Once in awhile something happens that knocks the blogging wind right out of your sails. For me, it was the death on Monday of our family dog, Suka. She'd been with us for sixteen years--since March of 1991. She's seen us through all number of family ups and downs and countless boyfriends of my sister. (Okay, me too.) She's been hit by a car three times--twice by the same lady. Each time she rebounded with aplomb, because she had much more barking at the wind, cat-herding, and furtive farting in the living room to do. Sure she'd grown arthritic, deaf, and incontinent--but who were we to hold those age-related milestones against her?
A few weeks ago, a walnut-sized tumor began to grow on her hindquarter. By last weekend, it was the size of a large grapefruit. It had also begun to supperate. She only hobbled up and down stairs with great difficulty and would circle endlessly, whining, before collapsing on or near her bed. She'd begun turning her nose up to food, even fried eggs and liverwurst. The vet, already amazed at her longevity for a Springer Spaniel, offered options. But everyone knew that another surgery for such an elderly dog (almost 119 in dog years) would be extremely stressful for her. And since the cancer would likely spread, even once the tumor was gone, her overall prognosis was dim. So my parents made the difficult decision to put her to sleep.
My brother, sister, and I said good-bye to her on Sunday. By Monday night, she was gone. We'll miss you, Suka Bazooka. But we were lucky to have you for so long.
(I almost forgot to add that even on Sunday, she still hauled herself up to territorially piddle over the place on the lawn that my Dad occasionally uses as his own personal Zone of Urination. I think I referenced my Dad's efforts to lessen the burden on their septic system in an earlier blog post ... My Dad. Promoting Public Urination Since 1950.)