Wednesday, December 27, 2006:
My favorite novela, the novela watched by one of the largest TV audiences that year, ended that night. Montecristo, loosely based on the Alexander Dumas classic, The Count of Monte Cristo, had kept me company for most of 2006. It showed at about 10 P.M. or thereabouts Monday through Friday. While Rubio had been getting sicker and sicker, getting lost in the story–which had a mature woman falling in love with a priest subplot–made it easier for me to deal with what was happening in my life. I turned off the TV and got Rubio ready for his evening walk. I could see that he wasn’t in the mood to go. I was the one pulling him out the door that night instead of the other way around. The lights in the hall by the elevators were bright–too bright. I looked down at him and said something like: We’ll be right back, Rubio. It’ll be over soon. I petted him. It hurt him to go to the bathroom. Sometimes people walking by would turn around as he yelled in pain. His feces often came out with a great deal of effort. I didn’t want it to be painful now. The elevator came. It was empty and we didn’t have to deal with my telling people he’s friendly. That used to stress me out a lot. Rubio was a German sheperd. He didn’t look menacing, but our neighbors were not always the kind of people to understand that. The last year of his life I made it as easy on him as possible. Rubio was very intelligent and he picked up on most everything that was important to him and me.
On the sidewalk, he did as much of his business as he could. With what was left of his strenght, and that strenght was considerable, he pulled on me to take him back home. He was tired. He was exhausted and he didn’t want to deal with being uncomfortable. I opened the apt. door. I let go of his green leash. He rushed to his thick blanket, the red and black checkered blanket. He stayed there until the early next morning.