As often happens when Bruce travels (this time its nearly two full-weeks in Europe) something goes wrong here at home. A year and half ago he headed to Australia on business just as Logan was wrapping up his only-to-date real virus induced fever. The kid was s-i-c-k. With Dad gone no less than a day of his 10 day trip, I, rather pregnant at the time, came down with it. And so did Grandma. It was awful. I was home, alone with an almost two-year old, an unnerving fever, strep throat and pink eye. And morning sickness that refused to leave me in peace the vast majority of my pregnancy.
A month ago when Bruce left for an unplanned visit to his ailing mother, I woke to hear the dog struggling to breathe. I called him the next day and told him I truly had expected to get up and find she had died in the night. But she hadn't. She, instead, returned to what has become her normal - panting as she moves slowly and sleeps often. Snorting as she tries to clear that stuffy nose she lives with constantly. We've known for a while that she's nearing her end but we (as in *he*) hestitate to make that decision "too" soon.
Monday night, suitcase packed and intinary printed, we settled into bed with hopes of an uneventful night out of Megan. We listened to her start to wake and then lull herself to sleep. We drifted. Then we woke to a loud wheezey labored breathing accented with a few snorts and sharp inhales. It sounded like someone choking. It was the dog - sounding just like she did a month ago.
Since that night she's been incredibly lethargic. She very rarely leaves one of her nest-like hideaways around the house. Most of the time she's asleep. She pants, clearly unable to breathe through her nose. She needs to be coaxed outside unless she trails along behind us when we head out. Even then she finds a shady spot to doze in. She's not well.
Bruce asked about her in one of his emails yesterday. He saw how slowly she was moving in clear discomfort. "She's not well" I had written back. We decided, through various emails back and forth, to call the vet. I send my dad an instant message - "Tasha is doing very poorly. I need to get her to the vet and it can't wait for Bruce to get back." I told him about the breathing, the sleeping, the general look of misery, the oozey eye. He wrote back that he'd go with me.
My parents, I know, think that Tasha isn't coming home with us today. I cry as I write it because I don't think she is either. I could be wrong. I thought we were looking at an appointment to put her down two months ago. The vet agreed that the decision was in the short term but didn't think it was a 'must' for the moment. Now it might be. Now we may go in and come back empty handed. Or we may go and come back knowing the day she'll pass.
Either way, Dad's over in Paris planning a day at the Louvre tomorrow and I'm here on my way to the vet.