White Dog curled up into my lap and gently nosed my cheek. "I am not sure Darby is going to be with us very long, momma," she said. "What do you mean?" Zsofia asked standing up to put her head against ours. "She just got here. She hasn't even played once or explored all of the neat places to find crumbs under the counter."
Softly, WD answered, "Maybe she is just here long enough to feel wanted and loved again."
Steve had just taken Darby from my arms to place her in the oxygen kennel. What a change twenty-four hours had made.
We were so excited that the 17 year-old senior hospice girl was up and walking around, willing to discover the dog door and walk around the yard. We had gotten past her fear of being touched; she now snuggled happily in our arms and against her brothers and sisters. This since Sunday.
She had come to us over-medicated on tramadol with a snotty sneeze, not eating, and drinking limited amounts of water. We switched drugs to avoid the side effects of loss of appetite, upset tummy, and constipation that tramadol sometimes causes. We convinced her to accepted slurried rice in chicken broth and water through a feeding syringe and did a happy dance when her elimination systems seemed to be working.
Last night the sneezing turned to big gaggy coughs of ropey mucus and congestion. The vaporizer helped as did the O2 kennel this morning. She is back to not eating. We administered subcutaneous fluids this afternoon. She is not standing.
Between rounds in oxygen, Darby has been content to be held against our chests, and weakly has smiled as the White Dog Army comes over to nuzzle and check on her. I talked with the Hospice Program Coordinator. We are both hopeful that this is a cold that hydration and oxygen will help clear but she reminded me, "This IS a hospice situation."
"I know," I said to WD and to Shelly, silently adding my prayer to the Universe "but not yet I hope. She just got here."
POSTSCRIPT: As I posted this blog and turned to take Darby out of oxygen to have a night-night snuggle, we discovered Darby had begun her journey over the Bridge. Sweet Girl, know forever peace and that believe with all of you heart that although it was only too short a time with the WDA that you were wanted, loved, and respected.