You will have to forgive me for my lack of blogging as of late. You see, as I've written previously, 2017 has not been kind to us here at Serenity Blue. We thought we'd reached a turning point, but boy were we ever wrong. Horribly, terribly, soul crushingly wrong. On October 31st, the muse behind the art that began Serenity Blue the company- Dodger the Wire Haired Foxed Terrier- was diagnosed with a hemangiosarcoma. This is a cancer most commonly found in canines, occasionally in felines and rarer still in equines. It is a devastating diagnosis in that by the time it is found, it is almost always too late. It is an incurable cancer of the blood. In Dodger, it manifested as a very large tumor on his spleen.
Now, some of you might be thinking: spleens can come out. They can. They are also littered with blood vessels which means, so is the tumor. Removing said tumor is extremely tricky... hell, even a biopsy of the tumor could be fatal. Even a successful removal of the spleen would, according to most statistics, only buy three months at most. Add radiation or chemo and maybe, maybe, one could get a year. A year of treatments, illness, bed rest and pain. We opted for hospice care, realizing that Dodger's cancer is most likely Stage Four.
So we go to McDonald's every week after his weekly injection of vitamins and his laser acupuncture to get french fries. I stop at Dunkin Donuts every week after my own physical therapy to get him plain cake donuts. His thirteenth birthday was Friday, November 17th and we had cake. We also had cake the week before, just in case. Just. In. Case.
We spent a rather ridiculous amount of money at Walmart to buy White LED C9 Christmas lights to string along the fence of Dodger's yard because he's always loved the lights on the Christmas tree. It was worth every penny to see his little stub of a tail wag when he saw those lights for the first time. We make popcorn at 1 am when he's finally slept off the latest rough day. We spend a half hour outside at 10:30 pm in 30 degree temperatures so the little guy can make little doggy snow angels. We make a special trip outside at 3 am so he can eat snow. We buy cases of Smart Water so he stays hydrated. We get five hours of sleep a night.
And yet, every moment is now a blessing. At first it seemed like a curse- the not knowing. "Weeks or Months," was a punch to the gut and felt like a final countdown full of the misery of not knowing when it would all end. But now... now all the sleepless nights or dollars spent on what some would call stupid little things like lights or doughnuts, are memories. He's reminding us to stop. To take a moment and watch the snow fall. To remember the beauty in everything. To find the wonder in things again. To stand out in the rain and not be annoyed at getting wet, but to revel at the wind in our hair.
We take that extra lap about the yard just to see the lights twinkle. We watch the planes blink across the night sky and take note of the stars journey over the course of the night. We catch snowflakes on our tongues. We don't worry about the trail of snowballs left across the floor. Floors can be cleaned.
So this holiday season, just remember to take the time you have. It is finite. Use it wisely.
Update: Sadly, Dodger crossed to the Rainbow Bridge on December 15th, 2017 surrounded by those who cared the most about him.