Friday, January 19, 2007

Dog angst

I don't think it's any secret that I've become really frustrated with Jelly, our elderly mutt who pees in the house constantly. It's gotten worse lately -- several mornings a week of mopping the kitchen floor at 6:30 am, or of getting out the paper towels and Nature's Miracle again to swab the living room rug or dining room hardwood -- and I've sort of reached the end of my rope. I've been especially concerned about what happens when Ess finally realizes she can move... and scoots right into a puddle of dog pee. And then I've felt horrible about the fact that I would probably be in a very different frame of mind about this animal if we didn't have a baby.

So I've been yammering about it to anyone who will listen. Even our unabashed dog-lover friends have been surprisingly supportive of the idea that it may be the end for her, that perhaps the incontinence is just as upsetting to her as it is to us. D and I talked for a long time the other night and came to the conclusion that if it is not time for The Talk with the vet, we will need to find her another home, because we just can't deal with this amount of chaos in our lives. Or, rather, I am not willing to deal with it.

Somewhat fortuitously, we needed to take her in for blood work in order to get a refill on her arthritis meds. And our favorite, beloved vet tech spent a good long while with me this morning talking about Jelly and looking at the trends in her tests. And, to make a long story slightly shorter, based on all the testing in the past and this morning's blood draw, it looks as though she is in the early stages of kidney disease. They're having me bring in (yet another) urine sample just to make sure that the results weren't indicating that she's dehydrated, and then the vet will call me this evening to discuss next steps.

On the way home from the vet, before we had the results of the blood work, I was hoping that this was the answer we'd get, because it would be clear to us that Jelly's prognosis is not good (due to her age and other ailments, she's not a good candidate for treatment). But now that we've nearly got it, and it looks as though we will have a clear rationale for putting her down, I am heart sick. I have talked so cavalierly about this dog, have been so irritable when she stumbles blindly into my path or stomps on Ess while she's playing. I have literally joked about putting rat poison in her food bowl. And now I feel absolutely awful. Guilty for being so mean, for wishing death on her, for lacking in compassion. I fought to get this dog, and now I can't wait to be rid of her.

I may be getting exactly what I wanted, and it really sucks.