Death-Defying Dog

I'm at home today, nursing a self-inflicted migraine. Low grade - they've lost most of their punch over the years, and this is the first one I've had since my one and only experiment with pot last fall. I spent most of the morning in bed, wishing whoever was rocking the room back and forth would just fuck off and let me sleep. I had thought about trying to work a half day, but was still pretty dizzy around lunchtime and figured driving wasn't a great idea. Just as well - the big project I was going in to work on was canned this morning.

The joy of the migraine was compounded by Dean's announcement, at around 4 this morning (I'm guessing here - without my contacts, I can't read the clock in our room) that the dog was in distress - incontinent, very confused, and agitated. He's 15 now, and has been failing for almost 2 years - arthritis, paralysis in his back legs, cataracts, profound hearing loss, assorted lumps and unnatural growths ... plus total senile dementia. He was never very sane to begin with (most Border Collies are a little nuts, but he's on the far end of that bell curve) and he's become more and more deranged as he's aged. So I sat with him, feeling utterly wretched, from 4:30 til probably 5:30, stroking his head whenever he stopped his frantic pacing, and wondering what time the vet opened so I could take him in for The Last Visit.

I've always said I'd let him go when he stopped being happy to wake up - it's totally subjective, I know, but I figure I'll know when it's time. This morning, I thought it was. He was so disturbed and frenetic that I knew it wasn't a kindness to keep him like this. I finally lay down on the sofa and drifted off to sleep for 45 minutes or so. When I woke up, he was motionless on the floor beside me, and I really hoped he'd just gone in his sleep. But he woke up, followed me up the stairs without falling (a rarity these days - we've been locking him downstairs at night because his legs are so weak we're afraid he'll fall and break his hip), and went back to sleep in his old spot in our closet.

He's always happy when someone's home sick, and he's been padding around behind me all day, sleeping when I sleep, perfectly happy and serene in his insanity.

So, no trip to the vet. Today.