Well, my dog – the one who was lost and then found, the one who was dead and then was alive – is still with us. She still has a very large tumor on her foreleg, and it is still infected.
It will be infected forever.
It will be infected until she dies.
This is not to say that she is dying, necessarily. She could well die of something else entirely. She’ll just have to be on antibiotics the entire time. And normally, my bright line with animals, and whether their life should or should not be artificially extended is what I like to call the “fun standard”.
Is this animal having any fun?
Is this animal living with dignity?
Is this animal afforded moments of pleasure, moments of ease, moments of joy?
If the answer is yes, then we will continue with the antibiotics. Currently, the answer is yes. Harper, despite the -let’s face it – distressingly ugly lump on her leg, still chases squirrels and rabbits (she catches them too), still wags her tail when she sees us, still steals peanut butter and jelly sandwiches when she sees an opportunity, still splashes in the creek when I let her.
She’s still having fun.
Still, the vet is going to see her today, and I a bracing myself for bad news. The lump is considerably larger than it was before, and it feels hot. This can’t be good. She still likes walks. She still runs. It doesn’t seem to be slowing her down. Still, I worry.
Oh Harper! Oh my sweet little beastie! How deeply you are loved!