status viatoris – being ‘on the way’/being in a state of pilgrimage
As thrilled as you no doubt all were (cough, cough) to catch up with my news last week, I have a sneaking suspicion that there will be a few out there who are currently tapping their fingers, whilst muttering:
“Yes, yes. That’s all very well, but what about Pooch?”
And quite right too… What about me?
So you will be relieved to hear that Pooch is, well…. as Poochy, as ever.
Perhaps even more so on occasion.
He is also exceedingly relieved to have bid goodbye to the ghastly summer heat, which has been particularly punishing on a boy of nearly twelve, and which has led to the fur on each knobbly little elbow being rubbed into extinction by hours spent lolling dolefully on unforgiving floor tiles.
Too much embarrassing personal information, Mummy!
And it would appear that floor tiles and arthriticky hips are also a ill-advised partnership; all of which meant that by the time the temperatures began to descend to more manageable levels, our dear Pooch was quite reduced to a hobbly, panty, bald-in-patches shadow of his former self.
But despite his previously palpable misery, a couple of cooler weeks was all it took to get Mummy’s Little Soldier back to his irrepressible best.
Just the memory is enough to make me feel faint. Dash and get me another snacklet to perk me up, Mummy, there’s a poppet.
As wonderfully joyful and bouncy as he is, the fact that Pooch will be twelve this December is never far from my mind. And being that I am one of Life’s worriers-about-every-wee-thing, I have for a while now been prone to panic at the slightest limp, sneeze or shake of his head.
Other than regular exercise, food supplements and eventually medication, I have been assured that there is absolutely nothing further I can do to ease the path of the arthriticky hips.
The squidgy lumps that have sprung up hither and thither are apparently harmless fatty lipoma, and the milky eyes are a result age-related lenticular sclerosis – aka nothing serious.
But there was no getting away from the fact that sooner or later there would be SOMETHING, and after a routine heart scan I was finally given the news I have been dreading since February 2001 when this amazing little creature became part of my life.
Pooch has a myocardial tumour.
Taking cells for a biopsy would be a risky procedure in itself, and even if it was discovered to be cancerous, removing a tumour from a dog’s heart is not an option. Chemotherapy is also known to have little or no effect on this sort of growth.
And anyway, the scans do seem to indicate that the tumour is a benign fibroma.
Pooch is currently showing very few symptoms other than a bit of a cough and slightly raised blood pressure, so hopefully the progression of this hateful mass will be slow.
But progress it eventually will; affecting his heart and lung function, with the obviously fatal consequences.
Having to come to terms with the irrefutable evidence that my beloved dog is not going to live forever, or even as long as I had started to hope given the astounding longevity of some of the local hounds, is ridiculously hard.
But I mustn’t let my sadness impinge on his right to the happiest life possible, so fingers crossed he puts the recent frenzy of hugging down to his ever-increasing cutesy wootsiness, and not my desperation to hold him close for as long as I still can.
This is Status Viatoris, hoping that the cardiologist appointment in six-month’s time indicates a less than speedy decline, in Italy.