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Sappho isn’t Eating

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Last week I took my dog Sappho to the vet. She wasn’t eating.

Labradors don’t not eat. It’s a good sign that something’s up, but I honestly didn’t think much of it at first … she seemed herself the day before, so I figured she ate something that didn’t agree with her.

Twelve years ago the kids brought her home, and her name was Otis. I changed it to Sappho once I checked under her tail. It seemed unfair for a girl to have that kind of a name—but also it didn’t suit her. The kids said they’d tend to her.

They didn’t. In fact, because my son didn’t slow down during his turn to walk her when she was little, she always walked and pooped. Even on Wednesday when we went for a walk, I had to scoot along the grass while I cleaned up after her. She’d do her business, and I’d follow the path of poo until it was tended to. Every day, usually twice a day, we did that dance.

Oh, did I mention that the kids didn’t take care of her.

I told my lover, “You’re her human, but she’s my dog.” That was true. Every time he walked in the door, he knew that he had to bend down to love her up, and then he could get a kiss from me. We kinda line up; Sappho, Kitty and I—Kitty and I would always defer to Sappho. He is her human and she needs a hug.

Yet, the daily walks and all the maintenance was my realm. And we spent every day together … I work at home, and she and Kitty spend all day in and out of the house, checking on my progress until we’d take the Frisbee, plastic bags, and the leash so Sappho could go for her walk. Kitty doesn’t join us, but always was in on the checking of my progress.

Last Thursday, I took her with me to see my client so the vet could take a look at her—she wasn’t eating. Vet said she looked good, gave me some stuff for her ears, and sent us home. I picked a fight with my lover. I just felt sad and I had to put it on something, so I picked him. I was wrong.

I was sad because somehow I knew. Friday, I went to the doggie hospital. She was really sick and I knew it.

The doctor on call made me feel like I’d done it because she got into some raisins, and I fed her bacon grease. Ever have a doctor make you feel like your stupid? Given that I know that I’m not stupid—my blank face (she commented on) was due to the fact that she’d just told me that my companion was very ill, and that she had to stay in the hospital.

Saturday, all her organs were failing. We put her down on Sunday, she was dying and in pain. That was a week ago and I haven’t slept much. Geez, she was just a dog … my head says. But, my heart says it’s a little broke.


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