Rambo is sick. Really sick.
We took him to the vet last week because he’d been acting funny. His behavior had progressively gotten worse over the course of several weeks. Last Monday morning we decided that it didn’t seem to be improving so it was time to take him in.
When they came home from the vet, Rambo ran in the apartment with his normal I-just-went-for-a-drive enthusiasm and I spoke directly to him well, what did they say? When I looked up at Adrian for an answer his face twisted in pain and he immediately began to sob.
Rambo’s diagnosis is fatal. He is dying.
Prostate cancer effects 2% of dogs and is an aggressive disease. There is nothing they can do to cure it. The only measures we can take are ones that will hopefully provide comfort and ease for him as it progresses. His prostate is four times larger than it should be and, as the cancer continues to grow, it will likely begin to push against his colon and urethra, making it difficult and eventually impossible for him to take care of his doggie business. We will inevitably be faced with a very heart wrenching decision to end his life.
We are absolutely shattered.
I spent all of last week just trying to wrap my mind around the news. I am struggling to imagine my days without Rambo in them. He has been my constant companion since we’ve been back. And because I’m the one that works from home, I’ve been fortunate to have a lot of time with him to myself. We’ve developed our own little routine and ways of communicating. He is a source of love and joy in my life that is irreplaceable.
Adrian is clearly the alpha around here. When he’s home Rambo keeps a watchful eye on him, clearly wants to please him and without question, obeys him. They have an intense bond that is steeped in respect, loyalty and admiration. Adrian is aching with grief.
Rambo is Mama’s boy. And even though he ignores her (and all of us) when Adrian is around, he clearly loves her and wants to protect her. They snuggle and talk and play and have unspoken agreements about territory. He brings life and energy and love into her world in a way that will be deeply missed.
And oh, how Rambo goes crazy at the mere mention of Chula (Adrian’s sister, Delaney). Perhaps it’s the truckload of affection that she lavishes on him when she’s around or the way she makes him feel so special but he looooves his Aunt Chula. Just say her name and he howls in anticipation.
There will be a void in our family when Rambo is no longer here, that is for certain, and there is no way to predict how long we have left with him. While he is not in any pain right now, he is obviously very tired and not his usual self. It could be that he has a few good months in him. It could be a few shorts weeks. We just don’t know.
We are doing the only thing we can do – loving him fiercely and being grateful for every precious second we get to share with him.