Java is in the flickering light bulb stage of her life. Every day I get up and wonder if today will be the day. She has the gait of an inebriated old lady as she stumbles & staggers. I have had to remind myself that is me that has the problem with her tumbling. Java is usually calm, serene and laid back. She has accepted her disabilities and limitations with a mildly inconvenienced expression when she finds herself stuck between two compost bins. She rarely sleeps for longer than two hours so even Frodi decided that he doesn't have separation anxiety between 4am and 7am and went off to bed so it was just me and Java sat outside waiting for her to pee.
The bad times are increasing; our hall resembles a padded cell with cushions, mats and quilts everywhere because she lands awkwardly. She is determined to be house-clean and struggles to get to the back door. Messing her bed horrifies her but it happens before she can indicate her need to go. Her bones creak, her paws are grazed and sometimes now she panics and frets to be the right way up again. She has resigned herself to being carried which for a dog who was aloof to being over cuddled has surprised me.
Just when I think I should make the call to the vets, Java settles on to her memory foam, chin on paw just watching me cook. I talk to her like I always have and she looks interested, engaged, her eye brow raises when I drop a spoon, weighing up the possibility of an unexpected treat. She lay contently out in the garden when it was warm watching Frodi and Kato failing to catch pigeons. She remains a big fan of the shipping forecast on radio4.
So now the dilemma of dog ownership – her body is giving up before her mind. With Abe it was obvious that she had had enough. I have never had to take a sentient dog to the vets, I’m not sure I can. When does it stop being about her and about me not wishing to lose her. I don't want to cross that line and give her un-necessary suffering but it gets so blurry.