It has been way too long since my last blog post, posted last September. I could say it is because I was on vacation, which I was. Or I could say it was because I have been busy, which I have been. But the truth is that I haven't written because the overriding event in our house is that our fox terrier, Cocoa, has a terminal illness. Cocoa has lymphoma and she is getting weaker and weaker each day.
At first, I couldn't write about it at all. I could barely take it in that we would be losing her after having her for only five years (she is ten years old; we got her when she was five). I can barely write about it now. For those of you who are pet owners and pet lovers, I know you understand the heart-wrenching emotions that accompany care-giving, whether for a person or for an animal with a lingering illness.
Cocoa is currently on Prednisone. While this medication is great in many respects, it also causes changes that are not easy. She has her days and nights mixed up so she sleeps during the day and keeps us awake at night. We are taking turns with her, just like we did with my dad when he was terminally ill and living here with us. She needs to eat more frequently; needs to relieve herself more frequently; needs more reassurance. She is having trouble swallowing so we give her only soft foods.
However, she is still happy a lot of the time, wagging her tail for petting, scrambled eggs, and the possibility of soft cheese. She waits patiently for dinner to be concluded so she can lick the plates. Yes, I know it's not sanitary but a good run through the dishwasher with boiling water takes care of it. Cocoa was able to go with us to the mountains and to enjoy the first run with our new fifth wheel. She is still the alpha dog even though we now also have little Sibyl, a six year old Norwich Terrier.
We are trying to make her last days as comfortable as possible for as long as possible. I'll keep you updated. Right now, she is asleep on her favorite chair waiting for the daily breakfast routine.