First of all, Bosley is holding his own. He is pain free, is eating, and is hogging the bed covers as usual. I was going to give you a run-down of the size of his lymph nodes, his many treks outside to pee, and so on, but I think it would be more fitting to have an end-of-the-year reflection instead.
Looking back, I think we can safely say that this year was Bosley's "Annus Horribilis". First the toe removal, then the lymphoma itself rearing its ugly head. However, I think that we can also say it was Bosley's and my "Annus Mirabilis" as well. I say that, in spite of having a very sick dog, because the people who know the dog seem to have restored my faith in humanity. It is also Bosley's quiet and loving disposition that keeps me putting one foot in front of the other.
First there were the people who rallied around when Bosley was facing an operation in March to have his toe removed. People I didn't know stopped me in the street to ask how Bosley was doing. A wonderful couple I'd only met once before sent me a much-appreciated gift certificate to a local grocery store. Friends at work rallied 'round and gathered up contributions to mail to me. A cousin I hadn't seen in years handed me an envelope with $500 in it. I was touched and humbled.
Then when the horrible news of Bosley's lymphoma surfaced, and the terrible way he responded to the chemo occurred, yet more people rallied. I would be stopped in the street and asked for updates. "How is the dog?" "How is Bosley doing?" I would get hugs from friends, yes, but even from acquaintances and even strangers. One person, a Facebook friend whom I've not yet met in real life, wired $100 to us. I was given an incredibly generous gift of $1,500 from one lovely couple, which was so welcomed, as Bosley's bills were climbing into the upper stratosphere at that point. I was moved to tears, and still am, just thinking about it. To all of you, thank you for your generosity, your prayers and your hugs.
This dog is certainly well-loved. When I broke the news at the local Staples store, there were tears. The same thing occurred at the local Shoppers Drug Mart where I pick up my prescriptions. The same at work.
In the meantime, Bosley keeps on keeping on. He generously bestows his love and affection (and his blond hairs) on anybody who approaches him. As for his working, he is back to alerting me again, which is a sign that he is feeling okay. I am not expecting him to work. I've retired the timer in the kitchen for now, but when the phone rings or if someone is at the door, he lets me know. If he wakes me up in the morning (this is more hit and miss) it is with a gentle touch of his head on my arm now, instead of the formerly boisterous and enthusiastic (read manic) poking and prodding with his nose. He decides what he wants to do and I accept whatever he gives me with humility and appreciation.
So, it is a quiet Christmas in the O'Connor household. A quiet and reflective Christmas.