Comassion in Action
On a Runaway Train to a Destination I Don’t Want
My quirky, spunky, cuddle-bug, Nutty, had been quite ill. There were a few veterinary appointments and emergency inpatient stays. Two months ago, he was diagnosed with diabetes which we took it in stride. Insulin twice a day, healthy diet, and glucose monitoring when things seemed off; we could handle that. Then over a week ago, we were back at the vet. We got lots of advice, huge bills, and a treatment plan, but things were a bit confusing; they weren’t adding up. Finally, recognition dawned, and I knew what was happening. Once more, I was on a runaway train that was out of control.
Nutty’s baby picture in 2008 (a few months after his Craig’s list rescue)
If you’ve been around the block enough, you know what I mean. My dog’s health was moving in a direction that I didn’t want to go in. No matter what my husband and I did — and we brought considerable effort and resources to the party — it was clear that Nutty was in the last phase of his life. I couldn’t change that, so I had to focus on accepting what was and providing him the support that he needed. I thought back on prior losses and knew that things would not be easy, they would not be what I wanted, but I would do them nonetheless. There was no choice. This was not about me; this was about him and what I could do to help him best. My husband and I stepped up to the plate to give Nutty the love, affection, and eventually, the way out that he needed. Now that Nutty is gone, I can focus on me and grieve.
the narrow-gauge train from Silverton to Durango (Colorado) and the Animas River
More of the Durango to Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
My husband and I had to make all the decisions for Nutty’s health. I cradled him in my arms and stroked him as he received the drugs to end his ordeal. Nutty quite clearly didn’t want to linger. He was known for his boundless energy; the powerful IV drugs controlling his pain made it hard even to stand. He didn’t want to live in a body that was unable to do his bidding. My children opted to stay home. I had to make the second bitter observation of the day: being an adult can really suck.
Durango to Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and the Animas River again
But in the end, we have no choice. We’re on the train, and it must be ridden to its final destination whether we like it or not. All I could do was surrender and do what I could to ease the journey for the one I love.
Nutty in 2016, looking fit and active
Goodbye for now, sweet Nutty. You are sorely missed.
Nutty perched on the back of a chair in front of the books in my study.