Monday, August 25, 2008

Recognizing my Dog's Mortality


Laddie's had a rough summer. First we had two tumors (one malignant, one benign) removed in June at Virginia Tech. Then, all was well for about two months. Laddie stayed with my dad while I went to exotic locales (Boston, Ithaca, South Carolina, etc.). This was good, I got all of the affection from Laddie when I visited with none of the responsibility. I spent the summer as a deadbeat-dad to my dog. Though inevitably I missed the rascal, couldn't wait to get him back in the house. And I did after the first week of August. All was well. We got yelled off the newly sodded soccer field at Hollins, at which point Laddie went renegade and crapped all over that freshly manicured turf (take that random guy standing near the bulldozer!). We barked at strangers. We ate red meat. Men and dogs doing men and dog things.

Then came this weekend. On Friday morning, I noticed that the Laddie's eyelid wasn't going away (maybe you can see it in the picture, if you're looking for all the gory details, left eye), and I scheduled an appt at the Vet's office for Monday morning (as soon as they could...I knew it wasn't an emergency). So I fret and I coddle and I pet him behind the ears. Then Saturday arrives. After a joyous day of pooping and throwing up all over...I decide it's time to go to the Vet...but the regular vet is closed so we go to the emergency vetrinary clinic only to wait four hours to be seen. Laddie went renegade on the vet's office, too. Anyway, two nights in the vet's office and an-untold-amount-of-would-be-food-money later, Laddie is worn out and on a chicken and rice diet. For the first time today I was considering euthanasia (key word: considering, I'm still miles away from accepting). But 13 years is a pretty good run for a dog, I'd say. 

As a cheery sidenote. Here's a picture of my new bookcase, though it's not really new, it actually has a very rich history. It was given by my mother to Cathy Hankla in the late 70s, when my mother was the chaplain at Hollins and Cathy was a grad student, and then passed on from Cathy, now Hollins MFA program director, to me (it was hot-pink when I received it, dragged it onto the balcony to paint it black):

2 comments:

M. said...

Luke, you should have kept the hot pink.

Philip Deaver said...

So I'm in Bali and this morning was wanting to send Dunn's Summer Nocturne to someone, and you came up on Google. So I hit the key and up came your blog and dog. Yesterday my dog, a Sheltie named Grace, died back home in Florida, and I'll never get to see her again. So that's been on my mind, but I was diverting to the Dunn poem. It's hard to explain why I was led to by Dunn poem to your blog and your dog, and of course back in mind of my own. You had to be there, but it's an amazing convergence this morning in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia. Say hi to David Huddle if you see him. He's in the NYer this week.