Ophelia on her last paws (we think)

My mom has been very sad in the last week. She’s way ahead of schedule when it comes to healing from her fractured arm; she now guides my leash with her left hand, which makes life easier for both of us.

But Ophelia has taken a turn for the worse. It happened so gradually; she was nibbling, then she would eat only canned food, and then my mom took her to the vet. Since then she’s been on a whirlwind of activity, giving Ophelia fluids and drugs.

I’ve always said Ophelia would be trouble. I posted here the day we took Ophelia – all 17 pounds of fur – home from the Seattle Humane Society. But did my mom listen? No. She adored Ophelia from the very beginning.

After awhile I got used to Ophelia, too. Recently we’ve been having long chats about life and our trips – a year apart – from Seattle in the cargo section of a Delta Airlines flight. Last week my mom came home to find us sitting together on the couch. She got so excited she ran to take a photo. Pathetic, isn’t it?

What’s driving my mom totally nuts is that Ophelia gives out mixed signals. She won’t eat. She let’s my mom do “assisted feeding” with a syringe, but she’s not eating on her own or grooming herself.

Ophelia knows where everything is. She walks from one room to the other. She jumps down from the couch or bed – where my mom places her – and goes off to choose her own place. Right now she’s on my favorite bed, which means I get the floor.

Ophelia was headed for the Great Sandbox in the Sky last Thursday. Then she walked over to her scratching post and gave it a few strong swipes. She used the litter box without making a fuss.

“She’s not ready to go,” my mom declared. She called our wonderful vet at Companion Animal Hospital and Ophelia got a reprieve.

Then today Ophelia walked over to my crate and drank the water from my dish, just like she always did. My mom was thrilled but also frustrated.

“I wish I knew what she wants,” she said. “I’m ready to say good-by but only if it’s really the right time.”

Wish I could help, mom, but as always, I’m just the dog. I’ll go along either way – comforting Ophelia while she’s here and comforting my mom throughout the process.

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