Thursday, 28 August 2008

When the time is right

mainly sunny, temps 24

Another beautiful day, though not sure any could match yesterday. Perfectly calm all day, and hot. Michael went for a swim. Really, these late summer days are stunning. Cool at night so great for sleeping, and hot in the day. Some trees are already turning. We have a bright red maple in the field and out the bedroom window we can see a tree turning orange. The light hits it in the morning and it looks like amber.

Had to take Maggie to the vet yesterday afternoon. She seemed to be limping more than usual. She hurt he back left leg last winter - the joint - and it's been deteriorating. Now the other leg is getting bad because it's taking all the strain. He gave us new pills. Mostly for pain. But she seems happy. Tail wagging, nose wet and cold. Eyes bright. Great appetite. She hops around the pond and loves it.

It's an interesting choice we have to make. Do we stop her from running and playing and doing pond walks so that there'll be less strain on the leg? Or do we let her do those things and run the risk of more damage sooner?

It's the classic quantity of life vs quality. We're under no illusions, though we'd like to be.

After loads of talks we decided to let her have her fun, and we'll do our best to manage the pain. Hers and ours. The little pills help, though. Yum.

We faced a similar issue with my mother a few years ago. She'd had an episode with her heart and I was there. I called her doctor and Mom got very angry. Told me it was none of my business. That took me back and I struggled with that.

Then I realized she was right. She had all her marbles. She could make informed decisions about her own life. It might not be my choice, but I had to respect hers.

She died six months later, quietly in her sleep. At home. The way she wanted. Too soon for us, but we don't get to choose. Just support.

We're hoping Maggie will tell us when she no longer wants to hop around the pond. But for now, we're all enjoying the beautiful weather and the great late summer.

This is an especially fun time for me since the fifth book is set at exactly this long Labour Day weekend in Three Pines. So I get to see if my descriptions of the weather, the garden, the smells, the sights are accurate.

We're off to North Hatley and lunch with Bernard and Patricia Lemieux. They worked with Michael on the study into Neuroblastoma. His book is about that seminal study and the shocking results. So we'll have lunch then head off to their lab...both Bernie and Pat are medical researchers.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Louise
Just sent you an email re newsletter. Hope your email has been fixed.
Enjoying your blog as always
Best wishes
Linda Lyall

Louise Penny Author said...

Hi Linda,

Thank you! Yes, I got your email. Seems the system was receiving messages just not sending them. Nancy fixed it last night.

Robert said...

Is Maggie the the same Maggie that Doug and your mom had? The black lab? I cant believe she is still around - how wonderful!

Louise Penny Author said...

Hi Rob,

No, this is a different Maggie - and actually that dog's name was Muggins. But I'm amazed you remembered that, Rob. I guess you didn't damage all that many brain cells in your youth after all!

Robert said...

Hi Louise,
It just hit me this afternoon as I was driving home lost in thought - Muggins not Maggie! However 'seeing' Muggins made Maggie more real to me.

Hope Maggie is doing as well as can be expected