Living and Dying

Spring                                                    Full Flower Moon

Death comes calling whenever it wants,  not worrying about the season or the weather or the inclinations of the living.  Kate’s colleague, Dick, suffering from multiple myeloma has gone on hospice care after two years of often brutal treatment regimens.  Bill Schmidt’s brother, who has prostate cancer, also chose hospice care recently to ease the pain of complications.

Tonight I was on my first Political Committee call of the year, a Sierra Club committee that deals in endorsements and retail politics.  The dogs were making noise so I quick ran upstairs to shoo them inside.  Emma didn’t come inside.  She lay under the cedar tree.  I’ve watched a lot of dogs die over the last 20 years and when I went to her side, she looked up at me, but had the stare that looks beyond, out a thousand yards, or is it infinity?  Her body was cold and she did not rise.

Vega, the big puppy, came outside and poked at Emma with her paw, sat down and nuzzled her.  Vega loves Emma, has since she was a little puppy.  I called Kate to let her know I thought Emma was dying.  Emma’s fourteen, our oldest dog right now, and our oldest dog ever with the possible exception of Iris.  At fourteen her time is near, perhaps it will come yet tonight.  Right now she’s on the couch, wrapped in a blue blanket, her head on her favorite pillow.

She seems a bit more alert now and Kate says her heartbeat is regular.  She may have had an arrhythmia and converted it, that is, brought herself back into normal rhythm.  Hard to say.  As Kate said, she appears to have the dwindles.

When I compared the call, about politics, and Emma lying outside, I realized Emma was more important to me than the call, so I stayed with her awhile, brought her inside and made her comfortable on the couch.  Then I returned to the call.

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