A Turn on Your Merciless Rack

You tease, you taunt and take it back

Arrogant bastard runs on a sadistic track

Powerless to thwart your means of attack

We all get our turn on your merciless rack


Your lesson is lost in the deck you stack

Moot point on a canvas that's painted black

Futile to fight the hand of the one-eyed jack

We all get our turn on your merciless rack


Designed to fill the void in what we lack

Positive platitudes lay dead on the plaque

Swing my angry sword you cut no slack

We all get our turn on your merciless rack


Fruitless, I try to patch the crack

My lungs want to explode, but an empty sac

Ripping the last shred you hammer my Mac

We all get our turn on your merciless rack


Suffering chosen as you pin the tack

Teacher delivers the message with a smack

Devotion the pupil retracts since taken aback

We all get our turn on your merciless rack



I love you so, MacGregor

MacGregor is my fine, Scottish Terrier, my companion. Handsome, charming, loyal and loving, he looks to me for everything and I serve him his heart's desire on a silver platter. He is quiet, reserved and dignified. We are a perfect match.

Today, I took him to his vet, as he's had a relentless bladder infection, despite multiple antibiotics, for the past month. The vet took an x-ray to try to find the source of the problem. The lovely vet, Dr. Angela Randazzo, began our talk with positively ruling out a bladder stone, which is a common occurrence. She said that was good, but she didn't look happy. At first she suggested doing a urine culture to find the bacterial culprit, but sadly, she had news she dreaded telling me. MacGregor has an aggressive form of bladder cancer. Angela went on to say we could do further testing to pinpoint the 2 centimeter tumor, as she told me it could only be removed if it was very small and located in a spot where the bladder could be sutured. She believes it is already beyond the scope of surgery. I explained to the vet that considering he is 9 years old, with an aggressive type of cancer that carries a high mortality rate despite treatment, I do not want to subject him to surgeries or chemo for naught, causing further pain in his remaining time. Angela told me she agrees with me 100% and, in this case, would do the same with her dog. She then expressed her sympathy, at which point, I could not hold back the tears any longer.

I brought MacGregor home, stressed and tired. He will take antibiotics to keep the infection under control in order to reduce inflammation and swelling (common in conjunction with cancerous tumors in limited spaces) and pain medications when he needs them. I won't let him suffer. I love him too much to allow that. I will be lost without him.

Comments 12 comments

epigramman profile image

epigramman 4 years ago

Amy, let me proudly be the first here to say how much I do love you and Mac both - well you already know that I'm sure. You have been one of my best online friends since I came online for the first time in my life back in January 2009 and I have watched you grow and mature as 'one of the greatest writers' and 'minds' I've ever had the pleasure of meeting and reading - and last but not least - one of my favorite canine friends in the whole wide world (don't let my two best friends, Tiffy and Gabriel hear that or they may get jealous -lol) the noble Mac Man - and I am proud to say that I once sent him some doggie treats and a toy to destroy - lol - Mac - here is a big big big hug from your Canadian big brother - and respects from my two felines - because Amy, you and I, and Lucky Cats and my gal pal Sannel and so many others have received the greatest gift in the world - the unconditional love of our pets.

lake erie time 10:34pm

and they are not just my pets they are my best friends - I live for my cats so you and I are kindred spirits and there are so many others in this world just like us.

Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Thank you, Colin. Yes, and we pet lovers are the lucky ones. The irony is the pain when the inevitable happens. Witnessing and experiencing their pain (right there with them) is hell on earth. I try to be good, do the right thing, but the losses keep mounting. I don't think there is any correlation between how we live our life and the hereafter. I'm beginning to think it just might be a load of crap to make law enforcement easier. And, guess what, that ain't workin' either. Forgive me, Mr. C, I'm angry about facing another loss. They are gaining up on me. Thank you for your kindness.

always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

I am setting her crying like a baby. Why are the ones that we love the most taken? I am so sorry..God bless you Amy..

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Vincent Moore 4 years ago

Amy I am distraught with this sad news. I remember last year when you wrote about Mac and his blindness setting in and now this. I am with you on not having Mac go through surgery and chemo when it's not going to help, but subject him to so much discomfort. I would enjoy the love you both have left for each other, savor every minute that passes, keep him close and you close to his side.

Comfort him the best you know how. Bind together, he knows what's going on and loves you unconditionally. I know your going through yet another trying time, I am praying for you both, that our maker finds a way to give you both peace and calm and very tender shared moments together. Know that you are not alone, I to have a beautiful feline named Sabrina and would be devastated if she was going through what Mac is going through right now.

Your sad words in your scribe say it all and I can't and won't analyze it in any way shape or form, I read you clearly and understand his pain. "We all get our turn on your merciless rack." yes indeed we all do. Hugs to you my dear friend, know that I am thinking of you both at this sad time.

Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Thank you, Vincent. It was Mac's hearing awhile back that had me in a state of high anxiety and grief. I persisted with the vet and in the end, the oral antibiotics that the vet thought would have no impact, saved his hearing. I appealed to vet with "it can't hurt", and Mac regained his hearing within 3 days. I am no vet, but I know that a middle-ear infection needs more than antibiotic eardrops. I was right and trusted my instincts to seek another vet.

The wonderful vet we now see brought me up to speed on an NSAID called 'Piroxicam' that Duke found, not only reduces inflammation and pain, but in some canines, brings remission. There are side effects in some animals, but not as traumatizing as chemo and can be helped with stomach coating meds like Pepcid. I'll talk with the vet, Angela, and find out if she would use it on her pet. For me personally, I don't want Mac to suffer. I want whatever time he has to be good. Thank you for caring, Vincent.

Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Dear sweet always exploring, Thank you for your sincere, beautiful caring heart. I ended yesterday with a blazing headache from crying all afternoon. Now, my goal is to enjoy every remaining moment with my sweet, adorable, fuzzy companion. I have to tell you, always exploring, I was on the phone after I brought my baby home. He tanked up on water, a treat (actually an early dinner for him) and assumed his post on the cold tiles on the bathroom floor, when I walked by with the phone to my ear. I threw him a kiss, and he looked at me and tilted his gorgeous Scottie head, which "gets me everytime". His adorable mannerisms, like tilting his head up at me (he is so short and stocky) and in the process, he must lift one front leg to look me fully in the face when I talk to him, is one of those things I will always remember and miss. He is just so damn cute without even trying....I will miss everything about him....

BobbiRant profile image

BobbiRant 4 years ago from New York

This is a sad thing as two years ago I lost my beloved spaniel to the ravages of old age. We had him six years and got him from the pound, he was an older dog when we adopted him. I look at it now as fortunate we found him, made his life wonderful for the short six years. I try, with every loss to look at the wonderful lessons and companionship I have gained in life from knowing them. Now we have a kitten we rescued. The kitten does not replace my wonderful dog, but I see it as paying it forward. Kind of like God dropped this cute critter in our back yard, the kitten was in need of a home and we in need of a pet to lavish love on. I feel for you as I cried for a long time over our dog. *hugs*

Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Dear Bobbi, I couldn't agree more that MacGregor was a most wonderful gift in my life. The grief in losing him right now is new, raw and painful. But, even at that, I am able to think back on his antics and laugh and enjoy the recollection. He brought so much pure love and joy into my life...I would have missed some of my best moments without him. So, I am forever grateful for that, and, of course, feel his profound absense. I emailed my ex, Paul, who brought MacGregor into my life, with the sad news. He simply said it all with "I am so sorry." I feel enormous love for his gift, both in bringing Mac into my life and his sincere expression of sorrow in losing him.

Thank you, Bobbi, for sharing your heartwarming experiences with the critters you love, ultimately, lucky pets. And, thank you for being my caring friend.

A.A. Zavala profile image

A.A. Zavala 4 years ago from Texas

Too beautiful for words...

Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Thank you, Augustine. Mostly, I felt white, hot, anger when I wrote this. I've been trying to work through the unraveling of my life over the past 2 years, and somehow, I knew, despite words from others about how strong I stayed, God wouldn't stop until I was on my knees. So, as always, the tests push us to the edge. I haven't decided yet, as the grief is too profound, where I stand, as I'm still down on the ground. His absense is profound, the silence deafening, yet I can't bear being brave for the sake of comforting others. For once, it's not about anyone else. The quiet gives me the time I need to think and process what I must accept. I will be fine, but right now the pain is raw. Somehow, I think you understand.

Your words to me are perfect. I appreciate the comfort without judgement.

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

Hi Amy, I got here throught Augustines wonderful hub about your pet. I am so sorry, this must be so hard. I remember I cried for days, my heart breaking when my lovely Sheba, collie cross Alsation died, its unbelievable how painful it is, take care, nell

Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Yes, Nell, it is brutal. I still have a cupboard full of his favorite treats. Some of the "people food" that he liked a taste of, I bought to make sure he would take his medication. He stopped eating normally his last two days. I couldn't bring myself to finish. I threw it out in the trash the other day. I have an oil painting I did of MacGregor hanging on the wall along with a "Scottie dog" brass hook that are painful to see everyday without my little man here. Thank you for your kindness in telling me about your beloved Sheba. I love MacGregor so much that I always knew it would be excruciating to lose him. I just didn't think it would be so soon. But, then, few would ever say they had a beloved pet long enough.

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