Thursday, February 7, 2013

Armus waiting to die

Ever make yourself cry?  Not on purpose, not by reverberating on sad things, but just out of the blue by saying something that rebounds, gut punches you, and suddenly you're in tears?

Did that to myself last night.

Almost 16 years ago, my sister and her then-husband ditched their dog on us.  A huge, white thing (we later figured out she was a Labrador Husky), she was one year old and had already whelped a litter.  Her name was (and still is) Armus--named after the black blob from some Star Trek Next Generation episode (no, we didn't name her).

The dumping of Armus into our world wasn't supposed to be long-term. No, it was supposed to be "just for a few months, until we find another place."  All things considered, I should have known that was bull, but what are you going to do, right?  Say no?

Armus wound up staying with us for thirteen years.  To be fair, there was a point, maybe six years in, when my sister and the ex-bother-in-law (no, that's not a typo) offered to take her back.  By that time, she was joined at the hip with our other dog, and the bother-in-law planned to leave Armus outside.

No.  Not going to break up the happy couple so you can keep her on a chain in the back yard.  Turned out that, even if we had agreed, the dog would have been back a few years later, when they divorced and she moved into a "no pets" place.  How she left her three cats with us at that time is another story.

So Armus was ours for 13 years.  JoJo, her buddy for life, died.  And then we moved--first, to a place where we couldn't have a dog (and so we went to my mom's a few days a week to take care of Armus and keep her company).  And then we moved cross-country.  Oh, we agonized over that.  But, by then, Armus was 15 1/2, and was and there was no way she could make the move with us.   No matter how you sliced it, just getting her up into the cab of a gigantic truck (it had stairs and a pull-up bar to get in) would be hell on her and us (she's quite arthritic now), and making her ride on the floor, cramped up, for 500 or so miles a day?  For the better part of five days?

I didn't think she'd survive it.

So Armus is now almost 17 years old.  Mostly deaf, has a hard time getting down those three little stairs to go outside and do her business.  My sister goes over with her kids and helps make sure Armus is being cared for.  I was telling hubby and son that Armus had fallen down in the snow and ice the other day, and my Mom, who is 78, wound up also falling in the snow and ice trying to help the dog.  Between the two of them, they managed to drag each other into the house.  I said, "I can't believe Armus is still chugging along--amazing!"  Hubby said, "I know, it's a near-miracle."  And I said, with zero forethought, "What if she's just waiting for us to come home and play with her?"

Oh, damn.

That was it, I started to laugh, but I was crying, too, and the crying took over pretty quickly.  What a crappy thing to think of.  What a devastatingly SAD thought.  What if she IS waiting for us?

And now I'm crying again.  Poor Armus.

I'm not sure what to do about my weight at this point.  I had lost six pounds, but, in a month-and-a-half, I've managed to gain back that six PLUS eleven more.  Seriously, seventeen pounds I've gained since the beginning of January.  It astounds me, how fast I can gain, it's unnatural.  If gaining weight was an Olympic sport, I'd do my country proud, you know?  But I was back on it yesterday, and I'm back on it today, and I've just got to make this work.  It's easier when I can sleep.  But waking up at five in the morning is almost a guarantee that I'm going to start grazing.  This morning, I forced myself back to sleep, and it worked.  Big pear and ice water for breakfast, I'll have my nummies for lunch (only 200 calories), and I'll have pasta for dinner (we do pasta very carefully).  Even with smoothies for dessert, I'll come in at around 1,400 calories for the day.  More than anything, I need to force myself to keep track on My Fitness Pal every day.  That's what does it for me--accountability.  Seeing what I'm taking in and admitting it.  

So here I go again and still.  Forever.

Bad paneling?  I dunno, I'm a bit down right now.  Probably later, though.

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