Justi woke up today with a lump in his lower lip. It's like a chestnut, hard, stuck to the jawbone, sore when touched and I see no wound or anything nailed. I hope it's a swollen salivary gland and start with antibiotics. Surely it's nothing but Justi is 12 and anything startles you. It´s been already a long time since every other month she´s with us is like a present, like she´s giving us time to mentalizing.
She has osteoarthritis in elbows and hips, she can´t move much and the less she moves the stiffer she gets and the harder it is to keep her weight, little food you give her. I trim her nails and cut the hair between the pads, we have changed the floor cleaning product to another that has no wax, but she still slips. I bought a pair of soft boots, but she does not like them. She still can go down the 6 steps to the garden, but to come back, she barks. She can still climb alone, but seems to feel calmer if you´re there checking on her, just in case she falls down. She does not call because he has taught us to give her a treat to ask her up, she just wants you to be there. I carry her many times, but I wonder what happens the days I'm not home.
Vets, we have no remedy for age. She first took cartilage protectors, then NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and now is over a year she´s been on cortisone. She´s got gold implants to reduce the speed of osteoarthritis, but cannot be stopped. Recently Julia Robertson, an expert in canine myotherapy, was in Barcelona and she was so kind as to treat Justi and teach me how to relieve her contractures with massage. There are a lot of compensatory movements that she has to do to walk, so is not only the joints that hurt, the muscles ache too.
But I also wonder what happens to her soul: She cannot climb to the second floor to sleep with us in our bedroom, no longer comes to the walks on the forest, or to bathe in the river, or to work every day with me. I try to find suitable activities for her: We cross the road to the little park in front of house and do treat search or just sit to watch people passing by. If I see her more lively, we work a little on the small ramp I bought her. She lies down to chew on real bones and makes a mess on his memory foam bed. I get her on the couch to take a nap with me, but she gets hot very easily and cannot go down alone. I clean her Labrador doughy ears, if you´ve ever had otitis you know how painful can be.
I do everything I can but wondering when I will have to take the most difficult decision, give the greatest proof of love. Because otherwise, she´s fine: annual blood test perfect, 3 little mammary lumps she´s got do not grow and her insatiable Labrador hunger is intact. That is, organically she can last for years, but living with pain, in the background of the canine gang, without coming with me everywhere as before, relegated at home. I told myself "when she cannot go to the garden by herself," but here I am, lifting her. Then I said "when she cannot get up to greet me when I arrive" and sometimes she doesn’t come out because she hasn’t heard me and I go running to her bed, pushing the other dogs aside so they wouldn´t step on her. Then I said "when done at home, that's an indignity that she would not have to endure" and several times I found an accident in the morning and I lie to myself "she had dinner soon, it was too many hours"...
We love them very much and so there comes a time when we must recognize that it is our fear to our own pain that makes us keep them here, when the human decision is letting them go. But how difficult is to have the Pentothal in a draw and being here telling you all this, just to tell someone, because she just looks at me with her round eyes and moves the tip of the tail, toc, toc, toc ... My beautiful old lady!