Fifteen months ago, George received a death sentence from our vet.
"He has cancer. We cut out most of the tumor inside his mouth, but it will spread. Be careful if he bumps into something as he could shatter a bone...we give him 1-3 months to live...call us anytime, day or night, and we'll come and put him down so he won't have to suffer," she said.
What? This is our sassy Airedale, my guardian, my constant companion.
We brought our 10-year old child back to the inn, gave him lots of loving, and through sobs, called our grown children to share the sad news.
Three months passed. Then six months. Then a year. During a vet visit this January, I again questioned the medical lab report with the vet. "Are you sure he has cancer? He acts fine, still feisty, crotchety old mannish, not great with delivery men or our kitchen staff, very foolish since he'd eat a lot better than his bland special dog food. He spends his days down at the barn with us sleeping or at doggie daycare because he's not your warm, lovable old dog. And he's even more protective of me. But he's not acting like he's dying." (Yes, I rambled.)
No, he has cancer and he's going to die...(that's what I heard, but she probably said, "No, he's just lucky.") So we waited. And watched.
The rare mornings he'd sleep in, we thought,"This is it" and we'd watch for the rise and fall of his barrel chest. And each time restaurant and lodging guests who knew George, came in the door, they hesitatingly peeked into the office and asked, "How's George? Is he still with us?
Guess what...that crazy dog is not going anywhere soon. In fact, I believe he's going to outlive both of us. Richard took him to the vet for some shots. She opened the exam room door smiling and holding a single spaced wordy official looking report. After Richard left he sent me this text:
Omg you won't believe letter from Cancer specialist who reviewed George's cancer slides...... he has not been on death watch at all. His is a very rare case and he is a survivor and has no cancer and will live until he dies of old age!! Of course Claire is thrilled and I have to get him all these shots and flea.... "
Long live George.