So this is going to be a weird post, anyone who has read Rascal’s journey will know that it’s gone remarkably well.
I want the community to know that all our good days haven’t completely prevented the not so good human feelings. I don’t think this is exclusive to having an old dog, but I think in my situation there’s something to it. During the days Rascal is energetic and makes do demanding kingly treatment to make up for his still recuperating mobility.
It’s the nights that we struggle. Rascal always used to rest his head on his front paws, and I see him look for the paw that isn’t there to pillow his head anymore. He’ll give me this look, this simultaneously knowing and questioning look. I know I’m reading too much into it, but I’ve come to dread that look. It makes me feel so guilty, despite knowing we had no other option. It brings all these questions I have to the forefront of my mind.
He hasn’t cuddled up to me to sleep since the surgery. He’s been achy despite all the massages. I also see his muscles pull and twitch in the shoulder, knowing he’s trying to pull my hand to his chest for pets. The vet said leaving his scapula in was for the best, given his age and stout gait. That it would be a less stressful amount of damage and was in his best interest. I almost wish it wasn’t there for me to see the clear would-be movement he keeps up despite knowing the leg is gone. I think indistinct movement that wasn’t so recognizable would be easier for me to deal with. Now back to those burning questions/worries.
See, I’m a college student that lives with my lower middle class parents. We scrounged up enough money for his surgeries and his medications, my well off brother helped us buy the Farabloc and a new harness. I worry about what the regrowing tumor on his leg actually was. And I worry for any other lump I find on his body even after the vet tells me not to worry, that it’s just a benign fatty tumor. He’s got new ones since the surgery I haven’t been able to have checked out.
My family is never going to be able to afford seeing a veterinary oncologist or have extensive testing, especially considering my tuition costs and his age. I feel very guilty about how much more care I’d like to provide for him, but can’t seem to manage. I have severe anxiety, so I am definitely a worry-wart. I know a lot of this is just me, the human, being ridiculous. I am glad to be doing my best for my best bud, and that the smaller amount of surgical damage has meant a lovely recovery. I don’t resent having to go through this, I just worry and hope for a lot more time with my dog.
I don’t even know what I’m hoping to accomplish with writing all this down, but perhaps its just for the catharsis.
Thanks from the bottom of my heart Tripawd Nation for going through this before me, with me.
Rascal and Co.