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10:24 p.m. - Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2004
Trying to Read a Dog's Mind

Henry lying on the couch with his pillow and his blankie.

I'm so friggin' exhausted from trying to figure out how he's feeling. It was the same way when Charles (my Doberman) had liver cancer and I was constantly watching his every move, how much he ate, the expressions on his face, every little thing, trying to tell if the time had come that he was ready to go.

Henry won't eat more than a mouthful unless I stand over him and coax him to eat. He was always slender, but now he's skeletal. If I put something special in his food and get him to eat what I consider to be enough, then he can't control his bowels. He'll be lying on the couch or the bed; he'll get up just to change positions and in doing that, he'll take a crap without even realizing it. If it happens when I'm not there, he'll just lie back down in the mess. He's half blind with cataracts and doesn't hear very well, either.

Then, another time, he'll wag his tail for a few seconds, and I'll think I'm totally wrong about his being ready to go.

It's exhausting. If he were a person, I could just ask him, and he could tell me. But, of course, if he were a person, he wouldn't have the right to leave when he was ready to go — not in Indiana, anyway.


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