Thursday, June 16, 2011

This is the worst

Yesterday, during our playdate with some friends, I noticed Riley starting to chew on his paws. After our friends left, I went into the kitchen and made X-man dinner. Then I fed the cats and finally I mixed up Riley's food. Since he was diagnosed with cancer almost a month ago, we found that he was particularly fond of Tur-Duk-En (no lie) from Prairieland Feeds. And well, when your dog is terminal, you let him eat anything he wants. And he turned his nose up at it. After X-man and I got back from the movie, I couldn't find him in any of his normal spots. Instead, he was curled up in a ball at the far end of the laundry room. He's never in the laundry room. He walked outside to pee at 8:30 p.m. last night in a sort of lumber. Then he laid down by the front door. At 10:30 p.m., I had to come down and search for him again, this time he was curled up with is back to the sink in the half bathroom. Again, this isn't a usual spot. I tried with the food. He refused, but he did drink some water. He couldn't get up to go to the bathroom. I gave him his pain medication, since it had been 8 hours since the lower dose was given and went to sleep.

After three really good days, Riley entered a bad period. The cycles are coming faster now, where as when we started to notice things in April they were every two or three weeks. And they're getting more painful.

At 5 a.m. this morning, I got up and tiptoed downstairs. He was under X-man's computer in MacTroll's office. His breathing was labored. He couldn't stand. I went upstairs and got a towel and wrapped it under his hips to support him. He got outside the front door and took a very long pee. I gave him his meds. He refused food and water.

So I called Dr. Mary's office. Then I messaged Quigs and SuperShanna to let them know I was going to need some help with X-man today.

When X-man got up at 8 a.m.  and the workmen showed up to work on our patio, Riley moved from the front door to the living room, and laid down so he could bark a bit at the workman noises. Then when he realized the workmen weren't going away, he managed to lumber himself back to the front hallway to lie down.

He's been there, in that corner, all day, except when I made him pee again around 11 a.m. I was impressed though, that he made it out into the yard without help.

The plan was to take X-man to the Little Gym from 1-4 p.m. and then he could go play at SuperShanna's with Quigs as a back up. I needed him out of the house because at 4 p.m., Dr. Mary is coming to euthanize Riley. I'm trying not to use the words "put him to sleep."

X-man was fine with this, until we got to the Little Gym. Then he didn't want to come inside. Once he figured out it wasn't pirate camp or sports camp -- which were the two he picked to attend. He got grumpy. Then he noticed it was all girls. And he flipped out. I told him he could go in and play with his friend SuperC (his favorite girl) or I could call Quigs and we would work something out, but he couldn't go home with me.

It was too much of a decision. He flew into a blind rage about how he couldn't be there. So I gathered his things to go to Quigs' house. Then he was screaming for Little Gym. I ended up picking up a carseat, water dish, a pair of Keen's and a 45lb struggling 5 year old and taking them out to the car. He kept unbuckling his seat, so I put the childlock on the door, so he couldn't get out and hurt himself, walked around to the other side and climbed into the backseat of the car.

I sat and looked at him and tried to explain that Riley was sick and dying and that he couldn't be there when it happened. He promised to stay up in his room. I said no. He said he needed me more than Riley did. I explained that he didn't. Not today. We got through it somehow in conversation, and he permitted me to buckle him in and take him back to our house. Where I started sobbing as we were pulling into the subdivision. I don't normally cry in front of my kid. The sobbing continued as I searched the house for a cellphone I couldn't locate. When I found it, I texted Quigs, who, being the woman she is, dropped her lunch and came running to get my child.

Then I called my husband. I told him what happened. He was silent at the other end of the phone. And he was asking, what I decided at the time were dumb questions and words that didn't comfort. Because in that situation, what can one do in Illinois from California. I wanted to say a slew of hateful things, but I didn't. He could tell I wanted to say them, because when I'm really angry, I get completely silent. He stopped talking, too. So I hung up. I didn't know what else to do.

I grabbed a box of Kleenex and came downstairs.

"Loosey?" X-man said. "Can you sit and calm down?"

So I sat and calmed down.

Quigs came and collected my child from me. He finally seemed to comprehend that a) he really isn't old enough to see his dog die and b) he really doesn't want to see his mother cry.

I walked over to spend some time with Riley on the floor in the front hallway, but it's impossible to do so without crying, which his eyes tell me isn't very comforting. So I decided to blog about it, how lame is that? I didn't know where else to put it.

Now the big question is, what to do for the next hour and 10 minutes before my beloved Riley dog is dead.


Quigs78 said...

I wish there was something that I could say to make this easier for you. You and Riley were lucky to have found each other. He knows that you're the best pet parent out there.

If there's anything we can do, we're here.

Debra said...

So sorry friend. Sending you lots of hugs and thinking about you and your family right now.

The Fearless Freak said...

This is just one of those things where nothing is the right thing to say.

I'm so sorry. Riley will be missed.

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking of you, Dana, and so sorry. Riley drew a good human to spend his life with. --Molly

T said...

Oh, this made me so sad. I'm so sorry you're going through this.

~rachel~ said...

I'm sorry :(

Lindsay said...

Dana--I am so so sorry. Really, truly, please let me know if there is anything I can do to make this time easier for you. I can help with X-man, bring you a drink, or a friend, or a Monty Python movie to divert your attention. Anything. Something?