January 27, 1998

Yesterday evening there was a wake at Murphy's Pub for one Denali, a golden retriever, the second of two sisters to die of cancer in the Flaherty household, so we all held a wake for her at an Irish pub, drank Guiness in her name and remembered her with what stories we had. In many ways it was likely much easier than being in an emptier home alone.

Sam was the other of the pair, and she'd died six months previous, though had been diagnosed with cancer in about the same week, a year before. Both sisters were only six and seven, so it's been a blow to the Flaherty family, but they'd just gotten Ian, a bouncing, laughing baby boy when Sam went, so it's been doable.

Fezzik had a thing for Denali, of the two sisters, and he used to follow her everywhere, with Sam occasionally cuffing him when he got too close. Denali was the good girl of the two, and folks could kinda see that when Sam got out of the enclosure, that Denali went along to make sure that her sister didn't get into too much trouble. They were both curly coated girls, active and happy with playing in the water, and so Fezzik would follow them everywhere when they were all on the beach together.

Funny how the personalities of our animals gets caught up in our own. They do take up some of us into their behaviors, their activities, their everyday actions. Denali had started to slow just a week and a half ago, they'd brought her in to the vet's and found that she had some internal bleeding, an ultrasound later, they knew that something was badly wrong with her liver. The vets had offered to open her up to find out what was wrong, but with some sharp questioning by Don, he found that they really didn't have anything they could do for her even if they found out what was wrong, so he had them leave her whole. She deteriorated pretty quickly in the week that followed and died peacefully in her sleep Saturday night. It was that quick. Both Don and Susie were still in some shock as to just how fast that had been.

So we sat and talked and remembered. Don and Susie gave us all of the dog food and dog treats they had left, for Fezzik. Nearly everyone asked us how Fezzik was doing and to give him a hug or a pat or a scritch for them. So we did.

Fezzik was pretty ecstatic at the new treats and a little puzzled but happy with all the hugs and pats, tail waving quietly in the air, and he leaned quietly against me as he seemed to know I was feeling oddly. John and I admitted that we weren't ready, at all, to lose our Fez-dog that quickly.

It had been a longish day, and going to Cityside and then back wore me out badly. John was very nice and let me sleep an extra hour this morning before I struggled through a shower and learned a trick with my shorts and underwear, where I toss 'em near my toe, pick it up with the foot on the bad leg, get it over the instep, so that I can actually reach it with how little that knee bends, still and then get the other leg in to pull 'em up... small things. Also been learning just how well suited for one-legged people handicapped stalls are. Those bars are a blessing.

Dropped by Victor's and then to work, and I got a neat little problem to fix in some of the stuff that I'm responsible for. So that was a good way to wake up.

Apple pie and coffee later, and I'm actually awake enough to answer some of Raven's letters, some thoughts about my knee and other stuff. It's looking more and more likely that I'm going to go for the surgery option, if it's necessary. There's too many tales about knees that are unstable without the operation for me to go without, and I still do want to play other games, even if they're not soccer, and do simple things like hiking or biking and if I don't have a right leg to catch myself at odd angles, it'll just make it all harder. So, we'll likely try it if it's actually torn.

Six months is nothing compared to the rest of my life.

Heh... long-term gains are a good thing, even when the short-term going might be rough.

© 1998 by Liralen Li.

[ Previous | Index | Next ]