I'm playing hooky from work today (with permission)...maybe not the wisest decision in many ways, considering the holidays last week (I don't get paid when I'm not there), the expenses of this past weekend, bills that will need to be paid and Christmas just around the corner.
But last year I had boxes piled around the house longer than the house was fully decorated; this year I didn't want it to feel like just another chore on my to-do list.
So I'm listening to Christmas carols, decorating the house and tree with snowmen, Santas, and memories of years past, watching the cold rain fall outside...and hanging out with Charly.
He appeared at the back door about an hour ago and I let him in. (Don't tell Max or Frankie!) It was actually the other reason I wanted to stay home today...to keep an eye on him. He's a walking skeleton, not interested in any food except leftovers from Thanksgiving, which he subsequently throws up. Right now he's stretched out on the rug behind me.
I haven't made much progress on the decorations, actually. He's an outside dog and has had a tough time trying to decide if he wants to be in or out. I've spent a lot of time opening and closing doors, circling the house and just sitting on the floor beside him, rubbing his ears, and, I'll admit it, crying and telling him what a great dog he is and how much I'm going to miss him.
I know his days are numbered. I've been saying that for awhile, I know, but he's going downhill drastically. Tom and I have talked about whether we should take matters into our own hands, so to speak. But how do you know? If he seemed in pain, or totally uninterested in anything, it would be clear. But he's not. He enjoys being near us, getting his ears rubbed. He still wags his tail a lot, and this morning he was scrambling to stand up and step out of his bed before I could get "Let's go for a walk" out of my mouth. He made it down to the bend and back just fine - slow, but just fine.
I guess we'll just take it a day at a time, and for this day, I'm enjoying having him near me as I decorate the house for this blessed, and still joyful, season.