Happiness is a New Puppy Mark is in the middle of round four of chemotherapy treatment. We are learning ways to combat some of the side effects, but unfortunately new issues constantly arise. Most of these problems are attributable to the chemotherapy, not the cancer. Mark is scheduled for another CAT scan on April 13, and we’ll know then whether the tumors are continuing to shrink. His ascites (abnormal accumulation of fluid in the abdomen) has dramatically slowed, and the doctors tell us that this is a good indication that the chemotherapy is working.
Here’s our life right now:
**Mark has stage 4 pancreatic cancer, a terrible disease. Chemotherapy is ongoing and brutal.
**We are remodeling our new house top-to-bottom, so we’ve had to move out for four months.
**When we’re in Seattle, we’re squeezed into a one-bedroom downtown apartment, with ugly rented furniture and one tiny bathroom we share with the cat box.
**Whenever we can (based on Mark’s treatment schedule), we throw the cat into his travel carrier and head for the desert.
What will make our life complete? Of course! We’ll get a puppy.
A dear friend, upon hearing of the plan, pronounced it insane. (Or perhaps she called me insane. I can’t quite remember.)
This plan is insane.
You’re either an animal person or you’re not. If you’re not an animal person, you might like pets well enough, but you can live without one (and you might prefer it that way). If you’re not an animal person, the expense and trouble associated with pet ownership easily outweigh any benefit from canine or feline companionship.
But I’m an animal person, and I have missed having a dog this last year so very much. (Yes, we have the cat, but—sorry, cat people—the cat is all about the cat. He may cuddle if he’s in the mood, which he’s not very often, and he won’t hesitate to demonstrate his displeasure with a good raking of an arm or biting of an ankle, if he’s inclined. Bruno is a rescue cat, and I don’t think he can completely forget his time on the streets.)
After some searching, I found Rusty. Rusty is a standard poodle (as were my last two dogs) and he’s now six months old. Rusty is on layaway. He lives in eastern Washington, and will stay with his kennel family there until we move back into the house in about two more months. Rusty is house trained and knows some commands, and should be a little bit easier than a young puppy to orient to our current household.
I know adding a puppy to our home in this tumultuous time is a little crazy. Perhaps there will be some times that I’ll be sorry we took this step. Right now, though, the thought of adding Rusty to our family makes my heart sing. Bringing him into our lives is an affirmation, a positive step forward. I love him already.