Plato’s Pow Wow

Apologies from Plato’s

Sincere apologies to readers for the slow activities on Plato’s this past couple of days.  Apart from the fact that there really is not much that’s worthy of sharing with you this Thanksgiving weekend – so much regurgitation of same stories out there – I am actually very distracted nursing one of my dogs.

He’s 14 years and 10 months old and a few days ago he suffered from a sudden digestive trauma that has also caused his lower half to go into paralysis.  Though a little slow on the lawn due to old age, he was actually in perfectly good health till this happened.  The vet paid us a house visit yesterday morning and has given him the appropriate meds to relieve both the pain and the conditions he’s suffering from.  He has two more days of taking his med course before I’ll be able to tell if the paralysis is permanent or not.  In the meantime, the poor little love is confused at his loss of mobility and deeply embarrassed by his incontinence.

This morning I dug a grave for him at the bottom of the garden.  I sense his time is fast approaching and the light in his eyes is beginning to dim.  He is not in physical pain any more, just exhausted and very sad.

I was hoping to write a couple of articles for the blog this weekend – I already have the ideas and headlines – but I’m afraid all focused writing will have to wait for another few days till my dog situation has been resolved.

I will try my earnest to post up shared articles and analysis for you in the meantime.  Feel free to use Plato’s contact page to send me links of articles you think are important and I will duly post them.  This would be very helpful to me.

I thank you for your patience and understanding.

Right now, I’m speechless at the fickleness of life.



    • Taxi says:

      Cigargod, Walid, Bornajoo,

      How can one not respect and admire creatures who consistently practice unconditional love?

      In the Mahabharata, which is the longest poem ever written and one of the greatest stories ever told, there’s a segment where a prince is sent on a mission to find the gods to ask them for help in an ongoing war that the prince’s side is losing. On his journey, the prince finds himself in dangerous enemy territory and is befriended and saved several times over by a stray dog. When the prince and his dog finally reach a sacred spot, a ladder from the sky drops down and a godly voice welcomes the prince and invites him to climb it to meet the gods. The prince is euphoric to hear this. He jubilantly picks up his dog and starts climbing the sacred ladder when the godly voice stops him after a couple of steps and informs him that the ladder is for him and him only – that either he climbs the ladder alone, or he turns away from it.

      The Prince is devastated by this ultimatum and he can only descend the ladder with head hanging low. He is torn standing there between ladder and dog: he must complete his mission, but he cannot abandon his faithful friend. He gazes at his dog with love and agony… starts walking away from the ladder with his dog beside him when the godly voice apprehends him again and congratulates him for passing the final test – the test of loyalty. Warmly, the godly voice invites the Prince and his dog to climb the ladder together to meet the gods.

      • Bornajoo says:

        Beautiful story Taxi. I studied parts of the Mahabharata when I was at soas university in London quite a while back. You’ve just invigorated me to download a copy on my Kindle and read it again.

        It’s true what you say about dogs and unconditional love. It’s rare in this world of ours

      • Taxi says:

        They say that whoever reads the Mahabharata is saved. I heard that in my late teens when I didn’t know nothing from nothing and thought to read it just in case. Heh.

  1. Bornajoo says:

    Hi Taxi. Really sorry to hear about your dog. I think this is why I don’t think I could have another dog. I don’t think I could bear it when the inevitable happens, that same inevitable that will happen to us all. But he’s getting the best end of life care and love possible and I can feel from your words how much you love him. I wish you the best through this difficult time

    (Sorry I haven’t commented lately. It’s a mixture of being ridiculously busy, total despair and a loss for words. But I’m reading all the articles and comments and many thanks for what you are doing)

    • american200 says:

      Taxi, it sounds like his “stomach turned”–which means exactly what it is called. It sometimes happens to humans but is more common in dogs in particular. If you vet didn’t x-ray him he should have.
      Only surgery can correct it and save him…and it has to be done fast if its not too late already.
      I been thru this with two friends dogs and a horse–it is surmised that this happens as a quirk when a dog might be running or jumping or turning a certain way. In the case of the horse it happened when he jumped a fence and twisted his body to clear it.

      • american200 says:

        You might have already investigated the turned stomach but if not its worth looing into—fast.
        What happens is the stomach literally turns and creates a twisted blockage and dog cant process food out of his stomach and he becomes toxic with the bacteria and starts ‘fading”.

      • Taxi says:

        Thanks for all your medical advice, American. The pooch is very old – he’s already lived 10 extra months past his lifespan. Putting him through intensive medical procedures will not improve the quality of his life – even taking him to an animal hospital for x-rays would be extremely traumatic for him – the car journey, the strangers in white coats and their strange machines. And even if we get his present set of problems resolved, no doubt more serious health problems will be be arising sooner than later due to his extreme old age. His back legs are completely paralyzed now – his only position is prostrate. Very undignified. I can tell he is in mental anguish by the way he looks at me. He had big round button eyes 3 days ago and now they have considerably shrunk in size and drooped. He is very fragile and fatigued. He will never be the same again. He will not walk again which means his digestive system will be under constant duress. Sadly, it is time for him to transition out of this dimension. There is no need for him to suffer any further. The vet will be paying another home visit again tomorrow – a decision will have to be made and acted upon.

