Last week the boys and I visited some family out of town and so Theodore stayed at my mother's. When we returned and picked him up, he was so excited! His tail was wagging and he ran in circles at our feet. It was sort of curious to me, seeing as how he was originally my mother's dog.
There were a couple of days after that where he had one of his "bad days." These are the days that I think he may finally leave us. He sleeps more. He putters around sort of aimlessly with his tail tucked between his legs, his diaper caddy wampus from the long naps. You can just tell he's not feeling very good. It's those days that I wonder if we are being cruel to keep him alive. He can't see, hear, or control his bladder. Is this a quality life?
Then one morning he will wake up full of life and energy. He will be back to running circles at our feet, tail wagging, chasing the kids, jumping at you to greet you when you come home (if he's awake to smell you walk in.) I watch the kids hug his neck and kiss his head. Those days I think of how Theodore has it pretty darn good. I am some what exasperated these days because he is so smelly and he gets under foot and I'm changing diapers again and he has so much spunk that I'm thinking he has a never ending life.
When we took him in we thought it would only be a few months. Surely he is not going to live much longer. But he is thriving here with the good food and love.
Before Aaron left for Denver he left a bag of clothes for me to take to Goodwill in his closet. At night, Theodore went in to the closet and I could hear the ripping of the bag followed by grunting and wrestling as Theodore pulled each article of clothing out and made himself a nest. Each night he would re-build his nest. When Aaron returned on the weekend he wondered why I had not taken that stuff to Goodwill.
"I just can't. Theodore misses you and he makes this little nest with your stuff. It's so funny to watch him work on it too! It's the fastest you will ever see him move."
Aaron re-bagged everything. In the a.m. he complained that he could not sleep because Theodore was in the closet tearing the bag apart again and rebuilding his nest. Note that Aaron did not bag the things up and take them himself. Nor did he get out of bed and end the dog's nightly ritual. I think he loves the dog a little. I think even he can't bare to take the small pleasures away from that nasty old dog.
He smells. Awful. I was at the computer and this stench wafted up to me.
"Are you breathing?!" I accused. He lifted his tangled chin at me and tried to see me under his tousled hair. I have to get him groomed this week. The other night Aaron tossed the dog a large piece of chicken. Somehow Theodore could not quite get it. He looked up at us with the chicken dangling from the hair on his chin. He eventually got it. I tell you what, I am not looking forward to riding with him in the car with his death breath. The whole car is going to be steamed up with it. Ug.
Sunday a.m. I took him out to do his business and he stood on the sidewalk for a long time. He just stood there. One might think he was staring at something but there was nothing close enough for his poor vision to focus on. Then he started to slowly and painfully(?) walk out into the grass. He stopped and started to heave. Over and over he tried to throw up. I watched the poor little guy with mixed feelings. Worry: is he ok? Hope: maybe this is it? Worry again: oh, the kids are going to be crushed. Hope again: but this would be a good time to go. They aren't home and we are moving in 10 days. Then sadness: he was such a good dog. And finally disgust: Gross! Don't eat it! Aw man! He made it.