Saturday, August 15, 2009

Please, Just One More Day

At this time yesterday, I was sure that today was going to be the day that Cosmos was going to leave me. He hadn't eaten for three or four days, his toxin levels from his Kidney Failure had suddenly shot through the roof when last month, they were almost normal. He had been suffering from diahrreah mostly on rather than off for a couple of weeks, and our appointment with Dr. Florio last Thursday was really grim.
On Friday, I was fairly hysterical the whole day. I could see my boy was suffering; was slipping away from me. This despite him being on two IV infusions a day to try to flush the toxins out of his system. He could barely stand, let alone walk. Yet there was a spirit of life within him, trying to hold on. He would ask to go outside to walk around the condo a little bit, and even onto the sidewalk in front. And everyone that walked by, as he always did in the past, he begged to have them pet him. He loves acknowledgment and to be pet.

Ian had called on Thursday night in response to me canceling a sleep-over for Eric's kids and Ian. I couldn't deal with my boy slipping away from me and the kids at the same time. Adele chose that time to let Ian know that Cosmos was probably dying. Ian, on his own, called, asked to be put on speaker phone to talk directly to Cosmos, and made his peace with him. Once he was done talking directly to Cozie, he and I talked, discussing the various medicines I had Cosmos on to try to keep him comfortable and well. In the end, I invited Ian to come over on Friday so that he could visit with Cosmos one last time and be able to say good bye in person.

In the morning, I had called the vet's office frantically. Wasn't there anything they could do to help Cosmos eat? If he would just eat, I really felt that he might last a little longer. They had an injection that they could try... an anti-nausea medication with an appetite stimulant in it. I had Cosmos over within the hour for the shot, and then brought him home. He slept for hours until Ian arrived. I had called the vet's office just before he arrived, and they said that the med doesn't usually cause drowsyness, but that Cosmos could just be sleeping because he finally felt relief from the gastric symptoms.

Ian left, and shortly thereafter, Risa, his special friend, an animal specialist, and his babysitter came to visit too. I think Risa is magic. She somehow got Cosmos to eat a few biscuits, and gave me a list of all sorts of foods that he might be induced to eat. She left, with a promise to come back again today. And I immediately went out shopping.

I returned home with all sorts of foods that were so far off of my radar that it had never occured to me to look for them. Spam, potted meats, bacon, white bread (toast) with real butter. I tried Spam on Cozie with no success, and faired no better with the bacon. He did eat a small portion of buttered toast, though, so at least that was something.

This morning, I got up and Cosmos followed me into the kitchen. He seemed really hungry and I offered him a little toast which he ate. Then I offered him some of the cold bacon. to my surprise, he took it and swallowed it down! I gave him a little bit more and then thought to make him a "Grand Slam"breakfast of champions. I took one egg, mixed it with some heavy whipping cream and water, scrambled it, and put it into a frying pan saturated with real butter and some of the bacon. When it finished cooking, I took another piece of toast, tore it into bits, and mixed it in to soak up all the butter and egg juices. As soon as it was cool enough, I offered it to Cosmos. He ate it. I gave him another IV, some of his medication (he wouldn't take all of it), and went to Costco to pick up more IV solution, butter, whipped cream (he loves whip cream), and I forgot what else but it was for him.

Then I took him to the vet for the visit that just yesterday, I thought was going to mark the end of his life. Dr. Florio was as surprised as I was to see a dog who was clearly weak and on his last legs, but in good spirits. Cosmos had had a wonderful time in the waiting room visiting with the other dogs and dog parents, and had been pet in the back too. He was taken off to have his blood drawn, and since I was fairly sure that it was going to show better numbers than last Thursday, and since I was definitely not going to put him down today, instead of waiting for the blood results, I took my boy home.

Dr. Florio called later. Although his toxin levels are far from normal, they had dropped considerably from last Thursday. He may have a few days left in him.

He is terribly thin and weak. I know that the rest of his life depends on him continuing to have the will to fight, and on him eating. The problem with that is that the toxins make him nauseous... like he has a bad case of the flu, and eventually they are going to get him.

Risa came to visit us again today. She managed to interest him in some biscuits, and later tonight, in fact just a few minutes ago... about a quarter past 11, he ate the dinner of eggs (again) that I had prepared for him hours ago. Risa and I had a talk about Cozie. I repeated what I've been saying for weeks, and in fact months now. I don't know how I am going to live without him. But she stressed to me that it was important that I have a talk with him (I'm absolutely sure that he understands a lot of what I say) and let him know that although I don't know how I'm going to live without him, that when the fight became too much, it was ok to let me know and to let go. And that although I will be devistated by his departure, in the end, we would both be ok.

I had that talk with him just before starting to type this post at midnight. I know that he was listening, and I'm pretty sure that he got the jist of what I was saying. I'm going to have this talk with him frequently for the rest of his life. I'm going to tell him how much I love him, and how much I am going to miss him when he has to go. But that this time was all about him now, and what is best for him. That I would understand when the time came that the body had to stop, and that we both would be ok. And I will keep the edge of hysteria out of my voice as I tell him this.

He is so frail and weak now. I know that the same dog I've known and loved for all these years are inside of that bag of skin and bones, but very little of it can be expressed now. Goodness knows, he tries, but he's just too tired and incapacitated to really be the Cosmos of old. And I know that our time is down to weeks, or maybe even days.

I don't pray... I don't believe in it and I have a lifetime of experience to know that it doesn't work for me. If there is a God, he deserted me many many years ago, and I am on my own. But still, inside my head, I am saying the exact same thing that Claudia said when her Mac was preparing to leave her. And I am saying it each and every day. Just one more day my little one, my baby. Please, just one more day.


Pickyknitter said...

love to both of you!

Claudia said...

I'm glad that Cozie is eating.It's a sign that he's not ready yet. He looks good in the pictures.Remember every day is a gift. Please give him a hug and kiss for me. I love you all.

janet said...

He is giving you every minute he can. love and hugs to you both (and Sunny).

hot tamale said...

having that talk with him is a wonderful idea.....when he's ready he will let you know. Its mutual, he's gonna miss you too. He does look good in the pictures....his eyes look clear and he looks happy thats the important thing.

Anonymous said...

I knew when I saw the title I shouldn't read this post. I've been crying for 10 minutes and couldn't stop. We had three beautiful dogs that we loved very much. They had been our children for many years. But when we made the decision to move here we knew we couldn't bring them with us. It was too costly and too long of a trip and quarantine to move them. We found good homes for all them, but I still grieve the loss of them. I know you don't pray, but I do. I will pray for you and for Cozie. I believe dogs go to Heaven and that Cozie will find peace again when he goes. I'm so sorry for your pain and suffering. I'm sorry for Cozie's pain and suffering. But you have both been blessed for having loved each other.

Anonymous said...

Laura-my deep thoughts are with you and Cozie. May you both find peace and both feel the love you have for each other.

jo said...

Oh, Cozie is beautiful. I have tears in my eyes. Sending you two lots of love.

LI Laura said...

All my love to you and Cozie. He looks happy in the pictures.

persimmons_x said...

Losing pets is really sucky. I would've made a deal with the Devil himself for more time with my Nathan. Hugs for you and yours.


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