Every Family’s Got One Guest Writer — Elizabeth Robinson
I’m big on marking occasions. Even terrible occasions. I guess that’s something Facebook and I have in common. I actually waited to write this about Elvis until I got my Facebook memories for the day so I could see what the final pics posted were and download them.
One year ago this morning…
I fed the pets and Elvis wouldn’t eat.
I don’t remember if he even tried. I suspect not. I could have waited until evening to see if he rallied but given his chronic wound and how difficult eating was for him on a good day…
Which is not to say that I didn’t think about it. In fact, I got myself ready for work and got on the train. By the time I got off the train in Manhattan, I had come to terms with the feeling that now was the time.
I called the home vet…
thinking she wouldn’t be able to come until the following day. She made time for that evening.
I called my friend to make sure she knew.
I went to work and stayed a short time. I knew I wasn’t going to come in the next day.
The vet was lovely.
She was interested in all the pets. She was kind but not too much. She had everything she needed to make the whole thing go smoothly but not be rushed. I have recommended her several times in the past year.
It’s sad. It was sad a year ago and it’s sad today.
I am sad. I miss him.
There was a lot of him to miss. Elvis had a big personality and giant needs and he set the tone for the room without a doubt.
It’s also been a relief. Elvis had giant needs and he set the tone for a room without anyone else’s input. So many vet visits, such careful feeding, endless re-balancing of meds and supplements…
When Elvis was 4 years old…
a vet diagnosed him with a heart murmur and told me that, with medication, he would live a couple of years.
When he was, I don’t know, maybe as much as 12, another vet suggested I check his thyroid because there was no detectable murmur which, given the original diagnosis, was either highly suspect or a miracle.
Shortly thereafter Elvis…
was diagnosed with hyperthyroid and basically from then on everyone pointed me toward what we needed to do rather than projecting on what might happen next.
A month shy of his 16th birthday Elvis died of cancer. Of a fucking tumor in his mouth. The mouth he used to scream at me for more food that he could eat…with his mouth.
Now that I think of it…
I wonder if the hyperthyroid actually sped that process along so it wasn’t so slow and painful as it could have been.
He is missed.
We are doing ok.
This story was first published on Elizabeth’s blog 117-Hudson.
Elizabeth Robinson is an actress, writer, singer, force-free dog trainer, blogger, photographer, and administrative ninja. She has written and performed her own work and the works of others in the US and the UK. She lives in Brooklyn with her middle-aged dog and elderly cat.