If ever there was a time I wished I spoke fluent canine, it would be right now.
In this very moment; in this moment in which I presume to take on the role of her God, to decide the date and time of my wee Molly's death, I truly wish I could speak with her, to ask her:
Am I doing the right thing? Is this what you would want?
Have you had enough, my tired girl?
You've been fighting for a long time now...longer than most - I, veterinarians, canine specialists - ever thought you would be able to. You have such a good heart, and it's broken.
Now, mine will be, too.
Tomorrow, sometime after ten o'clock in the morning, the vet will arrive. I've arranged for him to come to the house, you see. You're such a nervous little girl...and your last moments with me, with us (your Grandma and brother will be here to see you off), should not, will not, be filled with fear and stress.
I absolutely know you would agree with that bit of it...homebody that you are, it's where you would prefer to die, I'm certain.
The rest of it, though? I'm not so sure...
Am I imposing my all too human values on your life?
I see you now, not eating, unable to walk far without struggling for breath, unable to sleep well because every time you lay down your lungs fill. You are so tired...
But, because I would not want to live like that, am I to assume that you don't? I'm afraid - because I can't ask you your opinion - that I have to...and I can only hope you will forgive me if I'm wrong.
In all truth, I hope you take it upon yourself to leave this place on your own terms. You have about 24 hours from the time I write this to do so...
I've heard it said that dogs often wander off into the forest to die in peace, and I feel that, if you weren't always fenced in or leashed, you'd have done so long ago. For days now, you've been trying to hide...in corners, under the truck when we carry you outside, under bushes, under beds.
Is that what you are doing? Would you rather be alone to die in peace?
Well, sweetheart, you have a full day to do so, and although I won't let you wander away, I will give you the space you seem to be asking for; I will stop crowding you and hovering over you in my all-too-human way.
You can lay in your favourite quiet spot, with your fuzzy wee pillow and comfy blanket, and just go...in your canine way.
That would just be so much better - and more natural and gracious - than what will happen tomorrow if you have to do it my way.
So, I'll hope for that...and if you should pass, on your own, in the night while we all sleep, I just want to say...