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Carol Perkins: He is waiting

The writer faces the toughest decision a dog owner ever has to face. In this case its about '. . . a tiny fluffy pup whose personality was not typical of any other dog I ever owned, but compatible with mine, he became my protector (all nine pounds of him) and waited for me to come home, slept on the edge of my pillow, and nipped Guy on the ankle if he came near. Fluffy never came when called, never went outside that he didn't run away, and barked at birds, walkers, and ants.' Right now she's making Fluffy comfortable. He's not ready. And she's not ready. But the time, both know, is near.
Next earlier Carol column - Only in a small town Posted 10 Oct 2014

By Carol Perkins

Sunday night, 12 Oct 2014. 10:14pmCT

He is waiting. I am waiting with him. I don't know when it will happen, but it won't be long. Fluffy, the Maltese about whom I have written so often, is sick. His heart is weak and he won't eat. He sits in my chair, unresponsive, yet looks up at me occasionally or across the arm of the chair at Guy to see if he is where he should be. I can't bring myself to face the inevitable.


I never wanted a house dog

I never wanted a house dog but a friend of mine assured me that I needed a pet for company. That is where the story began twelve years ago. A tiny fluffy pup whose personality was not typical of any other dog I ever owned but compatible with mine, he became my protector (all nine pounds of him) and waited for me to come home, slept on the edge of my pillow, and nipped Guy on the ankle if he came near. Fluffy never came when called, never went outside that he didn't run away, and barked at birds, walkers, and ants.

Then the barking stopped

Then the barking stopped. He was no longer waiting for me at the door or had the energy to nip Guy on the ankle. His breath was rancid and he was losing weight. That was my first clue that he might be sick, so I whisked him to the vet where he stayed overnight to have teeth removed. When I picked him up, the doctor said Fluffy had a heart murmur and gave him medicine. Twice a day I crushed pills and forced the medicine down, but he grew worse. I took him back to the doctor.

"He won't eat. He has lost weight in the last week and I don't know what to do."

The vet kept him overnight and worked with him. Deep down, I knew and he knew that Fluffy was not going to be better.

Fluffy's heart was not working well enough to provide oxygen he needed

The next morning the doctor told me that Fluffy's heart was not working well enough to provide the oxygen he needed to be better. "That is why he won't eat," the doctor said. I wasn't ready to give in to the finality of his words, so I took Fluffy home and hoped a lot of TLC would bring him back.

'It' your dog and everyone has to make his own decisions,' the vet said

I began force-feeding him chicken broth. As much came out the sides of his mouth as went in. I then realized that Fluffy would slowly starve to death. He wasn't in pain but he was withering away. "Do I keep him comfortable and let nature take its course or do I do what some would have already done by now?" I asked myself. I asked Guy. I asked the vet. "It's your dog and everyone has to make his own decisions." I decided to keep him comfortable, sit with him, let him sleep where he normally slept on the bed, and hope he would go peacefully to sleep.

Sunday night I reached the hardest decision . . . when it comes to a pet

My plan lasted twenty-four hours. It was now Sunday and I reached the hardest decision a person can reach when it comes to a pet. His little legs were giving way and his eyes glazed over. He drank water and preferred to lie beside the water bowl than in the recliner where he normally lay. His fluffy white hair could barely shield his frail little bones. I had to be willing to let him go. I would take him to the vet the next morning.

Then he looked up at me from the rug on which he was resting and straight into my eyes. He had heard my voice and that was the only response he had given all day. We looked at each other and I picked him up and cradled him.

I wasn't ready yet and I don't think Fluffy was ready either. I put him in my lap and brushed his long white hair and thought about what I knew I must do.

(Part 2 continues next column)

- CAROL PERKINS
Carol Perkins, the writer, is an author, weekly radio talk show Host on The Hoss, 99.1 FM, on the Tuesdays at 10amCT, Susan (Chambers) & Carol (Perkins) Unscripted and is owner of Main Street Screenprinting PO Box 1051 601 S. Main Street Edmonton, KY 42120. Call 270-432-3152 or 270-670-4913


This story was posted on 2014-10-13 02:03:25
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