It’s been pretty quiet around here. Like last winter, this winter has been stingy with the snow and a little too generous with the thaws, freezing rain, and ice. We’ve been skijoring a handful of times and hope to get up to the Gunflint soon to get our fix, but mostly we have to find indoor things to do.
(Our most recent snowfall, which sadly has already mostly melted away.)
But I’m really here because I have some sad news, I just didn’t want to start out sad. A few weeks ago Pip was feeling pretty crummy and ultimately was diagnosed with a tumor on his spleen. In dogs, these tumors are either really really good (completely benign, remove spleen and all is well) or really really bad (very malignant, removing spleen does not make much difference). Of course the kicker is that you can’t tell for sure unless you remove it and send the whole thing in to a pathologist. With about a 50/50 chance of each, we decided to go ahead and take it out.
Unfortunately, Pip’s tumor was malignant hemangiosarcoma, basically the worst possible diagnosis. I don’t regret doing the surgery, his recovery was really smooth and he’s back to his normal self and feeling great. I’d take the same chance again in the same circumstances. We just don’t have much time with him from here on out. It could be two months, it might be six months, but it won’t be very long. Certainly not long enough.
So, he’ll feel good until he doesn’t. Right now he does and we’re trying to just enjoy it. It’s a very bittersweet time. I’m very very grateful for the time we’ve bought together. Each time he does something silly or adorable or even just completely and utterly ordinary normal Pip, I realize how precious it all is and how fortunate we are to have a little extra time with him. He feels so good right now that it’s easy to forget any of this is happening. But then sometimes I look at him, mostly when he’s sleeping and looks so sweet and peaceful, I remember and it hits me and my heart just squeezes. So little time left.
Being a dog, he’s blissfully unaware of what the future is bringing, and while I can’t un-know what I know I’m trying to navigate the end of things with as much love and laughter as possible and trying to let the anticipation and sadness slide off. He’s getting some extra privileges and lots of snacks and bones and all of the other good things he loves. And I know when the time comes that he’s feeling unwell again we’ll have to say goodbye, but it’s not today. Not today.