I’m naturally a decisive person. I listen to the information, choose a course of action and go with it.
It’s not always a good thing. Sometimes I make up my mind too quickly and it can take me a long time to realise I was wrong or hadn’t thought things through for long enough. Unfortunately, although I am fully aware of my own confirmation bias, it still affects me. I try to listen to all sides, but I often give more credence to the stuff that agrees with me.
Even with ambiguous arguments that realistically could go both ways, I generally choose a position that I feel most aligned with and use that as the basis for my decision. Simple.
I like to research. I like to understand. Bur sometimes that just doesn’t help.
I’m in a situation where I just don’t know what to do. I have a sick dog. She’s the closest thing I will ever have to a child. Let me be very clear about this, she is not a replacement for a child – I chose not to have kids – but she has been like a child to me. I’ve had her since she was seven weeks old, taught her, worried about her, been frustrated by her but more than anything else loved her with my whole heart.
She’ll be 10 at the end of this month which is pretty old for a Leonberger. She has difficulty standing on her own as she has arthritis in her hips, she has an interdigital cyst on her foot which is swollen and sore at the moment and she has had some recent breathing difficulties which she is on steroids for (and thankfully seems to be working). Because of these issues she’s not really into going out for a walk – actually that’s not quite true. She’s really like’s the idea of going out and will pester me to take her, but within half a dozen steps she’s ready to turn around and go home. In fact the only thing that seems to give her real pleasure is eating, and I can’t let her eat too much or it will make all of her symptoms worse.
So what can I do for her? She seems to want to be on her own (she’ll go into the kitchen or garden) but then she’ll whine until I go and sit with her and try to comfort her. I’m more than willing to do that, but I can’t spend my life sat on the kitchen floor (normally in a puddle of water – if you know Leo’s you’ll know they seem to be happiest when splashing in water).
I don’t believe it’s time to say goodbye to her yet, though I also know it won’t be too far away. I’m doing what I can for her but it doesn’t feel like enough.
I don’t know what to do – and it’s killing me.
It makes me feel sad, helpless and useless. These are not feeling I like.
I wish someone would just tell me what to do. More than that though I wish I could make her better, and I can’t.
I know I need to learn to accept this – and that will probably make me feel better – but I don’t want to go there. I don’t want to accept that I can’t make my little girl feel good.
As with all crappy experiences, it does give me more empathy though. I know what I’m feeling is bad, but I can’t imagine what this feeling is like for people who are taking care of sick or dying relatives, be they partners, parents or children. The idea of this feeling being magnified seems like pure torture to me.
All I can do is what I can. I will continue to love her, be with her, comfort her and help her in any way I can think of. It may not always make things better, but it’s all I’ve got.
I wish I had more.