The circle of life, as is its wont, is kicking us between the eyes. My daughter took her younger Chihuahua, Hoddie, to the vet this week. Hoddie had a rash on her stomach, which Jenn thought was the result of a bobo brand flea product she'd used on the dog. The vet said not, that, rather, Hoddie has a cancer of the blood and also tumor at the back of her mouth. For $7000 she could have started chemo immediately, and, the vet said gently, the result at the end would be what it will be without chemo: a dead puppy. Everyone is very said, even me, and she hated me until the time I took Koko to visit her.
The photos that follow are Hoddie quilting with Jennifer; Hoddie and her best friend, Troy; and Hoddie doing her groupie imitation, following a few paces behind Koko, staring in adoration.
And then there's Laramie Jean, born of good drugs and the BEEPing of an isotope while I lay still on a gurney being radiated. Laramie has been called, variously, a street dog (because she was picked up wandering Preston Highway), a funny dog (because she's ever present in the moment, even if that involves flattening herself on the floor to crawl under the shelves at Feeder's Supply because she thinks she's spotted a treat. She, by the way, is the same age as Hoddie and Koko. They're all 7, which makes Hoddie's imminent death even more of an insult to our emotions.
These photos show the single most exciting moment of Laramie's life (not counting the time Michael cooked bacon). We stepped outside in the evening, and when she lowered her nose to sniff a leaf, the leaf hopped away. She was ecstatic and still, weeks later, sniffs the spot where the tadpole once sat for his portrait. The final photo shows her celebrating my attention to paperwork.