Thursday, December 04, 2008

Not quite yet

It's almost time.

Chelsea, otherwise known as "Pupstar" here, is 14. She has kidney failure. Her back legs frequently give out on her, as does her bladder - whenever and where ever. She has sores that won't heal, and is on antibiotics for a tooth abscess.

In fact, she is on five medications at every meal and eats prescription dog food. The money spent on my dog would be embarrassing compared to what some families can spend on a child each month.

But she has been my constant companion for 14 years.

Ashley found her for me. A girl we were in school with found this tiny white puppy wandering along the side of the road. Ashley went to see it before they took it to the pound, and called me when she got there.
"Bird, you have got to come see this pup."

"I can't do that. If I come over and see the pup, you know it's coming home with us."

"Bird, you have got to come see this pup."

Chelsea came back to the apartment with us and proceeded to terrorize Ashley's cats, Tess and Todd; pee on her notes, biology; and basically win the hearts of everyone who met her. Except possibly Farrar, whose eggnog she simply wouldn't give up drinking.

Fourteen years later, Chelsea is still with me. We've moved five times. We've lived with six different people. We've had five different dogs join our family, and countless fosters come and go. We've been married and divorced and married again. She's tolerated Little Bird taking her place as the baby, but not without climbing into the Moses basket for a nap more than once.

But she is worse now. Even with the Pepcid, she is vomiting again. She isn't as excited about dinner time as she once was. I often have to lift her up the two steps in from the backyard. She lays at my feet, but doesn't stir when I get up.

It's almost time.

But it's not time.

I told her this morning, whispered in her ear, that she could go now. That I loved her and that she was a good dog. I looked into her eyes and kissed her little snoot. Of course, she's deaf, and a dog, so I don't know what good that did, but it made me feel a little better.

I'm hoping she goes in her sleep. I don't want to make that call to the vet. I will if I have too, but I just don't want to.

She is the best dog ever.

Chelsea with her Christmas elf moments before gutting it.