Wednesday, October 1, 2008


kisu's mother, who has not been a part of our life since around the time pooka was born, has lately been in declining health. we hear this via adam, kisu's brother. although he lived out of state, he actually kept in touch with carol and had a general idea of her welfare. recently, her condition has become dire. it was necessary for the boys to get a court order and have her removed to a facility for evaluation and care. this is a long, complicated, emotional story for another time. this post is about the dog.

the dog who was left in the house when carol was removed. honestly, there was not a good place for him to go. adam is lodging with family and we, well we have a very territorial cat and an empty house for 11 hours of the day. adam was checking on him daily, but one day {details omitted} dugan was picked up by the humane society.

dugan is a 15 year old wheaten terrier who entered the boys' lives the year before i did. i don't know if the dog means more to kisu than i do, but you see the chronology of it. judging by his current appearance he has been neglected in the past couple years. he wasn't let outside and wasn't eating properly. the boys' hearts were broken. without a place to stay, the humane society was going to put him down. they weren't ready for that, so kisu brought him to our house. knowing that he was a mess, we gathered up every old blanket we could find and cleared a space for him in the florida room.

pooka was so excited, she wanted to make a nice bed complete with a pillow, great big water bowl, etc. i warned her that he was old, sick, and probably wouldn't be around very long. she seemed to accept that with an icy clinical attitude. (she gets that from me.) when he arrived, we weren't surprised to see matted hair, covered in excrement that was also in the back of my truck. after an impromptu hosing off, he didn't improve. he was now soggy, shivering, and even more pathetic looking. pooka asked, "what's daddy doing to my dog?"

you see what happened there?

the first hours were a mess. due to age or illness he couldn't control his bodily functions. having admitted that he probably would be put down, we started thinking sooner rather than later. he can't hear, his eyes are cloudy, he's unsteady on his feet and trips over the merest pile of leaves. after the first day with real food (graciously donated by the humane society) he started to look marginally better; he controlled his functions and was able to wander slowly around the yard. daily he has continued, incrementally, to improve.

we are approaching the tipping point of painful mercy. he looks like he might be saveable, but is it what's best for him? he is old, his eyesight won't return. how much medicine should he be given? what will his quality of life be?

this needs to be resolved quickly, before pooka (and kisu) gets too invested in him.