Things weren’t looking up for Silke. The vet agreed that the medication didn’t seem to have brought much improvement, so if Silke wasn’t enjoying life anymore, then maybe it was best to let her go and save her further pain and discomfort. With a crap load of pain in our hearts we took Silke home to say goodbye.
At home we sat down with her on the floor. And in sensing our grief, she began to comfort us. When the kids came home, we told them the bad news. They had seen it coming, but it was an incredibly sad moment nonetheless.
We ate dinner mechanically, without taste (or in my case, with just the salty taste of tears). And then when we were done something unexpected happened.
Silke walked up to the front door and barked. She wanted to go for a walk. So, we put her leash on and out we went. She hurried on, pulling me along, turning us into walking question marks hurrying after a Corgi. Was this the same dog that didn’t want to go out for days? The same dog that walked the slow pace of a snail, begging to go back home after she’d passed the first tile in the sidewalk? The same dog that had a purple tongue after a short walk the day before? She pulled us along to little field where we often let her run free. And she ran! I can’t express what we felt and thought, but it must have been undiluted hope mixed with reserve. Could this really be? We were confused, to say the least.
Once back on the leash Silke kept pulling us along with that huge grin on her face that only happy dogs have. We expected her to collapse at home, having exerted herself so. But what happened, is exactly what she did this morning: she grabbed her ball, walked up to me, pushed it against me and began to growl. Silke wanted to play! And we did. For a good hour. And then she slept peacefully.
We were so confused; hopeful and scared at the same time. Especially the kids were confused. It’s hard to hear your dog is dying and that there is no hope so that all we can do for her is to save her pain and then to see such a sudden change. It was almost as if Silke somehow understood that we felt it was over for her but that she was determined to get the message across that she did not agree with the plan.
Being realistic people we know that Silke is still severely ill. But she was still better yesterday…and this morning. And while I write this blog, she lies by my feet breathing almost normally. We have no great expectations. We take things one day at a time. It would be awesome if this one good day lead to another and another and another…and turned into weeks, months or even years. But even if this should only be a for a moment, then it still feels like a little miracle.