Just about every morning, I wake up and look over at Sparkey sprawled on the floor and try to see if he's still breathing. Sometimes his respirations seem so shallow, I have to put my hand on his bony rib-cage just to be sure.
While we would hope that Sparks will at some point simply die painlessly in his sleep, wandering off to the spirit world from his rich dream world, we've been informed fairly clearly that his heart is quite strong and he may very well eventually need us to assist him in leaving his body. Being midwives to his passage will not be easy, but it's something that we're prepared to do as many pet owners have done before us.
In this culture, euthanasia of animals is accepted, legal and accessible, and having that option can preclude much needless suffering. While humans may not truly have that legal option outside of Oregon and The Netherlands, we're comforted by the fact that our vet will come to our home if the time ever comes that we have to give our best boy that blessing to go in peace.
On this beautiful summer day, I can't imagine not having Bob around, his orange fur rising and falling with his peaceful breathing, his feet twitching as he sleeps, his pointy bony head, his soulful eyes with little blonde lashes. But here we are, another day, and he awoke just like any other. We're both a little stiff, hungry and thirsty, but still ready for the day.