27 February 2010

A Dog's Life - Still Going Strong!

For those of you who are interested, our dog is still with us and surprising us daily. 

He has really had only one bad day so far, on 10 February when he did something to his leg and was obviously in severe pain.  That was a traumatic day for me too, as Max stayed extremely quiet for about 24 hours; I thought the final farewell was imminent.  Thankfully, an extra dose of his medication took the edge off his pain. The next day, he suddenly sat up and declared (in doggy fashion) that he was OK and wanted to play.  He has been pretty good ever since, and has not needed extra pain-killers.

His leg is virtually useless, although he still tries to scratch his ear with it, and the tumour has grown to the extent that the leg is clearly deformed.  He has been getting around very well on three legs, and still pulls on his lead like a traction engine.  We sometimes have to jog to keep up with him!  In his head however, there is nothing wrong with him.  He still wants to go out, eat, and play with us, his toys, and other dogs, although we have to limit the extent of his exertions to avoid further injury and pain.

Although he is no longer able to run in the fields or swim in the river or jump into the car, he has adapted well to his limitations, and seems to us to be happy and enjoying a reasonably good quality of life.  The cancer is expected already to have spread to his lungs but hitherto there are no clear symptoms.  He is sometimes a bit breathless after walks but that could easily be from the effort required to lug his 43kg around on three legs...

Just how long this good spell will continue we have no idea.  We are making the most of him while we can, grateful for whatever time we have left with him, grateful that he is comfortable and, at least for now, still happy to be with us.

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