Most of the time, when I have to have The Conversation with a client it’s tough, and tears are not unusual. Yesterday, The Conversation took a…shall we say…unexpected turn.
A client is going out of the country for a week with her kids, and their hamster is very old in hamster years. Old as in surprised that it is still alive every morning. I asked what should be done with the poor guy if he passes while they away. My client hadn’t thought about that, but wasn’t pretty sure the kids would want a chance to bury the little guy when they returned.
Well, I worked for a vet years ago. And if you don’t want to know what they do with bodies while they await pickup by the crematorium, stop reading now. Bodies of deceased pets go into the freezer while awaiting pickup. So after talking with my client a couple minutes, I made the suggestion. I could always wrap up the hamster and put him in the freezer. She thought for a moment and caught me by surprise: “My freezer or yours?” she said. We both had a laugh.
I am glad, however, that no one has to have The Conversation with me right now. Butterscotch has been really showing her age lately. She’s a 13 year-old dog with Cushings and arthritis, and none of those things improve as the days go by. Last night, for the first time, she couldn’t get herself up on the bed, and the bed is pretty low to the ground – maybe as high as my knees. It was one of those moments when I realized, yet again, that age is creeping up on her, and I’m not really ready for that. Are we ever?
One of my sisters calls her a sugar face…it’s an accurate description.
That muzzle is getting pretty white these days, and she sleeps a lot more than she used to. Her walks are meanders now, and not the aerobic exercise we used to have.
She still has some juice in her, however, when she really wants something. Food is her first love and every single morning she finds the inner resources to jump up and land her legs on my lower back while I’m making breakfast. Her arthritis goes out the window if food is involved. She can still climb the stairs to our bedroom, albeit slowly, but she can make it. She still loves her walks, and occasionally gets motivated to move at a good clip. She’s got lots of good days left in her still.
And I’m not going anywhere in the near future, so no one has to have The Conversation with me. I have it with myself occasionally, but I can’t really go there most of the time. Can’t imagine the house without her, or without any of our gang for that matter. I know stuff will happen, and over time, we will lose these creatures we love so much. But not today. And that’s enough for now.
As for the hamster, I’m to call Grandpa who will have instructions or have to figure out what to do if the poor guy passes. Works for me. I hope it works for Grandpa.