Goodbye, Lilly B!

Lilly Belle McIntyre (2001 – 2017)

Today was a really tough day. We had to have our 15 year old dachshund, Lilly Belle, put to sleep. I’ll spare you the details, but she was getting old and it was really showing.

Every time we moved or there was some big change or we just left for a few days on a vacation (leaving her with a sitter) she seemed to get a little older.

It was like watching waves wash ashore taking a little more of her vitality. One day she was fine and then a wave hit. She’d have a rough day or two. And when she recovered, she never got fully better.

One day she was fine and a wave hit and then she couldn’t see the stairs we put for her next to the bed or sofa.

One day she was fine and then she wouldn’t roll over for belly rubs.

One day she was fine and then she would have a sensitive spot on her side and would startle when we went to pick her up.

One day she was fine and then she didn’t really seem to hear us walking around the house.

One day she was fine and then her hind legs didn’t work quite right and she would stagger around as if drunk.

One day she was fine and then she made a mess in her bed.

We had no illusions about what we were seeing. She was pushing up on 16 years old and doxies only live for about 15 – 17 years. We didn’t expect that she would still be with us in November to welcome the baby into our home… but we did hope.

This last wave came crashing in over this past week. When it started, I remarked, “I think she only has a month or two left.” I was hoping.

Last night it became clear that we couldn’t leave her with a sitter when we leave for vacation tomorrow.

Vacation. I feel like an absolute beast thinking about vacation while all of this is going on. I worried that because I was thinking about vacation, I was rushing into the decision to let her go. I worried that because I was thinking about vacation, I wasn’t thinking about what was really best for her.

But when husby and I made a list of all the things standing in the way of her being happy and comfortable in life, it was an ocean of waves too big for her little old legs. She would never be young again. She would be this… and worse. So, as difficult as the decision was, as selfish as it feels now to be packing up for a trip we believe it was the right decision at the right time.

We have a great vet who shifted her schedule around to be with us during the process of letting Lilly B go. She knew Lilly’s history and agreed that it was the right time. If we prolonged her life, Lilly would be the one who paid for it in more discomfort and suffering. As her owners, we couldn’t do that to her.

She slept more today than she usually does. Probably because of how long she was awake during the night. And she seemed to be getting around better than usual. She even hopped around a little bit after our other dog as if she wanted to play. I gave her some treats and made sure I spent some more time petting and cuddling her. I think she had a good day.

And the drug they used to put her to rest was a pale blue. It really struck me that this source of final relief was such an unusual, peaceful color. The color of calm water.

SCOTUS Rules in Favor of Same Sex Couple

Reuters/US News: SCOTUS Overturns Arkansas Ruling on Birth Certificates

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday overturned a state court ruling that allowed Arkansas to refuse to list both same-sex spouses on birth certificates, a decision that helps clarify the scope of protections provided by the high court’s landmark 2015 decision legalizing gay marriage.

One of the reasons that husby and I are thankful that we live in California while we’re having children is because California has a history both in law and in court rulings for upholding the rights of same-sex parents. We are able to establish parentage right away and we will both be named on the birth certificate.

Unfortunately, not all states are quite so conscientious.  Tennessee has been contemplating similar legislation to the one SCOTUS struck down here. Other states have grappled with the issue as well.

For my friends on the left side of the political spectrum, the fact that Justice Gorsuch was part of the dissent along with Justices Alito and Thomas is an affirmation of their worst predictions about the new SCOTUS judge.

My friends on the right side haven’t really commented yet as far as I’ve seen.  If I had to predict, I would say that most of my conservative friends support the ruling on the grounds that it’s a contractual matter.  I don’t have any friends that I know of who are the sort of people who would oppose this ruling simply because it would annoy gay people. In fact, I don’t think I have any friends on the right who believe gay people can’t be good parents.

But I am curious about the dissenting opinion here.  This is fresh news this morning, and I haven’t dug deeply enough to find the actual ruling and the opinions.  I assume that they kicked it back on the grounds that it is a power reserved for the states.

Personally, I am reluctant to join my friends on the left who are saying this is definitive proof that Gorsuch is a homophobe.  I also didn’t hold the view that Scalia was a homophobe.  This is because I don’t think that simply because someone does something that hurts gay people it means they’re a homophobe.  Also, in spite of my federalist tendencies, I am not super keen on the federal government taking more oversight on anything.

Nevertheless, this ruling is pretty helpful to a lot of people out there right now.  I don’t know how this ruling could be used to hurt people in the long run.  But here at the end of Pride Month, as we approach the anniversary of Stonewall, I’m willing to focus on the short term.

EDIT: A friend of mine on FB (who is an actual lawyer) commented on the dissent:

They disagreed with the applicability of the procedural mechanism (summary reversal) with which the court disposed of the case. Gorsuch wrote that Obergefell did not clearly and unambiguously decide the issue of whether biologically-based birth registration was discriminatory, and that summary dismissal was therefore inappropriate.