New focus

by Andrea Elizabeth

I hope Merry understands that Pippin was dead when we buried him. She always looked to him for cues on how to behave, and now I wonder if her lying still is doing what she last saw him doing. At least she’s not throwing up like he was his last two days. At first it was the water he seemed insatiable about for about the past week. With that and his beginning to lose weight, I thought he might be getting diabetic.

I’ve lived with the likelihood of his eminent death for almost 5 years since he developed a growth on his cheek. The doctor said that if it were malignant it would have grown and he would have been dead in a couple of months. Corgi’s are very susceptible to cancer. Since it didn’t change in the next years, until recently getting bigger, I didn’t bother to spend $500 getting it biopsied. Especially since I read that chemo only gives them 6 months to a year. I thought the end was near last August when I felt lumps all over his body. Our horse trainer said since they were so soft they were probably just fat tumors. He’s also had pretty uncomfortable arthritis that the Vet prescribed Metacam for. His recent weight loss was kind of welcome since he’s unhappily been on a strict diet for the past 5 years for his insatiable appetite, with the weight adding to his arthritic discomfort.

But despite all of this, Pippin still played with Merry a lot. He used to chase her around the living room, but the last year or so he just sat in the middle of her circle and waited for her to wrestle with him on the floor, which she would do between running around him. Their growls and playful nips seemed they were having a lot of fun.

Merry’s stillness is so unlike her. Today I put her on a long line in the front while I scooped last year’s leathery oak leaves into a wheelbarrow. She seemed lonely when I dumped them in the brush in the back of the yard. But at least she was sniffing the air and changing positions. When I was finished and unhooked her from the tree, she pulled towards the road, as if wanting to walk. We walked around the corner then went the back way through the ditch to the woods. She liked going through the woods, but lost some steam as we neared the house. She was a stray and I think her instinct is that when things go bad, run away. I’m going to try to make it fun for her to stay. I said earlier that she’s a perpetual puppy even at 5-7 years of age. I think she has a much older look in her eyes since Pippin’s gone.

After lunch I started on the leaves around the back porch and tied her to a tree in the back of the property after she seemed to want to explore there. When I went back to the porch, she just watched me and sat still. She perked up when I dumped the leaves near her, so I finally figured out that she would like it better being chained to the wheel barrow and walking back and forth with me. In the past she’s been pretty dumb about getting herself tangled by taking the wrong way around things when tethered with Pippin in their split leash, which I guess I can’t use anymore. But in her calmer state, she seemed to think about which way she would go and took the same route I did around the trees. When she tried to go under a thorn branch, I said no, jump! She did. She’s very spry and agile, unlike Pippin. I bet she would like to do those Corgi obstacle courses. I’m going to see if I can get Rebecca to set one up for her.