I called and left a message on M’s cell phone this morning about the dog. She can not stand without support and can not walk at all. She is all “there” mentally, however. She refused water this morning but did eat a bit of canned dog food. She can drag herself along with her front feet, but it’s obvious to me that she is not (barring a miracle) going to recover.
I told him how the dog is doing this morning and that I didn’t think “hosing her off twice a day” was the right thing to do and that if I didn’t hear from him by Monday afternoon I am taking the dog for her last ride to the vet.
No matter what I do (as pointed out by Paula in the comments, pretty much word for word what I expect to hear) it will be wrong. I have two options:
1. Let the dog live in squalor for another week (longer? still no idea when he plans to return) totally against my own personal beliefs and watch her continue to decline and let both of us be miserable so that he can come home to say his farewells (he is likely to be out of cell phone range until he decides to turn around and head for home) and then listen while he lectures me about the cruelty of letting a dog in such pitiful condition linger on when I had the power to end her suffering.
2. Take the dog to the vet and do the humane thing and listen to him lecture about how important it is to say farewell to a well-loved companion of many years (which is total bullshit, but he will turn her into some sort of saintly dog that he can’t bear to live without just to make me more miserable) and that it wasn’t my decision to make and how dare I take matters into my own hands this way?
Leaving a message at least ensures that I don’t get the “you didn’t even warn me that my dog wouldn’t be here when I got home – how could you just kill her without telling me?” speech.
It will go badly, no matter what I do and I am tired of always having to think of his possible reactions before I make any decision, no matter how small. It’s ridiculous for a grown woman to agonize about every.damned.thing. from how much sugar to put in my tea (“You’re probably already diabetic! When was your last blood screen? You have high cholesterol, too, I just know it! Your eating habits are shit and I’m going to have to watch you die because of it! Do you know how much that hurts me?” and on and on) to whether or not I have time to get the oil changed in my car before I need to be home to feed the animals and make dinner (“You should have bought oil and a new filter and let me change your oil. Better yet, learn to do it yourself! Those guys are just ripping you off!” Yeah, I’ve “let” him change my oil and you would think he had donated a kidney for all the whining he did. Never again. It’s just not worth it.)
Old Dog is looking amazingly spry this evening after a dose of prednesone. She can’t really walk, but she can hobble and ate and drank a bit. Still incontinent.
M called me this afternoon and said, “I knew this was going to happen…” which hit my hot button squarely on the head. He said that he was sorry I was having to deal with this, blah, blah, blah. Told me to do what I “think is best” and that it’s okay with him. So, at least I have “permission” to do the right thing and won’t get that lecture when he returns. Sigh.
UPDATE 2: M called again to see if I had left a message at the vet’s office telling them that I need to go in tomorrow. He said that I need to be more assertive and make demands for myself – it’s a desperate situation and I need to get the dog in as early as possible. What would I do if he wasn’t here to make demands for me? I rely too much on others to make decisions for me and let others take the lead, in his opinion. That comment is going to bite him on the ass in the very near future.
What he doesn’t seem to notice is that he is the only person I defer to. He’s the only person who yells at me and treats me like a moron. Other people recognize that I have talent and skills and they respect me for it.
It’s all just turning-table-talk to make him look like the supportive partner, propping up his poor, weak woman, and I’m sure that’s how he’s representing the situation to his sailing buddies. He’s not the one who has to deal with the physical reality that tomorrow will bring.
He said he would call me tomorrow. I plan to let the answering machine pick up. How he can make me feel like shit while he’s 800 miles away is a damned shame. Shame on me for letting him!