Sunday, November 23, 2014
We now have a dog who is 14 and today my husband and I had "the talk" about him. He has become increasingly incontinent, and it seems that not a day passes that we don't have something to clean up, either inconspcious little brown turds that have dropped out, or diarrhea, which smells so foul that he he won't go anywhere near it. We can count on moist pillows in his crate from his urine leaking in the night and have to be very careful to get him out of the house as quickly as possible in the mornings before he lets loose with a deluge of nasty smelling old male dog pee. We don't see this situation getting any better, only worse.
Like many things in life, it's complicated. He is not a dog we are overly fond of, tending towards obsessive/compulsive and bizarre behavior. For example, he once lifted his leg, took aim, and then urinated on my ankle. Think autistic. However, aside from the incontinence, he is doing pretty well. He has a good appetite and manages to charge the fence in the back yard to bark at passing cars, people, and especially, other dogs. He sleeps a lot, but seems generally happy to be on the planet. I'm afraid that if we do put him down for our convenience, we will be filled with guilt, but at the same time, both of us are tired of living with an animal that we don't really like that has turned our home into a toilet. So, to keep that guilt at bay, we recently purchased three packages of doggie diapers....
Friday, November 7, 2014
Around the time of the transplant, he opened up a gallery in Albuquerque with another artist, Kim Arthun. Both felt the constrictions of normal gallery relationships and wanted to take more control for their own work. They also wanted to provide a "sane" venue for local artists, and that's what they did, providing Albuquerque with one it's best venues for seeing art that mattered. * In that extra 15 years he grew his son, maintained a loving relationship with his wife, did his art, hiked and camped and co-ran Gallery 208. Then, his kidney gave out, and once again he had to wait for another transplant. This kidney only lasted about three years, and finally, as Kim said at his service, he "tapped out" last week.
The service was held at a large church, and filled to capacity with all the people in Albuquerque who had been touched by Russell. Kim read his eulogy, and it was truly beautiful. He gave us a picture of Russell's life that was complete, but more importantly, he gave us the sense of how much their friendship mattered, and how much these two men loved each other. When my husband and I left the service, we each felt envious for what Russell and Kim had shared.