Dog Blog

Monday, January 23, 2006

My second mystery, "Sirius About Murder" was released January 20. I received my complimentary copies of the book, most of which go to reviewers, a couple of days prior to delivery. A very exciting day for me. This is my first book in hardbound format. The publisher did a great job on it, and Pam Tanzey's cover illustration is fabulous! I also received the galley for What's Your Dog's IQ?, my first nonfiction book. I have a week to look that over. Plus I still have half of Bright Ideas for Bored Dogs left to write. It's a dog's life for me, in one way or another. This is in a good way. Then there's Daisy...
It's hard to tell Daisy even has cancer from the way she is acting. She is eager for her daily walks and still bullies poor Bubba, as usual. In short, she's her same energetic, obnoxious self, although she seems to want even more cuddling and attention from me than usual. I'm sure she senses our time together is growing short. I try not to think about it too much. She climbs up in the bed with me every morning and sleeps back to back with me for a while. I'm always happy to be able to say, "Good morning, Daisy." This dog is going to leave a lot of silent and empty spaces behind her when she is gone.

I feel guilty because I can't spend every waking moment with her and will feel far guiltier to come, I'm sure. I spend as much time with her as I can, though. I wish spring were here so the sun would be warm in the garden. My little sun dog and I love sitting out there together. I canceled the art lessons I'd planned to take because I didn't want to leave Daisy for the four hours it would take to drive to the foothills for the workshop and back. Didn't like the instructor, anyway, and don't think I would have enjoyed taking classes from a crabby prima donna. It would have been absurd to leave my dear dog behind for hours on end to go paint her likeness in pastel. Soon, photos and paintings of her will be all I'll have left.

Daisy's appetite is voracious because of the Prednisone. She always drives us nuts begging for treats, but it's worse now. The vet says it's good for keeping weight on her, though, and I'm sure it's helping fend off the cancer effects longer. I am vigilant for any signs of discomfort in her, but so far I haven't seen any. I know the day I so dread approaches. I just hope that it is still a while to come. Perhaps Daisy will be the one dog I've ever had who will do me the supreme loving act of passing peacefully in her sleep.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Daisy was her old self again today, or as much as she can be with the cancer slowly eating away at her. She's back to bullying poor Bubba and her usual food guarding. She even ate a hearty dinner, which I'm sure is largely due to the Prednisone she's taking. I figure as long as she's still eating, drinking, and eliminating, and not in pain, she's okay. It's such a fine line to tread with an animal companion, and no matter what you do, you'll always beat yourself up in the end, thinking you could have, should have, done more. You want them to stay with you as long as possible, but you don't want them to be in any pain, either. You don't want to be selfish, but you don't want to say good-bye. People don't have to make these decisions about people, only pets. We will do for our pets what we won't do for people; we won't allow them to suffer.

But today was a lovely, sunny day, and we had our walk in the park, and it was a happy time together. We are just taking it a day at a time. That's what's most important, and that's what I'll remember when she's gone--the happy smile on Daisy's face as she waddled through the grass at the park in the sunshine.

"I'll give you a Daisy a day, dear.
I'll give you a Daisy a day.
I'll love you until the rivers run still
and the four winds we know blow away."

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Our Daisy was diagnosed with cancer the day after Thanksgiving. The tumor measured 6 inches across and was inoperable because it is in too close a proximity to two major arteries. Too late for chemo, too. She's on Prednisone, and I'm giving her some holistic treatments. I want to prolong her life for as long as possible, just as long as she is in no pain. She seems to be holding her own thus far, although she gave me a scare today. She seemed terribly lethargic and unresponsive to the point where I feared the end was near. Then I picked up Bubba's leash and collar to take him for his walk. Suddenly, she was up like a flash, barking and jumping around, wagging her tail and begging to go along. I haven't seen that much life in her for days. I hadn't been walking her since she had a severe reaction to a pain medication, which put her out of commission for the better part of a week. I guess she has just been missing her daily walks. How can you tell when a basset hound is depressed? Today I found out. She's been a different dog all afternoon since our drive to the park. I was so happy to see her enjoying herself outside with Bubba. She had a smile on her face and looked at me as if saying, "Thanks, Mom. You finally figured out what was wrong."

I also found out today that my second mystery, "Sirius About Murder" will be released on January 11, nine days ahead of schedule. I was kind of hoping it might be released on my birthday, which was yesterday. That's what is listed on Five Star's catalog. It would have been very appropriate, since January 2 is the day that Sirius, the Dog Star in the constellation Canis Major, begins its progression in the night sky as viewed in the northern hemisphere. My guiding light.