I had a terrible 2011 in Toronto. For many reasons. One of the biggest was the cancer diagnosis for my pug, Maximus, and the subsequent attempts to treat the illness. Once a week, Akemi and I would wake up at 7:00 a.m., bundle Max in the back of the car, and take the 90 minute drive to the Guelph Small Animal Clinic where my brave boy underwent radiation treatment and took his anti-cancer vaccines. It was exhausting: the driving, the waiting, the daily medications, and the overall worrying, not just for him but for the other three dogs as well – Jelly, Bubba, and Lulu – who could surely sense something was up.
I remember stepping up to the clinic’s cashier one afternoon, disheartened and weary, reaching into my wallet for my credit card, and finding the above photograph. Akemi had somehow slipped it in the previous night. It’s a picture of my two eldest pugs, Maximus on the left and Jelly on the right. Jelly had gone through a very rough time of her own the previous year when the effects of her hip dysplasia finally caught up with her. Unable to stand, no longer capable of supporting herself on her rear legs, Jelly was in very bad shape. But I refused to give up on her. She had spinal surgery to correct a bulging disc, and then a series of stem cell transplants (via the folks at Vet Stem). She battled back and finally regained use of her hindquarters. Wobbly and weak, but mobile nevertheless. I was hoping Maximus could pull off a miracle of his own but, alas, it wasn’t to be. My boy passed away in late January of this year and, as a tribute to him, he will forever grace the banner of this blog, overseeing these daily entries from up high.
As for that photo, it’s stayed in my wallet ever since. Even when I travel and I empty my wallet of only the barest necessities, it remains.
Akemi has been incredibly patient and loving with the dogs, lending her unwavering support through the toughest of times. Back in Toronto, while I went to work, and Bubba and Lulu spent their days at doggy daycare, Akemi would take of the older dogs back at the apartment, feeding them, taking them out, more often than not carrying them when they were too tired to walk. Back in Vancouver now, she dotes on them. Pretty amazing for someone who had never considered themselves a dog person – although, in all fairness, at one point, neither did I.
Some dog-related links:
The Boycott Belfast facebook page is up and running, looking to hold Belfast City Council for their killing of Lennox the pitbull: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Boycott-Belfast-until-it-frees-Lennox-and-addresses-its-BSL-failings/103153756437113
Closer to home, a German Shepherd found injured, lying in a Vancouver dumpster has died of his injuries. Authorities are looking to question the dog’s owner who, so far, has not made himself available to police: Former owner of German shepherd found in dumpster comes forward
And another campaign to win the release of a dog who has been locked up for 15 months pending its day in court: http://www.facebook.com/ShadowVsRdco. Outpouring of support for Shadow the dogwww.globaltvbc.comOutpouring of support for Shadow the dog
Here’s one with a happy ending! Police Respond to Vicious Dog in Baltimore City
And another one: Stolen Basset Hounds Recovered After Five Years
Finally, shocking news out of Colorado this morning. Very, very sad.