Atina lies dying. This morning she had a blast chasing her Kong. Then she collapsed, exhausted from the effort of what was likely her last play session.
She spent the rest of the morning alternating between frenetic activity and exhausted collapse, with her head in my lap as I stroked her cool ears and told her it’s O.K., it’s O.K. to go.
Now she’s motionless on her bed. Her breathing is irregular. If she makes it till tomorrow I will be surprised.
Last night she got into bed with me–an unusual phenomenon–and we kissed and cuddled for hours, until I was exhausted and sent her to her own bed. I woke at five. She was sleeping in the driver’s seat of the van, same as always, same as Aress did when he was alive.
She jumped up when she saw that I was awake, same as always, and got in my way as I was trying to dress, just like she does every morning. This morning I did not scold her, but snuggled her black head into my half-off pajamas. I have known for a few days that it wouldn’t be long.
Yesterday I couldn’t believe, watching her fly after her frisbee, that her lab tests could possibly measure her life in days, maybe weeks, by miracles months. Yes, her sides were heaving after just a few catches, but hey, she still had the want-to.
Today she’s been shitting her innards out. The van smells vile. I gave her a dose of Imodium, which has slowed things down enough so she can rest. I’m cooking the rice with chicken broth, hopeful that she’ll rally; but to tell you the truth, I want her to die at home, not on the operating table surrounded by strangers.
Her surgery is scheduled for tomorrow. If she’s still alive in the morning, I’ll cancel it. They can look at her kidneys just as well at autopsy.
Yes, we will proceed with the autopsy. I must stop the carnage in the place where I bought her. I must save other dogs from being used as currency. In that way, my beautiful girl will not have died in vain.