Sunday, November 15, 2009

Gravy Days

We're living in gravy days and appreciating every minute of it. Jinx is now past the short timeline given by the vets for the movement of her tumor to the spine. I held my breath to that point but am no longer counting the days. It's all gravy from here. There was a time shortly after diagnosis when I couldn't bear to look at Jinx without crying. Now I can watch her shop for attention, running between Tom and I and laying her head on us, and laugh at the antics. I giggle when she lays in a silly upside down wiggle-waggle position, with all four legs waving and her lips pulled back in a goofy malinois grin. She makes an evening ritual of greeting the dogs coming in from the kennel for the night, and has a particular 'thing" for Arec, the munsterlander. She will play bow and solicit attention from him and all the while he stands regally as if entertaining his court.

I don't feel I have robbed Jinx by not amputating her leg. She gets along well on three and I firmly believe amputation would have called all the cancer cells to high alert. If there is a seminar going on, I take her down for some fun bites. If she insists on riding along with me, I give in. I certainly wish we would have been granted more time to accomplish things, but those things are on my list and apart from spending time with me doing them, Jinx likely values a trophy less than an extra biscuit in the bowl. Right now she is serving extra duty guarding my recovery from shoulder surgery. When I lay on the bed for physical therpay sessions, I can twine my free hand in her hair, stroking her and talking to her instead of acknowledging the painn emanating from the other arm.

Her presence is comforting to me. Jinx and Sofie have been my two best friends. Both of them females. Sofie was a dutch shepherd who died at age 10 from cancer. Jinx is far younger, also a victim of cancer. Both dogs were my best buddies, my bed bugs and the light of my life. Funny how certain dogs can do that to you. I have dogs I work, dogs I love working, but only a couple that have been elevated to this level. I do a much better job these days of understanding what things the dogs value, and what things are important to me and my ego.

I had shoulder surgery last Tuesday. I'll miss several competitions I would like to have been at, but the fact is, the world won't end with my absence. My dogs would just as soon have me home with them, anyway. The first couple of weeks are the worst because I can't do anything with the dogs so far as training. I can cuddle and give belly rubs, so Jinx is still in fine form. And I can dish up her food and pills. Tom has to take care of the crew in the kennel and here at the house, however. Dogs in, dogs out. Dogs fed, dogs picked up after. Plus watching after me. The poor guy will really appreciate his hunting trip in December! Christmas is coming and that is my favorite time of year. If I started a year in advance, it wouldn't be enough time for me to properly prepare because I would surely leave something to the last minute, but I have so many projects to finish. One thing I would like to do is to have a photograph taken with Jinx, possibly to use for our Christmas card. At the Referral Center there are photographs in the exam rooms of the vets and their own pets done in black and white, and I think something like that would be nice.
Every day I want to celebrate the gravy. One more day that was given to me to use with purpose, not to waste. Maybe a contact or two where I had the power to make the difference in someone else's world, or to cheer them up. One day to see the sunshine and not the bare trees, or to celebrate the graceful silhouette of the trees. Celebrate the gravy.