Ughh. Some days are better than others. The other day I had to end three lives. That’s about 2 ½ more than I can handle emotionally. The first was a good friend whom I have known for years. I watched him lose his battle against cancer and was waiting for this day to come but still, he’s in there wagging and licking my face. So hard. The next was someone I see infrequently but usually in good health. She presented with a belly full of fluid filled with cancer cells. Not a fixable issue. So euthanasia was the only option but still, no one was ready for that. The third was a stranger to me and again, euthanasia was his only answer but still hard to say goodbye even though we had just met. That was clearly one of the days requiring a long stretch looking up at the sky after work with a double DiSaronno.
The strangest thing is that Colby is handling euthanasia better than before. He himself was on deaths door in November. For 4 days he was up at Ocean State and no one except he and I thought he would live. Did he stand on that precipice and look into the abyss and find that maybe, just maybe, death was not such a bad thing? He fought to come back to me, to life. He made the choice to stay and yet clearly thinks that there are times when is right to go.
He still watches me draw up the solution, checks on the patient to see if he agrees and gives a kiss to some of the clients he has known for years. But he doesn’t pace and chomp and moan. Is it OK? He accepts it now but still has to check the patient himself (awkward when your dog has to second guess you). What did he learn from his experience? If I face death and win, what will I learn? Hmmm, I think I’ll need to ponder that question. Perhaps the answers reside in the night sky. Next time it’s a Disaronno night I’ll give it some more thought.