I cried when I read my friend Connie’s email:
I’m sorry to report that Karma has been very sick for the last couple of weeks. X-rays revealed that her heart is very enlarged and is pressing on her windpipe, but new x-rays taken today show some suspicious stuff going on in the inside. Things she loves to do are now not easy for her. We’ve decided to put her to sleep this Saturday …
Today is “this Saturday.”
Karma has been a frequent dog-sitting visitor since Esteban and I lost our own dog, Arrow, to extreme old age. We called her “the sausage.” (Her long torso really did look like a sausage.) We laughed at the way she’d sometimes lick us uncontrollably. And we were endlessly amazed by the sheer volume of hair she shed.
It’s a small miracle that I met Karma at all: Within her first year she developed severe hip dysplasia. Either she’d need radical surgery, or she’d have to be euthanized. Connie and her husband chose the surgery. And it worked! It bought Karma nine more years.
Now she has mere minutes.
I’ve been debating since last night whether I should drive across town and give Karma one last hug. I adore the old girl, and I’d give anything to look into her soft, gentle eyes one more time.
But I’ve decided to stay home. I don’t want to make Karma agitated. And I don’t want to rob her family of a single moment with her. There will be plenty of time to hug them in the weeks ahead.
So these photos will be my last memories of Karma, of my sweet, hairy sausage girl, with her beautiful eyes and her compulsive licking. As I’ve said so often before, “Good Karma.”
Sweet dreams, sweet girl …