“What a sweet dog,” said the gray haired gentleman next to me in my vet’s waiting room last night.
“The sweetest and most loyal girl ever,” I replied, nervously stroking Maddie to calm her trembling body.
The door to the back room opened and a sobbing twenty something woman joined us in the reception area. She described the urn for the man that she’d just selected for her own sweet dog.
But her eyes brightened once she saw Maddie, and she immediately walked over and joined me in stroking her back.
And my eyes soon moistened.
I was then called into the examining room and carefully carried Maddie back to the table. Maddie and I hadn’t expected to be making this Friday night visit, but my vet advised I come right down after returning home from work to find Maddie in pain.
More moldy frosting on a stale cake of a week, I thought.
And it was about to get even more challenging.
I wasn’t prepared for the diagnosis I was about to receive. And even more so, the urgency of the decision I needed to make.
Maddie has a serious medical condition. And I was told if I opted for surgery, it had to be done within hours at an emergency hospital in a nearby town.
I’ve heard those heart wrenching words several times before regarding loved ones, both man and beast.
I was trembling now along with Maddie, but we were both trying to remain strong. I listened as carefully as I could to all the options my vet was presenting to us.
I know the vet is as fond of twelve year old Maddie as I am. Maddie’s winning smile has made her a popular client at the clinic for years.
Yet I was ultimately responsible for the decision to be made. And when making one it’s easy to let yourself feel overwhelmed and alone. The burden is a heavy one.
But I also know if the doctor or vet is any good, they’ll arm me with the tools I need to make the right one.
So I left with a toolbox and pain medication.
And my loving Maddie.
We returned home to quickly ponder our options.
“Oh Maddie, what do you think we should do?”
She looked up at me with her soulful eyes, smiling like always as I gave her a treat. And showing her trust, as she has since I adopted her from a rescue group at age four.
With Maddie cuddled up close next to me, we conducted more research on Google. And I reread some blog posts from a couple of writer friends I admire who have lived through similar experiences recently.
Now with an overflowing tool box, I was prepared to make a decision I believe will make us both comfortable.
Maddie won’t be subjected to surgery as her pain can be controlled by medication for the rest of her days as a senior dog.
I detected a wider than normal smile from her as I shared the news.
Although Maddie will no longer be running any races, the end result for both of us will be more cuddling time.
And what a gift to still have time left together.
I’m thinking its been a good week after all.
And that’s due to one sweet vet, sweet friends, and one very sweet dog.
Three links to three very wise writers below…