Rudy died Monday night. I liked but didn't love Rudy (for reasons fair and unfair), though Earthgirl did, so send all Kind thoughts towards her not me.
On Sunday night he started breathing hard and didn't want to walk or play, and on Monday morning he took his morning walk lethargically. During the day he peed all over the house so we knew something was wrong, some doggy virus or something, and Earthgirl took him to the vet. He had a 104 fever (101 is normal) and was dehydrated and had an elevated white blood cell count, but the vet couldn't see anything beyond that and said take him home. Earthgirl insisted Rudy stay over night so more tests could be run the next morning. The vet nurses wrote at 730 PM Monday night that Rudy had responded to being hydrated, was standing and wagging his tail in his cage, and then they went home. When the AM nurses arrived at 6:00 Tuesday morning, Rudy was dead in his cage.
The vet called me at 8:00. When I asked what was the cause she said they didn't know. I said when will you know, and she said we won't unless there is an autopsy and they are very expensive. I said, if you want to know why a dog died, and (she told me) it's been years since a dog died overnight under your care, you have my full permission to do an autopsy, but other than that no, would you cremate him and give us the ashes.
The vet called again at 10:00. They had performed a preliminary autopsy. She said they were all distraught at the office and all the doctors wanted to know what happened. Rudy had a aggressive tumor (they're not sure if it was cancer, just rapidly growing, maybe only weeks old) on one of his kidneys and it ruptured the artery that feeds blood into the kidney. He bled to death internally in his sleep. There was nothing we could have done, nothing the vets could have done, we did nothing wrong, we'd gotten him to the vet as soon as we noticed he had a problem. Did I want to send the tumor off for a biopsy? No, it doesn't matter, I said.
And I'm thinking, thank goodness Earthgirl insisted they keep Rudy overnight so she didn't find him dead in the living room in the morning and think we killed him by not closing the door to the garbage snug and he mouthed it open and ate a ball of aluminum foil (one of the reasons I liked but did not love Rudy is because he would when he could and he slunk around looking to) and it clogged him up, or think, I wish we hadn't fenced off the backyard a month ago and let him outside because he must have eaten something he shouldn't. I'm not sure what we would have done with the body; we wouldn't have taken it to the vets for an autopsy, though I suppose we would have paid them for the cremation.
This is how selfish I am: I'm thinking, hearing Earthgirl - the least selfish person in the world, and people can vouch - express relief that she wasn't culpable in her loved dog's death, thinking, thank goodness Rudy died in the hands of the authorities so Rudy's death isn't a burden to her and her burden a burden to me.
- Motherfucking Democrats.
- On the above.
- The Second Most Shitty Human on American President Netanyahu.
- Sum of Sam.
- Please please please please please.
- Motherfucking pigs.
- Ghost town.
- Why the rich love unemployment.
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- More on Roth (and bmpthnx! and thnxthnx!).
- This week's new releases includes new Joseph Arthur.
- Then she appeared.
- The crickets in the flats.
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- Dame fortune.
- We're all light.
ANOTHER DOG'S DEATH
For days the good old bitch had been dying, her back
pinched down to the spine and arched to ease the pain,
her kidneys dry, her muzzle white. At last
I took a shovel into the woods and dug her grave
in preparation for the certain. She came along,
which I had not expected. Still, the children gone,
such expeditions were rare, and the dog,
spayed early, knew no nonhuman word for love.
She made her stiff legs trot and let her bent tail wag.
We found a spot we liked, where the pines met the
The sun warmed her fur as she dozed and I dug;
I carved her a safe place while she protected me.
I measured her length with the shovel’s long handle;
she perked in amusement, and sniffed the heaped-up
Back down at the house, she seemed friskier,
but gagged, eating. We called the vet a few days later.
They were old friends. She held up a paw, and he
injected a violet fluid. She swooned on the lawn;
we watched her breathing quickly slow and cease.
In a wheelbarrow up to the hole, her warm fur shone.