Sunday, April 14, 2013

My Sick Dog

Before I begin today’s blog, can I just say how horribly tedious the internet can be? I just got finished reading a review of the newly released movie, “42”, the story of Jackie Robinson’s rookie year in the majors. I have been waiting for this film for what feels like years now. The story of Jackie Robinson is essentially the story of America coming to grips with the darkness of racism, and the dignified grace of a true trailblazer and one of this country’s finest athletes. The reviewer loved it and I can’t wait to see it. Then I noticed that there were 75 comments to follow. I made the mistake of wading in to this anonymous cess-pool of ignorance, and any good feelings I might have had from reading the review were destroyed by the idiotic, but totally predictable statements. Instead of a robust discussion of Jackie’s struggles, his friendship with Pee Wee Reese, or the complicated motivations of owner Branch Rickey, I was treated to a cat fight between those blaming all liberals for the destruction of the black family, to those blaming all conservatives for the slave trade( I kid you not!). You know what? How about I just stop reading comment threads?

My dog is sick, in fact, she’s a hot mess. We recently noticed some swelling in her back legs, along with some difficulty she is having urinating. Her appetite isn’t as voracious as usual, her eyes are itchy, and now her rear end has started to swell. So we got a rare Saturday appointment at the Vet. Molly was poked and prodded, blood samples were taken, and other tests were run. Through it all she was an angel, only barking whenever anyone entered the front door of the building making the doorbell ring! Like I said, she’s a mess. There are some troubling bumps under her armpits which the Vet suggested might be tick-born, a reaction to being on Prednisone all of her life or…cancer. We won’t know anything until Monday, when she goes back for a follow up. We have some new medicines to give her for the swelling and the pain that she must be in from the looks of it. When the bill came to “only” $235, I was thrilled, which should tell you something about how much money we have spent keeping this dog well all of these years. But if I had it to do all over again I would spend every penny…and more.

Molly has pried her way into the heart of my family since the very first day we brought her home as a puppy 11 years ago. It’s hard to imagine any dog who has had a cushier life, or any dog who has been so universally adored by everyone she meets. Her gentleness, and genuine love of people and their attentions is the stuff of legend. Hundreds of teenagers from Grove, college students from Cedarville and Belmont have fallen under her spell. As someone who has had a dog for nearly all of my 55 years, I can say without contradiction that Molly is both the most intelligent and most obedient dog I have ever owned, an extraordinarily rare combination.

I will do whatever I have to do to prolong her life as long as that life is pain free and she is happy. It will cost whatever it will cost. Some things are more important than money.