The last several months were relentlessly gray and cold, but, finally, the snow is gone. It lingered until well past the middle of April. But, like it does every year, spring is finally here. The trees are anxious to bud. Gardeners are anxious to plant.
A wicked wind whips the wind chimes outside my kitchen window and plays equal havoc with my hair. But the skies are blue and between the hearty gusts, there’s actually warmth from the sun. Catie is stretched out on the deck and Riley amuses himself by rolling on the lawn, scooping up the brown debris that was grass, albeit patchy in spots, before the snow came. He shakes some of it off, but not enough. I tell him if he wouldn’t drag all the dirt in the house I wouldn’t have to vacuum so often. His frenzied consternation with the sucking beast is surpassed, it seems, by his love for wiggling on his back.
I know haven’t posted for some time. To be honest, I got stuck in a winter melancholy and inertia that I had trouble shaking off. Frankly, I could barely stand myself for some time and certainly didn’t want to inflict myself on anyone else.
Through March I thought Catie’s increasing lethargy was because she too was tired of the bleakness of winter. Everything seemed a struggle for her from lifting herself up or going up and down the three steps from the deck to the lawn. She didn’t come up on the bed any more. She seemed sad and tired. I convinced myself I was perceiving things through a skewed vision. Everything was seemed tinged with gray, after all.
Then she didn’t want to eat. And she had an eye infection. And her mobility was definitely compromised. She couldn’t make it down the driveway without stopping for a rest.
A trip to the vet at the end of March. Some pokes. Some prods. A gentle palpation along her spine.
“This dog has a really, really sore back,” the vet said.
Perhaps she’d strained herself. Taken one too many tumbles on the ice. Homeward bound with Metacam and some antibiotics for her eyes.
She improved for a few weeks. She was still less active but she ate again. Her eyes seemed less red.
Late last week her eyes started weeping again. She didn’t want to eat. She didn’t want to go to the park.
Yesterday morning my husband took Catie to the vet with instructions to get some xrays. The results? Not good. Catie has a mass in her chest and from its position, the vet believes it is pressing on some nerves. Hence, the back pain.
Hence, some painkillers to see if we can minimize her discomfort. Some different eye drops. The vet believes her eye infection has been so resistant because her immune system is compromised.
I won’t say I wasn’t upset. I was. There’s a part of me that quivers but I’m working hard on giving it but a cursory acknowledgement because it will be Catie’s 16-month ampuverary this Friday and that’s really, really, really something special. So special, in fact, that we are celebrating early. We had steak last evening with some leftovers for tonight.
Maybe it will be ice cream tomorrow. Or green beans. Perhaps even more steak. For now, the sunshine and the wind and this moment is enough. We’ll figure out the rest as we go.