Friday, September 05, 2008
It was a Saturday in early March, 2001. My husband and I were volunteers with a local animal rescue organization and I had some of our foster cats at a local Pet-A-Thon. We would bring foster pets to a local pet store where potential adopters could meet and greet the rescued animals. In walked one of my fellow volunteers with the most adorable five-week old lab mix puppy. He was blonde and squirmy and I had to have him. We went out to the foster home the next day to visit the whole litter. The mother had been unable to nurse the pups and they had been hand fed since five days of age. Ours was the runt of the litter and he was particularly close with one of the largest of the litter that had some strength issues in his hind legs. When he couldn't get over to the food, the little one would roll him over small pieces. Well, we couldn't split up the pair, so on April 8, 2001- Ozzy and Kodi (Kodiak for long) came to live with us. They had the life. A fenced yard, a couple with no kids that took them for plenty of walks, runs and swims. The dogs trained for my marathon with me, coming with me for training walks up to 14 miles. We told ourselves that when our son was born we would still love our dogs, and give them as much attention as before. And I do believe that we tried our best. But here we are five years later and they just don't get as much attention as I would like, or them, I'm sure. Kodi enjoyed spending time with the kids and family but Ozzy has always been a little nervous around the kids and he spends most of his time up in our bedroom. I've been telling myself that once the kids are bigger they will be great with the dogs. Hot Wheels enjoys playing fetch with them and I envisioned all of us hanging out in the yard, everyone having a great time together. I found out today that Ozzy has lymphosarcoma and his prognosis is anywhere from two weeks to three months until he's no longer with us. The lymph nodes in his neck are already extremely inflamed and that will likely cause him to stop eating and have difficulty breathing in the weeks ahead. We hope he will be kept comfortable with the steroids and associated medication, but we won't be going the route of chemotherapy and radiation. He's not even eight years old and I understand that it's not an abnormally short life span for a medium sized dog, but I still feel ripped off.