Saturday, October 08, 2011

twenty-two months

In December 2009, twenty-two months ago, I wrote two posts on this site about Matt, my Springer. He was nine, and had been given a death sentence. Chronic renal failure. Early stage, but incurable.

I wrote at the time:
On the down side (it's some down side) there's no cure - dogs don't get transplants. On the upside, we have caught it very early, and first we will try some medication, then we'll try to get his blood pressure down, and maybe then we'll see a specialist to see if there's anything else to be done. We may change his diet. He's nine. He might live really well for years - a presumptive diagnosis isn't written in stone on a memorial tablet. 
 He has lived really well. Really well. But time is passing, and things have not remained static. I have felt that his eyesight has been getting much worse recently, and the new Vets surgery where we now live asked that we did some tests. I asked for a specific vet to take Matt on - it's a large surgery and you can see a different person each time. I didn't want that. So I asked for someone who would be good with Matt given his kidney problems, and I saw Roger - who was excellent.

But the test results were not so good. Matt is pretty much blind; there seems to be a small amount of residual sight, but not a lot. Most of the time you wouldn't know it. I can tell. He has lost some confidence. He panics if I'm not right with him in the park. And as for blood pressure, it's way too high. His blood tests weren't catastrophic, but showed him to be in stage three of kidney failure (stage three of four).

Twenty-two months. So far. And he is living well. A presumptive diagnosis isn't written on a memorial tablet.

And there was good news too.

Whilst he can no longer have lean meat, he can have fatty food: buttered toast is back on the menu! Chicken skin! Lots of things he loves.

My Matt, my dog, is a great gift, an enormous blessing to me. I thank God for this creature that shares my life. And I will bless my dog as much as I can as long as I can. Twenty-two months have passed in the blink of an eye; knowing how the truly valuable things pass so swiftly helps me to treasure each moment, with gladness & gratitude.

And again - thankfully, we have no crystal balls. Who knows what time we have? So this is always the most precious moment.