antisocialbutterflie writes: “I have garnered a lot of respect for you and your rallying behind Maximus for a while. There’s a strength of character and obvious loyalty for the things you care about that lures me back more than any amusement you provide. I now find myself in a similar situation and my understanding of what you have been going through has multiplied exponentially. Though I don’t have the financial resources to support a fight as strong as yours but I would like to query your greater experience in the matter.
If this is something you can’t talk about feel free to ignore it or even delete the comment. Frankly it’s difficult for me to say aloud even though it has been running through me head constantly for the last three weeks as things turned further south. At what point do you call it? Where is the line past which you are hurting more than helping? I’m grasping at straws hoping this will turn around because I can’t stand the thought of losing the 15 lbs of hell and dog breath that have been the center of my world for seven years yet I can’t help but feel I am rewarding his unilateral and undying affection with suffering because I am too selfish to let go. I know I can’t expect someone else to make this decision for me and that your line may be different from my own but I’m a scientist by nature and profession and I’d like to use all of the resources available to me. Again if you find this too difficult to address I understand but I had to try.”
Answer: It’s a question I’ve been asking myself since Maximus was first diagnosed. I know many pet owners who say “You’ll know when it’s time.” or “He/she will tell you when it’s time.” but I have my doubts. Maximus stopped eating in Toronto, just days prior to our departure for Vancouver. I assumed that was him telling me it was time. However, upon our return, Maximus started eating again and, while he wasn’t back to his old self, he was certainly better. Then several weeks ago, he stopped eating. Again, I thought “it was time” but, yet again, he surprised us all by resuming his eating ways.
Ultimately, I don’t believe there’s a definite answer. It’s really up to you. I know a guy who elected to make the call when his dog was no longer able to climb stairs. My other pug, Jelly, reached that point years ago and today – a stem cell transplant and spinal surgery later – she still can’t climb stairs much less get around all that well, yet she’s happy and vibrant and clearly enjoying life. In Maximus’s case, I’m not so sure. Amid the quiet misery there are flashes of tail-wagging happiness that give me pause. What also gives me pause is the simple fact that I don’t want to take the easy out. Maximus stopped eating a couple of weeks ago, right before I was scheduled to fly to Montreal for Christmas. It certainly would have been easier to make the call then, but I didn’t want to make a decision I would look back on with regret. And so, I packed him up and brought him along, flying him carry-on and doting on him during the holidays. We’re back in Vancouver now and back at square one. He stopped eating a couple of days ago (which suggests it may finally be time) but he still drinks plenty of water (which suggests it may not).
So when IS the right time to say goodbye? Perhaps the biggest indicator for me comes with those now bi-weekly vet visits. Whenever we take a seat in that waiting room, he begins to tremble. That trembling, his obvious fear at what lies ahead, more than anything, that has been the litmus test. In my mind, that reaction tells me he’s not prepared to go just yet, that he’d like to fight a little longer. Which is fine with me. I’ll continue bringing him to the vet, continue to pick up his medication, continue to administer those meds. And that’s okay. But should he decide to give up and lose that spark, acquiesce in the face of the upteenth visit to the animal clinic, then I’ll make the difficult call. And hopefully, when the times comes, that’ll be okay as well.
By the way, my sis – who has had to make the tough decision several times – offered her eloquent opinion in yesterday’s comments section. Check it out.
While we’re on the subject, Fondy gave me a couple of stuffed toys to pass along while I was in Montreal. Well, last night, when I got back home to Vancouver, I did. With predictable results.
Today, I sat down to screen Superman and the Mole-Men, the first entry in our Supermovie of the Week Club. I’m watching this one in 15 minute installments as the full 57 minute run time has proven too daunting. So far, alternately strange, annoying, dull, uncompelling, and hilarious. Looking forward to reading Cookie Monster’s review – and, of course, your thoughts next week when we discuss.
Hey, did I mention I have a comic book launching January 11th? You can get it here (TFAW.com), here (Dark Horse Digital) or at your local comic book store. Go pick up a copy of issue #1 because I’m going to make it a point to quiz each and every one of you about its contents.
Dark Matter makes SFX 360’s list of Most Anticipated Titles of 2012: Comic Countdown #3: Year In Preview (Pt. 2) | SFX-360: Bringing …
I chat with MTV Geek’s Alexander Zalben and break down the ship’s mystery crew, reflect on Stargate: Universe and the future of the franchise, and offer my take on psychotic kids, and: Stargate’s Joseph Mallozzi Explores ‘Dark Matter’… And … – MTV Geek
I talk with Michael Meade over at Tastes Like Rock!’s Geekonomicon, touching on the development of Dark Matter’s visual style, the challenges of writing for the comic book medium, and some anime favorites: www.tasteslikerock.com/geekonomicon.html
Over at Angry Koala Gear, Charles Perez and I discuss my influences, “the plan” for Dark Matter, and my favorite comic books growing up: http://www.angrykoalagear.com/2012/01/interview-with-joseph-mallozi-writer-of.html
Dark Matter #1 will be hitting the shelves in about a week, so it’s time to rally the troops and get the word out! I’m counting on each and every one of you to take the next seven days off work (and/or family) and hit the net – forums, twitter, your cousin Marcie’s quilting blog – and tell everyone to pick up the first issue!