I took my dog to the Death Room today
September 4, 2011
This post has nothing to do with my current book series, the Temple of the Exploding Head. This is just a musing …
When I woke up this morning, I thought that was it. There was blood all over our bed; not thin pinkish nosebleed blood–this was deep red and thick, from the heart.The blood had come from our dog, Lucy. Lucy is a red Dachshund, twelve years old, overweight and nearly blind. She’s not been herself for awhile now. Her vision started to go a few years ago, and her epic Dachshund nose that used to amaze us with its power got dull and numb. She doesn’t walk much anymore, she just sort of waddles and we have to carry her most everywhere. She’s got funny lumps under her skin here and there.
And this blood thing seemed to be the last straw. I called the Vet and explained that … maybe it might be time to … give Lucy peace. I thought I was taking my dog to die today.
When we got there, they showed us into the little room where dogs and cats go to … you know. It was small, just a couch with a little table. A water slide gurgled and a miniature rock garden sat nearby spewing aroma therapy. And there were pictures on the wall–of dogs and cats who’d seen their lives come to an end in that room. There was Buster, a Basset Hound and Jenny, a white-masked Golden Retriever. There was Snookers and Flo and Penny and an old tabby Gabbs.
The pictures were like a huddle of tombstones in a quaint yard washed in sunshine. There was plenty of space for more pictures, more tombstones. Would a picture of Lucy in her happy, barking younger days soon join the others?
Lucy: June 14, 2000 – Sept 3, 2011???
The Vet came in and sat on the floor.
Lucy trembledThe Vet looked her over. The blood came from a deep cyst on her leg that had busted open. Pretty common actually. Having drained, it looked much better. The Vet checked her legs–mild arthritis due to her age and weight.
She asked about her appetite. Good, Great–Lucy never misses a meal.
The Vet prescribed a doggie version of ibuprofen for Lucy and an antibiotic for her leg. She thought Lucy still had a lot of life in her.
So Lucy came back out of the Death Room, blind and silent, but alive and with the promise of more life.
We took her home and gave Lucy her first dose of medication. Soon, she was walking around again. Soon, she was splitting our ears with barking like she used to. We bought her a new toy and she took it and squeaked it and shook it around. Right now my dog sits at my feet, asleep, resting her head on her new toy, carrying it with her everywhere, just like she used to.
I don’t know how much longer we’ll have Lucy with us, but it doesn’t really matter. I’ll never forget the day I took my dog to the Death Room, and she came back out again with a new lease and a lesson for the landlord.