My beloved dog, Lola, (the beagle on the right) isn’t doing too well these days. We’re getting close to the end. I haven’t been writing much because I’ve been dealing with so many ups and downs, but Lola is, by far, the hardest part of these cold winter days. The lump on the side of her head, which started out like a small golf ball, is now like an orange. She isn’t eating her food, but will eat chicken, ham and liverwurst. She can hardly walk, but she still wags her tail and she is still there. Inside. Lola is still Lola. But with a brain tumor, it’s only a matter of time before she’s not and I have to make this decision before she is suffering.
One of my best friends, Julie, has made that decision about her beloved Arlo. Today is the day. We spoke on the phone yesterday and had a good cry. Arlo is truly one of the sweetest dogs I’ve ever known, a big hound/mutt.
These creatures have been there for us through every life event for the past 13 (Arlo) and 9 (Lola) years. They have given us unconditional love. We have been their mommies and they have been our “kids.”
I can feel the grief beginning to come to the surface, but one of the greatest blessings in all of this sadness, is how much support and love we have around us. Once again, my deepest gratitude is to my friends and neighbors, especially Abigail. Lola has had a very good life and so has Arlo. I’m lucky I still have my older dog, Lucy, but her time will have to come soon, too.
I’m reminded of the phrase from Friends In Deed, the Sally Fisher quote: “The quality of our lives is not determined by the circumstances.” The divorce goes on, my little dog is dying, my friend Julie is losing her beloved dog, it’s one of the coldest Januaries I can recall, I’m filled with sadness, and yet, I appreciate so much in life, too. The sun is shining. We had friends over last night for delicious homemade Mexican food. I’m living in my city, the one I love and I live in my wonderful neighborhood, surrounded by people I’ve known for over twenty years. I work for an incredibly lovely person, in an office filled with great people. My play is having a reading this spring. And for today, Lola is curled up on the rug nearby and I can go over and rub her neck and her belly. And tell her how much I love her.
I just heard from Julie that Arlo is gone. She said it was painless and swift. They raised a glass to Arlo afterward and I do too. Rest in peace, Arlo.