Friday, January 9, 2009
Poor Saffron hasn't been doing so well lately. Naturally svelte, she's dropped a full 15 pounds in the past few months, leaving her absolutely emaciated. She's down to 75 pounds. For comparison's sake, Daisy is an inch shorter and weighs about 135. Yeah, it's bad.
We've been back and forth to the vet many times in recent weeks, testing for everything from giardia to cancer, and unfortunately it looks like she's landing on the cancer end of the spectrum. She had her spleen removed today because ultrasounds suggest it's cancerous. We're waiting for pathology results, but best-case scenario based on what we know now is about 6 months. Worst case is much less.
I've already written an Ode to Saffron, but as a quick recap: she is the sweetest, most good-natured, most tender-hearted dog I've ever met (sorry, Daisy—you have your own good qualities, but they're not these). I know there are people out there who don't think dogs are sentient beings; a few minutes with Saffron would erase any question. She has this way of getting waaaay up in your space—nose to nose if she can—and staring intently into your eyes with her tail wagging furiously, as though she's digging into your psyche and trying to extract a smile. It works, even with the worst moods.
She's an almost-10-year-old Great Dane, so of course I've always known this day was coming. Really, since we adopted her almost 7 years ago, I've always been acutely aware of her impermanence. It sounds morbid, I'm sure, but in a Sartrean sort of way, it's made me appreciate my time with her for the perfect moment that it is. Really and truly, knowing her has been one of the great priveledges of my life.
So the idea of losing her—ugh, I just can't put it into words. It gives me this horrible, panicky feeling, accompanied by a watershed of tears. The idea of the house without her, of course, is terrible. Even more heartbreaking, though, is the thought of that ever-wagging tail lying still. And knowing that she won't be there to help us smile through the grief, well that's almost too much to bear.
In the meantime, however long that is, I'm going to do my best to drink up as much of her as I can. My sweet, skinny, stinky little girl.