My love, my dog

I haven’t posted for a while. It’s been pretty hectic, and I have all sorts of interesting tidbits from my life to tell, but I will start with the most recent and the most traumatic right now.

My fur-kid has cancer.

It’s a hard thing to digest. My emotions are raw and my sadness is deep.

Dylan, my 14-year-old Maltese, my best buddy, and the resident senior fur-citizen, is going to leave me.

I didn’t  listen to the vet at first. Dylan had just come in for a teeth clean and a vaccination. Surely that lump I was concerned about was just a cyst? The vet shook her head and said the cyst was cancer. It had spread to his spleen and into his chest. She showed me the x-rays. I could see some lumps and dark spots. It didn’t mean anything to me, but I felt sick anyway.

I cried. I had brought him in 2 months ago with a smaller lump. She couldn’t feel anything because he was tensed up, so we didn’t do x-rays. She told me she was sorry. I cried even more.

He looked okay. He was eating and drinking. He didn’t seem to be in any pain. Was there anything that she could do?

She told me that if he was a younger dog, she would suggest an operation to remove the lump, the spleen, and follow it up with chemotherapy to the chest via a specialist. I cringed at the thought. His little body had been through a lot in this life, but I doubted that it would withstand the onslaught of chemo. I’d seen what it did to humans.

I took him home to his fur-brother and sister and made a big fuss of him. He took it all in his stride and snuggled into his favourite spot on the lounge after his favourite treat for dinner. He doesn’t know what’s happening, but he knows he is loved.

I have spent the last few days reminiscing and looking at photos of the holidays and places we have been together. The 3-hour bottle feeds when he was born when his mother rejected him. The chewed furniture and the spiteful poo on the bedspread when he got locked in the bedroom. The howls of delight when I came home from work.

We’ve had lots of adventures and he has had a good life with us. He’s been dressed up as Santa at Christmas time and dressed up as a bunny at Easter. He’s been photographed making himself comfortable on the train of my wedding dress, and balancing precariously on the seat of my stationary motorbike. He was first at my bedside when I was ill and last to leave when I recovered.  His good looks and his loving nature have negated his many vices in the past, although he has sailed a little too close to the wind when he has peed on my furniture on occasions.

One day I will remember him, warts all, and wish I was cleaning up the pee, but not today. Today I’m going to make the most of his presence, and feel lucky that I was fortunate enough to have known this special little being. I’m going to give him all he needs, love him as much as I can, and even look into some natural remedies to improve his disposition and prolong his comfort.

Better to have loved him and enjoyed our time together than to never have had the privilege of loving him at all.


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