Yesterday afternoon, my not so manic anymore friend M. asked me to take care of her dog Angie while she took another friend to the train station. Angie is 16+ years old and M. does not like to leave her home alone. Every so often, I take care of her while M. is out running errands. Angie doesn't do much anymore but sleep and stagger around, but she does like Tyke's company and it enlivens her a bit. She is deaf and does not see so well anymore, but her sense of smell is still good and she is aware enough of her surroundings and every once in a while comes over to be petted.
When M. came to take her home yesterday, Angie would not go with her and even snarled at M. when she tried to get her to stand up. She absolutely did not want to be bothered and wanted to be left in her place. We speculated on what this meant, and we both came to the conclusion that Angie may be close to meeting her maker. I told M. to leave her with me and that I would continue to take care of her, although that involves very little work.
She has basically stopped eating and drinks very little water which I bring to her. She is incontinent, so I have to clean up after her, but that is not much of a problem. Her piddles are small. She is happiest if she can lie down wherever her tired aching body takes her and is left in peace. I can tell that she likes our company, because often her eyes are open and they follow us while we go about our routine. I think she likes the relative serenity of the apartment.
I felt sad for my friend M. because she felt a bit dejected and lost going home without her dog, but I told her that Angie was making her own choice and that we had to respect it. No doubt Angie has a reason for wanting to stay here for now. Maybe she will change her mind in the morning, although she is welcome to stay here.
I felt an enormous sense of peace when I was watching her sleep yesterday evening and I thought that whatever happens, it will be alright. She is choosing her own time and place and we have to accept that. It will be the most natural thing in the world.