The errands are done and I'm back home. So is China. I'm glad it is over. It is so hard.
I went by the Obama campaign headquarters and got everything done. I'm now signed up for working on the phone bank on Tuesday, probably to work a voter registration booth this weekend, and I'm having an early voter ballot (same, I think, as an absentee ballot) sent to me to be sure I get my vote in there ASAP. They were out of yard signs, so I have to wait till those come in. I enjoyed my chat with the young man sent to head up the campaign in this county. I live in an essentially red or Republican county, so they sent in this guy from California to drive the campaign. He seems to be knowledgeable and sharp. I'm glad for that.
After that I drove to my son's office for several reasons. The campaign calls are being made from his offices, and I thought we might have dinner after he leaves work and before I start making calls next Tuesday. And I just wanted to say hello, let him know how Ali is doing and just visit. BTW, I was thrilled that Allan noticed I've lost weight! Yay!! We chitchatted about a number of things for about 45 minutes, and as I was leaving, Allan and his business partner, Leon, both walked me outside. As we continued to just stand and talk, guess who walked up? The young man from campaign headquarters. He had come by to talk about a few details for the phone bank set up, and joined our chat for a while.
As I turned to leave, I told him to call me if there is anything at all that he needs help with. Then Leon put his arm around me and said he and his wife are looking forward to getting together on election night. I'm hosting a pot luck so we can collectively cheer on our candidates. Elias said, "Well, I'm putting together a party on that night so we can include anyone, everyone in the county." Leon and I looked at each other and immediately said OK!! Elias said he is looking for someone to coordinate the party events, and he needs someone local to do much of it because he is from California and doesn't know the area people. Leon and Allan both looked at me immediately and said, "There's your woman!" Leon agreed to help me, so all the sudden I became in charge of one of the two biggest events in the county on November 4! Wow! Talk about immersion into fire! Elias has already done the leg work on much of the basic details. Between Leon (he was was a former mayor of Ruidoso) and me, we know key people and groups to contact and get information out there, so it is a good deal all around. Now, however, I have to cancel a few other people from my pot luck. I hope they will all attend the big party.
So I have another cause to keep me busy. I suspect it won't be too bad until toward the end. I hope not! I'm looking forward to doing something worthwhile again, not that my yard work isn't "worthwhile," but I need more than that in my life!
On the more somber note about Ali, I haven't posted much about him. He has been declining but I wasn't sure whether it was for real, the final slide. Several times in the couple years or more, he has had a week or so of behaviors that concerned me, but he always managed to bounce back. I really don't think he will this time. I hoped to have him a few more months, but I don't see that happening. He will be 15.5 years old on 10/14. That's pretty old for these guys. Most resources say about 12-14 years, some as low as 10 or as high as 15. But anyway you look at it, he's up there. And recently he is showing it more and more.
He has a lot of deterioration in his spine, which causes trouble with his back legs. When he tries to change direction, he often winds up on one hip with his legs kinda useless. Sometimes he can get right up, other times, he struggles to get the legs under him. It's as if the signals from the brain doesn't always get to the legs. Or maybe it is just weakness. Walking on the carpet is hard enough, but when he walks across tile, his legs often just go everywhere, sometimes splayed, sometimes both to the same side, but definitely out of his control.
He has shown signs of pain. I've mentioned recently his loss of appetite and shivering. The shivering is something I recognized right away because I've seen it several times before. My husband shivered from pain near the end of his life, and little China did it, too, the last few weeks. I'm giving him Tylenol and that seems to help a lot. I also feed him just about anytime he wants and anything he wants. He likes canned food now, although a month or so ago, he wouldn't eat it. Monday I boiled an egg for my breakfast, and he was by my side with his tail going ninety to nothing! Guess who got the egg for breakfast! I've fixed on for him every morning since then, and his appetite has been very good. This morning, he wasn't as seemingly hungry as he has been, so I may see another slide in appetite. I'll watch it. I think he is stronger than he was a week ago, but I don't think he is "well."
He stands flat-footed most of the time, the posture of an old dog, and he keeps all four feet spread wide for balance. As mentioned above, his back legs don't seem to hear what the brain wants him to do, and it has caused him to fall/slide down the stairs and sometimes he can't get back up the stairs as his back legs seem weak and not under his control. I carry him up and down the steps now. I just can't risk him getting hurt. That would be more than I can stand if I allow him injury.
I thought his kidneys/bladder are becoming weak, too, but the vet says he doesn't think so. He may go for as many as 6-7 hours without asking to go out, usually sleeping. Then he asks to go out to pee every 10-15 minutes from late afternoon until bedtime. And he pees a fairly normal amount every time. The vet said that since it seems normal in color and Ali isn't struggling or showing problems relieving himself, it is most likely not an issue.
And there is that look in his face. He just looks tired, worn out, without energy a lot of the time. I will continue giving him whatever he wants to eat whenever he wants it and see how he does. I will not allow him linger if he seems to progress in pain or confusion, looks like he is getting even weaker, or isn't eating. I don't want him to suffer in any way. But until I can tell myself his life is more trouble to him than it is alright, I'll baby him and make him as happy as I can.
I wish I had some healing time after China, but perhaps I need to be able to move ahead. I don't know. I'm glad my newbies are younger and I don't have to look for this for some time again. I'm glad they are spaced out and I don't have to expect several to grow old at once. China And Ali were just 6 week apart in age. Joey is 6, Sammy is 4, and Max and Jazmyn are 2. Whew.
I'm sorry my blog has been so full of doggy woes for the past few months. I suppose that is part of the reason I haven't posted more about his decline. Seems to me like I write about it so much that is is a nuisance. Damn, I hate these sad times. Ali, China and Mai Lin were/have been the best buddies I could have asked for. But the clock keeps ticking and life will go on with the help of my new babies, my family, and my friends in Bloggerville and IRL.
So there you have it all for the day .... the good, the bad, and the ugly.