Posted by Rebecca
A couple of weeks ago I found out Cassi has cancer. I was suspicious because she had a yucky lump on her side that was red and oozy. After seeing a vet, my suspicions were confirmed. Cassi and I cried for a couple of days (actually I cried and she just stared at me wondering what was wrong). It’s so hard to think about life without her. But I also know she has had a good long life – she is 11 1/2, and Rhodesian Ridgebacks live an average of 10-12 years. So I really have no room for complaints about her life span.
Each day is a little different. She has a lot of scabs over her body, and a few more of the gross tumors have developed since the vet visit. The worst one is on her neck, which is a real shame because she can no longer wear a collar, and can’t be taken on walks with a leash. This has limited our outings. She also has a droopy eyelid – something that is new in the last 2 weeks. She looks silly, like her eyes are pointing in different directions. I can’t help but giggle when she’s staring at me playfully with her tail wagging, and one eye looking straight at me, the other appearing to look at my feet.
The vet suggested I keep her in t-shirts to keep any bleeding or other stuff contained. She’s also now sporting a fancy neckerchief, which I’m sure makes all the neighbors’ dogs jealous. When I run out of clean neckerchiefs, I pop the cut-off sleeve of a t-shirt around her neck, and voila, a super-stylish fabric choker.
Yet despite all these weird physical changes that we are dealing with, she is happy, hungry, and energetic. She prances around in her new outfits, which always makes me laugh. And the best part is, she doesn’t even know she’s sick. That’s a great thing about dogs – they don’t know what death is and they don’t fear it. To Cassi, today is the same as yesterday and last year and 10 years ago. As long as she gets cared for and loved, and lots of attention, she is a happy girl.
So I am trying my best to follow her example and be a happy girl. There is no point dwelling on her illness, or worrying about what might happen to her tomorrow. We will just enjoy today and our fancy new neckerchiefs. 🙂