Read Part One here.
Read Part Two here.
Read Part Three here.
i am telling this story way too fast. i am skimming over the surface. i know that.
it seems wrong to inflict on you the excruciating day by day troubles of having a beloved dog grow old and sick. i am too aware that this is depressing, and so i am not jumping in with both feet. and yet i have to tell it. it is not depressing to me, exactly. it is sad, but not depressing. i loved that dog, even when he frightened us by getting up one evening, toddling across the living room floor, and then suddenly squatting right in front of doug and letting loose on the carpet with a long stream of pee.
he did this in a deliberate way, as though he thought he were somewhere else--outside, in the yard, along a wooded trail. it was as though he had completely forgotten that he was in the house.
that happened about six months before he died, maybe right around the time of his first collapse. it was just beginning to grow clear to us, then, that something was very wrong.
that night at the university hospital was difficult. doug and i sat in the waiting room for a long time. there was not much to read. we didn't talk much. we were both very worried. i looked out the window at the darkened street; not many cars went by this time of night. i got up to find a bathroom and walked past a room with an open door; i looked in, and there was toby panting on an exam table, and three or four white-coated doctors, including nettie, standing around him. i watched from the doorway as they moved around him, pressing their stethoscopes against his chest, until someone looked up and i moved away.
after awhile, nettie came out and crouched down next to us. toby has a lot of fluid in his chest, she said. it's pressing on his lungs and making it hard for him to breathe.
she said they wanted to keep him for a couple of days. they would put him in an oxygen cage, which would help with his breathing, and they would drain off some of the fluid.
so doug and i trudged back out to the truck in the starry dark of that cold april morning. we were stiff and tired from sitting so long, and from no sleep, and we drove home without our dog.
boscoe met us at the door. we reached down and scratched his ears, and he sniffed us in an inquiring way. and then we all went upstairs and crawled into bed. it was almost dawn.
TO BE CONTINUED
2 hours ago