenny in some way, shape or form.

Last week I was diagnosed with Lupus and possibly a second autoimmune syndrome.  I showed two unknown antibodies in addition to the Lupus antibodies which means I either have something that current tests can’t identify or they are new and still developing so later we may know but for now its a huge question mark.  Jenny knew something was wrong years ago.  She could tell before I knew that something was coming and would force me into bed or hang tight to me 24/7.  She would leave me at the door  when I left the house and come running to meet me when I came home.  Its just been the last week or so that she has felt so bad she didn’t want to leave the bedroom.  Sunday, she crawled down the hall to find me because I was in the living room waiting on the cable guy.

I have had other dogs.  The dog I grew up with passed away while I was away at college.  My brother took her to the vet to have her euthanized when she became too ill to move.  During my first marriage we had a Lhasa Apso that we lent to a friend while we lived in Chicago for a few months to see if an animal friend would help their autistic child.  A neighbor poisoned him and the family took care of the burial.  This is the first dog I’ve had for this long that I have personally had to make the decision.  Am I the right person to make that decision?  I want her with me always. Can I let her go?  I certainly don’t want her to suffer.  But if she is still happy to see me, wagging her rear end and “grinning” like she does, how can I let that go?

I am currently praying with everything in my soul that she passes in her sleep.  I asked Maggie to take the decision from me and she did.  I need to ask Jenny to do the same.  Yes, I am a woman of science but I also believe that animals are sentient beings.  I challenged professors twenty-years ago and I will continue to challenge them.  What I have experienced with Maggie and Jenny can not be attributed to Pavlov’s theories.

I don’t know how long it will be before I decide to wear a piece of my heart at the end of a leash.  But I do know that I am a certified fan of Australian Shepherds and I will never own another breed.  Jenny has made sure of that.

Jenny with Rae, her human baby, in 2008.


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