GREETINGS FROM SOUTH AFRICA!!!
Looking into the future is more difficult than you think!
The daily battle with getting Max to eat continues.
Every morning, I think...”How much longer?”
I must stress that this is my personal perspective and I accept that Maxdog's might be totally different. But as I look at him sleeping (peacefully and pain free) for most of the day, having refused my food offerings, I am alone in my doubtful thoughts.
This is my dog who has evolved from a vital, vibrant, energetic and communicative dog to a dog who is content to sleep away the hours.
His eyelids seem constantly heavy and the questions in my mind about his longevity seem to whittle away at my understanding of his condition. It’s the mornings which expose his stark reality.
One thing I have learnt over the past three months of living with Max is NEVER to write him off! The times where I have felt that it is impossible for him to continue for much longer, he turns around and proves me wrong! If I go back into my personal diaries and read my writings in February, then I realise that I felt exactly the same then – ie “Not much longer!’ Yet he has proved me wrong time and time again.
The transformation from his lethargic demeanour takes place from around 3pm. As the sun starts descending to the horizon, Maxdog comes to life. It’s a slow transition, but steady and firm. By 5pm, I have no option but to accede to his (and Tammy’s) demands, to pick up the leads and to exit the property with two excited Goldens who have their tails held high.
Before we go on our routed walk, I let them loose to run down the cul-de-sac towards the green belt – their favourite part. They wait until I say “Free” and then they fly. To watch Max participate in this jaunt again leads me to question myself, “Where is this energy coming from? That tumour is huge, yet he doesn’t look sick now! He should be dead, yet he acts like a puppy!” It is totally unfathomable.
(Max - last weekend)
As the 20 minute walk progresses, I can see that he is tiring. Usually on our return, he is begging, once again, to be let off for another run and I usually acquiesce. The noticeable difference at this point is that once he has been disconnected from the lead, he changes his mind, preferring to remain by my side to walk whilst Tammy disappears to bark and scout the perimeters.
Once home, Maxdog changes back into a very sleepy and lethargic dog and my concerns return.
Max’s appetite eventually becomes workable around 8pm after refusing any food/treats during the day. He has also taken to refusing food from me personally. Instead, the offerings of my husband are greatly appreciated. After another worrying day, we are usually able to go to sleep knowing that Max has indeed eaten something, perhaps not sufficient, but at least he has sustenance.
The departure to the Rainbow Bridge of some of our canine companions in cyberspace has given me unexpected privy to the future for my Maxdog and I am deeply saddened. It’s been immensely strengthening however to have shared their journey and I can’t stress enough – A real privilege! My hope is that by sharing my own reality, it might serve to strengthen others in the same way. But to experience the pain of loss in a premature, prolonged fashion, as I am experiencing with Max, is not something I’d wish on anyone! It is heart wrenching, heartbreaking and saps every ounce of my energy.
I am sorry that I’ve been unable to get to your blogs...sometimes I simply can’t. My heart is not in the right place. But I am very grateful that my friends who have remained with me on this journey with Maxdog. He is a real fighter and I should not judge him by my standards.
Thank you so much for being with me on this journey!