Zato has had such a good run…amputation almost 7 months ago, diagnosis October 29, 2016, osteo symptoms in May of 2016…and he’s still here.  I read so many stories of other dogs who didn’t have anywhere near close to this much time, and my heart broke for all of them.  My life became a series of, “If I could just have”s…one more Christmas…one more birthday…one more summer…then again, one more Christmas.  We’ve had two Christmases since his diagnosis, a miracle in itself.  Here he is last month.  I hadn’t put any presents under the tree yet because I said all I wanted was right there:

I haven’t posted anything for a few months because we’ve just been living and enjoying every day!  Our morning extra long cuddles have been so special:

He was doing great.  More than great.  And I kept saying I knew I only had today and I could accept it when our time ran out because we’d been so lucky, blah blah blah….and when he started coughing after Christmas, I decided it was just a cold or something.  When x-rays looked pretty clear, that was good enough for me.  When the coughing got worse, we went back yesterday.  And when those x-rays told a different story, all my stoic BS went right out the window.

I don’t have to explain to any of you how I feel.  I know you know.  I’m trapped in a place between excruciating pain and fear and being somehow numb at the same time.  I don’t see how I can do this, but I know when the time comes I will do it for him.  I know that all these months have been a precious gift, and while I appreciate them more than I can ever say, I want more.

So my sweet boy has two rapidly-growing nodules right now.  Our vet and Zato’s oncologist are going to come up with a plan to try and give us some more good time…maybe some Palladia and Prednisone (low dose).  We’re just trying to enjoy the weekend.  As always, Zato is so much more evolved than me…he tried to chase the deer tonight, even if he coughed a little afterwards.  He licked Caddie’s head, as he’s done since she was a 2 pound puppy 8 years ago.  And he wagged his tail and looked at me as if to say, “Don’t cry.  I’m here.  Everything is going to be ok.”

My sweet boy.