Dear Pandy has lymphatic cancer. Due to the cold weather, the dogs were often in Deb’s house during my visits and I chalked up not seeing her pretty face to this. A few Sundays ago, she bounded up to me, pine cone in mouth and we played a rousing game of fetch. She leaned into my hugs a bit harder and I figured that she just missed me as much as I missed her.
Right before I left, I was chatting with Deb about my excitement over seeing Pandy and she broke the news to me. The gentle dog had been on her deathbed for two weeks with a grim assessment. But then, all of a sudden, with a little help from Prednisone, her energy returned. Defying all odds, not only was she up and about, she was running around. Watching her closely (she was at my feet while I talked to Deb) I noticed that a change had definitely occurred in her. The extra hugs I thought I was imaging were in fact an actual response from her. Obviously, I don’t think she’s having conscious thoughts about a near death experience, but something has changed in her.
This last visit, I checked in with Deb and she said that during Pandy’s most recent appointment, the vet said the cancer had spread throughout her body. Her energy levels haven’t changed and Deb reported that she’d been active all day and was just resting at that point in the house, but that we all know that Pandy’s time is limited.
I went into the house to sit with her for a while. At first, Freedom tried to hog my time but even she sensed that she should hang back. Different cats kept trying to pile onto my lap and when I became distracted, Pandy reached out with her paw and touched my arm redirecting my attention. She’d never done anything like this before. I gave her lots of hugs and thought a lot about how much I love her. She smelled like the campfire, like the farm, like life.
I don’t know how much time I have left with this beautiful creature but I’ll cherish every moment that remains. If she wants to run after pinecones, that’s what we’ll do. If she wants hugs, they’re hers.
Hold your four-legged and two-legged friends a little closer this week.