According to Merriam-Webster stoic means “a person who accepts what happens without complaining or showing emotion.” That’s their simple definition. Under the full definition it reads in part, “one apparently or professedly indifferent to pleasure or pain.”
Stoic. That’s what the veterinarian called our old Lab-mix when she came to our house to put him down about a year ago. Roscoe was nearly 14 then if my math (and/or memory) is correct. Doc went on to say that dogs are known to hold on much longer than expected because they want to please us.
Now our honey Beagle who is also around 14, may be balancing between this world and the next. Peaches, too is stoic, never crying or whining. The only time I ever hear her complain is if someone stumbles over her when she’s lurking underfoot. She’s very lethargic most of the time which I chalk up to her age. But when you start preparing her meal (or any food really) she’s right there, waiting in anticipation. JD called earlier to say she was having trouble standing up and once up that she leaned against anything vertical for support. He said he was going to take her to the vet which I strongly encouraged. He’s never been a fan of doctors and it must appear very serious for him to bring it up.
He also suggested I request a loan from my retirement to help with the vet expenses with the understanding that we would be “very careful” with the money and even return any unused portion. Maybe. And with the likelihood that she’s in some pain of course I want to be sure she’s properly cared for. But this grates on my last nerve.
I’d like to think I’m stoic too. At least in the sense that I keep my mouth shut when what I really want to do is tell him to get off his ass and get a damn job. On second thought, stoic may not be the correct word. I know in my heart that I keep my mouth shut because I don’t want to rock the boat. I’m more of a wuss than I ever thought.
The pressure is building though from holding it all in for as long as I have. I’d hate to be around me when I finally blow. It took almost 15 years to get to that point in my first marriage. I so did NOT want to emulate my mother. (You may recall dear reader that she was married at least six different times, and that wasn’t including my father. I never was able to find evidence they were married.)
UPDATE – JD just called with a report from the vet. He said a number of things could be wrong up to and including that she could have had a stroke. There are tumors evident in a few different places and that could mean a tumor in the brain. She has fluid in her abdomen and that’s apparently a sign of a failing heart. One of her eyes has a tic we never saw which may be a sign of neurological problems. What it boils down to is she’s a very old dog. She has some kind of infection too and the vet recommended we start her on antibiotics before we do anything else, plus he wants to see her next week.
So, not the result I was halfway expecting but still the equivalent in my mind. For now we’re focusing on making her as comfortable as possible. But the writing is on the wall. And I’m still biting my tongue.