My faithful, lovable and most regal dog of about 14 years might be sadly nearing the end of her days with us I fear. She started breathing really heavy about a week and a half ago. Almost unable to catch her breath. She was very noisy at night and started pacing during the day in attempts to find a comfortable spot to camp her bones. Coupled with a weight loss of almost 10 pounds, I knew something was not right. Her veterinarian, a man from Louisiana, suspected cancer in her lungs so we had x-rays done. Although, cancer couldn't be necessarily pinpointed, her lungs did not look good at all. The results from the scans showed evidence of everything but cancer. She's been on medication for a couple days but hasn't shown signs of much improvement as her doctor would expect. He called today to check up on Frieda and after I told him she was about the same as when he saw her, he told me a decision might be in my midst with his deep Harry Connick, Jr drawl. Somehow his use of the term "good golly" comforts me.
Frieda, the super mutt, has been a most outstanding pet and family member. She has lived a long, good life with us after I found her at the local "little store" around the corner from our then small farm house. Mr. Hawthorne and I weren't married yet and he did not want to keep her. But, she gradually wiggled her way into his heart and our life (even during her tween, chew everything up in site phase). She is a kind soul with tremendous amounts of patience with the kids. She has always been a fearless protector of our family in times of crises whenever the occasional occurrence of stray cats crossing the font lawn or squirrels running the fence line. Her not to missed flop-on-the-ground-rub-the-belly move has always been a welcoming greeting to strangers. We will never forget the comical songs she sings to us when she wants to go outside. She has taught my children to be responsible and thoughtful. She has scolded them for being unkind, but she has never acted out in anger towards them. And, soon she will be teaching them the ultimate lesson in the cycle of life.
Her southern doctor will be back in the office on Tuesday. I'm going to hold through the weekend before making any rash decisions. For now she is not in pain and on medication.
Thank you Frieda! We love you!