Saturday, June 18, 2016

Hard Decisions

The intense heat finally broke yesterday and we were able to get the mowing done. It was still hot, but a breeze offered relief. I rarely get sunburned and did not expect to yesterday, but I did. I wore a sleeveless shirt and that skin that had not been exposed yet, was a bright red, hot mess last night.

Although I slathered aloe on my burns, they were still uncomfortable enough to make falling asleep difficult. When I finally began to doze, the nightly routine of the whimpering old dog started up and I carefully lifted him in my arms and took him out to the kitchen. I told him to "show me" and he headed to the back door. He wandered around the yard, sniffing this, then that. He marked some of his territory before relieving himself on the light pole and then came back inside to drink his belly full of water.

I have learned not to interrupt the drinking of water. Thinking that what goes in must come out, I have tried to prevent the endless lapping, hoping that he will sleep peacefully and not get up again until morning light. This is a mistake. He will roam the bed restlessly and I will just start to doze again when he will whine again. Anyway, who am I to decide when his thirst has been quenched? I knew a mother once who controlled everything her 10 year old consumed, right down to water. She would tell him how much he was allowed to have after he asked permission. Control issues?

Lately, Oscar has been sleeping through the night after the walk and the water. He has, in fact been sleeping until I wake him when I lift him down from my bed. So, I was surprised to hear a loud 'thunk" at 3 am. I was sleeping pretty soundly and at first thought that Wall-E or Toni Louise had jumped down. They can jump down, but can't jump back up into the bed, the bed being quite high, so high that I need a step stool to get in and out.

I started feeling around, touching furry heads and legs to determine who it was on the floor. Cujo lay right next to me, his soft belly exposed. He sleeps on his back. I ran my toes through Toni's silky fur and searched for Oscar's coarse fur. Instead, I found Wall-E. He was staring at me, looking guilty about something. He always looks guilty and apologetic, though.

I jumped up out of the bed and started searching the floor. No whimpers or any sound after the initial "thunk", but I knew it had to be Oscar, just by process of elimination. My heart was in my throat, thinking I might find him dead. He is, after all, very old for a dog. I found him on his feet, on the floor at the foot of the bed on the HeWho side.

He just stood there, not moving, not responding to my voice. I always place him in the middle of the bed, closer to me, but I usually pick him up from the end of the bed closer to HeWho sleeps through everything. I wonder if he was trying to get to his "pick-up" location, trying to make it easy for me and then got knocked to the floor when HeWho stretched his legs out.

If I had kicked something to the floor, I would have known it when my foot met resistance. Not so with HeWho sleeps soundly. I was afraid to pick him up and tried to get him to follow me, but he did not seem to be able to walk. I knelt to his very low level (not an easy task for a woman of my years) and ever so carefully slid my hands over his body to see if I felt anything amiss, then I gently lifted him in my arms and carried him out of the room.

He seemed to want down and I put him down, but he just stood there licking the floor (Oscar is a big licker, the very thing that had him banished from his previous owner's home. That would be my daughter. She claimed his tongue to be too long and that he made her vomit. She was pregnant. She is still not a fan of Oscar). I tired to pick him up again and he started yelping really loud.

So loud, that I was afraid the campers would hear him. HeWho sleeps soundly did not even move. I sat with him for awhile, until he was able to make himself comfortable in Emmy's old bed. Emmy was his wife-dog and she had her very own hand built bed, courtesy of HeWho thought she was his dog. Emmy belonged to no one person and to every person she met. She lived up to her name, Sweet Emmy Lou.

I finally crept back to bed, only to have Cujo's cold nose pressed into my neck at 5 am. He led the way outside with Wall-E at his heels. I tired to lure him back in after he took care of his business, but he stood at point watching the shed window, waiting for his buddy, Martha, the boy cat, to appear. I went back to bed. Barely dozed off again when Toni Louise stretched luxuriously and yawned verbally. She was ready to go out. I tried to awaken her master to deal with her and let me have another hour, but he pretended not to hear me. I could see eye movement under his lids as he waited me out and I finally got up and took her out and brought the other two in , along with the cat.

Throughout all of this, Oscar lay in his bed, not sleeping, but following movements with his eyes. I am now faced with a dilemma. I can tell by the way Oscar is guarding, that he is in pain. Seems to be his spine, between his shoulder blades. He has hurt this area before and our vet gave him a round of steroids and some pain pills. He recovered nicely from that event and just last week decided to "run' from me. He thought he was running fast, but I was able to keep up just walking. Other than this, he is in good health. I would never consider putting him through surgery at his age, but I don't want him to suffer pain.

I guess I have a week to decide what to do. Our vet is back in school and only sees patients on Fridays. The thought of losing my old guy breaks my heart, but so does the thought of him hurting. He Who, on the other hand, is owed some pay back from me. That is what I will be pondering today as I sit here in my four walled prison!


Val said...

Poor Oscar. I hope he gets to feeling better.

Mevely317 said...

Prayers for Oscar ... and all who love him!

labbie1 said...

Baby aspirin might help with any inflammation until the vet returns?