Lady-pup isn't doing too good. Today, when Chuck (my Stepdad) was going to take her out for walkies, she couldn't really even get up from her bed. This sort of thing has been happening off and on for several months now. Nothing to the point where it is obvious that she has nothing left to live for, but... she just worries me. Mentally, she's all there. She understands commands, she knows that it is bad to mess in the house, and she looks guilty whenever she opens up the garbage can and takes a scrap of whatever she thought smelled tasty.
And yet, she doesn't seem to understand that her body is failing her. She's always trying to prance about when she's outside, but all she can really do is a sort of slow gait. She plays with Toby, even though he is faster and stronger than her. It's like she is still stuck at when she was only a couple of years old. But her body is failing. The signs are all there. Reduced apetite, slow movement, her eyes are getting misty with cataracts, but she still tries to be a puppy.
I don't want this little post here to be all depressing, but it's kind of difficult to talk about aging without reaching into the subject of death. I don't want her to be in pain. But I don't want to let go of her. I know it's selfish, and cruel, but I can't really think of life without Lady. She's been with us nigh on fifteen years now, and I have lived with her for as long as I can remember. I'm eighteen years old. When I started preschool, she was there. When I started elementary school, she was there, and she was thare for all of the stages of my education so far. There was nothing I did in life where she wasn't there to meet me at home. For me, her death will be the death of a sibling.
But that's enough sadness for right now. She has not passed on yet, so there is still time to spend with her. I will devote the rest of this post to being slightly more upbeat than the previous three paragraphs. I think I will start off with a little story about when we got her. Now, this story takes place when I was three years old, so I'm very fuzzy on the specifics of it, but here it is anyway.
We were at the animal shelter, looking for a pet to bring home, when we came to the puppy part of the kennel. Now, all the other puppies were playing, nipping, and generally roughhousing, but not Lady. She was sitting quietly, by herself, not doing much of anything. when other puppies tried playing with her, she endured the harassment and kept on being what appeared to be the most laid-back puppy in existence. Now, most of the time, these are bad qualities for a puppy to show, since it generally means the animal has some sort of illness. But not Lady-pup. She was just being patient with the impulsive siblings. When we actually got to the adoption part of the whole thing, my Mother inquired as to what kind of dog she was. They told us that she was a Sheltie mix. She isn't a sheltie. She's a Labrador/German Shephard mix. Yeah. Big difference.
Fast forward a few years, and there is a story that shows how protective of us kids she was. It was winter, and I was sledding doen the backyard with my brother and sister, when I am suddenly pulled off of the innertube things we were using. Lady had grabbed part of my jacket in her mouth, because she thought that this strange circle shaped thing was carrying off her family, who were obviously frightened, because they were screaming. Mom gave her a little smack to correct this behaviour, and went back to the house to warm up a bit.
That's all the stories I can think of right now, but whenever I can remember more, I will post them here. Nut back to being serios for this parting shot, please. I don't think I'll be able to handle the pain of her death. But I have made a solemn vow that I will not leave her side if it comes to the decision to put her to sleep. I will be there, quietly sobbing, when the time comes.