After dealing with older dogs for so long, I find that my mindset in terms of taking care of Patrick is very different than it was with Ellie and Alice. Ellie, moreso because we knew all along that we were hospice care for her, that 6 months would be all we had with her. Comfort was the key rather than healing. With Alice, for a long time it was healing, she was so darn spry when she came to us, even though she was 9, people thought she was a puppy until the last year of her life. During that last year, I felt that every time we got her past pneumonia, it bought us some time with her, a few more months, maybe years if we were lucky. Of course we weren't lucky but I'll always be grateful for the extra time between the last bout of pneumonia and the end.
With Patrick, the little dude isn't even 2 so healing is the only option. Comfort is too, but getting past this and back to a normal life is the priority. We fully expect to have a long time with him and I want it to be perfect. Is that too much to ask?
When I get mad about all this, about Rainie's turned out foot and now Mr. P's seizures, I have to ask God (who in moments like this, I do think controls these things) if really, we haven't given enough to the karmic pool of sadness and illness? Between Ellie and Alice, don't we deserve at least one year without a major medical problem in the family? I guess not, since we're 1 week shy of a year since Alice's death.
But then I look at Patrick and am reminded of how this big, silly, floppy, squishy boy has helped me start to get past losing Alice. Yes, I still cry at the mention of her name or if anyone asks about her, yes, there's still a huge hole in my heart, but the pain is not quite so great and thanks to Patrick, I can smile at the dogs instead of ignoring them. He's made me remember why I wanted a dog to begin with. How can you not smile at a basset hound? Imagine having 2 around all the time, how lucky you would be.
How lucky we are.