Sunday, August 9, 2015

Klinger, singin' a song for you. Just tryin' to say goodbye.

Well, fudge . Had the dog in for xrays and a new battery of bloods on Tue. Wed he was not just worse - but much worse - losing mobility in rear legs. Xrays and bloods showed mostly nothing. Two vets found no internal masses, neither by palpating nor by looking at the xrays. Thinking was, can't find anything wrong - maybe neurological disease?
Today we went to a high-priced specialist. They did ultrasound and found a lot of small masses everywhere. So, from two active dogs to none, in short order. No telling how much time this boy has left.

I had given orders which brought death to thousands. Yet here I was stirred, profoundly stirred, stirred to tears. And by what? By the grief of one dog. -- Napoleon Bonaparte

Klinger has been my buddy. I could walk into a room, and he would look at me. And I could see that looking at me made his day better. Looking at me literally made him happy. He would just look at me and smile. I don't think I've ever had a dog do that before. Spencer Quinn writes, in his Chet and Bernie mystery series, of Chet (the dog) as looking at Bernie (the dog's human) that way. He has Chet describe Bernie as beautiful and nice to look at. It is a heck of a compliment, ya know! Made me feel good in turn.

Klinger hasn't been a one-person dog, but not far off, either. He has pretty much been my shadow the past couple years. And I've found myself attached to him, as well. So when it comes time, I'll put him down myself, and cry like a baby. I won't have it done somewhere other than home, and not by somebody else. I'll miss this one. So I may cry between now and that next time, too.

He has gone downhill very rapidly. So quickly, that it has been more than a little confusing. We only started to notice anything wrong about two months back. And, even then, it all got confused with the other problems that he had simultaneously.

I took him to the vet 'cause he had not eaten for 3 days. And he had a modest fever, and was going through panting sessions.

At the same time, he had a hard cyst growing in his groin area. I pointed this out to the vet - and he figured it looked like a spider bite. Which could cause all the symptoms we had. The cyst got large, and hard, and it eventually became a dermonecrotic lesion. Which is a fancy word for a big hole in his gut - and a very dramatic time.

At the same time, he was having digestive issues, and neurotic issues over flies and other buzzing and flying insects, and eating issues. I figured that the fly issues stemmed from the bug bite. It all got very confusing, and very dramatic.

And up until we got the ultrasound done - there was nothing that could be found that pointed to any reason for him to be going downhill. No lumps, no localized pain, no pain sensitivity at any point, no growths. For all intents and purposes, he looked healthy. Which made his distress all the more confusing and painful to us.

But, although he appeared healthy, he wasn't. The ultrasound showed small distributed masses growing throughout many parts of his body.

And I guess he was telling us he was sick by not eating. I had been thinking that the fly neuroses was affecting his appetite. He has always been affected by outside things that hurt, like bees and wasps and biting flies. He learned quickly (too quickly) to avoid whatever he was doing when they stung or bit. So that idea seemed rational. But it was wrong. Looking back, I will say he just wasn't very hungry, which is what happens when cancer is eating you up inside. 

I like to use some of the ancient traditions for the passage to the next world. I know these motions - giving those who are passing something to go over with - are mostly for us who are still here. I gave my Dad a maple leaf when he went - trees were his life. And that kind of started it for me.

Sara - the old one who passed a few weeks ago - got a bunch of treats to carry her over the river. Sara loved food, and running, and sniffing, and barking. People and doing things with them (like obedience!) were somewhere lower on the priority list. Often much lower. But she was a happy, and game dog. People naturally took to her friendly, open, and smiling face.

For Klinger? This one will need a vigil. I'll probably do a fireside vigil for him. Being touched was the path to motivate Klinger. Treats were a secondary motivation. When he got distracted by other dogs or critters, treats were completely useless. But scratch his ears? Good any time!
For Klinger, dropping some food into the grave with him won't hold much meaning. Things, and food, didn't mean much to Klinger. He loved going out in the field to run - he was very happy then - always with a big smile on his face. And he liked being touched. Whether grooming or scratching his head and ears, he was a fool for that.

And he was my buddy.

Oft I sing for my friends
When death's cold hand I see
When I reach my journey's end
Who will sing one song for me

I wonder (I wonder) who
Will sing (will sing) for me
When I'm called to cross that silent sea
Who will sing for me

When friends shall gather round
And look down on me
Will they turn and walk away
Or will they sing one song for me

So I'll sing til the end
Contented I will be
Assured that some friends
Will sing one song for me

Don't weep for me when I am gone,
Just keep sweet song still rolling on;
Until from earth you are set free,
Remember, friends to sing for me. 

"Who will sing for me". Authored maybe by the Stanley brothers, or maybe by Thomas J. Farris. Last chorus from another version.

I'll sing for ya, buddy.

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