Update on my animals:
The vet said that my cowdog, Rita, has congestive heart failure. There is not really anything we can do about it. Yesterday I was faced with a decision – either we could put Rita down then and there since she will not get better, or we could try giving her some lasix to nurse her along for awhile and see how she does. The other possibility would be to do nothing, but I knew that was out - I had to do something. I don’t do well with these sorts of decisions. Part of me wanted to just get it over with. I don’t want to see her struggle to live and be in any pain only to die anyway. On the other hand, maybe the lasix will pull some water off of her giving her more time and relieving the struggle. I worry about letting her live for a little while only to see her go downhill later. What if I don't get her to the vet in time and she suffers? What if Toby has to do the "putting down?" Those were my thoughts. I was a blubbering baby while watching "Marley and Me" and did not relish the thought of watching Rita be put down. Worse than that would be to watch her suffer an agonizing death if we did nothing. So I called Toby, and we took the middle road of trying to prolong her life if things went well. If they do not get better, we will have to put her down. And the cat, Rugen, is still gone.
A Funny Story to lighten the load:
We have a family prayer that my dad taught us as kids to say at meals. He got it from his dad. We call it the Barker Prayer, and we still use it - often saying it out loud together. One time when my brother and I were about six and seven years old, my dad asked my brother, Craig, to say the prayer at dinner. It had probably had been a while since we were asked to say the prayer, and Craig could not remember all of the words. Dad took him into the other room and spanked him. Then Dad came in and told me that I would be saying the prayer the next night and I had better be ready or I would get a spanking too. Let me tell you, I can still remember the panic and fear that set in knowing that if I forgot the words that I would get a spanking. I must have said that prayer over and over the next day practicing for the supper meal. I was so afraid of messing up and getting a whippin’. It turns out that I did fine. In fact, Dad probably forgot his threat, but I never did. It has become a family joke that if you mess up, you will get a spanking. Many times, someone has not been paying attention and said the wrong words. At the end of the prayer when everyone looks up, someone will say, "You’re getting a whippin’!"
The other night, Jesse and I were setting the food on the table for supper, when I asked her about something. She replied with something like, "You should have asked earlier." To which I imitated the line out of "El Diablo," in a very scruffy voice, "You should have asked yesterday." And Jesse and I started giggling at our silliness. About that time Toby started the family prayer. Jesse and I joined in, but she started that silent giggle thing, which made me start laughing silently too (head down, shoulders shaking). As Toby finished the prayer on his own with Jesse and I still laughing, he looked up and said, "You are both getting a spanking." It just made us laugh harder.
Just for your information: The movie "El Diablo" came out in the late 80’s on HBO when the kids were little. We watched it over and over. It is still one of my favorite movies next to "Silverado." "El Diablo" has some great lines – almost as good as "Princess Bride." The kids and I can almost quote the whole movie and often do quote it.
The Barker family prayer goes like this:
Thou art great.
Thou art good.
Father we thank thee for this food.
By Thy hand may we be fed
Give us this day our daily bread.