Friday, January 12, 2024

On a Wave of Cookies

Today is the last full day of our old dog Ellie's existence.  

Thursday was rough, as her appetite had dwindled away to nothing, as it will with kidney failure.  Thursday morning she refused any and all food.  No treats.  No ham or turkey or chicken.  No jerky.  No cheese.  No salmon or tuna.  Nothing.  She wouldn't take her pain meds, either, no matter how we cajoled.

Absent any meaningful nutrition or relief, she was weak and in clear discomfort, both desperately hungry and unwilling to eat.  She paced and panted, stumbling about on weakening legs, obviously cramping, unable to find any way to be at ease.  It was time.  

We made the call to a home-visit vet, and got the earliest possible appointment to have her euthanized at home.

The first possible moment, though, was Saturday morning early.  Which meant that we had to get through Friday.

All day Thursday, she alternated between agitation and torpor, and we were dreading the long stretch of her final day in this mortal coil.  A day of discomfort wasn't what we wished for her.  The hard call made, I distracted myself by preparing the earth to receive her, right there in her little patch of woods behind our house, where she's sniffled and snuffled for the last fourteen years.

Last night, returning home from one of her many ladygatherings, Rache brought home a sugar cookie.  On a whim, she offered a little bite to Ellie.  It was immediately gobbled up, along with the entire rest of the cookie.

A solution!  Healthy eating?  No.  But at this point, it didn't matter.  What'd we be worried about, canine diahbeetus?

I booked on out to get more baked goods, and returned with one bag of Pepperidge Farm Chessmen Butter cookies, one bag of their Farmhouse Thin and Crispy butter cookies, and one package of Harris Teeter Blueberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake Bites.  

She devoured cookie after cookie, and nommed even more voraciously on the cake bites, which also proved to be a perfect delivery mechanism for her pain meds.  She got calmer.  Seemed more at ease.

Today, it's been more of the same.  She ate cookies.  She perked up a little bit, shuffling around in a slightly less wobbly manner.  She ate coffee cake.  When she lay down, she seemed at peace.  She ate more cookies.  She got outside.  She ate even more cookies.  We gave her one last drive through the neighborhood in which she took a lifetime of walks.  

And she did finally turn up her nose at a cookie, but only after knocking back a thousand calories worth.

There are worse ways to leave the world than on a wave of cookies.