Sunday, May 07, 2006

The Skinny

Skinny is right. The Sparks is losing weight as his intake barely keeps up with his body's basic metabolic needs. His waist is tiny, and his ribs show more and more. Otherwise, the old guy is stable, walking around the block and even to the more distant pond and conservation area, not needing the sling which we bought to hold up his hindquarters. He still likes to have a "salad" by the side of the road---there are several patches of green soft grass that he chooses to munch almost every day . Some dogs seems to eat grass in order to induce vomiting (think canine Ipecac), but Sparkey seems to simply enjoy some regular herbivorous intake. (Of note: Mary and I have been up for an hour, and he's still prone in the bed, covered with a blanket.)

Food still revolves around chicken and beef cooked in a big wok on the gas grill in the back yard, however last night's scrambled eggs with cheddar cheese and ham went over pretty well, I must say.

On the medical side, getting him to swallow pills is becoming more and more of a struggle. The next strategy will be hiding them in sausages, either of the real or vegetarian persuasion. (I think we'll start with veggie sausages.....) In terms of Sparkey's IV fluids, he's still tolerating the nightly infusion with only minimal protest and attempts to walk away while the needle sits in his scruff.

We keep talking to him, telling him we love him, and also reminding him that we'll support him when he chooses to leave us. While we understand that the time is coming and have our plans in place for his interment, the thought of his physical absence is still too much to bear, let alone having to actually put him in the earth. Death is never convenient, and we never feel like we can recover from a loss, but the truth is that we can recover to some degree, we always move on to whatever extent we are able, and the deceased become part of our personal firmament. He will always be our star, and these latter days are his swansong.


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