a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: ELF Rambles on Feelings

Thursday, November 07, 2002

ELF Rambles on Feelings

Backfill: 11/10/02 I gather that this kind of thing is so aggressive that, if it was having an effect on Remington back at West Valley (late Aug), it probably wouldn't have made any difference in treatment or rate of success if we *had* pursued it back then. Ya know, it just seemed to me (and the vet) to be a brief illness, although inexplicable.

Whole thing sure explains why he's been getting in maybe one really fast run per day & then wimping out the last couple months. Nothing to do with jump heights or NADAC! But it is interesting that the fastest he'd been running was all this summer at those NADAC & CPE trials--maybe it hadn't hit him yet, or maybe it was him having brief times of feeling really good & going all out while he wasn't feeling cruddy.

I do wonder how long this has plagued him--hard to believe it's been a few years, even though he's had the slow/fast issue off & on it seems like forever. Vet seemed to think that because they think it's the fast-growing type it's probably been only a couple/few months. But we'll never know.

I am morphing among being numb, being wobbly with stress and lack of sleep, being abjectly miserable, and being hopeful with stories of some dogs who've done very well with chemo despite dire prognoses.

I can hardly wait til Rem is home again. I hope this evening. I've washed his bedding and fluffed up his bed (although half the time he prefers sleeping on the floor next to my desk). Interesting thing--he's got this pain-killer skin patches (man, he's shaved all over odd places on his body! Good thing he's not a long-haired or dark-haired dog or he'd look REALLY weird!) and apparently they're a controlled substance and dangerous if ingested--say, if they fall off or are pulled off & one of the other dogs chews on them. So I think they're going to instruct me that he can't be around other animals while he's wearing the patches. This will be challenging. I'm figuring I'll bring the xpen inside & set up a spot for Rem, but I don't know whethr to set it up by my desk (a long way away from the heater vent, which he often likes lying in front of) or over where his bed is, near the heater vent...

I'm having trouble really concentrating on & enjoying my other 2 beasties at the moment, which isn't fair to them, either.

You know, I always was a wimp when it came to my own misery. I'm trying to concentrate on work to make some progress on my client's stuff--since we've worked so hard to *get* a client & they've been few & far between!--but it's really really hard. Some of it is my fatigue--when I start digging into that work, my head starts nodding & I droop--but when I go off to do something else, I wake up OK, and usually start fretting about Rem again.

I'm going over & over all the things I had imagined that Rem & I would do someday & I never got around to. Finding him a place to do a lot more swimming, now that I discovered last year--or 2 years ago?--how much he loves swimming. Now not sure whether his heart could take it, and anyway winter's coming up so everything's going to be *cold*. Thought we'd go back to obedience when he was ready to retire from agility. Now I'm not sure, even if he's feeling good, whether that's something I want to spend time or money on. Thought we'd go backpacking together someday. Thought someday he'd translate those lovely in-class/at-home contacts to the agility course & finish his MAD.

Most frustrating--when I finally got around to buying myself a video camera last year, I wanted to film Remington doing all of his hundreds of tricks--and I never really worked on it, 'cause I figured I had years ahead of us. In fact, I was thinking about it again after we got back from Madera, thinking that maybe if he was slowing down for agility, now would be the time to do the filming before he got too old & slow. But I STILL didn't do it. Of course my hope & expectation is that he will get back to being the same ol' Rem most of the time in between treatments, or I wouldn't be doing this. But there's the risk that he won't, and I think I'd hate myself for missing doing that film more than anything. Weird, the things you think about.

I guess 9 years old isn't as bad as some folks whose dogs've been much younger--Maia comes to mind, and Jeri's dog, some others--but I've been spoiled by my other dogs' longevity & by lack of disease or problems before and I just don't think of his time as being up.

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