Went to dinner on Murphy Street with Perl and some friends tonight. I was grateful that in 63° they were willing to wear appropriate clothing so we could sit outside and the dog could join us. Perl loves Murphy Street. She paces—Perl has two states: moving and sleeping—while watching people pass. Some of the children stop and gawk. Some run over before their parents can stop them. The adults who aren’t giving her a wide berth try to steal a pet while no one is watching. I bring her a roll-up bed that she never uses and a half-eaten chew stick she leaves untouched. I fill a water bowl that I hide under my  chair—within reach of drinking, but out of reach to dump over—and pull secret salami from a stash in my purse. She watches. She jumps in hopes that someone has something to give her even better than salami, like the pepperoni she gets from Vito’s Pizza or the fresh turkey she gets at the Bean Scene, or the steak bites she gets at Lilly Macs.

Tonight when we arrived home, she lept out of the car before I could contain her and sprinted around the yard. She dashed here and she dashed there. She wasn’t fast, but even at her slower speeds I can’t catch her.

Euphoria. Pure euphoria. 

I remember this state. Mitsy the Cat did this before she passed. The heart medication made her feel better, so she would sprint around the house, doing laps. I have a feeling that Perl feels the same way on her meds. She is so much happier than she was a few months ago. Our walks are short, but in the mornings, she sprints around the house without passing out. I stand there, as I did tonight, and helplessly tell my deaf dog, “You’re going to kill yourself. Literally.”

And she will eventually. Her little heart will give out, like it did Mitsy. I hope it will be swift. And I can only hope that when it happens, she is sprinting and that the last thing she feels is euphoria.


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