I was in New York last week, where I took full advantage of my hotel’s gym, but I’m not going to talk about that right now.
I was going to talk about the travel aspect of New York, having decided that I travel more than I enroll for events, but I’m not going to talk about that right now.
I have a sinus infection courtesy of the Newark-Seattle Continental flight I took, and that will very likely kill my ability to do the triathlon this Sunday, but I’m not going to talk about that right now.
I have a dog. Actually, I have two, but I have a dog named Kumi that I raised from a puppy. She has spent the last five years being raised solely by me, and being a very good girl. I have taught her new tricks in the last few years (Stay — while waving a cookie in the face) and subjected her to a second dog (dubious choice but that’s done) and she’s been the only constant thing in my life in the last five years. She is nearly ten years old.
I found out yesterday she has cancer. What looked like a small lump on her rear (and appeared quite suddenly) is a tumor, and little bits of it are out to a pathology lab for testing. Bloodwork was done as well and that is out for testing. She can have one of two kinds of cancer: one that’s annoying, will require surgery, and probably some lifelong(?) discomfort in her hind end.
The other means, as the vet put it, “we have to talk about solutions for her comfort”.
I know that talk, and I know she’s hedging, because I used to work in a vet clinic. The first day I worked there I watched an old man have to put his lab down, and the last day I worked there I watched a little boy bring in his dead bunny. It was 18 months of bad smells, pain, and lessons in emotional restraint. She is required to look on the bright side, but as soon as she took the biopsy and it bled, she said, “Well that’s not good”.
Kumi, aside from the aforementioned lump, looks like she always has. She’s lost a little weight, and she’s a little slower than she used to be, but she’s nearly 10 and that is expected. She still wags her tail, still runs around like mad given the opportunity, still eats all of her food and will happily help you with yours.
I don’t want to think about what “solutions for her comfort” means even though I know what they are. It means how long do you want to see your puppy alive and to what expense of their pain threshold or their ability to get around and remain continent. It means that it’s very likely that at some point, I am going to have to be the decider.
I really, really don’t want to be.