Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Waiting for that game of fetch

This is Pupstar and her pink spikey football. Chasing that pink ball has been her favorite activity forever. She would leap for it, do flips for it - basically anything a Frisbee dog would do, she would do for this pink ball.

I had to put the ball away a couple of months ago. She has looked for it. Sniffed it out and whined at the shelf up high where she knows I stashed it. Not only did she love to play with it, she carried it around like a security blanket, often taking naps with her chin resting on it. Ensuring that when we were ready for another game, she wouldn't waste one second getting to it.

But Pupstar is getting older. She has arthritis in her hip. And at night, she struggles to climb the stairs and pants while she looks at me with big black pleading eyes. I know she hurts.

The vet gave me a choice. There is a medicine that she can take for the pain. Over time, it will probably affect her kidneys and possibly her digestive tract. It might shorten her life. My choice is to let her be in some pain, limit her activity, and help her up and down the stairs, or to give her the drugs.

We tried the drug for 10 days. She was a new dog. I know that it helped her and that she was happier. The panting stopped. She began following me up and down the stairs again. She jumped on the bed with me for the first time in weeks. She felt better.

For some reason, I couldn't get past the fact that I might be harming her in some other way though. Until KimmieRo said this to me,

"I have grown accustomed to quality of life being much more important than quantity with my dogs."

I realized then, that I was being selfish in wanting her to live as long as possible, when really, I should be keeping her as comfortable as possible.

Maybe, if she keeps feeling better, we can pull that pink ball out again for a few short grounders. Because it makes her so very happy. And isn't that what I really want? To make her life as wonderful as it can be, no matter what the length of it is?