I believe that I may not have too much time remaining to me in this world.
This is something that I am keen to share with you, my friend. I have been preparing for it for some time, and I need to entreat you to prepare yourself also. I ask this because, as you will know if you have been reading this blog regularly over these past few months, the sudden death of my dear, belovèd, friend Angie earlier this year hit my partner and I so terribly hard. We still grieve for her loss. I hope that, with preparation, the news of my end might not affect you in the same way.
I alluded briefly in my previous post to a recurrence of my nose problems. They became worse overnight, to the point where I could (just about) inhale through one nostril, but was forced to exhale through my mouth. As well as being unnatural, inconvenient, and very noisy (alarmingly so for my partner, our friends, and our colleagues), it made eating and drinking most unpleasant. My partner was genuinely afraid for me. I confess that, for once, I shared her concerns and began to prepare my mind for the "ultimate journey".
One day of these symptoms was more than enough. I was taken, coughing, wheezing and gurgling to the vets' as early as possible.
I was dismayed to see, when my name was called, that the appointed surgeon was female. I had hoped for one of my regular gentleman-surgeons. Of course, I do not object to having my parts probed and prodded by a lady - but only if she is of the canine persuasion. Human females rarely float my boat. That barked, I was by this time too weak to protest as I was lifted onto the examination table.
I will admit that the lady-surgeon's hands were assertive yet soft as she tapped my snout-bones and skull to check for the tell-tale sound, which would indicate the presence of a fatal growth or obstruction. She donned a stethoscope and took great care in listening to my chest, belly and throat. At length, a tentative diagnosis was made.
It would seem that the nose infection from recent weeks did not entirely clear up and has returned, with vengeance in mind, to take up residence in both nostrils. No evidence has been found of a fatal growth, though a benign lump may be in place - in which scenario I will remain on medication to make the rest of my days "comfortable". If surgery should be required, I would need to be referred to a specialist hospital - as the necessary operation will be intricate, dangerous, and not suitable for unpractised hands. In the meantime, I was given two different sorts of tablets - antibiotics and steroids - and NO injection, hurrah! My partner ensures that I take my medicine daily and we are to return on Friday to the same surgeon.
I already feel immeasurably better. I breathe through my nose once more and, as a result, can again eat and drink without pain and embarrassment. I am restored to my buoyant self, though not without limitations. I get tired terribly easily, and require sleep more often than normal. However, my partner offers the suggestion that, despite feeling better due to the steroids, I am still unwell because of the infection, just less-aware of it. Something in this, perhaps. I had more energy this day than the day before and, just this morning, my partner noted that the lively sparkle had returned to my eyes after a discernable absence. I need to accept that I must pace myself and take my fortunate recovery as it comes.
But already I look forward to my return to the vets' (and it's not often you'll find me barking that!). Her name is Lucy. Just five days separate us. How bewitching she looks in her uniform! I still feel her hands upon my snout, the concentration on her pretty face as she listened to the beating of my heart! The blessèd relief that her prescription has wrought upon me (even though she did get the labels mixed-up on the tablets - fortunately my partner knew which pill was which). The thought that soon, I shall be once more upon her table, demonstrating to her how her talents (which I never doubted for an instant) have preserved such an humble one as I.
I have asked my partner if I can present dear Lucy with a rose from my garden on Friday, as a small token of my gratitude and affection. She frowned and replied that she'd "think about it".
But, above all this, I entreat you, my friend, to be yet undeceived as to any prognosis. I am not a puppy. Let us, then, hope for the best - but be not unprepared for the worst.
And I caught bl**dy fleas from a grubby mongrel in the waiting-room. The humiliation!
Until the next time - Good Night.