As I posted previously, on Monday Nicholas began doing 4 lengthenings per day. First of all Nick really is doing it all on his own. I just pass him the remote which he calls the .25 2.0. The new remote is so easy for me to lift one handed (which I have another week of doing as my arm recovers from surgery). It actually seems faster than the old remote but I am not sure if that is true.
Also Nick has not had pain meds in days. I thought he would have more pain doing more lengthening but so far so good. It’s not that he’s been totally pain free but it’s been manageable. PT is hard! His knee does not want to bend much but I think we are making progress and I know we are not sliding back so it’s ok, whatever it is.
Stairs are really not working for him right now. He walks great with the crutches but stairs are rough which means we are pretty much home bound when Steven is not home. Thats getting harder to handle. I really want to try to get him out more!
So while lengthening is going great losing Monk has been hard. I have this terrible ache in my chest that I did not expect. Not at all. I know so many people have lost pets and know what its like. More and more I feel like we really were one big pack and he was an integral part. Such a peaceful presence and he was our little watch dog. Seriously, though he was small he was always watching. His absence is just painful. There is no way around it.
That is what Nick asked me last night. I remember asking a friend that same question five years ago when my beloved Aunt Eileen died and Nick had surgery two weeks later. She reminded me that surgery is a good thing. I understand that now more than ever. Nick’s leg lengthening’s are him moving forward. They are progress toward a goal. They are not bad. Hard at times, but not bad.
Loss on the other hand feels bad and that is what we are facing. Our dog, Monk, is dying. We can’t help his suffering so we are ending his life today. We explained this to the kids last night and right away Nicholas said he does not want to keep Monk alive any longer. He can see his struggle. He understands what we need to do. Charlotte clearly does too. Our evening and night involved a lot of tears. Chris and Bess were less verbal about it. Chris seemed to get exceptionally upset about other things and we talked about the fact that maybe it was really about Monk. It’s so hard.
Bess said she was not ok with either option, suffering or death. She voted neither. If only we could.
I don’t know why this is happening now. I don’t know why life piles it on sometimes. We are trying to focus on the fact that Monk has had a good life and been a great pet. He deserves a good death, if that is possible. He started to seem sick right before Nick’s surgery. It was so hard taking him to the vet and not getting many answers. Now as his symptoms have increased the picture is more clear. His vet who at first had encouraged us to look into oncology told me yesterday Monks cancer seems too aggressive for any of that now.
Today is a struggle. There is no way around it. We will bury our pet. We will speak words to honor him. We will remember how crazy lucky we were to have him in our family for nine years. He’s been the easiest dog imaginable. I have never been the most attentive human to him but he’s always seemed ok with that. Still I find myself wishing I had pet him more, and walked him more, and fed him more people food and just appreciated him more.
So leg lengthening keeps going. I will remind Nick that it is a good thing! He’s doing great overall. His leg is growing like he needs it too. His knee is still going to be our focus for a while. But we have to remember to celebrate the good things and appreciate the great moments we are offered daily. Monk’s loss is a reminder to do that. It is painful for us all but we will celebrate his life as best we can today and always.
I tied to talk to Nick this morning about why everything happens at once. I couldn’t really answer him last night. His response: “Mom it’s ok, I wasn’t looking for an answer. It was a rhetorical question.”