When I last wrote about Eddie, it ended up being the day that I let him go. It had been a rough two weeks for him, and as much as I wanted to believe that he was going to get better any day, he wasn’t. I saw the x-ray images. I saw how much he was quietly suffering.
I was fine when he said it was cancer. I was still fine when we discussed different types of cancer and the prognosis for each. I was even fine when we discussed the relative merits of compassionate euthanasia. What got me was this line in the printed client instructions:
Indulge him in whatever he wants. Do not hesitate to take him to the park in the sunshine.
Eddie is ill. This should not be a surprise; he is, after all, fifteen years old which is a fair stretch for a dog. What is a surprise is the suddenness with which his illness has affected him.
We always knew about the swollen liver, the heart murmour, the chronic ear infection, and the hardening retinas, but when he stopped eating and started being visibly ill every day, it was clear something else had gone wrong. After a spate of blood tests, it seems he has liver/gall bladder disease, pancreatitis, and cholangiohepatitis. If that sounds scary, well it is.