I have been upfront and open about Rumpy’s condition: he has a tumor at the base of his heart that has grown. He has a lypoma beneath the muscle on a hind leg that is not worth removing because he also has difficulty breathing due to laryngeal paralysis. It was most likely the lar-par that led to Rumpy developing pneumonia.
But every time I post a photo or status update for Rumpy, he invariably gets this reply, “Oh, you must be feeling better!”
Look, I know you’re just being nice, or responsive, but will you please not say that?
Rumpy is not feeling better. Yes, he looks good in photos, and maybe eating cat food could be a sign that he’s doing ok.
He is not.
Dogs don’t stop being dogs just because they’re sick. Rumpy is dying, but he is still a food-reactive dog. Cat food left unattended? Rumpy is there. Cook his chicken? He’s scoping out the scene hoping for a bite.
Rumpy enjoys walks outdoors, but has no desire to run. He can get excited over a smell or a squirrel sighting, and he can still sometimes garner enough strength to pull me a short distance to get where he wants to go. But he’ll soon start breathing heavily and may have to stop for a moment to catch his breath.
For the past few days I’ve noticed he’s started to lick his paw repeatedly. Nervousness? Anxiety? Fear? I don’t know. I’m treating it but if this behavior continues it means another trip to the vet.
So no, Rumpy is not feeling better. Neither am I.
I have given regular but not daily updates on Rumpy’s condition. I had considered not disclosing his condition at all. I chose to do so because so many of you have grown rather fond of this sweet, floofy dog that I felt it wouldn’t be appropriate to pretend nothing’s wrong.
I continue to post photos and words to let you know he’s still here with us. Please don’t misconstrue those posts as evidence of his recovery. It’s not. It’s just me trying to create a small sense of normalcy in our now-upside-down little world.