Last Night I Dreamt of Snow

16 Aug

In my dream I woke up in the still of the night and walked to the back window. I looked outside and saw snowflakes falling in the glow of the streetlights. As I stood there motionless, I realized there were a pair of eyes looking back at me.

Jasper.

He was standing in the back of the yard under his favorite pine tree with a look on his face that said, “So, are you going to come outside and play with me or what?”

You see, after water, Jasper’s second favorite thing is snow. He just loves everything about it – digging in the drifts, chasing snowballs, chewing on icicles. One of his favorite games is when I throw a snowball high in the air and he tries to jump up and grab it before it hits the ground. He could do this for hours.

Jasper and snow
Photo: Jasper loving the snow and ready to play.

It’s funny to be dreaming about snow in the middle of summer, though. Maybe it’s this past week of scorching temperatures. Or perhaps it’s wondering if J and I will ever play in the snow again?

I’m not going to mince words. This past week really sucked.

Jasper’s condition got progressively worse as the week wore on. He was in obvious pain when he walked around the house and was starting to withdraw from food. Then the vet told us on Thursday that the tumor had increased in size again. Like I said, it was a pretty crappy week.

At one point Veronika and I actually had “the conversation.” How will we know when it’s time to let him go?

Trust me, it’s one of the worst conversations – and decisions – imaginable. I’m thoroughly dreading the day when that decision will come.

Veronika said we’ll know when we take him to the river – his favorite place – and he’s no longer interested. Then it will be time.

If that’s the measure, then as Veronika said, “He’s not done yet.” On Friday night and Sunday afternoon, we took him to the river and both times he couldn’t wait to get in the water.

I should be thankful, right? Yet, I find myself thinking of all the things we’ll never do again.

He’ll never chase a tennis ball that I launch 50 yards with the “super ball tosser.” He’ll never race up and down the stairs on my dad’s boat. And he might never dig a hole so big he can bury his head in the backyard drifts after a massive snowfall.

I have to adjust my perspective on his life now, and that’s difficult. I have to realize that he’ll have a good 30 to 60 minutes of walking or swimming followed by nearly 10 hours of sleeping. This is the “new normal.”

You know, sometimes it feels strange sharing all this personal information with the world. I have one more thing to admit, though. I’m scared. We’re on to one of the last treatment options possible. If this doesn’t work, then all we can do is wait. And the waiting and not knowing is the hardest part.

I’m reminded once again of a Buddhist lesson that goes something like – there is no past and there is no future, there is only now.

I’m also reminded of a U2 song where Bono sings, “The end is not as far as the start.”

We may not play in a snowy backyard again, but for now we might just have a few more sunny days at the beach. I’ll do my best to live in those moments… and try not to think of what’s to come.

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8 Responses to “Last Night I Dreamt of Snow”

  1. Keri August 16, 2010 at 11:10 PM #

    Todd and Veronika…. wishing for you the ability to cherish and live in every moment with your sweet Jasper. I pray that there will be many.

    Hugs and belly rubs to your household,
    Keri and Gracie (12 yr old BMD/Rtvr mix)

  2. Sarah August 17, 2010 at 7:27 AM #

    Such a rollercoaster. I’m so sorry to hear that Jasper is on a down slope. Maybe there will still be more ups? Dogs can be so wonderfully resilient. I like the measure of him enjoying time at the lake. That ensures some fun times ahead 🙂 I have had to be part of a couple “conversations” so far in my life, and I imagine there will be more because although the pain seems unbearable at the time, it’s not enough to take away ALL of the joy. Still worth it, I think. Hang in there, soak up the doggy love, and squeeze him tight. Thinking of you and Veronika and Zooey.

  3. Lori August 17, 2010 at 7:47 AM #

    You will know in your heart when it’s time. Just love him as much as you can each and every day.
    Hugs to all
    Lori

  4. Mary August 18, 2010 at 4:33 PM #

    http://www.dogwork.com/feeling

    this is so cute. I know that all
    the fellow dog lovers will enjoy this video.

  5. melfr99 August 30, 2010 at 10:34 PM #

    I can relate to thinking about all the things you will never do again. For me, it was watching Aspen, hot on the trail of some great smell, or rolling around in the snow, or hooking her head over the arm of the couch to see what I was doing in the kitchen. You may not be able to do those things again in the future, but know that they will comfort you in the days to come. Jasper is lucky. You have given him the happiest life a dog could have. I think he would say “Thank You” if he could.

    And, sharing these moments makes all of us a little more human. Anyone who has owned a pet understands the pain, the “what-ifs”, the “how long befores” – your sharing your pain and fear reaffirms what we all feel. Thank you for sharing.

    • treubold August 31, 2010 at 9:42 AM #

      Thank you. This comment was especially touching. I’ll try my best to cherish all the moments we have left together.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. No Dog About It Blog - September 5, 2010

    […] Last Night I Dreamt of Snow Anyone who is a pet owner knows how hard it can be when they get sick or it is time to say goodbye. […]

  2. Top 10 2010 Favorite Dog Blog Posts « No Dog About It Blog - January 2, 2011

    […] Last Night I Dreamt of Snow Anyone who is a pet owner knows how hard it can be when they get sick or it is time to say goodbye. […]

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