Oh my gosh. Just...wow. You are the nicest, kindest, most empathetic people and I am so glad that you read my piddly website because your nice words carried me this week. CARRIED ME. I cannot even count how many times I teared up just looking at Jake this week and knowing that today might be his last day and I might have to decide to euthanize him soon so, here you go Jake! Eat all these Milk Bones!
I felt so dumb really, for clogging up Twitter with "My dog!" and "What do I tell Claire?" and "HOW CAN THIS BE HAPPENING?" Talk about a buzzkill lasting several days. Every time I clogged up Twitter with my sad story, someone said something kind and I felt a little less stupid for being so worked up about just a dog. But really, he's only just a dog the same way you're just a person. Life is precious in all forms and sizes. (Until this week I'm not sure I knew how strongly I felt about a statement like that, but it turns out that I do.)
A personality you've spent 14 years with is not a just anything. He's a beloved member of this family. (That sounds trite, I know, but things get to be trite because of their universal truth, so there you go. TRITE.)
On that note, I am not sure what in the hell is going on with Jake. STILL. He is on steroids, a painkiller and an antibiotic. That must be a serious cocktail, because it seems to be working. The past 36 hours have been nothing short of miraculous. The dog that would not get up on his own? He walks freely around the house begging for scraps of food. He goes outside to pee. He can't use his doggy door because his back leg is still tender (I mean, I think?) and we have to actually open the door but guys, THE DOG IS WALKING AGAIN. (I can't believe it.)
Then we were like, "Um, okaaay? Do we...wait and see? Or was this just supposed to give us time to say goodbye? What are we supposed to do here? He can't take steroids forever."
My vet friend Julie called and she clued me in on the fact that steroids are amazing. Actually though, the way she said it was more like, "Steroids are AMAZING." Like, superhero-power amazing. In her opinion it made sense that he was walking around - he feels better because that's what they're supposed to do. They are a short term solution though; we only have a ten-day supply and we're halfway through it and I'm pretty sure he can't take steroids for weeks and weeks. I suppose the rationale is try to give Jake's body enough time to heal and rest and perhaps he'll figure out a way to beat the tumor and the blood flow problems.
But...I think everyone's expectation is that this will absolutely not happen, given what we know about his condition.
Last night, Chris and I talked quietly in the dark about "taking him back to the vet" on Friday morning. For, you know, the procedure. We were going to see how he is today and then make a decision on tonight about Friday morning. Delay the Big Decision as long as we could and not make any assumptions because we are both in a little bit of denial. Then this morning? He's walking! And eating! And...he seems to be mostly okay but still a bit gimpy so that means we should...not take him in on Friday? We think not. We think we'll wait the weekend and see how he is on Monday.
This whole Today? Tomorrow? When? line of thinking makes me sick because I feel like some kind of weird God-like figure in the matter. I am very, very, very uncomfortable making a decision to end his life if he's not in over-the-top obvious pain, but at the same time I don't want him to be in over-the-top, obvious pain. Every day is precious, you know? You've all told me that we'll know when the time is right and I suppose that means now is not the time, but I am doubting my ability to recognize it when it comes.
That's the catch-up, even though I feel like there's no news of any substance in here. Jake walks, eats, pees, bothers Claire, all with a limp and all under the influence of heavy medication and we think he has less than a week in him, which is more than I thought he had two days ago.
It feels like a really ugly waiting game that isn't fair to anyone and doesn't have a right answer.