Monday, November 29, 2010

Twilight days for Zeus

    I am not a person who is usually searches for words.  Today, and the previous 7 days, have been different.  I took Zeus, who would be 8 on St. Patrick's Day, to Sun Valley last Tuesday to see Dr. Acker.  Dr. Acker is our orthopedic vet.  He did the TPLO surgeries on both of Zeus' knees about 4 years ago.  About two weeks ago I noticed a bump on Zeus' left knee.  I hoped something had changed with the plate in his leg and that worst case scenario we would have to have the plate removed.   Perhaps I knew better.
Zeus' healthy right leg
     I drove through a blizzard at 6 am to reach the Sun Valley Animal Center.  Dr. Acker was wonderful, as always. He did a needle probe of the lump and did not like the looks of the cells under the microscope.  He hoped to remove the lump and the plate. As we were leaving I heard the receptionist tell a vet tec they had a dog with a broken back trying to make it from Burley.  
Shania & Zeus camping this summer

    I spent and aimless afternoon with my father.  We ate at Lefties (very local pub ~ if your local you get your own beer glass with your # on it), visited the Goldmine, read books at the library, and sat by fireplaces watching the wind swirl power off roofs.  The blizzard seemed to be raging all around SV, but we had perfect weather.  Around 4 pm the two of us found our way back to the vet office.  Zeus had undergone surgery, but Dr. Acker only biopsied the lump...and the massive tumor that seemed to encompass the top on his left tibia.  The rest of Dr. Acker words tumbled around me like the roar of a rapid.  Non-treatable, can not amputate, very painful cancer, a month to two months of time left.
Zeus' human friends saying their good-byes
     The last 7 days have been a blur of activity with dear friends visiting from CO, Thanksgiving celebrations with friends, family, and of course dogs.  At the oddest moments I find myself drinking in the bittersweet moments of this twilight time with Zeus.  I can talk about the cancer; what I can not express is the sadness of knowing this will be his last winter, the twilight of his life.  The hope I carry is that every foster dog he has welcomed will carry some small part of their encounter with Zeus into their new lives.  In this way his legacy will live.       

1 comment:

  1. Liz - thank you so much for sharing this. With tears streaming down my face, I cannot fathom what you are feeling. I'm so glad I was able to meet the big, sweet boy. What a wonderful creature I found him to be and I know I merely scratched the tip of the iceberg in the few short moments I interacted with him. I have no doubt in my mind that there's not a better place on the planet he could be than with you and Kevin. Give that big lug a kiss from me. (PS I share the St. Patty's day birthday with him!) From my pack to yours - We love you Zeus!!