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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Infectious Happiness

Yesterday, at the vet hospital, another dog guardian was sitting in the waiting room while K and I waited for her blood test results, a required step in our journey. K is a "people-loving dog" who had worked her magic on the other person, first making eye contact, then wagging, then making monkey noises, and finally luring the woman into petting her.
After a while, the vet came out and sat next to me, quietly explaining that K's white blood cell count was low, a common chemotherapy side-effect, and that K needed to go on antibiotics for a while. I wasn't terribly surprised or upset. It was just a blip in the bigger cancer universe.
As the vet and I chatted, I glanced across the room and noticed tears on the face of the other woman in the waiting room and wondered why she was silently weeping.
As I stood up to go the front desk, the woman looked at me and gestured toward K while saying, "She has cancer?". I confirmed. More tears dripped off the woman's cheeks. The woman said "She's so sweet... she doesn't deserve cancer". I agreed and tried to say something, anything, comforting to the woman. It was such an odd feeling. I've cried so many tears for K in the past few weeks... and I found myself unable to find words to comfort the other dog lover who was crying for my best friend.

I tried to tell her that K was still happy and having fun in life, despite the bone tumor and treatments. I think that the woman understood but was just too shocked by K's cancer to stop weeping right away.
Indeed, K is SO happy right now that it's infectious to me. Because K is not snow biking with me right now, we take relaxing hikes through the snow a couple of times a day. We stop and play games. In the photo below, we were playing a game where I balance as many treats on K as I can. She stays still until I release her. As soon as K moves, all the treats fall off, and she gets to eat them. Today, the wind kept blowing the treats off her nose and head so she had only 4 balanced on her.
And, K romps during our hikes, within reason. Here, she tried to convince me to romp with her by using a play bow.
These are precious days. I couldn't cry along with my fellow dog lover at the vet the other day. I'm trying to soak up each and every iota of happiness that K is sharing with me.


  1. We is amilin' here in NY too. :)

    Woofs and Licks,
    Maggie Mae and Max

    PeeS We luvs you guys too!

  2. What a touching post. I'm glad you are able to smile through this. I love the picture of K with the treats all over her. What is her record on a calm day?


  3. Hi Y'all,

    You have no idea how many of your readers, who you can't see, cry for K and you. Sometimes tears of heartbreak, sometimes tear of joy.

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  4. Oh that K has captured so many hearts in her little paws! I am sure you know every little word that K's eyes speak- and if I tried- to think of what she felt- I think she would say- "I am loving this day, and I am having so much fun!"
    Look at her balance those treats!
    K is reaching out and touching the world!
    Thank you for sharing !

  5. I've never met anyone who deserved cancer! It's one of the most painful things to watch a loved one suffer through that exists. After my own experiences watching those I care about go through cancer, I do have a much deeper empathy for those who are fighting it at the moment. As far as making other people feel better about hearing the news, I think it's okay to sometimes NOT have the words. Anyone moved to tears over learning of someone else's misfortune with it understands without your words. K is very lucky that she has the same life-loving spirit that you do and can enjoy every day to its fullest!

  6. Great post, felt like we were there. By the way, monkey noises are our favorite
    Benny & Lily

  7. I actually thought of K as I was xskiing this morning. I could picture her eyes - that amber glow of life. From there, I thought of my own sweet Breezy and realized I was crying. Just gliding along with tears streaming down, hoping that K will have many good days left to share with you.

  8. When I'm working, and not too busy, one of my favorite places to visit in the hospital is the reception area....I love talking to people and hearing their stories....
    I'm sure if I saw you and K in my reception area I would be drawn to K too....
    You and K have a special bond, and K reminds us to enjoy the moment, and not take life too seriously...
    Your relationship with K, and all those you love, is a gift, and YOU remind us to seize the moments in life...

  9. I love the way our pups live "in the moment" and its a wonderful thing to try to learn!

    As always, great pics!

    Blessings all around,

    Jo, Stella and Zkhat

  10. As someone above said, many have shed tears for K, but today we are smiling along with you. It's the only way to go - one day at a time, bask in her joie de vivre.

  11. I don't think any dog deserves cancer! You're attitude is fantastic
    Dachshund Nola

  12. Dignity, strength, courage and Joy.

    That is what comes to mind when I think of you and K.....and I think of you often.

  13. K is my role model. She has shown us how to keep smiling and enjoying life even during painful times.

  14. Really touching post, KB. Your description of K offering to play with the other woman sitting in the waiting area really got to me and if I was that woman, I'd probably cry, too, if I learned that such a sweet dog was afflicted with something so horrible. Seems she will have another person sending her all the good vibes in the world. She sure knows how to work her magic... I wish I could meet her in person!

  15. I understand those tears. And I am totally on board with your joy!!! K is leading the way :-)

  16. Big Big smiles over here across the mountians.
    Blessings as always,

  17. Whie Dog Army smiles as wide as our skies. So many smiles all and K are teaching us all. Thank you for sharing this journey.

  18. No dog deserves cancer, I second to that. My S was a people-lover too. Could always make contact. I think that K's expresion become more and more soulfull and I love her face when she tries to lift you spirit. Especially the picture with the stick yesterday. Love and all the best EM

  19. Take everyday with K and enjoy it. She´s a lovely dog and is happy with you.

  20. K has a way of saying don't feel sorry for me. I'm strong and live every day to the fullest and every minute as happy as can be.. we should all live like that.

  21. We're smiling in the UK!
    Absolutely fabulous photos. K is one stunning special girl.
    Big Nose Pokes
    The Thugletsx

  22. You have our mom smiling through tears.

    Love ya lots,
    Maggie and Mitch

  23. I just read a post about "glass being half full". That is something we all can learn and concentrating on the positive. That is what you and K do. You both are an inspiration and we love your blog with all the wonderful pictures and comments.
    Luv u both

  24. We love to see the joy in K's eyes. And we of course so understand the other woman's tears. We have all shed tears for K, and that's without ever meeting her in the flesh.

  25. Isn't funny how you would find yourself trying to comfort a stranger who heart has been touched by K's diagnosis. Another human quality where can be strong when someone else needs us to be. Your strength, your focus right now is K and her happiness because that's what best friendsw do. You are her angel, just as she is yours!

  26. It's great to know people care and share their feelings. Obviously she had been through illness with a loved pet and had great empathy for K and your situation. We are so glad you are able to enjoy all this special time with your K. No worries, and love, Stella and Rory

  27. OMG...Sophie and K are so similar with the "human friendly attack syndrome"...the same maneuvers and success every time...please excuse my are teaching us all the kindness and love dogs give naturally and we accept and share back!

  28. I think that's how all of us feel about what you and K are going through, except you have the words and photos to comfort us, a gift that isn't as freely shared in a waiting room without a computer...

  29. I have not gone through what you are going through with K, but went though some tough times my 'Zac' - back when when I was in Colorado.

    The strength, honesty, and open sharing that you have shown this community of bloggers during your family's struggles are truly inspirational.

    Here is to many more adventure for all of you!

    Sandra (Baylor's person)


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