From time to time she also tends to arbitrarily feign death, or at least to pull the old Redd Foxx
I called the vet when her legs collapsed from under her. Panting rapidly her tongue started to turn blue. We agreed he’d come and help her die comfortably at home as soon as his office hours finished at noon.
Ella lay quietly on the big pillow on our covered porch while my wife stroked her head and I rubbed her belly, dripping water into her mouth from a syringe. Ella’s eyes were closed; her breath became more shallow and even. It didn’t look like she’d make it until noon. We quietly waited for death to come.
Forty five minutes later she was eating a bowl of chopped meat, lapping up water, and taking in the smells, sights and sounds of rural New Hampshire from her porch perch. Ambling down the steps she casually emptied her bowels on my perfectly manicured lawn. She was back to normal.
“WTF, Ella!!?” I demanded “I figured you for dead.”
“You sound disappointed.” She passively retorted.
“NO, of course not. But you came THIS close to your final vet’s visit.” I said holding my fingers a Milk Bone’s width apart.
“You know I hate that son of a bitch he always smells like he’s had is arm up a cows ass. And what happened to our ‘do not resuscitate’ agreement?”
“Uh , yeah… but he wasn’t coming to resuscitate you.”
She was nonplused by this. She’s been around long enough to know that I wouldn’t rush her demise any more than I would delay it if her quality of life took a major downward turn.
Ella yawned and let out a series of barks for no reason in particular. “You needn’t have bothered, I was ostensibly dead.” she casually offered.
“No you weren’t. You were just, I dunno, having one of your old dog moments. And if you died how is it you’re not dead now?”
She pondered this for a moment, head cocked to the side. “It wasn’t my time I guess, but the experience was as vivid as that dump on the lawn. My whole life rushed before my eyes, from puppyhood right till this morning. Next thing I know I was in a big open sun lit field. Hey, remember the cocker spaniel you had before me? Well, she was there. She asked how you were doing. I told her about your weight gain. And there were lots of other dogs running around sniffing each others butts, chasing balls, chewing on steak bones. Then some nice old guy came out with chopped meat and fresh water and we all chowed down while the cool morning breeze blew across our ears and some babe stroked my head.” She closed her eyes, and smiled a satisfied dog smile.
“Wait a damn second!” I protested “What are you saying - that there’s an afterlife, a doggie heaven? That my rejection of ancient myth and the supernatural is wrong? That my acceptance of natural law and reality was a mistake? That everything I have come to accept as reasoned and logical is now completely null and void?” Ella could tell I was becoming agitated.
“Hey, Big Guy … don't get your flea collar in a knot! Did you hear me say anything about heaven or an afterlife? You’re a semi-educated human; haven’t you heard about the effect of oxygen deprivation, endorphins, various other brain chemicals and how they cause vivid memories and hallucinations in near death situations?”