Maximus let me carry him this morning. On the surface, it may not sound like such a big deal but it really is when one considers that, throughout his life, he has never willingly allowed himself to be carried. All it would take was an: “I’m going to pick you up!” and he would quicken his pace, scampering ahead to avoid the scoop and lift maneuver I’d perfected with Jelly. I suppose he was too proud for that sort of thing – a husky black pug like himself, being toted around like some designer handbag – and always avoided my best attempts to hoist him. No matter how hot the day or how high the couch, he preferred to get there on his own. And even in the past couple of months when he slowed down and walking became more of a struggle, he still refused, scurrying ahead and out of reach. Until this morning. As we headed out the door, he took a half dozen steps down the hallway, then stopped, threw a look back at me as if to ask: “Well? Are you gonna say it?” And I did. “I’m going to pick you up!” But this time, rather than scamper off, he stood his ground and allowed me to scoop him up in my arms. I lifted him up and carry him to the elevators, out the building, and down the three blocks to the park where he did his business. And then walked back home.
I’ve decided against the surgery. Given the size of the tumor, it would be a very invasive procedure that would have involved the removal of part of his upper jaw. Instead, I’m opting for radiation therapy, partly in the hopes that it may shrink the tumor, but mainly because – according to the doctor I spoke to – it would alleviate some of the discomfort and difficulty caused by the tumor at the back of his throat. And so, starting this week, Maximus and I will be making the 90 minute trip to the University of Guelph ( and 90 minutes return) where he will start undergoing weekly radiation treatment and receiving bi-monthly anti-cancer vaccines. Hopefully, we’ll see some positive results that will, at the very least, grant him the time to return to Vancouver in January for good and enjoy the rest of his days in the backyard he loved so much.