September 05, 2003

Advisory: The following contains insensitive material. Reader discretion is advised.

Mortality is on my mind today. I'm in Buffalo today, so of course mortality is on my mind. Even overlooking the usual (Buffalo is, after all, pretty dead already), there's reason to be thinking about death.

I'm business-sitting for my folks, who need a manager who is as mean as nasty as they are to keep things running while they fly around to meet with vendors and such. I've been working to the point that I'm not getting any fiction writing done, which is certainly not helping the new novel-in-progress (more on that soon), and is definitely not a happy thing for me.

But there's a hurricane and a tropical storm going on that are affecting the weather in places where my folks are supposed to be travelling. If something bad were to happen during their travels (heaven forbid), who would have check-signing authority for their company? You can see why this would concern me. It could completely interrupt the smooth operation of their business, which is what I'm here to take care of.

Then there's the dog. As it so happens, business-sitting in this case includes dog-sitting (Paulette has an axiom about working at a company that allows pets to roam the halls: "Don't."), and the dog is getting on a bit in years. I had a truly terrible thought tonight: what if the dog should bark her last bark on my watch?

I understand that losing a pet can be a devastating thing. I've seen many friends of mine suffer greatly after their animal companions have shrugged off this mortal coil. Not ever having had any pets of my own, I have been spared this trauma. I nonetheless appreciate it for what it is: loss of a loved one.

Still, death is inevitable (or so my doctor tells me), and it is my sad duty to report that the dog currently entrusted to my care (and which, as I mentioned in yesterday's essay, might be contributing to my allergies) is entering the twilight of her days. It finally occurred to me to ask: if she gets sick, who do I call? If she gets more than sick... what do I do?

Morbid as that sounds, it's a very practical question. Calling an ambulance for a person in trouble is obvious. And you pet owners out there probably already know what you would do if something were to threaten the life of your cat or dog. But I haven't had any experience in these kind of matters, and I want to do the right thing.

Well, okay, obviously I will have to find the vet's number, which is no doubt posted on the fridge or something like that. But, if I may venture into the realm of the insensitive-yet-pertinent: what if, well, the dog is beyond the vet's help?

Is there a service that you call to handle such things? Should I check to see if there's a shovel around the house? (There *is* a big back yard....)

I finally broached the subject while talking with my folks. They said they planned to have the dog cremated (*after* it has passed on to the great beyond, of course) and the ashes placed at a location with particular sentimental value. Well, that made me feel better. At least I knew there was a plan, and that I wouldn't have to dig any holes or anything like that if the thinkable should happen while I'm on duty.

Wow. From sniffles yesterday to death today. I wonder what joyful subject I'll choose to ponder tomorrow. Hmmmm.

Na zdrovya!

Posted by on September 05, 2003 10:08 PM in the following Department(s): Tidbits


Don't worry. I am not planning to kick the bucket while Mom and Dad are gone. I will just drive you crazy since you don't know how to take care of me.

The Dog

Posted by: Honey Bear on September 6, 2003 8:32 AM

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On Sep 6, Honey Bear said:
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