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Monday, November 2, 2009

Our Rika

Sometimes life just really stinks...and today is one of those times. Only a few months ago, we had 3 wonderful greyhounds. It was pretty traumatic to lose one of our old girls, Joy, to bone cancer at the end of September. It seems doubly unfair that only a month later, we're going through the same thing all over again with our Rika. At 5:30 today, we'll take our 12 year old diva dog to the vet and put an end to her suffering. Deja Vu...and have I mentioned that it stinks?

The bone cancer that has ravaged Rika's body has taken its toll; she has lost weight in spite of our best efforts to feed her multiple meals a day. She has a huge amount of swelling in her right shoulder and down her right leg as well as a lot of pain. Her back legs have also weakened so much that she has trouble standing up without help. She can't negotiate stairs at all now and has to be carried in and out of the house and from floor to floor. She can still walk slowly around the house but even that is becoming increasingly difficult for her. She pants constantly from the effort of just moving a few steps or trying to lie down. A good night's sleep is difficult for all of us as Rika wakes up frequently, often crying pitifully. This sends us scrambling for the powerful pain medicine that gives her some relief...but what seems to comfort her most is being with us, her humans. She's sleeping in our bed at night and prefers to be close to one of us during the day. In fact, as I'm writing this, she is pressed up against me, her head resting on my foot. She's restless, twitching in her sleep...maybe she's dreaming of running in the yard or flying up the stairs at breakneck speed...or taking long walks with us. She can't do any of those things now and I know it's time to let her go...and yet I don't want to.

What I want to do is put my diva dog in the car and run away...I want to hide her from the bad guy cancer cells that are stealing her from us. I want to find a patch of sunshine for her to bask in, hoping the warmth would restore her. I want to have a wand or potion to cure her; just like my Tanya, I wish I had magic powers. I want to go look for robot legs just like my Max suggested. I want to get mad and argue that it's not time, that we should wait a while longer...but I have to be a grown up. Sometimes being a grown up stinks, too.

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