Thursday, September 28, 2006

Call me crazy. . .

Talking to my editor today, I learned that he and his wife are going off to a villa on the Amalfi Coast for several weeks. SIGH. The land of Jim’s and my dream villa! And the whole time they are there, sipping limoncello on a terrazzo above the Mediterranean, we will be driving Shiloh across the city every single day to the doggy oncologist. It is probably cheaper to go to Italy for two weeks than to put a dog through radiation treatments.

And though this realization comes at a time when I have been fervently & wishfully bookmarking trekking and kayak tours to Belize, Thailand, and Nepal, I am relatively unphased. What is the value of a year of an animal’s life? A trek in Nepal? Depends on the animal, I guess. Shiloh has been with me most of my adult life -- almost a third of my life! -- I know certain people think I’m crazy (one whose name rhymes with phlegmily), but all I can say is, you might not THINK you would do it, but you don’t know until you have to decide.

Shiloh had a CT scan today in preparation for beginning radiation, and she was bright-eyed and peppy coming out of the anesthesia, which bodes well for 18 consecutive days of anesthesia! The Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging Center was an incredibly posh place that looked like an upscale clinic for people, not pets, and there was only one other person there while I was waiting. I watched while the radiologist came out, x-rays in hand, and led this woman into a consultation room. It could be called a grief room. When he left a while later, he closed the door to give her privacy and I could hear her weeping inside. She had just learned her 9-year-old lab is riddled with cancer. He is the first dog she has ever had in her life, and she said she could never have imagined how hard this would be: to think that very soon the day would come that she would go home from the vet without him. Forever.

My mind isn’t ready to imagine that day yet. My mind DEFLECTS it. Which is why Jim & I will be taking turns driving to Beaverton 18 days in a row. Put like that, it doesn’t sound like such a big deal. 18 days of driving for another year of Shiloh? Feh. No question.

20 comments:

tinker said...

Believe me - I completely, totally understand where you're coming from.
Those furry, 4-legged people have a way of climbing into our hearts...

I'm so glad you've found a way for her and you, to hold onto one another a while longer. Sending you both my best wishes (they're really good ones, that I've been holding onto for a special occasion like this :-)

xegbp said...

I would do anything for my dog and I have only had him for two years. He has so become a part of my life that I can not imagine it without him. So a trip to Nepal or another year with your dog is easy. Shiloh is part of your family. Good Luck with the chemo.

deirdre said...

I do understand. There's always so much to weigh and consider when making this kind of decision, but what it comes down to is knowing, without too much doubt, what choice you can live with. A good doggie is definitely worth a trek in Nepal.

Left-handed Trees... said...

Good luck, Shiloh...and hang in there, Laini and Jim. I'm thinking of her...

amy said...

Hi Laini,

My thoughts are with you guys. We chose 2 total hip replacements (titanium!) for our li'l woofer over enjoying our World Cup tickets and fixing the leaky foundation. Of course! Very best wishes to you.

Suzie said...

Beautiful soul, you are a blessing in this animal's life. Saving a life means more than anywhere our bodies can travel.

Rampian said...

Brian's beloved family dog, Maddie, had lymph cancer. His parents drove her four hours every week for experimental radiation therapy. She made it through just fine. That was two years ago! Dogs can be amazingly resilient. Shiloh has the love and care she needs. She's a lucky girl.

Anonymous said...

Bah! I'd probably do it too for my Kuma doggie, knowing what I now know about it (very different from radiation for humans). I just say that when I get cancer I want to do doggie radiation. Good luck Shi-Shi!

-phlegmily

Colorsonmymind said...

Oh what sweet love.

I resist ever getting a dog-for fear of this sense of loss. Silly really, but true.

A big hug for Shiloh and you

Amber said...

((((Laini, Shiloh and Jim)))

:)

b/sistersshoes said...

Hmmmm Cotton Ball love to all

special hugs for Shilo ^..^
**********hugs***********

Have as good a weekend possible,love

XxxD

megg said...

Hi there - I've missed a few posts so I've been here for awhile catching up. I saved this post for last because I knew I'd been too teary to read the others. Oh, Laini, I am sending you and Shiloh happy, healing thoughts. I completely understand what you are going through! When my dear Dixie was terribly ill the option to operate was given but the vet gave my parents all kinds of reasons not to. In my early 20s I could not have found the thousands needed to save her and instead we had to have her put down and leave the vets(not without her mind, we buried her in our garden) but my heart has never been quite the same. Blessings and prayers to all of you. I'm glad Shiloh has you as her friend. xoox

Kristy said...

Love, given as freely as you do, comes back in spades.

Sarah said...

I love your old huskie dog - your Shiloh looks a lot like my Sasha, who I had growing up. (Same big eyes, same gentle face) I, too, am in the camp of doing whatever possible to keep a dear animal friend for as long as he or she can lead a happy life. They're our chosen family, after all! :)

Beaming best thoughts and wishes to you both from the Midwest!

kelly rae said...

you are being so brave and so is shiloh. i don't know what i would do if it were bella but i can bet i'd be heading to Beaverton, too.
xo

liz elayne said...

oh laini, i am thinking of you all and sending your beautiful puppy healing energy. i do know this road and agree that no one knows what they would do until faced with it.
18 days...no big deal at all.

hugs to you,
liz

Jonna Barnett said...

I applaude you. We have also had to endure many (sometimes unpleasant and cruel)comments from people about spending money on our animals. I also reply that I made it I will spend it how I like or just tell them it's really none of there business. Good luck with Shiloh and just ignore the negative energy from others.

Jerri said...

Good for you.

I will be holding you and Shiloh in the Light every morning during my meditation.

Blessings to you all.

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking some loving, healing thoughts for you and your pup. You just gotta do your best and that's all you can do. Another year of a dog's life is worth all those trips combined.

Patry Francis said...

Oh, I didn't see this, but as a passionate dog person, my heart immediately went out to you and Shiloh.I would do it. I would definitely do it.