I won’t go too much into it because some of what made it so awful is private. But aside from the private business that made the weekend suck, we learned that our dog, Zane, likely has lymphoma. Bill took him to the vet and told her about his history with mast cell cancer. Many dogs who have had mast cell disease go on to have lymphoma. The symptoms match, too. He has swollen lymph nodes, drinks a lot of water, and is very lethargic.
Bill is going to try to get him an appointment at the nearby veterinary speciality clinic so they can do more testing, but I’m pretty sure the vet is correct in her diagnosis and we won’t have him for much longer. Even if we tried chemo, which might be too onerous and expensive, especially considering that he’s almost 11 years old, the cancer would eventually come back if he went into remission. I am more inclined to keep him comfortable. Maybe try prednisone.
Zane is a very special dog. We got him in December 2009, when he was about a year old, a few months after we moved to Atlanta from Stuttgart. We had just lost our beagle, Flea, a month prior. He’d had prostate cancer, which was pure hell for all of us. I saw Zane on Atlanta Beagle Rescue’s page and something about him spoke to me. I turned out to be right. Zane has been my best buddy for almost ten years.
From the beginning, Zane was a sweet, affectionate, funny dog. He was originally named Einstein; his owner had bought him at Petland and found he was “too expensive” (although really, I think he was just too much for her to take care of– he was in the middle of his teen phase when we got him, chewing up everything). It took about six months before Zane became a good canine citizen, but he turned out to be a wonderful dog and devoted friend. His only vice was that when he was younger, he liked to sneak out of the house and force us to chase him. But although that habit scared the shit out of me, he would always stay in sight and eventually let us catch him. It’s been awhile since his last escape.
Aside from his occasional escapes and wild goose chases, he’s mostly a perfect gentleman and tries so hard to be good. It’s breaking my heart that he’s sick, but even in sickness, he’s noble and aristocratic. I adore him. When he was a puppy, he had a hilariously adorable habit of jumping straight up in the air whenever he was startled. He lost that habit as he matured, but it was so cute that it spawned his nickname, “Zaneykins”. Yes… I know, it’s a stupid, cutesy pet name, but it seems to fit, even today.
So all weekend, I’ve been worrying about Zane. He doesn’t seem to be in any pain right now, but he’s clearly exhausted. I fear he doesn’t have much time, especially if it is lymphoma. Even with treatment, lymphoma is pretty deadly if it isn’t caught early. Our other dog, Arran, has been right by my side all weekend, because he knows I’m upset.
So… I’m trying to stay calm, attentive, and loving to Zane. We’ll see what the vet says, but I am preparing myself for what seems inevitable. Soon, we’ll probably be a family of three. I know this is the way of things… but I am truly heartbroken about it. And I’m also angry about the private business I can’t yet discuss. I’ll just say that I think it’s a shame that some people are much more interested in money than they are other people… and will harass and stoop to ridiculously low levels of dishonesty and character assassination to get other people’s money.
But… this too will pass.