Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Deaf, not dead
Sara is pretty much deaf now. She remembers all the routines though, so it took us a while to realize she couldn't hear us when we told her, "Tell me!" If you hold a cookie out to sara and don't give it to her right away, she will do the WHOLE routine, developed long ago to impress friends - sit, speak, hold out the left paw, then the right, then down on her belly and a final yelp. Ching ching ching, magical cookie code. It's really hard to pinpoint when she lost her hearing, but over the weekend we confirmed she just can't anymore. Maybe this is why she groans all the time, she doesn't even hear herself doing it. Sometimes she'll lay there for half an hour with a constant low hum, like a person with too high a fever. Oh does it pull on our heartstrings. Still, she makes the same sound when she's happy and wagging her tail, so the groan isn't necessarily indicative of pain. Gosh I hope it's not. Serge keeps hinting that it's "time". See, he comes from a family where when the dog got the milky eyes and the scraggly look, they just put it down. As MIL said the other night, they're luckier than us humans, they can be euthanized. I have come home a couple times unable to find sara, and then discover her sleeping in the closet. Of course I don't think she's sleeping, I think she has gone in there to DIE, and I stand and look for the rise and fall of the fur (is she breathing?) before my heart will descend from my throat. When I'm home, she stays in whatever room I'm in, always right up against my leg or the chair. This is irritating at times because I forget she's there, and certainly in the case of the office chair, I've rolled onto her flesh causing her to cry out innumerable times. If Serge is home, he will scold me for this. I keep figuring she'll learn about the office chair danger zone, but no, it is I (me?) who have (has?) the responsibility of always looking before rolling. Also the pooping routine is cumbersome. Now she doesn't hunker down to get the whole shipment out, she just stays crouched long enough for one morsel, then she travels a few more feet, squats, another orb comes out and repeat. Seriously, she'll do this five or six times for a single movement. She still plays and begs and cuddles too, so a little hearing loss isn't going to make me relent. I'm sticking to my guns - if she can't walk or shit by herself, I will relent, but for now, she's staying.