THIS IS THE PART no one tells you about.
Before the sun is up, I have cleaned a night’s worth of feces from the dog’s bed. I have given her a bath, thrown the bed into the washing machine, and carried her up from the basement to feed her. I carry her outdoors to pee, wash and sanitize my hands, and deposit her in her daybed in the kitchen. Every two hours, I will repeat part of this ritual, as I have done for going on two years now. My 12-year-old dachshund is blind, crippled, and bowel incontinent — the curse of a disk disease that struck when she was 4.