This blog chronicles the miracles and struggles of our daughters, Emily and Olivia. Emily was born 15 weeks early and had many complications, but she continues to amaze us! Olivia, born in China with heart complications, is also beating the odds. She joined her forever family (us!) when she was four years old and has been doing wonderfully! UPDATE: We started homeschooling August 2009 :)

Monday, September 07, 2009

Loving and Losing

At age 15, I'm afraid our beloved dog, Chelsea, might be nearing her end :( Last night I didn't get to bed until 3 or 4:00 am because she was acting very strange and unable to get comfortable enough to lay down or sleep. She kept hunching over, as if she was getting ready to relieve herself, but then would pace panting in that position,with her back legs not quite in sync. Andy commented that she almost looked like she was in a very uncomfortable labor...only she's not pregnant. It was sad to see her so uncomfortable, pacing and panting for hours, unable to rest. At around 3 am, I gave her a sedative that we had on hand and she FINALLY laid down and fell asleep.

This morning she's still pretty groggy and dazed (from the sedative or ???) and has only gotten up a few times. Most of the time she seems to be sleeping peacefully now, but in the moments she is up her left eye doesn't seem to be tracking properly. Not sure what's going on, but it's so hard to see her sudden decline. We knew she was getting old, but up until yesterday she just seemed a little slower and a little arthritic, but no drastic changes. I had hoped not to be in the position of having to choose her fate, but I'm not sure what to do now...

The girls just see Chelsea sleeping a lot today and don't quite grasp why I'm teary-eyed. It's hard because she was our first "kid" and has been part of our family for so long. The girls have been to funerals, but have never been close to anyone who's died. Olivia cried for HOURS after she watched "Marley and Me," begging Chelsea not to die. Olivia is now running around happily this morning, but I'm pretty sure she won't take losing her friend very well. We've talked about it off and on this past year so they "know" it's inevitable, but without much experience with death, they can't really know. I don't want to shield them from the experience because I know death is an integral part of life, but still not looking forward it to. For them or me.

To add to the dilemma, in three days we're supposed to leave for a weekend homeschool family camp in WI...and we have a neighborhood teenager lined up to dog sit. Depending on how Chelsea's doing, I'm not sure how that's all going to play out... Don't really want to traumatize the neighbor kids if Chelsea has another episode or worse...

Now Chelsea is up and eating with no pacing or hunching over. Still slow and groggy, but otherwise seemingly "normal." Her eye even seems more normal, so who knows?? Maybe her back was just having spasms last night?? Does arthritis spasm?? But even if she rallies, at 15, her days are numbered :( Ugh.

A groggy Chelsea with Olivia this morning.

Good friends.

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