Coffee heat rising

On the Road to Heaven’s Gate

Cassie the Corgi is on her way out of this world, I’m afraid.

Day before yesterday she started having serious trouble walking. The air of confusion, which has lurked for awhile, became more distinct, as though familiar places looked strange and she had no idea where she was.

Now today she can’t walk or stand at all.

Plus she’s having the kind of palsies she developed of late, while she’s asleep: I’d call them convulsions or maybe spasms. Now they’re happening during the daytime hours, and they seem to either scare her or hurt her. When I take her outside and set her down, she looks utterly befuddled…peers around with an expression that says, clear as day, “What is this place and what am I supposed to be doing here?”

Interestingly, it occurred to me that she acts sort of like a person who’s had a stroke might act, under some circumstances. Look up “can a dog a have a stroke” and discover ischemic strokes are incident on Cushing’s disease…which of course is exactly what ails her.

She’s now completely incontinent…leaked all over the pee pad I put down over her mat in the bathroom, her favorite nesting place. While reclining by the dinner table, she managed to deposit a couple of fine turds under the dining room buffet. That was quite a trick.

As soon as Cassie passes on to her furry fathers, I will have to disinfect all the flooring in the house. She’s peed and shat all over every room in the house, and no amount of spot-cleaning changes the fact that the entire dwelling stinks to high heaven. To fix that, I’ll need to mop all the floors with Clorox and then open every window and door to air it out for several hours.

Ruby should not be exposed to the fumes. So I’ll need to schlep her down to my son’s house and leave her there for five or six hours while the place airs out. It’s a little chilly to leave her in the yard all day, and if it keeps raining she can’t be left out there anyway.


Cassie was born in 2006, if you believe what the Humane Society said. That would make her around 12 or 13 years old, depending on what month she arrived. So that puts her right at the median life span for corgis, which is 12.6 years. So she’s had a pretty good life.

Ruby is already showing signs of taking over as Queen of the Universe. Ruby came along in 2014. That would make her about 5 years old, the prime of her doggy life. So if she lives to be 12, she’ll be around for another 7 years…until I’m 80 or 81 years old.

Thinking about whether to get another dog…and I think probably not. In the first place, Ruby will expand to fill all available space. And in the second, I’m already too old to be on my hands and knees five or six times a day cleaning up after a sick old dog at the end of its life — at 80, I will be way too old for that. So I guess, no: no more dogs.

Which is sad. It’s hard to conceive of living without the company of a dog. But what the hell: maybe I won’t live that long. 😉