What if the dogs could talk to me? Always a burning question but never more so than since Misty was first diagnosed with osteosarcoma. So on the way home from seeing Molly, we stopped in for a visit in the park with Animal Communicator, Lauren Bode...
Sitting at the park bench with one dog at a time (I say “at” the park bench because there was some scent of very great interest to the dogs under the bench and each dog conversation was punctuated by canine curiosity and attempts to dive under it)...
Delaney was the first to chat with Lauren. “She’s puzzled about why we’re here and is wondering if we are supposed to be playing.”
“Oh. I think that may be because the dog park we visit in Bowmanville looks like this – all grassy and wide open.”
“Okay. I told her we’re here so I can talk to her...” Lauren looked at Delaney. “She wants you to know that Misty has a lot of pain in her leg.”
My stomach dropped. “Which leg?”
“The leg that isn’t there.”
“Delaney also wonders if you’re giving her any medication.”
"I...I put capsules of fish oil in her food every day.”
“Why is that?”
“It’s great brain food.”
“Okay, I told her. This dog loves you so much. She’s really sweet.”
After some chatting about how much Delaney loves kids and wondering if I was going to put her into agility classes (I am intending to enrol her in agility classes...), it was Finnegan’s turn.
Finnegan was straining at the leash trying to snoop under the bench – and it’s times like this I’m so relieved I don’t have a dog’s sense of smell – then Lauren said, “Finnegan wants you to know that he is just excellent!... and he loves all the dogs and cats in the house... and he says that Misty has a lot of pain in the leg that isn’t there.”
I breathed deeply and Lauren continued.
“He says he really likes the food you’re giving him now. Has it changed?”
This is wild....“Well, yes, I spoon some of the superhealthy cooked meats, veggies and fruits that Misty gets, into his bowl.”
“He says he’s getting hard of hearing now...”
“Yeah, I’d noticed a while ago.”
“And it’s harder for him to climb the stairs.”
Then Lauren said something of real interest: before I adopted Delaney I had a lovable goof of a Golden Retriever named Quincey. I was heartbroken when he died of lymphoma. What is it with Golden Retrievers and cancer? Lauren said that Quincey comes through the fireplace to visit Finnegan. Wow. Finnegan likes to lie on the couch beside that fireplace. “Oh yes,” she continued, “there’s something in the fireplace that needs to be fixed.”
Okay. Note to self....
Finally I brought Misty out of the car. Lauren sat back on the bench, externally rotating her leg so that her right knee pointed to the right side of her body, not straight ahead. “Misty says this is how her missing leg feels. And it hurts.”
“What can I do for her pain?”
“Give her the pain medication when the weather is humid. When your joints are hurting (how did she know my joints hurt?) Misty’s leg is hurting. Lauren studied Misty for a moment. “Uh-huh. She wants you to show me her red vest.”
“What? I didn’t bring her red vest.”
“What’s the red vest?”
“It’s what she wears when we visit people in the hospital. It shows she’s a therapy dog.”
“She’s very proud of that vest.”
So now I’m beginning to choke up. “What does Misty make of us visiting people on the Palliative Care Unit?”
“She says it’s her job to take away people’s pain.”
Later that day Misty was strapped into her cart and I was walking the two girls on a nearby sidewalk. A little girl was skipping on her driveway and came up to us to investigate the dog in the wheelchair.
As Delaney was antsy to play with the girl, I had her sit so the girl could give her a treat. She said, “I know a girrrl?” Her voice buoyed up at the end of her sentence. “I’m really close to herrr?... I know her very, very wellll? And her name is Delaney, too!”
“Does she eat cookies as fast as this Delaney?”
“What’s wrong with this dog?”
Misty was wiggly and wearing her Happy Girl Face, trying to pull closer to the girl.
“Do you know who Terry Fox was?”
“Misty has the same kind of bone cancer that Terry Fox had.”
The girl’s face fell. “Is she okay?”
“She’s okay today.”
GET READY.... GET SET.... Misty’s final post-chemo bloodwork was absolutely normal. She’s been cleared to return to work. We’ll be on the Palliative Care Unit this Thursday evening. We both can hardly wait. Stay tuned...