I finally heard back from the Vet about Honey our Golden Retriever. She will be fifteen tomorrow, she has been healthy, loving, fast, funny and wonderful until this past July. Her ear infections won’t cure, the pads of her feet seem to bother her so much that she stopped taking her swim in the pool and won’t go in the ocean excepting for the very soft foamy waves. This is a dog that swam with the surfers and rode waves with us until we called her to stop. The last two days she doesn’t want to eat or move around.
Carson had a Lacrosse camp at Whittier College all day in the heat, and I couldn’t take her into 102 degree temperature so I had a couple different people check on her at home. She sun bathed in the morning and enjoyed her routine of watching the hummingbirds and dragonflies hover over the pool but come afternoon she didn’t go into her favorite spot among the Colossal sunflowers. Honey didn’t move all day from the kitchen floor where my laptop is and where she keeps me company to write.
I felt this boulder in my chest calling to check on her, I redialed the Vet’s exchange in hopes he would call in some prescription. Last visit he spoke of quality of life. I’m bringing her in tomorrow, going to ask for pain medicine, something to perk her appetite and a miracle. Are you connected with your pets? I am closer with my children, but our dogs offer unconditional love and joy. If you ever knew or have a Golden Retriever, you know what a funny breed they are. They talk and make noises but are terrible watch dogs. They are afraid of lightening and all they want is to be a nanny to your children and make certain everyone is comforted.
Honey knew when I was sick with chemotherapy, she saw us survive the fire, and she is still diligent in watching for bunnies who steal my flowers and produce. She no longer chases them but they are afraid of the big amber colored dog who once guarded her garden.
I’m home now after a fun day at Carson’s Lacrosse Camp, gave her a piece of cheese with her pills. Then an extra pieces of Trader Joe’s sliced turkey because I know it is yummy. She shook her head and smiled that big dog one but her eyes are cloudy.
My son Carson said tonight, “Mom, you say that when you are ready to die, you will swim out in the ocean to some far away buoy to avoid being a burden--”
I stop him mid-sentence, “No, as much as Honey loves the ocean, Green River or the lake she would panic and be afraid. I don’t ever want any of you to be afraid.”
He nods, I feel a tear in my eye, and blot it off with my shirt. He’s sixteen and life and death are fast as the wings of a dragonfly. I put my hand on Honey’s head so she won’t have to get up to be with us for a group hug. Then we get down on the floor and thank her for being a beautiful girl. Her tail still has some thump in it.
Sunflowers the size of a basketball player