Yesterday, I was hit with the devastating news that my wonderful companion and dog, Leo, a beautiful Gordon Setter who God blessed me with 7 1/2 years ago was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He has been truly at my side each day and our routine is something that had not changed. He is a true blessing in that he really needs little discipline and is extremely obedient, and has shown me how to treat others with kindness and love. Honestly, he has shown more discipline and obedience than me. He literally greets those who he knows as if they just survived a war, in genuine excitement and love, and it doesn’t matter if this is every day to him. He never takes anyone for granted!
I know being a dog owner that our pets are given to us on a short term loan. They sadly don’t live long lives so mentally we try to prepare for this, but it still gets awfully hard when faced with the end of our relationship with them no matter how much you prepare yourself. It is the loyalty and care to me which I have not found so genuine and consistent in my human companions which I become attached to. Having lost one dog earlier, the pain and grief is something no one can prepare for.
Leo woke up this morning to remind me he is still here, still the same loyal and caring companion. His sudden weight loss and loss of appetite were troubling for me, but he isn’t letting this get in the way of his love and devotion for me. I knew something was definitely wrong because if you have been around him, Leo is a talker, he loves to talk to anyone he likes, and his voice has been silent now for a couple of weeks.
I trust in God’s plan alone, whether this is the end or by His hand a miracle is handed out, and I pray for the latter but accept the verdict as this is in His control. Next week that verdict will come either way when I will have to decide what treatment if he even can have will take place, all depending on the stage of the cancer. It might give me a few more days, months, or years with him, but either way I am committing to just make the most of each day with him in any way I can.
I write this with a heavy heart, and empathize with anyone whose loved one was faced with a similar verdict. God is good! His plan will always be perfect and the only way through the spinning of the mind and shock of it all is to trust in Him, and that is what we need to do no matter how tempting it is to ignore Him, to be angry with Him for this plight.
My best friend is dying and I will be there for him, God has blessed me to do this specifically for him and I will thank Him for this blessing. Please pray that he does not suffer this illness for very long and for a miracle that he beats this awful verdict.
Leo has had many caregivers God has sent and I thank Him for this, my Mom, earlier in his life his wonderful daycare people, Angie (who is also his Vet tech now), Elaine, Megan, Liz, Julia, Chloe, Pat, Karen, Andrea, Dan, Love, Ellie, Jaime, Tyler, Erika, his best friend Charlie our neighbor, Todd his hunting buddy, Theresa and Cocoa his good park friends, and ALL those wonderful Facebook friends who may have never met Leo in person, but immediately sent well wishes and prayers to him. It was just yesterday where we went into a store and a woman stopped us as well as a man in the parking lot who said “what a beautiful dog”…he gets this almost every day wherever we go because he is truly beautiful inside and out. And I know he will always remain this beautiful because it flows from his heart!
I do not know what the future holds for Leo, but trust each day he graces me with his life I know it has been, and will be a blessing!