I’m afraid our dear old Kate is flagging. How can we know when it’s time to be merciful, when the toil of living outweighs its enjoyment? Kate’s sleep conveys the oblivion of deaf old age. Largely incontinent. Constant heavy panting. Rising from the floor is an ordeal, or rising from the ground after an obstacle topples her back end into the dirt.
Sometimes when she’s stuck down there, Kate lies still and stares at me with her penetrating gaze: Really? Do I have to keep doing this?
But – she lights up for mealtimes. Once up, she walks the morning and evening rounds with Clara and me, slowly, as long as we keep it to ¼ mile or so, though I wonder if her compliance stems from devotion rather than desire. We’ve elevated water bowls; J. is ramping the step-downs. We pet her and love her. But at some point, I have to ask myself, am I prolonging this ordeal for my benefit or hers?
My 60th year in 60,000 words
Day 333: 164 words, TOTAL = 54,092; 5,908 remaining
Robin Clifford Wood is a writer and writing teacher. She lives in central Maine with her husband and dogs, loves to be outdoors, and enjoys ever-expanding horizons through her grown children and their multi-species families.