Life, Suffering, and So On.

It is so strange to have a berner who doesn't want to eat -- so foreign to me. But Zoey had the particularly nasty chemo drug (doxorubicin) on Wednesday and even with the miracle drug Cerenia on board, food is not her favorite thing. 

I tried some of Dear Husband's ice cream -- Zoey thought that was great so Dear Husband was off to the store to get Zoey some ice cream of her own...

She happily had a meal of ice cream, and then was over ice cream. Normal for someone on chemotherapy to reject something she ate hours before. At the moment, Zoey is willing to eat animal crackers...

I use those as treats for my kitchen training sessions, and so I think she just is in the habit of eating one if I hand it to her -- and so she does. This morning she has had about 20.

Zoey will also eat toast if I break it up and hand it to her, and if she thinks Harper will get it if she doesn't eat it. Hey -- whatever works! An empty tummy will increase the nausea and so small, frequent whatever-she-wants meals are important. 

I explained to Zoey that she has to feel crappy for a few days every so often so that she can stay with us for as long as possible. I think it is a choice she would make for herself if she were in charge because Zoey loves her life.

And where did we ever get the idea that life is supposed to be free of suffering anyway? It is a dangerous notion -- thinking that suffering makes life not worth living -- because the human (and dog) experience ALWAYS includes suffering. This is from the chapter I just finished:

"Conversations about euthanasia and the family dog need to be thoughtfully considered within the context of developmental realities. For example, the typical reason for euthanizing a dog is pain/suffering. Children will not, unfortunately, always enjoy an optimal and pain-free life. There will be times when they are distressed, when they cannot engage in activities they love, and there will likely be periods of suffering; these things reflect the human condition. Further, children will interact with others whose quality of life might seem impaired through physical or mental disability. These realities provide context for conversations about euthanasia. Do we really want our children to think life has to be perfect to be worth living? That suffering is a reason to end life?"

Ponder that, if you like.

And so Zoey suffers a bit so that she can live -- as we all do. A suffer-free life is impossible and so maybe what is important is minimizing suffering when we can, of course, but also learning how to love -- and live -- an imperfect life.

The puppies think six meals a day would alleviate any suffering they experience.

The puppies do not have gay tails -- they are just up from their romping.

Tika at a trot...

Have a perfectly imperfect day, you perfectly imperfect human.

3 comments

by Lori S. on Fri, 07/21/2017 - 07:25

I always try to put myself in my dog's place when contemplating euthanasia. I certainly wouldn't want to have been "put down" as a result of my fall. When there is no chance of recovery and suffering (on the dog's part) cannot be alleviated, then I think it is time. My own discomfort at seeing my dog sick is not a reason to end their life, in my opinion.
I hope Zoey's current bout of feeling yucky is short lived and she is back to her wonderful, normal life soon.

by Kathy L on Sat, 07/22/2017 - 07:21

Here's hoping Zoey feels better daily. Ginger snap wafer cookies are a nice treat. Kick that cancer in the butt Zoey!

by Sharon G on Sat, 07/22/2017 - 15:13

Jemie (10 years old today...yea!) is happily eating again (but still on his drugs) & playing with his toys after a very rough last week. When he wouldn't eat anything: scrambled eggs, turkey/rice, sauteed liver (gave him diarrhea) or yummy canned foods, he would eat watermelon & cottage cheese...maybe Zoey would be tempted...

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