At the end of the season, our communal pool is opened up for a Doggie Splash Day. Residents can bring their pups and they get to fart around in the pool before the final cleaning before closure for the winter months.
This has been one of Mr. Pickles favorite things – and this is a dog whose favorite thing is generally whatever he is doing at the moment. Today was a storybook perfect early autumn day – blue sky, wispy clouds, and warm, dry air.
Because of other commitments, i took a few hours off work today to make sure he had a chance to enjoy it. Arriving promptly at 4:00pm, he wasted no time jumping in to steal a toy from another dog, Morgan – an elderly Chesapeake Bay Retriever. This has become something of an annual tradition.
Mr. P, having more heart than brains, threw himself into the water with reckless joy. He’s not always cognizant of where the steps are, so this meant i had to throw myself into the water to guide him back to safety on a few occasions.
He played. And he played some more. Other residents – even those without dogs – were entertained by his spirit. After about 40 minutes, he was getting tired, and i repeatedly had to shepherd him to the steps to rest, but he would have none of that. i very nearly had to carry him home, because…. well…. DOGS! WATER! BALLS!
It was hard to leave, but i was worried about him. He’d jump in, completely submerge, pop to the surface and snag the tennis ball – but he was starting to gasp to catch his breath. There is a fine line. He might push himself too far… But, he’s thirteen years old. It’s entirely possible that he won’t be alive next year for the Doggie Splash Day.
As i was walking him home, i got a text from my niece, DQ. Mom has been feeling pretty rotten this week, and has been mostly bedridden with fatigue. Earlier this week, she told my brother-in-law “I’ve lived a good, long life. It may be my time…”
When i talked to her last night, her mind was firing on all cylinders, and she was ready to give up. Given her symptoms, i was pretty sure it was an infection of some sort, and encouraged her to let DQ get some blood work done… Maybe even go to the emergency room if necessary to get checked out.
The text message from DQ was to let me know that Mom has been admitted for pneumonia, which is generally treatable. She’ll also have to have fluid drained from her lungs – the last time this happened was in early July. It has come back just a few months later. Untreated, it will kill her.
Another fine line.
Ultimately, it is Mom’s decision. i am hopeful that 24 hours of antibiotics will have her feeling less miserable, and perhaps in a better position to sort out her chosen path forward. i will support it, whatever she decides.
Fingers crossed that she still has some enjoyable days ahead, even if the longer term prognosis sucks.