“Can you fit her into an appointment for grooming and cut,” I asked. The technician at the pet grooming shop said that I was only booked for a shampoo for Lacey. “Grooming, too….please,” I replied. Luckily his 3:00 appointment had cancelled so there was a spot for my almost-decade old dog.
Our gentle little mostly blind dog has had a rough week, in and out of the veterinarian’s office for treatment of pancreatitis. IVs, meds and a lot of time has helped her and renewed her appetite and improved her outlook on things. Today we were to hear of the status of all the treatments. Hopes ran high and I had decided this morning that the scruffy terrier mix would receive a bath and grooming so she would feel good about herself. I swear her walk is prissier after she gets groomed and spiffed up. So, after a long, hard week, it only made sense to include some beauty shop time for her.
The doctor’s office called while I was atop a ladder, putting the finishing touches on painting the exterior of my house. Lacey was ready to go home early. It only made sense—Lacey’s tail-wagging ways this morning indicated a pooch that felt much better. I scaled down the ladder, cleaned up brushes, and then went to the doctor’s. The assistants who now know Lacey and me quite well welcomed me when I arrived and said the doctor wanted to talk to me. “Room one, please. I will tell the doctor you are here.”
As I turned Lacey to the groomer, I thought of the first time we had her trimmed…well the first time after I “adopted” her for Cameron from his mom years ago. Lacey saw Cameron through the separation and divorce years for his mother and me. They are buds, though he is much too busy becoming a young man to be around much what with school, work, gym and girlfriend. Cameron and Lacey were always a team, and I recalled her with ribbons in her hair after that first grooming and a young Cameron laughing at how his “moustache dog” looked all prettied up.
The doctor said, “She looks much better and seems to be doing better. Is that so?” I explained how her appetite has not come back completely, but her mood is now more like the feisty, tender dog that she is. He nodded. Then he went on to explain how there is already yellowing in her eyes and in her gums. He explained how the high numbers associated with liver activity does not bode well. He explained that there are some meds we can try that may extend the time. I have no idea why, but I felt the need to offer him a short Lacey biography. A preemptive eulogy. He smiled.
The technician leaned over to put a leash on Lacey to take her back for her grooming. This likely is not just another grooming. I sense it is her last. I sense it is how she will look when we bury her under the fig tree in the back yard. I sense that occurrence will be sooner than later. I told the young man that “based on what the doctor said, this may be her last grooming, so thank you,” as we hovered over her.
As it all settles in, I think of how gentle she is, and how well she handles her cataracts and limited sight. I think of how she endured a bad spine last year, and how lively and happy she was again after her surgery. Despite the challenges she has faced, she kept her graciousness. I hope that I can face adversities as well as Lacey.