Coffee heat rising

Happy(?) Thanksgiving

Never fails, does it? All real emergencies, terrors, clogged drains, and minor inconveniences invariably happen on a holiday. Or, at best, on a Sunday.

Not so reliably on a Sunday, though: too many resources are open and available on Sunday.

But Thanksgiving? Christmas? The Fourth of July? Ohhhhh yeah! Whatever can go wrong will go wrong…on a major holiday!

Early this morning the dogs and I climb off the bed. Cassie seemed OK but tired, which wasn’t surprising because we spent yesterday evening at my son’s house. She doesn’t sustain even the most routine exercise well anymore: lately, if I try to walk her around the corner and back — about a tenth of a mile — she tires but seems OK. But the next morning she seems exhausted.

When she walked outside to do her thing, and I didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary. But within the hour, she couldn’t stand up to eat her food. She just stood over her dish, shaking all over. She seemed almost paralyzed: couldn’t or wouldn’t walk, and though she was sort of standing, it was more like huddling upright. I had to lift her onto the doggy bed pillow, and then position her so her nose would not be pressed into the stuffing and suffocate her.  Even reclining, she continued to shake all over and she seemed unable to move on her own. It was almost like she’d had a stroke.

My son and I are supposed to go to our friends’ house for Thanksgiving dinner. This, we might add, is a bit of a BFD.

So the emergency vet’s receptionist said the wait there right now is several hours. And how much does a trip to the emergency vet cost? “A hundred dollars.” And that is  just to walk in the door.

If Cassie is dying, I figure she might as well die here as there.

But now I don’t know what to do about the Thanksgiving thing. I hate to leave her here to die by herself. But…on the other hand, I don’t know that she will die today. She has her ups and downs (though rarely as extreme as this). This isn’t the first time I’ve thought she was on the way out. Apparently these swings are a function of the adrenal gland tumor. Weakness, shaking, collapse, lack of energy, panting, rapid breathing are all symptoms of the thing. So, we might add, is “symptoms seem to come and go.”

There isn’t much I can do for her except let her rest. And frankly, other than putting her down right now, there’s not much a vet can do for her, either.

So I’m sitting there on the bed e-mailing this intelligence to my son: writing her obituary, as it were. And I hear {click click click click} up the hallway. Ruby is standing right there, so it ain’t her. Cassie has managed, somehow, to pull herself to her feet and she’s staggering up the hall toward the kithchen.

She’s walking and she’s stopped shivering all over. And…next thing y’know, she eats a whole plate of dog food..

Well, she staggered outside briefly. Then disappeared. Had to set Ruby to searching for her, which is a trick because one thing a corgi ain’t is a search dog. I’ve worked on the “find” command with that mutt until I’m blue in the proverbial face, and she still only vaguely gets the idea.

Found the patient inside, again unable to walk, shaking again. Picked her up and carried her back to the dog bed. She’s resting and has stopped shaking, at least as long as she’s reclining.

Okay, let’s try to think rationally here.

  • She doesn’t appear to be in much discomfort, except that she’s too weak to walk. That she ate an entire serving of dog food indicates that she’s not in a lot of pain.
  • I’m going to have to have her put to sleep in the next few days or, at most, weeks.
  • Therefore it doesn’t make a lot of sense to rack up a bill of hundreds of dollars to take her to an emergency vet.
  • Nor does it make sense to spend all of Thanksgiving Day sitting in a veterinary waiting room for something that ultimately can’t be helped.
  • If she’s going to die today, my being here will not change that.
  • But she’s probably not going to die today, given that she was able, eventually, to get up and eat, and given the pattern of ups & downs.

Unless things change a lot for the worse, I think I could safely go to our friend’s house. There’s little or nothing I can do for the dog here.

Next week, though, I’m afraid it’s going to be The Time. If she doesn’t pass through the veil today, I’ll have to take her up to one of the vets tomorrow or Monday.

This Event will present a whole series of new decisions:

Do I get another dog?

If so, what kind of dog?
From where?

Do I stay here in my house, or move away from the recrudescent Tony Situation?

If I’m right about what Tony is up to (let us hope not!), then I will need to get another German shepherd or similar protective, aggressive dog. There’s a reason I didn’t replace Anna with another GerShep: I’m too old to train and handle a large, high-drive dog safely. This fact inclines us to say “move away.”

If I move, where do I go?

Some friends are trying to sell their two-bedroom patio home, by way of moving themselves into an upscale old-folkerie. It’s a nice little house, centrally located, and I would buy it but for two things:

§ One of the reasons they’re moving is that they have a certifiably lunatic neighbor who has made a lot of trouble for them. Out of the frying pan, into the fire!!
§ It needs about $15,000 worth of renovations.

Well. And there are some other things:

§ It’s two houses in from Central Avenue, a noisy main drag.
§ It’s in an HOA. I do not want to deal with an HOA.
§ The little development borders the canal, which is a superhighway for drug-addicted bums.
§ It’s within (loud) earshot of Sunnyslope High School, where the band practices and football games blast forth during the fall semester.
§ They’re asking more than it’s worth, IMHO, especially given that it needs new flooring, a new security gate in front, new landscaping, a gate on the west side through which to roll the garbage can by way of keeping the peace with the crazy next door…and on and on.

For what I can pay, that leaves either Sun City or Fountain Hills, neither of which are within reasonable driving distance of my life.

If I stay here and Tony starts to do his thing again — frankly, I’d put money on it that he’s up to just that — then I will need to get a dog that’s big enough to be some protection. That represents a) expense and b) hassle. I’ll also need to add to the armory: really, I need a shotgun, because I’ve become too goddamn lazy to drag the pistol to the range and practice.

A new shotgun will cost several hundred bucks…as nothing compared to the cost of moving. I have some friends who are into armaments and so may be able to find someone who knows someone who’d like to sell Dear Old Dad’s heirloom. Unfortunately SDXB has already unloaded (heh) his. But a few hundred dollars is, indeed, as nothing compared to the cost of moving.

I might be able to get an older, fully socialized GerShep from the German Shepherd rescue. But that poses its whole new set of questions:

How will Ruby take to a new room-mate?
Given enough provocation, will this proposed GerShep exterminate Ruby?
The German shepherd’s lifespan is nine to eleven years, during which one can expect to have to deal with some very expensive ailments. Do I really want to do that again? For a dog that I may have for, say, five years at the outside?

Here’s the Kid. And so, away.