August 19, 2010

A post I didn't want to write

When I started this blog, I whimsically named it after my dog. I am not sure I thought I would keep blogging, but here we are 6 years later. I started out blogging as "Streak's Friend" and then morphed into just using his name. He didn't seem to mind.

Over the weekend, we noticed a lump and took him into the vet Monday morning. She was pretty sure it was a lymphoma, and this morning I received confirmation of that. We will start some chemo tomorrow morning and the best-case scenario is somewhere around 6 months of good time. He is nearly 14, and we knew this wouldn't last forever.

I always struggle with this situation. Part of it is that I have friends struggling with illness or who have lost people close to them. I have lost several relatives of late and others are ill. Part of it is growing up in a ranching family where animals came and went. So I struggle with my grief for my dogs, even though they are clearly part of SOF and my family. We spend more time with them than any other beings. I know for many readers, I don't have to justify my grief here, but I also want to show a little perspective. 14 is pretty good for a dog, and we have been lucky to have him this long.

Last fall, Streak had some really weird episodes of screaming as he awoke. We thought we were going to lose him then. When he improved and actually returned to normal, SOF referred to it as the "bonus round." And we have enjoyed the bonus time with him--I can honestly say that. Not a day or week has gone by that we haven't remarked that we are lucky to have our little devoted buddy with us. He loves us "fiercely" (as a friend said), and we love him right back. I think he has taught us some pretty good life lessons.

The good news is that we don't have to say goodbye to him today. We get more bonus days. And we will enjoy them. But I am also very sad today.


Tony said...

Wishing you all the best. We know you're hurting, and we are thinking about you out east.

Smitty said...

There are those who don't recognize the importance of the bond between a family and their pet. It's more than a bond; it's quite literally family. In that spirit, I wish you and your family the best while another family member struggles. I know you'll make the most of what you have. I'll hoist a pint to Streak.

Streak said...

I appreciate the good thoughts, guys.

steves said...

I also wish you and your family the best. Our dog's health deteriorated last spring and to say it was difficult would be a huge understatement.

Bootleg Blogger said...

Cancer sucks no matter who is dealing with it. I hate making those calls.

Streak doesn't know today is any different than any other. I don't know him, but if he's like so many others I've met I'll bet he's a reminder that love doesn't have to be complicated - it boils down to your presence and attention (ok, and maybe a good meal). Peace, Streak. Give our love to Streak and SOF.

Monk-in-Training said...

I am so sorry to hear this. It is esp sadding, as lymphoma is the cancer that took the life of my beloved wife. I hate the stuff.

May I offer this prayer for Streak and your family?

Most high, almighty Lord, our Creator, Yours is the praise, the glory, the honour and all blessings! To You alone do all things belong. Be praised for giving us the animals, birds and fish which fill Your world.

We now ask You to grant Streak, this family's dog, Your Fatherly care and healing power to take away all pain and suffering he has in this time.

He has trust in his family as we have trust in You; We are on this earth together to give one another friendship, affection, and caring. Take our heartfelt prayers and touch Streak as he is suffering.

Your goodness is turned upon every living thing and Your grace flows to all Your creatures. We pray that when You deem it time, You will free Streak from all earthly ill, and release him from pain and suffering. Grant our petitions through the intercession of good St. Francis of Assisi, who honored You through all Your creatures.

And dear Lord, help his family to not be overwhelmed by loss, but have confidence in Your goodness, and strength; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. †

SOF said...

To Streak's Friends...thank you all SO much for your wonderful words, prayers, and comfort. Streak has taught us so much about loyalty, compassion, and unconditional love. He came to us during a period of huge change and transition for us. He got us out of the house and through our walks (or "W"s as they are called in our home ~ Streak knows the word "walk" and goes immediately to the leash box) we've gotten to know so many of our neighbors.

Has Streak mentioned that Streak actually adopted us? He showed up one June morning in the front yard when Streak went out to get the paper. We tried to find his owners and then after just a few days hoped we wouldn't find them. The loyalty from little Streak to big Streak was immediate and cemented. The rest is history. He was appointed to be with us and we are blessed for his presence. (I hope you can discern which Streak is which. :)

Anyway, I wanted to thank you for being in our lives too and to thank you for your openness to share your own stories of love and loss. This blog has been an important community for both Streaks.

SOF (Streak's Other Friend) said...

SOF: I remember those days well and was on the scene early on when Streak decided to visit and then remain. Makes me think of Hebrews 13:2.