  2. american200 says:

    The other possibility is poison or kidney disease— you would have noticed the signs of kidney failing if the dog kept losing weight. The vet has to do blood test to determine if its the kidneys. If its the kidneys he has to do an intravenous fluid feed to flush the kidneys or the meds are worthless.

    Just some thoughts if the cause hasn’t been determined.
    Prepare to mourn if you cant save him–our cat of 21 years died Sept 15 at 6:38 am. Old age kidney disease and the vet at NC State Univ Animal Hospital told us she was too old for a transplant from a shelter cat. We put her in bed between us and held her all night when the end was near—my wife still cant talk about it, it destroyed her, she would burst into tears for weeks, me too.
    Take your time–its hard thing

  3. RudyM says:

    Sorry you are having to deal with this. A friend of mine just went through something similar this past week with a dog to whom she was very attached, so I understand how much of your energy is probably tied up with this situation.

    (At any rate, you don’t particularly owe us anything in general.)

  4. Taxi,
    Your gentle and generous words bring out my lack of words to say anything meaningful back to you.

    I have recently had close contact with a pooch ( my grandkids’) and seeing him for the first time when he was barely as big as my hand…that feeling of total surrender on my part !… indescribable!

    He is now two years old and the look of love in his eyes is unbelievable! I sympathise totally with your pained devotion to your pet.. I wish him a gentle and painless passing in your loving and devoted arms

    and to you my warmest wishes and thanks for your presence with us during what must be painful moments of anxiety and apprehensive-ness at the separation to come…..

    • Taxi says:

      Thank you for your sweetness and light. I’m being constantly cheerful with my pooch – I find this perks us both up some. The only food that he’s been accepting for three days is a little Labneh (Levant cream cheese) fed by hand – must be all that curative acidophilis. Or it could be that he has a beautiful Levantean soul just like you.

      • Taxi says:

        Thanks bintbiba. His name is Ariel. He was brought to my farmhouse last year to ‘retire’ in my doggie paradise. He came looking very sick, having lived in apartments all his life and the country air revived his spirits and extended his life. He had his best year ever here with me. The first thing i did when he arrived was to take his collar off and let him go sniffing in the wild and he loved the liberation of it all. He’s a beautiful being. The vet is about to arrive. I will be back at my computer in a few hours. Thank you for your kind words and good wishes.

  5. Danaa says:

    Taxi, very sorry to hear about your dog. Like with people we cherish, it matters not how old they are. When their time is up it hurts just the same as if they were in their prime.

    I too have a beloved animal issue these days. One of my cats is an older male with diabetes (at 15, not that old really) who seems to have started to go steadily down. The cat is special as he has always been remarkably good-natured, helping me foster several kittens and making friends pretty much with every creature out there, including other cats, even that somewhat menacing Tom cat prowling about. It’s not everyday that one meets a cat blessed with the quality of kindness, and his current poor state of health is really heart-breaking to all around. His sister who is as willful and ornery as he is gentle and kind, has taken to sitting by his side – an unusual behavior from her princessness. She knows something surely, and I watch them both with some trepidation. It’s off to the vet again tomorrow – we’ll see what happens.

    My best to you in this trying time – and don’t worry about the newstand. We can wait a little, if need be, can’t we?

    • Taxi says:

      Thank you, dearest Danaa.

      Sorry to hear about your noble cat’s illness – so touching when healthy animals shows empathy to a sick one like you say his sister is showing him – really beautiful. Best of luck at the vets tomorrow and do let us know how the king of purrs fares.

      I have four other dogs – all rescued – they’re all showing concern for the sick one in their own way – one of them brought him a hunted lizard yesterday – well, the lower half of it, that is – messy gift that pleased the sick pooch for a minute or two before I removed it and gave it a royal flushing.

  6. Taxi says:

    I want to thank everyone for their sensitivity and their support. The pooch took his last breath this morning, with the help of the vet. Although he was under heavy sedation, he actually shed four tears before his eyes finally closed. There was definitely a deeply sentient soul inside of him. Incredible to witness. He was buried at the bottom of the garden by an old olive tree, overlooking a green and fecund Galilean wilderness – five humans and four dogs attended his humble funeral. It rained on us throughout the burial. It felt like a movie. Unreal. Life is beautiful and death sucks. This much the pooch knew when he shed his last tears.

    R.I.P. Ariel. Beautiful love.

    • Bornajoo says:

      thanks for sharing with us Taxi. May that lovely creature rest in peace in that beautiful spot.

      Just imagine what a wonderful world this would be if it was ruled by dogs!

      • seanmcbride says:


        My condolences for the loss of your beloved companion.

        I often think that many dogs represent our better selves — more grounded in nature and reality than we are much of the time, more empathetic, more loyal, more loving, more joyful. In some ways we rely more on them as spiritual guides than they do on us.

    • Danaa says:

      Gorgeous music – didn’t hear it before, though it sounds somehow familiar, so may be I did.

      Very appropriate too.

      My sincere condolences, Taxi. May the precious dog rest in piece.

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