My dog, Tippy.
I have not written a blog post since November 14. Although most of us who produce blogs know that we need to be consistent, there are times when consistency just is not possible. The last 13 days have been like that for me.
My dog, Tippy, a 12-year-old miniature American Shepherd, has been limping off and on since August. The vet and I both thought it was arthritis located in her hip. When I returned to New Jersey from visiting my sister in Provincetown, I decided something was really wrong and made an appointment to have Tippy’s leg x-rayed. The x-ray revealed that she has bone cancer in her knee and further down toward her ankle.
The good news – as far as I know at this moment – is that the cancer has not spread into her thigh bone, and the x-rays, blood test, and urine test have not revealed any other abnormalities.
I’m taking Tippy to a pet oncologist today to discuss treatment options. One of those I’m sure is to amputate Tippy’s left leg, which, with any luck, might curtail the cancer’s spread. It also makes sense. The leg hurts, she’s on pain medication, and the cancer is weakening the bone and making it subject to fracture.
For those of you who don’t have a pet, let me just say that humans and animals do form close bonds. I love my dog and I believe she loves me. This is not exactly the same as having a human family member take ill, but it is close. I vacillate among feelings of grief, anger, and hope. But I also know doggie lifespans. Our family had a cocker spaniel mix, appropriately named Lady who, despite occasional seizures lived to be 16. My other dog, Gremlin, whose photo adorns the Squeaking Pips logo, lived to be 14. I always figure anything after the age of 12 is pure gravy for a dog. That means from age 12 on, I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Those of you who have a pet know what I mean.
Thank goodness I am busy as Assistant Pastor, Director of Christian Education, and Director of Communications. My three jobs (all in the same church!) have kept my mind occupied. The other thing also occupying my mind is looking for that dang file on Benjamin Adams.
As you may recall, I mentioned my research on Adams in my last blog. I just didn’t know where the file was, so it meant going through four cartons of papers from my years in theological school and graduate school. The past few days I have thrown myself into the search and in the process threw out stuff I no longer needed, which came to one and a half cartons of papers for the recycling truck.
Did I find the missing file in all that? Nope!
Frustrated, I looked around the family room this evening and noticed two files sitting on a pile of books for research. The first file contained a paper I had written about religious literature for nineteenth-century children. I decided to keep the essay. Grist for the mill, so to speak.
Ah, but what about the second folder?
Bingo! It was missing file. Isn’t that usually the case? The very thing you’re looking for is sitting nearly under your nose.
I’m glad I did all that work cleaning the storage cartons out, though. It needed to be done.
Now I will be able to keep my mind busy going through Adams’ file and finding the information about his visits to the camp meeting in Eastham.
Thank you for bearing with me during my silence. I plan to be more regular with my posting now that I’m over the initial shock about Tippy’s health. I’ll let you know what the prognosis and treatment will be, and then this blog will be back to normal – even if Tippy and I are living in our own “new normal.”
Later, gentle readers!
Janet Stafford, Squeaking Pips Founder