Mary was out late last night at a play, so on my way home from work, I stopped at Whole Foods to buy Sparkey some fresh meat for dinner (and some human food for us as an afterthought) and made my way to the house.
I was greeted by happy dogs, Sparkey limping but wagging his tail and eager for a walk. We circled the neighborhood, stopped at the beaver pond, Sparkey had some grass---he generally likes a salad before dinner---and I let them chew on some marrow bones while I made dinner. Vegetarians that we are, we assume that a nice juicy bone will stimulate the boy's appetite and keep him content.
The following hour was subsumed by slow-cooking Sparkey's boneless chicken thighs and (gulp) organic chicken livers in organic chicken broth in a large wok set up on the outdoor gas grill. After it cooled, they both ate with gusto, a small amount of rice snuck into Sparkey's bowl. The greatest challenge is keeping Tina away from Sparkey's food while he takes frequent breaks to walk around the house and eventually return for further munching.
When Mary came home, it was time for meds, replete with wrenching open Spark's jaw, holding the lower mandible firmly, and depositing the pills on the back of his tongue. Long gone are the days of enveloping his pills in cream cheese for ease of administration. He knows every trick in the book, so the direct method is now the only way.
Next, the IV fluids. I think he's growing to dislike the process. I try to find that sweet spot in his scruff where he doesn't seem to feel the needle go in, but sometimes it's obvious that the pinch is felt and he tries to lurch away. Then, during the ensuing fifteen minutes of infusion, he tries in vain to get up. I've taken to crouching over his back, a knee on either side of his lower ribcage, as I hold the needle in his scruff and make sure the fluid is flowing as rapidly as possible. Despite his displeasure, when I leaned over during last night's treatment to talk to him, he licked my nose. Forgiveness.
It's time well spent, love well given, life sustained and shared. These are the latter days.