And with Melda and, yes, with Dear Departed Little Lucille, too ...
My Dear Old Manny Man, The Rex Pug, then and now ... The one picture was taken on Monday, August 21st, 2000, twelve years and a couple of weeks ago and just a month after he came to live with me; the other, on Sunday, September 2nd, 2012, just a couple of days ago ... In human years, he was about seven then, not even a Young Man, but a Young Boy; he's ninety-something now, an Old Manny Man; my Old Manny Man ... But still a Young Boy at heart, and still and always a Happy One at that, despite his infirmities ...
My Dear & Faithful Readers know that The Rex Pug was diagnosed with, treated for and cured of Mast Cell Cancer, a Skin Cancer, not quite three and half years ago; in early May of '09. That he was cured ... and three and half years with no recurrences is considered cured ... is little if any short of a miracle, particularly given the location of the first tumor, on his foot; the prognosis, for dogs with such tumors on their feet, is "Poor" to "Guarded" as, there being so little skin between the tumor and the bone, the cancer can readily and quite often does infiltrate the bone ...
And when that happens, it's pretty much all over; apart from the resulting metastasis to the bone, the cancer invades the marrow and then infiltrates the lymph nodes in the armpit ...
The second tumor, which I found a month after two of his toes and a chunk of one of his front feet were amputated, was on his neck; it too, of course, was removed, and immediately so.
The prognosis for dogs with multiple Mast Cell Tumors, regardless of their locations, isn't good either.
So The Rex Pug was and has been One Lucky Pug Boy indeed ...
And that despite his other Afflictions.
For six or so months before his cancer diagnosis, he'd begun having what appeared to be troubles with his hips; nothing severe, he just had developed, over time, what I think can best be described as a "stodgy walk" ... what one might expect of, say, a bow-legged old sailor who'd been on horseback all day. He'd had an incident of bladder crystals, his second, in the Fall of '07, and some x-rays were taken then; a later examination of those x-rays revealed the bare beginnings of hip dysplasia, confirmed by x-rays taken at the time of his cancer diagnosis.
So when, in the months following his treatment for the same, his hips suddenly worsened ... or seemed to do so ... the aforementioned troubles were attributed to his dysplasia.
Until, that is, he began having (further) troubles with his bladder, to wit, I'd have him out for his Daily Whiz(zes), and it would take him ten minutes ... and then twenty minutes ... and then thirty to forty minutes ... to whiz, and not much at that, three or four times, and then, five minutes after I'd give up and take him back in the house ...
He'd whiz on the floor.
Finally, after more Grief, Woe & Travail than I care to relate, his (further) troubles were diagnosed as Detrusor Atony, caused by a Degenerative Spinal Condition.
It was, in fact, the Spinal Condition that was ... and is ... the primary cause of his troubles with his hind legs, as well as with his ability, or the lack thereof, to control his bladder.
I have, for the last three years, dealt with the latter by, three times a day, expressing the same, his bladder, or, as I've come to refer to it, "Squeezing My Pug" ... while wearing a Bright Blue Medical Exam Glove.
Add it up ... three times a day, three years, let's see, that's about ...
Three thousand (3,000) times.
Making me, of course, The World's Living Authority on Expressing Dog's Bladders.
Or Pug-Squeezing, if you will.
But it's not cancer, so we cope with it, Pug Boy & I.
Of more import has been the slow but steadily progressive deterioration of his ability to use his hind legs.
As of about seven or eight months ago, following a bout of pneumonia that was initially misdiagnosed and, in consequence thereof, went untreated for a month ... until he fainted, briefly, one day, he's been unable to either stand at all or, of course, walk; the pneumonia took a little bit more out of him, just enough to worsen his Poor Little Puggy Leggies to the point where he was effectively crippled.
I have to sit on the floor in front of him twice a day, at Breptuss Time and at Supper Time, and hold his Little Puggy Pug Food Bowl up for him as, unsurprisingly, he's unable to stand up to eat and, if he's sitting down, he can't quite lean over far enough to eat his Little Puggy Pug Foods if his Little Puggy Pug Food Bowl is sitting on the floor.
He gets around now by dragging himself across the floor with his front legs when he wants to move ..
Which is nowhere near as bad as it sounds; when he wants to move, when the spirit moves him, i.e., when there's food involved, he can do so right well.
But, again, it's not cancer, so we cope with it, Pug Boy & I.
He's still just as Jolly and as Happy and as Silly and as Full Of Piss & Vinegar as he's always been, and he still shrieks his Little Puggy Brains out twice a day, at Breptuss Time and at Supper Time ... and, of course, whenever Dad sits down to eat, for The Rex Pug always gets a few bites of whatever Dad's eatin' ...
He does ok, with with my help.
Even at thirteen ... ninety-something, in human years ... he's still got a few miles left in him.
Lots of 'em, I hope.