The bumps on his throat have not gone down, though I have used all but a day-and-a-half of the allotted antibiotic medication. The aspiration that the vet took a couple of Saturdays ago showed no signs of cancer--lymphoma, to be specific--but the vet told me that the pathologist kind of hedged his bets, seeing as how the bumps had so-recently arrived. I don't know, but I know what I feel.
I feel that the kid is slipping, a bit. He still barks and he still plays with Oliver, but, most of the time that I'm home and looking at him, Louie is lying on his dog-bed...he just looks tired, man. Just tired. And when he eats and drinks, right afterwards, he does this kind of retching/regurgitation thing. He's not outright vomiting, but he is having problems with his throat. And would that surprise a soul? Hell no. He's got his lymph nodes squeezing his trachea and his esophagus, in my not-at-all-medical opinion. Am I wrong? Maybe. Hopefully.
This is how it stands: I feel that my buddy, whom I have known since he was a little big-headed brindled days-old puppy, is slipping away from me. Like the emotional mofo I am, I remember all of him. His good days, his sweet days, his handsome days (always), and, maybe, his end of days. Bah. Bah. Bah! Words don't, won't, could never do him justice. He is a part of me.
And it hurts me to see him (maybe? yes) hurting, or, at least, feeling less-than. It hurts a whole hell of a lot.
Earlier today, when I got back home, I gave him a cold leftover half of a hamburger patty. (He's been getting tons of people-food, lately. And that will continue.) In the past, up to and including just a month ago, he'd have vaporized that treat. Swi-zaysh, down the chute. Like a vacuum. Today, he struggled with the little piece of meat. Oh, sure, he made sure that Oliver didn't steal it away from him--just a head-turn'll do it--but he struggled with it, man. He broke it into little grampa-sized-pieces. And then ate it. And, minutes later, he was doing his throat thing, the thing that makes me feel (like crying) like he's trying to force a cantaloupe down a garden hose. Not good, man.
Memories, like the times we used to share....
I may have the lyrics wrong, and, yes, it was an attempt at smarmy cheesy humor.
'Cause this is how it'll go down, if what I feel to be true, actually, is:
Meagan is going to drop Lou off at North Main Animal Hospital on Monday morning at about 9:00 or 9:30. They're going to do a biopsy of the bumps and, hopefully, just remove the fucking things. Quality of life, you know? At the very least, though, they'll slice and dice (hopefully maybe just remove) and send the samples to a laboratory, somewhere....
And this is what my gut-feeling tells me what will happen:
The sample will come back cancerous. Lymphoma. Listen: I have no money. I am scraping by. I had to jiggle a few commitments to be able to pay for his Monday surgical procedure. But it is not--not!--just a financial matter, a monetary concern. Hell, no. It is also a quality of life issue. I'll not have my baby boy rendered a motherfucking pin cushion. I just won't.
I think that God tells us when it is time to say good-bye. All the fucking drugs and procedures in the motherfucking world will not change that, but for a very very very limited time period.
My gut-feeling tells me that the biopsy comes back malignant. And if it does not?! I'll literally jump for joy. But, gut-feelings...? If the results come back cancerous, then an era is over. I'll not do chemotherapy for multi-fold reasons. One, I ain't got the greenbacks. Two, even if I did, it's just prolonging the inevitable. If a dog has lymphoma--a rapidly-growing motherfucker of a cancer--the dog'll not have a very good life, regardless of how long he or she lives. Just my two cents. Three, I remember (and see) Louie strong, soldier-like, affable, handsome, yes, The Best Boy Evah. And, also, my boy. Will I subject him to pricks and prods and days of nausea? Would I? Hell. No.
I'll watch him, though. I'll eagle-eye him, my lovely boy. I'll center every grain of my being on him and how he is feeling and how he ate and did he drink and did he regurgitate and is he in pain and will he be miraculous...until I have seen enough and the pain of having him hobbled is equal to or greater than the pain of seeing him set free.
And then I'll have to set him free, with much pain and much Love and many endless tears.
"The only knock against dogs is that they don't live long enough."
PS--I dearly hope I'm wrong.
PPS--If I'm not wrong? Well Louie, this, from one King Louie to the next, man. Peace to you.