My dog has cancer.

I found out today.  It’s a sarcoma on her hind leg, and it’s rather far reaching. The vet feels good about being able to get clean margins though, and so I have opted for surgery.  I drop her off tomorrow morning. Post-surgery she may need radiation, but they are hoping the surgery will be curative.  (Chemo is not an option for this type of tumor, though I told them I wouldn’t put her through chemo. Fuck that.) 

Gracie is (almost) 12 years old. Grant and I adopted her when we were living out in Los Angeles, right after we graduated from UCSB.  She is an AKC registered, black and tan, long-haired miniature dachshund.  She’s always been my dog.  She developed a preference for me on the second night we had her, and it’s just grown from there.  There was no question as to who was taking Gracie when Grant and I split up.  The other pets could have gone either way, but not Gracie girl. 

When the vet told me she had cancer, I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I haven’t been the most patient or available pet owner the last year.  I’ve been dealing with my own issues.  I’m gone a lot.  But I love this dog, and I love remembering the time right after we first adopted her.  We used to take her on walks down a very busy street in LA, and people would stop their cars to remark upon her beauty.  We couldn’t go anywhere without someone talking about how beautiful and sweet she was.  

She still is. I’ll be on pins and needles all day tomorrow until I hear that she’s okay.  It’s kind of amazing that humans and dogs can develop such a deep bond.  I bitch about her sometimes, maybe even a lot, but I can’t imagine my life without this dog in it.