Being a rather private person, it has taken me a while to share this news but here goes. On August 1st I dropped Mickey off at the veterinary hospital for a fairly routine procedure. Imagine my shock when several hours later I received a phone call from the surgeon with news I was totally unprepared to hear. A fairly large mass was discovered attached to Mickey’s carotid artery that was making it difficult for him to breathe. Further testing revealed the mass to be both cancerous and inoperable.
The report from the veterinary oncologist was no better. This type of tumor is aggressive, grows quickly and the only solace she could offer was that there was nothing I could have done to change the outcome. In her professional opinion, with treatment Mickey should have a good quality of life for eight to twelve months. If I do nothing, his life expectancy will likely be only a few months. To say this was not the news I hoped for would be an understatement of the greatest magnitude.
For more than seven and a half years he has been my shadow, my Velcro dog, my constant companion, the inspiration for my writing, my friend, my confidant and my teacher. He has taught me what it means to be there for someone you love through good times and bad. He has taught me to look beneath the surface and find the good inside, to never stop believing, to do things you never thought yourself capable of doing. He has taught me it is okay to give your heart even if you are afraid. He has taught me acceptance, patience, tolerance, forgiveness and what it means to love completely and unconditionally.
Mickey has overcome many of his initial fears. His extraordinary sensitivity makes him an exemplary therapy dog. Since he received his certification in March, 2017 he has brought great joy to hospital patients, people suffering from dementia, senior citizens in nursing homes and assisted living and special needs students. He is a private nurse to our other two dogs, instinctively knowing when something is ailing them and trying to lick away their pain. While many pets have the ability to make us feel loved and needed and accepted, Mickey’s gifts are truly exceptional.
Now it is my turn to give back to Mickey at least some of what he has given to me. He will receive the best of care and all the love I can possibly give him. I will do right by him to the very best of my ability.There are many unknowns but what I do know is that these next months will be filled with as many outings and adventures as we can squeeze in – ferry boat rides, walks in the park, trips to the beach, wine tastings (just water for him), visits with friends, cheeseburgers, ice cream. We have already begun. Please check back here for periodic updates.
Love to all. Sue and Mickey