Tally went to the vet today and got his last of three sets of drains removed. He ate the first set, gave a massive shake and sent the second set flying thru the air, across the room , to finally end up stuck to the kitchen wall. This time he cooperated, kept his drains in for the full 6 days and today let the vet take out the last and final set. His sutures should come out next week. We were so afraid the mass in his neck would be malignant but it isn't. When Tally came rushing out of the back of the clinic in full voice, yodeling like only he (or a donkey) can, I was so grateful to know he would be with us for some time to come.
Sadly, Francis is reaching the end of his journey, his brain tumour is starting to progess quite rapidly now. He is still comfortable and happy. He loves his cuddles and his treats. He joyfully soaks up all the special time he is getting with the volunteers as we all recognize how short his time has become. But he is getting weaker, his balance is more profoundly affected and he no longer can go too far from his bed. He would love to still go for walks with Jean and Mo, but he is too weak now to make it past the gate. Francis in some ways is, for all of us, our miracle child. He came here, emaciated and sick, aggressive and disruptive. We struggled to keep everyone safe, trying to give Francis enough time to settle and become who he really is. He did, all by himself. He became tolerant, trusting and non reactive, he became an accepted and contented member of our family. And all the while, even as his weight increased and his coat thickened and filled in, his strength decreased. He developed more and more neurological deficits and finally there was little doubt, he was not going to become well. Francis will end his life within the next week or two. The vet is on call to come to help him to pass when he is ready. Until then we hold him, and gently stroke his face, take him for little forays out into the yards where he pretends that he is fine and could still go for a walk if we would let him. We tell him over and over what a very, very special dog he is and he knows it is true.