Each morning when I go downstairs, I wonder if Coral will be having Another Morning . . . Although I am not wishing her away, it would be my preference that she die peacefully in her sleep, either snug in her crate or laying on the sofa beside her beloved Ron. Poor Coral is increasingly frail, and the combination of mammary tumors, chronic kidney failure, arthritis, and just plain old age are taking their toll, but with the help of pain killers she seems to be relatively comfortable. At least I hope she is comfortable, but Coral is not a complainer, so I don't know really know that for sure. Her large expressive eyes look sad, and I wish I knew what she was thinking and feeling . . .
Coral sleeps hard, but can still see and hear, and when I call her name she looks up and with a bit of effort struggles to her feet. Another Morning. She comes out of her crate walking stiffly, with her head down and her back arched, but when I talk to her she wags her tail, although her wag is very low now. She waits for me to take her collar and I help her out the door and down the 2 porch steps, and walk her out to the dog yard, my hand still under her collar. She appreciates the support, especially on the steps, and stumbles a few times as we walk. I'll leave her outside for 10 minutes, although she wouldn't mind being out there longer. The outdoor smells are one of the things she still relishes and she comes back to the house slowly, sniffing as we go.
Fortunately the other dogs are kind to her. The boys sniff her a little, but stop when I ask them to, and surprisingly Fernly shows respect and gives Coral plenty of space. Josie and Holly pretty much ignore her other than a simple greeting of nose touches.
Coral rests on the dog bed while I write this as the sofa is increasingly hard for her to conquer. When Ron comes down he'll invite her up to sit with him on the sofa, and help her if necessary. Later he'll walk her around the block if she still wants to go. It takes them awhile, but Coral still looks forward to her walks, so she can sniff as she goes, and think about squirrels and rabbits and all the other interesting things she is still aware of. She'll spend much of the day on the sofa, with frequent trips outdoors.
It's time to feed dogs, and so far Coral's appetite is fine and she still enjoys her meals. Her weight is good and her coat is still nice. When Coral stops eating we will re-evaluate the situation yet again, but for now it seems Coral is ready for Another Day, and will face it calmly and with grace.