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21st Century Lesbian Trailer Trash

These are the mad musings of a middle aged woman, dyke, nurse, poet. I have a dog, a cat, a mobile home, and delusions of grandeur.

Name:
Location: California, United States

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Dear Companion of Mine

My seven and one-half year old Yorkie, Maggie, appears to be developing a cataract in her right eye. It's one of the side effects of long term prednisone therapy. It worries me because she isn't protecting the eye by blinking if, for instance, I wave my finger in front of that eye.

I took that journey with a cat quite a few years ago and I swore I would never again have cataract surgery done on an animal. After his eye perforated and had to be removed a couple of years later, even the animal ophthamologist conceded that it probably would have been the wiser course to remove his eye to begin with. After the surgery, I called him Blinky and he was happy as an old fella could be.

When the psychologist who visits our residents came in to my office today, I was talking to him about it and he freaked out at the thought. I explained to him why I felt that my having had the surgery done on my cat boiled down to little more than my own vanity and my neurotic need to anthropomorphize. The cat was happier without the bothersome eye. It was a huge lesson to me about what real love demands of us.

After that surgery, I promised JJ that he would never again have to endure that kind of pain. He had been through enough to stay with me. And when his final illness came in the tenth year of our time together, I had him gently put to sleep in my arms over the vigorous protestations of the vet. I was heartbroken but I never regretted my decision.

Maggie came to me at four months old weighing just two pounds. Within two months she was a clear failure to thrive and was diagnosed with a liver shunt. We dealt with seizures, emergency room visits, hospital stays, and finally, major surgery. She bounced back with an amazing toughness for such a small bundle of fluff. And for six years she was a perfectly normal dog.

About 14 months ago she was diagnosed with severe irritable bowel disease. She requires a special diet, thirteen doses of medication daily, and numerous blood tests and exams. She dropped two pounds and almost died of respiratory failure before I even realized something was wrong. I thought that this was the end.

But the Universe brought us to a very special veterinarian who performed a very expensive biopsy with only a post dated check as payment because Maggie was "too small and too sick to let money be the reason to not treat her immediately." By doing so, she gave me the gift of at least one more year with my pup.

It sounds silly but everywhere she goes, people fall in love with her. And Maggie never met a person or a cat that she didn't like. She is the cuddliest and most sweet tempered creature to ever have graced my life. She has been at my side through some difficult times, offering nothing but adoration and unconditional love. She watches me leave every morning with sad and soulful eyes. She greets me every evening as though it is the most joyful reunion of her life.

I don't know what the future holds for us. But I do know that we won't be together forever. And however difficult, I will do everything in my power, no matter how painful, to ensure that she does not suffer needlessly. For all of the love and the loyalty she has given me over the years, she at least deserves that much of my caring, my strength, and my protection.

I know that every day is a gift. Every day she teaches me how to appreciate the gift of each moment; with each sweet beat of her heart and each sweet warm breath in my ear. With each sweet kiss from her rough little tongue and each searching glance from her sweet brown eyes. Her life is fragile. But her heart is as great as the heart of a lion. And her love as reliable as the rising of the sun.

I think she has a lot of life left in her yet. But some days I cannot help but feel the sadness mixed in with the joy.


Kinja, the weblog guide

3 Comments:

Blogger Ting said...

(((((((Nursepam)))))))

7:33 AM PST  
Blogger Pat Kirby said...

Ah sweetie. This made me cry.

My little Rat Dog is at least fourteen years old (probably more). It's an odd relationship, having a pet. You know there's a goodbye coming. But you are always blessed for taking care of a critter.

Your little dog is loved and she knows it.

Hugs.

3:28 PM PST  
Blogger NursePam said...

Thank you Ting :o)

Pat, I bawled myself while I was writing this. I tend to be one of those people who, if I am not attentive, would opt out of living just to avoid the pain.

8:28 PM PST  

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