Our lives, it seems, are pretty much revolving around the dog these days. It starts in the morning, getting out of bed, with the first thought being, “Will he even be alive when I get downstairs?” and palpable relief when he is. Then comes guilt for hoping, and then guilt because, after all, the very idea that him dying might be a good thing is just abhorrent… Neither one of us wants Hank to be in pain at all, yet at the same time we’re not ready for him to be gone, either.

He stopped eating any dog food, even his favorite things. He turns away at peanut butter—something he normally would be all over me for. He willingly drinks water, but until yesterday that was about it.

Yesterday—a moment of providence, I think—there was a vet on the noon news, and he mentioned that when elderly pets loose their appetites, they’ll often eagerly eat hamburger and rice. Spouse Thingy called before he left work, so I had him pick up some ground beef on his way, and I made a big skillet of very lean hamburger and brown rice for Hank (heh, I didn’t even cook dinner for us.) After it cooled I put a plate full down in front of Hank, expecting he’d turn his head away again … but he ate it. Happily.

I made enough for 2 and a half more meals; he had a little bit later last night and the rest for breakfast and dinner today. So this evening I made more, and hopefully he’ll eagerly eat some tonight and tomorrow.

Regardless… Monday we’re calling the vet and seeing if we can get him in. We need for the vet to see him, listen to him breath (which I can hear at night all the way upstairs; it’s like listening to Darth Vader hyperventilate), maybe do blood work, and then hope that it shows something. Something that can be treated.

I know, realistically, that Hank is very old, and he may just be winding down. And we won’t force him to live through a cloud of pain just to spare ourselves the pain of losing him … but I can still hope.

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