I find a dog, and cat to some degree, to be agreeable companions in my quilting and sewing pursuits. Now I don’t actually let them spend time in my studio, especially now that I do work for clients and I want to avoid any allergen issues. I also don’t like the pacing (the cat) or the need to be just where I have to walk to get from the ironing board to the cutting area (the dog). But I still like seeing one of them curled up outside my door, or at the bottom of the stairs when I descend from a few hours of solitude. They are never critical of my work, and they will listen to me endlessly ponder questions about what color or pattern will work best, and they don’t judge on days I’m too unmotivated to make much progress.
So it is with a heavy heart that I think about going into my studio today. Unexpectedly our dog became quite ill yesterday, with something that had probably been lurking and growing for months or even years. After two grand mal seizures within hours of each other, a phone consultation with an emergency vet, and another phone consultation with a friend who is a vet tech, we made a difficult call to a vet who makes house calls for euthanasia. It was clear that something was very wrong, and we had doubts that we could even transport Cody to our regular vet for an examination.
Cody by no means was the ideal dog. He came to us at 1 1/2 years old, already having three families that didn’t work out for reasons that were not his fault. But that inconsistency in his early training was always apparent and could not be undone by any amount of unconditional love. We learned to respect his boundaries, including no brushing, no bathing (and amazingly he did not smell and seemed quite clean), no checking his ears, opening his mouth, touching his food after it was in his bowl and on the floor, and so on. He did like to be petted, have his belly rubbed, get on the bed briefly before getting off and sleeping in the bedroom all night, and he was a great watch-dog.
By the time the vet arrived we knew we’d made the right decision. He had continued to have difficulty throughout the day, with several petit mal seizures that made him quite unsteady on his feet. The vet took one look at him and confirmed that he was very far gone, with whatever had finally taken over. She was gentle and humane, and we did our best to reassure him that he was going to a big farm up North where it always snows and where he’ll see his friend, Bella, who left us last year. Perhaps there will even be the distant hum of a sewing machine in the background, so he’ll feel right at home.