Wednesday, 31 August 2005

August 31, 2005 The Rules

Rules are made to be broken – right?? So I can be forgiven for blatantly disregarding my own rules – right?? Please???

Okay, maybe you all need a few more facts to go along with this - so then you can all tell me I was right – or at least that my decision was understandable.

The Rule in question is this one – I will not put a dog over 12 through surgery.

It’s a good rule, I agree – heck, I made it – it has to be a good rule. Surgery is hard on an older dog and I am not convinced that the benefit of many surgeries are not outweighed by what the surgery takes out of them. And 12 years is a good long life for a dog – right??

Let me back up a little further here. About a week ago I noticed a lump on Buddy’s neck (yes, 14 year old Buddy). Mark and I figured it was an abscess and attempted to drain it. It didn’t want to drain, not a great sign, but we stuck him on a week of antibiotics to see if that would help. It didn’t, so today I took him into vet. The vet attempted to drain it, with the same results we got. Next step was to get some cells under a microscope. I knew what he was going to say before he came back into the room – I’ve been down this road before. No infection and the cells look cancerous. The good news was that the mass seems ‘encapsulated’ and Buddy is in terrific health and spirits.
In my defense, I’d like to say I hummed and hawed over the decision, but in all honesty, I didn’t. He is scheduled for surgery this afternoon.

If Buddy’s health had been poor, if the mass seemed ‘attached’ or ‘spread out’, maybe then I would have, but the simple fact of the matter is I owe him a shot. After there was Allie and before there was Grover – there was Buddy. At 8 months of age he began leading for me.

Buddy as a pup
Buddy as a pup
He led our team through many changes and down many trails. His last race was the 2000 Iditarod. I’ve never felt it was a coincidence that I dropped him in Unalakleet that year and ended up unable to leave that checkpoint. Like Allie did, like Grover does, he made a team better just by being a part of it – putting him in lead could elevate them all to the next level.

Buddy was the dog on our first Iditarod logo.
He’s a tough old dog – if any dog stands a chance of defeating cancer, I would think it would be him. So I’m giving him the chance. Wouldn’t you??
Maybe it will give us 2 more years, maybe 2 more months, maybe 2 more weeks…whatever it is – I owe him.

Buddy is the prominent dog in the 2000 print 'Nightrunners'.
For the record – I broke the rule for Allie too. After all, rules are made to be broken – aren’t they?


This is our team on the way to a 5th place finish at the 1998 Quesnel, B.C. Goldrush Trail Sleddog Race.
Photo taken by Ross Mitchell of the Quesnel Caribou Observer.

No comments: