Azure is not going to die. After she got so very sick, she improved ever so slightly. Not a lot, but enough to refuse any medications we tried to foist onto her. Enough to some times join us on our walks. Enough to take a lunge at a well-intentioned and quicker-than-he-looks neighbor Steve. Enough to demand to be petted, enough to voice her displeasure at our refusal to let her into the bedroom to sleep in the bed, and on occasion, enough to tip over the trash can to drag its contents across the floor.
But to say she was back to her old self was not truly a reflection of the mischievous little creature we have come to know and love. Her appetite had not truly returned, and she was losing weight. The types of food we have used in the past to coerce compliance were ineffective at prompting even a second sniff of interest. Her energy level seemed far too low. Our dog toy bill has been extraordinarily manageable.
Across the past few weeks, we have become alarmed enough to collect urine samples and take them in for analysis. We have looked for infection. Loss of kidney function. Presence of anything abnormal. Absence of anything normal. And every single test result has come back just that: normal.
Notwithstanding the normalcy of the test results, Azure just did not seem normal. I was worried. I was watching her every move for signs she was going to either come ‘round the bend or kick the bucket.
Then one day it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe Azure wasn’t really that sick. Maybe she is just playing us. It could happen. She is that smart, or perhaps we are just that stupid. Either way, I decided, “Azure is not going to die,” and I quit watching her for signs of impending death. And amazingly enough, I quit seeing signs of her impending death.
This evening at dinner, I made Azure leave the table area and behave. She sat and scowled at me as I happily sat next to K and devoured my BBQ chicken pizza. After dinner, for the first time in a long time, I felt a little tickling on my leg and looked down to see Azure holding a tug rope in her mouth, looking up at me with those blue eyes and pink piggy face, asking for a game of tug. So we played. She isn’t as strong as she was before, and we weren’t as rigorous as we played in the past, but Azure initiated play, even after a long evening walk and outside time doing lawn and garden work. Her tail was wagging and her eyes were sparkling, even after she rolled over to submit to a chest rub as I celebrated my victory. Later in the evening, when I leaned over to give K a kiss and then caught Azure’s eye, K cautioned, “If she poops on your clothes again, you have only yourself to blame.”
Azure is not going to die. At least not of natural causes anytime soon.