Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Ownership is now a very different responsibility

Today I took Bugsy to the vet for the last time.
It wasn't like it sounds, he is very alive, and surprisingly spry for his age, never mind the orthopedic issues he MUST have and the cancer.

We went today because he hasn't seen his 'regular' vet in a LONG time. She guided us and provided essential information during September and October when we were discovering what was causing him to be so flat.

It was odd though. We did a heartworm/parasite fecal test and that is it. No labs. I mean if it said his liver values were off, we wouldn't be doing anything so why test?

We discussed in-home euthanasia, which feels weird when your dog is bouncing around and stealing treats.

She asked how his eyesight was so I tossed a treat to him from the other side of the room and he caught it easily.
Eyesight - check

It is an odd point in your role of owner. I have prided myself on being proactive in taking good care of him and suddenly my role now is to just watch and wait.
We don't know where, when or how it will surface. But we know there isn't anything we can do to prevent it or extend his life.
In fact due to all his issues with meds, we don't even have palliative care options other than carprofen.

His weight is good, his energy is fine, lungs sound fine, his coat is shiny, he eats, drinks, poops and pees. I reprimand him at least once a walk and some another point during the day.
He still does a zoomie EVERY day. They are slower and shorter but they are still a zoomie. Tonight was inside :)

So for the first time in his life with us, no more vet care.
Ownership now is focused on doing what he and we love.
I have never been good at reckless abandon and no doubt I won't start now but I will be sure to do as many things with him as I can because we can.
I joked that he and I would be going out and sharing a beer and the vet said, "might as well, beer won't hurt him" LOL

So here's to a hedonistic future with my Bugsy. Well my version which is very limited hedonism.
I'll be checking my calendar for time for a beach trip
and a mountain trip
and of course we need to go to the lake a few times

And share a few pints

If there is one thing this crazy mutt has taught me is that life is to be lived.
I'll be damned if I am going to screw this up

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Sometimes you get a whole lot more than you expect.

11 years ago Steve finally agreed to add a dog to our family. We both had in mind our neighbor's dog; the biggest, sweetest, laziest golden retriever you could ever meet. He laid around hoping for loving, he enjoyed his walks but never demanded one. On a walk he walked whatever pace you did, he laid down if you stopped to chat, and he just generally sashayed through life at an easy pace.

However the pup that stole my heart in an instant, wasn't a whole lot like sweet Cody, in fact he was yin to his yang.
And thus began the journey. My journey.
Many of you are in my life because of the journey. Don't get me wrong, Bugsy has always been a really good dog, he has just presented many challenges along the way.
I had a choice to make by week 2: become the owner this dog needs and deserves or consider re-homing him.  Fortunately I see challenges as opportunities for growth and was determined to find a way to communicate successfully with baby B.

11 years later, I am proud of the owner I have become in order to be the one he deserved. I have worked hard, I have the scars and aches to show for that. I am a stronger, happier, more determined, more resilient, more skilled and more grateful person than I would be, had I not had to make such a deep investment in him.

As I sit here tonight thinking about these 11 years, I know we don't have a lot of time left. I don't often feel the clock ticking but occasionally I look at the calendar; It's 11 weeks post splenectomy and we were told 3-6 months.
Usually when I have that thought, he does something to completely change my mindset, tonight it was stealing the toilet paper tube and parading around with it hoping for a chase..........the eternal puppy.

And that is one of his greatest gifts: Life is joyful, always.

Happy Gotcha day Bugsy. Thank you for asking me to dig deeper and invest in you. You have made me a better human and I promise to keep improving for as long as I exist, in your honor.

Friday, December 2, 2016

off to the beach

It's been a fun and full 9 weeks since the splenectomy.
The energy has been extraordinary, I mean EXTRAORDINARY.

All just adding to the legend of Bugsy Lee.
It's hard for humans to comprehend, he's flying through the air - literally - while you are thinking how sad it is he has terminal and aggressive cancer.

Lake trips with wild goose chases.
Long, FAST walks.
Puppy play.
Zoomies, zoomies and more ZOOMIES.

But this week, sleep.
Lots of sleep.
Deep sleep.

Visible discomfort.
Choosing to be next to me as much is possible.

My God the lumps.
We have this morning routine where he rolls around while I massage his joints, rub his belly, and feel for lumps.
Seems like new ones daily.
Small ones under the skin.
Large ones in the "belly".
And all sorts in between.

Because life is short.
Because you only have today once.
Because the light is fading and it will not be re-lit,
Tomorrow we will drive to the beach.

I want to see him feel the sand in his toes again,
I want to see his nose tilt up, ears flapping in the wind, taking in his universe.
I want to see his heart burst with joy
And I want to see and hear him sleep deeply, having given the day all he had.

Tomorrow we'll drive to the beach.