Day 32: Roo hasn't felt this good in a long time

After the intense difficulty Roo has had over the past month, I’m having trouble believing that she’s feeling as good as she is. She hasn’t been as enthusiastic or in as good a mood since at least March. Maybe even February.

That tumor she had in her paw threw me off. When she was limping and tired, I thought it was from that. She had bloodwork at the vet in Oklahoma for her paw surgery in early April, and there was nothing to indicate that she might have cancer. Still, had I realized that she was in more trouble than just that, maybe things would be different. Maybe her chances for a longer remission would be better.

As it is, though, she is already in remission. I don’t know if the severity of her cancer when it showed up last month means that the remission won’t be as long. I suppose there’s no point in thinking about that, but it’s hard not to.

In the meantime, her progress has been astonishing, especially after the strong reaction she had to her last chemo drug, doxirubicin. That one floored her. She was sicker than I’ve ever seen her on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Sunday she started to get her energy and spirits back. Since then she’s been as good as new.

When you have a dog with a disease as serious as Roo’s, you start to get a little confused by the way they act. Was she just tired this morning when she didn’t want to get up? Or was it just Roo, who always liked to sleep late, being Roo? When she wanted to get back in the camper after going out for a short walk, was that because she wasn’t feeling good? We’re still in the window when the last blast of chemo could still get her down.

Around three this afternoon, Roo started to get anxious. She gave me some side-eye and a few groans.

“What’s the matter Chig?” I asked her. She just looked at me like I was some kind of idiot.

“Do you want to go to the park?” I said.

She jumped up, wagged her tail and stretched and yawned. Those yawns are what she does when she’s thinking about executing mouses.

On the walk, Roo never dragged. She ran up hills, down hills, bounded after chipmunks and squirrels, excavated an enormous pit. When she made it to Tadmouse Pond, she forgot all about the distaste she developed for tadmouses after the one time she caught one and found out how disgusting they taste. There weren’t any, but she was looking. When she wagged her tail, she wagged it at a speed she hasn’t for months. When she met other dogs on the trail, she assumed her usual swagger.

Finally I had to tell her that we had to go home because the old daddy couldn’t keep up with her, and it was true. My legs were killing me. She kindly allowed me this and didn’t argue. She doesn’t argue much these days. It’s almost as if the last month of being so deathly ill softened her up a little. Whatever it is, it seems like she’s an even a sweeter dog than she’s always been, which was always sweet.