There he is: all grown up. The Dog Who Ate a Light Bulb, age 5. Digger of holes; shredder of dog toys; cuddlier in bed. Over-exuberant greeter of strangers and friends alike. Somehow, we’ve both survived the last five years.
As I write this, he is snoozing on the bed (my bed, not his personal LL Bean bed, which he does sleep in but prefers to hump it). He no longer counter surfs. Doesn’t steal a pint of cherry tomatoes off the counter and scarf them all down while I’m in bed. Still barks with authority at any squirrel, woodchuck, duck, or cat who crosses his path. Being the head of security at this house is hard work.
We spent a wonderful week in Vermont last fall, where he got to run off leash across fields and just be a dog. There may be nothing more beautiful to witness than someone – human or animal – run with abandon.
A few weeks ago, something just didn’t seem right. He was the same happy dog with the healthy appetite and love of playing tug with his toys.
I took him to the vet and she found a tumor. Advanced cancer. After long talks with her and an oncologist, I’ve elected palliative care.
As my mother always said, life isn’t always fair.