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Chapter 4 / Released

Sarah, a kind, soft spoken, friendly woman with curly red hair walks through the door and they hand her my meds.

“Unfortunately, the tumor was malignant. We got good margins, but it will probably come back. She has a little time though,” the vet says.

“How long?” Sara asks.

“Hard to say. She has a while, a year, maybe two, could be considerably more, we just don’t know. Let’s just hope for the best, but with malignant mammary tumors in a dog of this age, the long-term prognosis isn’t good.”

That sounded grim, but there were too many things to focus on right now. I just couldn’t obsess about my long-term prognosis, whatever that is. I follow Sara out to her car and she helps me in. I know right away she is going to be kind to me. In fact, she is the most wonderful person I have ever met at this point. When I get into the back of her car, I find something I have never seen before. It’s soft and furry. Sarah tells me to lay down on this cushiony thing. Ah, such bliss. I have never felt such comfort before. Soon, I discover I need something this soft to lay on as new little sites of pain start to erupt in many places on my body. I am so uncomfortable by the time we get to where Sarah is taking me, that I am howling in agony.

Sarah takes me inside. She sets the soft cushiony thing on the furry floor – I later learn this is carpeting and it’s everywhere in Sarah’s home.

“Just lay down in your bed Princess, and I’ll get you something for your pain sweetie,” Sarah tells me.

She returns quickly with a plastic thing that has liquid inside. She gently inserts this into my throbbing mouth and meat flavored liquid trickles down my throat. It’s a bit disconcerting at first, but my body – especially my mouth is so sore that I don’t fight this. Again, I start to feel warm and relaxed in minutes, no longer noticing my pain. I sleep for hours.

As the days go on, I glue myself to Sarah. She is so kind and gentle. I am completely attached to her. Although I never knew what this was before, I grow to love her and I know she feels the same for me. She calls me her pretty, pretty Princess and enjoys the fact that I know just when everyone is about to go to bed each night. I like my bed, so I go there first, right when I get that feeling that the day has ended and it’s time for sleep. I know everyone is heading there so I want to be there first to enjoy it when they find me there in my bed, in their bedroom. Sarah puts my blanket over me when she comes to bed, with a soft little laugh when she finds me there already waiting for her.

Yet, there is always a nagging feeling inside me that says this can’t go on forever. I know I will never have to go back to Turlock and Jason with his snaggle toothed mother. Still, even as wonderful as Sarah and her family are, I somehow know I will not be living here forever. That small, nagging fear makes me a little sad sometimes, but Sarah is so kind that I try not to dwell on this.

By the time my stitches from my various surgeries are removed and my mouth has healed, I discover several gaps where teeth used to be. Overall, I am feeling pretty good though.

One night, Sarah and her husband decide we’re all going outside for a walk at night. It seems pretty exciting to me. They take this electric torch thing that they call a flash light, to guide our way. It’s the funniest thing. I find it fascinating. I love chasing the small white ball of light that comes out of it, going forward, ever forward. It teases me, daring me to catch it as it races ahead. Sarah and her husband think it’s funny too and they encourage me to catch the white ball that races ahead. Each time, just when I think I’ve finally caught it, the white ball just pops up somewhere else. I chase it until I am breathless. I love this!

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