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The Down Side

I haven’t felt like writing lately. I prefer to attempt to be inspirational rather than a downer. But, I guess, just like life, sometimes you gotta “tell it like it is.”

To put it mildly, the past month has kinda sucked. Having to say goodbye to a 6 year old cat who we didn’t even know was sick, was shocking, and also not shocking, as her litter mate sister died similarly 2 years ago. So, I want to grieve a little bit. That’s normal, right? Even though I know that she chose this way to go, that her little spirit and energy will always be with me, and that she’s hanging out with her sisters, and maybe even my dad, I need a little time to cry and just think about her cuteness and the funny things that made her, her.

I made a list. I keep remembering funny little quirks of hers that made me smile. I will continue adding to it as I remember new things. It has been helpful. It has been healing. And in some way, I’m finding it to be a tribute to her short life with us.

But there’s more. The day before we lost little Pai Mei, Jeepers, our 10 year old, 90 pound beast, and sweetest dog ever, starting making some really strange movements with her back feet. Her balance has been a little odd, AND, after a walk last week we noticed that she had bloodied a paw. Seriously? No...seriously?

I get it, she’s 10. I’m supposed to be ok with her getting older and dealing with some general “geriatric” dog issues. The vet took x-rays, saw some arthritis, hip dysplasia, some possible disc know, all stuff you can treat with some anti-inflammatory meds and some rest, (in addition to her holistic regimen.) But she doesn’t act AT ALL like she’s in any pain. could be neurological.

Damn that Google. Damn me for being so adept at Googling. My poor pup fits just about every symptom for early onset Degenerative Myelopathy. To put it simply, and not simply, she likely has the doggy version of ALS. There isn’t a “cure”. There are ways to help her to be comfortable at each stage of the illness.

I had a friend pass away a few years ago from ALS, at the age of 45. I know what that looks like in a human.

So, I’m on a new journey with her. I’ve begun writing her list. I will try to not let her see me cry as I look into her beautiful eyes while she lays her sweet, giant paw in my hand. I will do everything I can to be comfortable and help her enjoy every day. Our walks will be short, our playtime limited. Hugs, kisses, and songs sung to her will be plentiful. I will just love her, as much as I can, for as long as I can.

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