Molly is my daughter’s Maltese Terrier. She has been a much loved part of our family now for seven years.
In the course of those seven years, one by one, my four children left home. Molly has stayed with me.
While each of my four children make their way in life and face the challenges that it brings, Molly now faces her own challenge.
Three weeks ago, Molly became lame. She has very, very little strength in her hind legs. A slipped disc in her spine apparently. Cortisone, hydrotherapy and acupuncture treatments have done little to help so far.
For those three weeks Molly has spent most of it in a portable baby’s cot. I change her sheets. I feed her. I bathe her. I carry her outside and hold a sling under her hind legs so she can go to the toilet … morning, noon and night. Gee, so many times a night. The cortisone tablets make her so hungry and thirsty that she needs to go out at all hours. Ugh.
She has become my fifth baby.
I don’t know if she will get better. She showed slight improvement the second week but, frankly, there has been no improvement this week. We return to the vet on Monday for his assessment. Up until now he hasn’t been too confident that she will regain much more feeling in her legs but, like me, he has remained hopeful.
But now, honestly, I am entertaining the imaginable disrespect of reality and the possibility that Molly won’t get better. I am worried that Molly’s quality of life will not improve and, selfishly, nor will mine. I am upset that I may have to discuss with my daughter earnestly the possibility of putting Molly to sleep.
Perhaps more time is needed. I sure hope so. Perhaps the vet will have a firmer idea on Monday. Time. Of course I can give her that if she needs it. Along with love and care, it’s the very least I can do.
But, is there a place in time where it will be just kinder to let her go?
At what point might I need to break my daughter’s heart? And mine?
(her back has been shaved for her acupuncture treatments)