We got the call Sunday morning from our Vet. Mario has cancer of the stomach–terminal, as in hours or days. He is lying beside me as I work. Tears in his eyes and tears in mine. I’ll write more when I can.

Ain’t no angel gonna greet me
It’s just you and I my friend

_______________________________

Thanks to everyone for so many kind and thoughtful comments regarding Mario. The little bugger is hanging tough. His spirits are so much better since we brought him home on Sunday and although he only has a few days remaining, there is still a wonderful light in his eye and he still manages to show his belly and lift his leg, which is his sign that he wants you to rub his belly.

As many of you know, we have five yorkies. Mario was the first and the father to two of the others. He is only eight years old and by far has the most loving personality. He is getting the best care possible. Each morning we take him to the vet for fluids along with some choice drugs and then again in the afternoon he goes back for another visit and receives his nighttime dose. I hope if I ever find myself in his situation I can receive the care and attention he is getting.

I work from home and have a window that receives morning light next to my desk. Each morning Mario takes in the morning light and then spends the rest of the day at my feet on a special bed of pillows and towels. His daughter Maria will often come and lay down beside him and just stare at her daddy with her big brown eyes.

Today, for the first time since Sunday, he was able to drink some water and keep it down. He actually showed interest in food for the first time tonight and we fed him a very small amount, as in less than the tip of my pinky–that’s all he wanted.

So many thoughts at a time like this. I lost my father to stomach cancer ten months ago, and now my dog to the same disease. As I watch him lie peacefully on the floor beside me I dream of miracles, of a misdiagnosis, of a unexplainable recovery. I understand denial and I understand that is the ground I stand on at the moment, but quite frankly I don’t have it within me to give up hope–no matter how hopeless the situation–until he takes his last breath.

At night, he sleeps with us in bed, in his usual spot between Sherry and I at the head of the bed. I consider the last few days and hopefully the next few as a special blessing–extra days beyond what anyone could have expected.

A friend of mine, Charlie Jones, has brain cancer. Several months ago he was told by his doctor he had one year to live. Charlie went home and told his wife the news and then said he was touched beyond words for how much God loved him. His wife was at a loss to understand.

Charlie explained that God had loved him so much that he had given him an extra year to say goodbye to all his family and friends and that so many others never had that chance. If you knew Charlie, you would know there was simply no other way he would have processed the news except with gratitude and appreciation of the gifts of love and life.

Likewise, the last few days have been a gift from Mario to us. His love, as seen in his eyes, has been beyond priceless. He will be missed, but his example of love, the unconditional love he has shown all in my family will remain long after he is gone. We have been blessed.

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