Monday will mark three weeks of me being left-handed. It’s progressing pretty well. I have gotten the signature down pretty well, but I get nervous signing it at stores and such because it’s slow, so it has started morphing into some kind of hybrid of legibility and my right-handed unreadable signature. Mostly, I am just slower writing with the left hand. With practice will come speed, though, right?
In sadder news, I found out that the lump on my dog’s leg will eventually be the end of him. It was cut off by a vet last summer and it’s back now. She said it is necrotic (look it up) and grow and possibly cause other problems. He might be fine for a while or it might get back within weeks. One potentially bad sign is one of his eyes getting cloudy. It might be completely unrelated or it might be a complication. There isn’t any way to know just yet. All this makes me think of poor, doomed Kodiak, who licked and was poisoned by some dip my dad used on him. I was there for about half of the duration of the two hours it took for him to die. I was there when he had the first siezure. I was there when he lost his sight. I was there when he let out a long sigh and died, as blood began pouring from his nose. The onus now falls on me to decide when Baron will die.
The problem is, I don’t want him to die, ever. He is happy and he still has probably 70% of his puppy level energy with him being nearly 11 years old. For the last decade, he has been the only constant in my life. That isn’t to say I will miss the constant shedding or the shredding of paper from the trash. Those offenses are so minor compared to what he has given me: someone to come home to; someone to miss me and welcome me home. There have been times when I was in the throes of depression and would have killed myself, but just by being here, he would snap me out of it. I couldn’t leave him here alone. He is a pretty well behaved dog and I would picture him nudging my lifeless body the way he does normally because he needed food or water or to go out. Without me, he’d be forced to crap inside which would make him feel guilty and worse because I wouldn’t acknowledge him. In that state he would stay until someone found me and took him off. It was more hurt than he deserved so I never could end myself.
Now I am faced with the prospect of having to end him. My heart aches at the idea. I can’t talk about it without my voice cracking, so I put it down here so I don’t have to. He is a great friend and he deserves better than this. I do take some solace in the fact that I have time to prepare myself. I was scared it would have to happen yesterday. I still have time to love him and to make my peace with all this. It won’t be fun, though.