August 9, 2007

Old Dogs and Coffee Pots

*A moment of fury. OUT DEMONS, OUT!!!*

This picture has nothing to do with my subject today. We were just having a 'moment' yesterday and I was fortunate enough to have my camera on hand.

I get the feeling that Hogan may not be with us much longer. Although I don't know his exact age, he must be at least 11 or 12! He's got tumors all over his body and his gums are still terribly swollen from the gingival hyperplasia he's had for years. He had been looking really thin in these last few months. Now, he looks more filled-out. I have a really hard time believing that he is suddenly putting on weight now, of all times. Given the fact that he is a Boxer over the age of 10 and covered in so many lumps and bumps and growths, the vet is pretty sure that he's got cancer somewhere in his body. Maybe everywhere.

He has one large tumor on the side of his 'boy part.' (Sorry, I spend my days talking to young girls and it just naturally comes out that way!) Awhile back, that tumor got red and started to smell very foul. I got him into the vet and they cut off the offending bump. However, they also shared with me that the actual tumor was even larger under the skin. They didn't see the need to try to remove it considering his age and the fact that his quality of life still seemed very good. In fact, he's been living life a lot more comfortably that he ever had since we started letting him in the house. The vet thinks it's wise to just leave him be so long as he's not suffering. He's a happy dog.

That is, I know he was happy.

Just yesterday, he started acting strange. When we got home last night, Hogan was really happy to see us. He always is. However, he was especially clingy to me. He wouldn't leave my side. I couldn't even go to the bathroom without him waiting outside the door. I couldn't take a step without feeling his wet Boxer-snout press against my leg as I moved. Okay, so he's always like that! But he was even worse last night!

"That's because you're the MAMA!" is what my mom always says to explain why he thinks I am the only one capable of opening the door to let him out. But it was different last night. He kept looking at me as if he needed something. And he wouldn't settle down. His 'walk' was different and he was really fidgety. Almost uncomfortable.

I get the feeling that we will be taking him back to the vet soon to get him looked over. I just don't want him to suffer. He still holds his bladder and bowels just fine, even though he does sometimes have me up 3 or 4 times a night to let him out. His appetite is good and he still gets around just fine. Wherever we are, there he is curled up on the floor nearby. And he seems happy.

But the pacing and the fidgeting....those are new. I'll have to watch him really closely and get him into the vet soon.

In the meantime, my coffee maker has also started to show signs of distress. My birthday is next month and that just may be the thing I ask for. It's nice to be able to find something I want that's actually attainable. My list of unattainable things is ever-growing, including the staff of people that would carry me around on a velvet pillow and fan me with palm leaves.

A girl can dream, can't she?

As for the dog, I cannot imagine being able to find another one who fits as well into our family as Hogan. We'll probably get another dog....eventually. But there will never, ever be another Hogan.

Ho Ho Hogan!!!


Anonymous said...

First off ~ got to love that pic of your little one! She is so sassy! Wonder where she got that from huh?

Secondly ~ It's always hard when we have to think of such hard decisions...Hogan may be preparing you to let him go now. That's sad I know. I feel for you real bad right now...Keep a close eye on him and ask the Vet if that just seems like extra odd behavior.

Thirdly ~ WAHOO Coffee pot!!! A woman that dreams reasonably. Wow...your husband lucked out big time! At least make sure some really excellent coffee beans come with the coffee pot!

wildtomato said...

When the dreaded time comes, at least you'll know that you've done right by Hogan. I'm sorry - I know this has to be so hard.