After days of barely eating I took my little Sumo-boy to the vet yesterday late afternoon. My usually energetic guy had seemed depressed for a while. This month he started to refuse kibble in the morning, I assumed he was holding out for my homemade treats mid-day, but when he refused even Charlies, those tiny beef flavored treats he loves to catch when thrown in the air, I knew something was wrong. He had to be coaxed to eat tiny bits of boiled chicken or sardine/pumpkin mix and when he refused even that I got very worried. I thought he may have ingested something toxic, maybe on our walks, something that might have escaped my notice. It happened once before when he had snatched up a discarded sandwich with meat and got seriously sick for days. So yesterday the vet told me without any testing, just from one visit, that Sumo likely has cancer of the kidney/spleen. A sizable mass is palpable across his lower abdomen.
He spent the night on my side in my bed where I could feel his slightly feverish body, his heart beat, and his irregular shallow breath. I could also feel my love for Sumo, this tiny body with this great adventurous spirit. I realized that this moment in time is about love and love only. Maybe all moments in time are about love, about caring for one another, about wanting only the best for another, be that a person, a pet or any other kind of creature. How we come to experience this may be of little consequence as long as we manage to get out of the way of ourselves to make another more important than our own 'small or limited self' our own likes and dislikes and silly preferences.
In the morning the anti-nausea pill he had gotten from the vet did not make him want to eat as we had hoped, not even a tiny little bit. But he was up for a slow walk over to our nearby farmers market. I thought taking him to the dog park might perk him up, so I settled Isabella with her portion of kibble and took Sumo to our glorious dog park, the one we used to visit for years twice a day. He loves to follow his nose and explore off-lead. We got there though in the middle of an already hot day (even while it is technically still Winter, but Spring sprung 4 - 6 weeks early here, temperatures were up already in the seventies.) Sumo lagged behind, sought out shade and eventually half way on our regular route refused to budge. So sad. I carried him in my arms back to our van. I was almost in tears.
Yesterday, after leaving the vet in shock, I stopped to buy some chicken for Sumo and ran into Sunil, a fellow dog lover we had befriended at the dog park ten years ago, who recommended the use of cannabis oil. So that is where I headed next to inquire about that oil I had heard from various dog custodians but also fairly recently from one lady suffering from cancer of the lung. The dispensary on Early Street could not be kinder and more compassionate. By mid-afternoon today Sumo had his first dropper of CBD oil followed eagerly by chicken I had boiled and blended. This latest blend he accepted in small dosages offered frequently. Marty’s Meals, a specialized dog food outlet, gifted us with frozen tripe squares and lo-and-behold, Sumo showed some excitement and did not have to be coaxed to ingest this, the whole of it. By evening Sumo did not hesitate to join and lead, yes, lead us on our walk!
My first concern is how to make Sumo comfortable and we seem to have succeeded in that to a degree to my great relief. If he makes it through then I will have to consider what further check-ups and treatments from those suggested by the vet I might want to and I might be able to pursue.