I watch as Bo plays ball and tosses his toys like he’s two years old. It defies logic, that he’s not going to be in our lives much longer. He just turned 8 years young. Bo still eats, chews on his boney, chases after loud motors, and aggressively tells motorcycles how he really feels.
When we take him out to play in the back yard, it’s as if he’s uncontrollably addicted. True to his childhood characteristics, he is vocal, talking to his ball as he bosses it across the grass, shoving it with his nose to force it our way. It’s a mixture of grumbling and half bark. I’ve never seen him jump higher, run faster, or act younger. This boy LOVES a ball.
Yet, in the quiet moments…those moments when he’s sleeping, or walking extremely slow behind me on a leash, I realize….it’s an invisible reality. His tumors are growing, his peeing is getting weaker, and he’s having difficulty maneuvering in certain positions. My boy has TCC (Transitional Cell Carcinoma). This invisible disease is taking over his insides.
I know He will never give us more than we can handle. I’ve learned that life is a series of lessons, good or bad, and we should glean something out of them. I understand the hurt, pain, anguish, and heartache of invisible pain.
Not only is my Bo slowly slipping away…whether he is aware of it or not, especially when he is chasing his beloved ball…..he will not be long here on earth. My heart sinks as I think of our family without him. He’s the original Scottie, the one that is so patient, kind, loving, tender, sweet natured, and extremely gentle. He is more trusting of our love, than we can fathom. We are always there for him, to feed him his dinner, walk him, play, talk to….he depends on us. What he doesn’t know, is how much we depend on him. He is our joy, our play time, he is a close friend, companion, and teacher.
His invisible tumors, will eventually cause him to not be able to function. Our new vet recently shed tears with us, as she reiterated, he won’t outwardly look sick..or like he’s soon to pass…yet, we will be forced to make a quality of life decision in our near future.
We try hard equally so, to not show him OUR invisible pain. The pain and realization he’s slipping away. We walk as if it’s a normal day, play like it’s another adventure, and feed him his dinner…just like every other day. Pretending…for his sake, that life is status quo. He’s not caught on, that there is hidden medicine in his meals, that in his treat is a pill….he continues to trust….as we thankfully have another day.
Each day is a gift. Each time he eats his dinner, we find relief. Seeing there is liquid on the ground after he lifts his leg is reassuring. When he wags his tail, it is an outward sign that all is well. What we can’t stop is time…. each minute with him is valuable.
In a perfect world, we’d be able to stop the clock. Push the pause button, and cherish each second. Freeze the frame of joy, peace, contentment. The ache within our hearts is heavy. Other’s wouldn’t understand.
Once again a lesson learned from Bo. Life and it’s moments are precious. We never know what is going on inside another. Whether it be tumors, or hurt, aches, longings, emptiness, sadness…..need for tenderness.
As I see other’ s walking their dogs, I wonder…Are their dogs healthy? Do they know? Do they too have invisible pain? Are they masking sorrow, depression, disappointment, health issues, or maybe loneliness?
Whereas ye know not what shall be on the marrow.
For what is your Life?
It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time,
and then vanishith away.
King James Version