|(c) Carrie Boyko|
First Alert Xena Aging Gracefully
Some two 1/2 years ago, Xena was diagnosed with liver cancer. Inoperable, because of its position and complexity, the doctors told us to prepare ourselves for only a few months left with her. Xena had a different plan.
Having been in her shoes once myself, I decided to give her the full court press. Switching to organic food, alkalizing her water, dropping a few less-than-necessary vaccinations that would have to be metabolized by the liver, all aided in lessening the strain there. A homeopathic herb was added to her diet as a liver aid, and life went on as usual.
Here we are are today, with an elder dog that just yesterday was still playfully frolicing with my husband's socks, and inviting Tanner to a short wrestling match and tag game. I suppose this post is as much about Tanner as it is about Xena. His sensitivity to her weakened frame, as she continues to lose weight and become more fragile, is apparent in the gentle nature with which he plays. It's as if he is patronizing her for her less hearty ability to play these games. He knows her days are numbered when he sniffs her carefully each day.
This morning, after breakfast was served in her crate (a rarity), I returned later to check on her dish. She had eaten a few bites and returned to her slumber. I found Tanner standing guard at her crate opening, in apparent concern for her lack of appetite this morning. He had not eaten her breakfast--that was a telling behavior-- but gazed at me with knowing eyes, as if to say "Her time is coming, huh, mom?"
As I told Dr. Pat during a recent email exchange about her book on this topic, More than a Pet, I am going to have to be strong through this time for you. I'm lucky to have such a warm and concerned "therapy group" as my readers.
Today, or even next week, may not be Xena's time. She is in no pain, as apparent by her daily sock-frolic. For that I am thankful. I'll ready her spot in our Rainbow Bridge Memorial, not to hasten the coming of that day, but to welcome her when it does happen. I'll keep you posted. One thing's for sure, if there is a doggie heaven, she'll be heading there when her time comes. We could not have been blessed with a more perfect dog. Tanner will have some big shoes to fill one day.
|(C) Pat Bradley|
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