At night Lupine needs to step out one more time to pee. It is 10pm and the light is luminescent with the snow glow and I can hear the coyotes. She takes me to this spot she likes to explore and we carefully tour around the quiet complex of places and asphalt paths. I have to be careful not to hit ice but it seems balmy even with the snow falling and we have a decent little walk. I have written a note to have people slow down on the cul de sac at night in the newsletter because it is hard to deal with that in the icy cold on this street that is a dead end with driveways jutting out on either side of the road. We go out into the snowy night with the light shining and her brethren howling.
Lupine wants me to to write a friend tonight we stayed with in California that sprained her ankle and this is what she wrote;
Lupi asks “how is your ankle Steph” and says we are all connected even our ghosts, and I love you, and the toy box you let me play with, and your skunk that got me, and the treats, and being wrestled with by Freddy, and being in your rose garden, and on your rug, and the raccoon that visited us at night..all my adventures with you Steph, and all you give to my life and Nanda’s. Always know that, and how you were the only person along with Nanda to see me sit on that deer on our walk. It was thrilling for me and hope it gave you a little tickle too.
This morning she moves up next to me and presents her chest for a rub and then turns to her tummy. She wants to be in the snow and I take her outside as she revels in the soft new snow. Each day is filled with heart as she reminds me to look, live and love.
The tumor is now larger in the front of her mouth but she can eat,take meds and go on adventures.
Lupine likes to clean her face after eating and bleeds less after rubbing her face on the dried weeds since the use of a Chinese herb that seems to help. But the snow is grace for her right now, and at times there are tinged patches where her bright red blood stands out in the snow.
I have a long e-mail from the oncologist I saw in November that helps clarify some dosages. I appreciate it. But one of the ideas she mentions sounds like a long shot for bone density, and I will more then likely not step into it. It is the use of Zometa. It would cost a few hundred once a month and a process Lupi would have to go through, and I think it may not really address the bone loss in her mouth that directly but I am exploring everything that can contribute to comfort.
It seems there is some concerns people feel in the dog training group tonight about safety, and it has made some waves. I am not sure why I am hanging on to being in it but I have loved the videos about animals and some of the ideas and some very sweet people but on line communication is often challenging in groups.
Artist road begins to become icy and the sky more grey as we head towards a park for a Lupine walk. When we arrive there is a forest ranger repairing something with red cold hands. Lupine wags, and we climb up the pine that is free of ice to a nifty spot where Lupine can smell the high mountain air. I watch her eyes light up and her fur bristle like the pine needles. I am happy to see her alertness and interest rise. We also take time to wander around the city park at the bottom of the hill before two wild little poodles look like they have been let loose and will head our way. I do not want a nose nip on poor Lupi’s face.
It is good to visit some of the places we have always visited that we have lost track of for a while for several months being further south of town. For some very odd reason I stop and get a small Home Run Pizza and end up giving most of it to a young man outside that tells us he is hungry as I hand him over some change. I do not need to eat pizza and do not eat cheese much but it is some kind of celebratory gesture on my part since Lupi seems tired from hiking not pain and I am pleased. She eats her new can food in the glass pie dish that works much better for her to slide the food up the sides, and not have to deal with stainless steel on her nose. It seems to give her a sense of confidence when she eats on her own. She is a independent lass.
Lupine make it to the studio in the brisk cold. We walked in the small park for a bit and then around the studio and step inside to work. Her tail goes up as she searches for the gang but no one is there but us. Her hopes are not entirely lost when one of the editors arrives and she visits him as he gives her a bit of illegal cookie and I give my “no,no” look. In about an hour two women arrive from the garden that I have been documenting this last year and they smell of soil and fresh outdoors and cats. She sticks her nose on one of the pant legs and is insistent the young woman is a cat with rasta braids but they let her know they are not. It is a long day for Lupine being in the studio and we take short walks outside on the crunchy cottonwood leaves and she decides after a while she wants to be in the car for a while, her nest and her smells and her water bowl. I feel the hibernation of winter and maybe cancer as well and bring her out in a little while to walk up and down the road and have some more outdoor time. She is hungry at home and wants to be close most of the evening but I feel I am edgy and tired from trying to balance everything and work on the project. Somehow most everything else seems superfluous and yet I know it is important to stay in the worlds I am in. She wraps her paw around my hand as I give her a bit of lunch.
Basically it feels like a head shop with a cafe for goodies and I am met by some fellow with a jacket that says “Demons” and reminds me of gangs in Venice where I grew up but everyone is “cool” and I am escorted to the non-prescription room where I can find out what might help Lupine.
Apparently not the oils but other assets in cannabis are supposedly helpful for cancer and even curative and I want to find out about pain management. I have never been a stoner and so have no clue about grass in general but get an education. I walk away with a small bottle to see about trying and I will research more on the topic. It has one of the worst websites and the place is okay but the people are kind and I am willing to find out what I can. It is definitely a far cry from the oncology used car dealership experience I had in November that was a total turn off so who knows this might be a total turn on for Lupine. She is into drugs but not really her choice and I see that in her face at times and a kind of trust that she offers me around helping her best I can. I feel so very protective of her and am grateful we could go on a walk even tho I find myself yelling “No Sticks” way too often which is a habit she has had for a long time and as far as I know it could have been an indication of cancer and just did not know it when she seemed to be at the stick chomp crescendo this last year.But sticks are not going to help her tender mouth of volatile tumor.
Roaming around the area below the community college we stopped in the high tawny colored weeds to look across at the mountains. B takes a couple of pics of Lupine and I and I feel her taking in dogs walking, the crisp air and the smells. Thank goodness she can smell. Tonight I try and herbs for bleeding and a bit lower dose of pain meds or as the vet said the experiment. She lifts her leg up and sets her paw on my chest when I rub her and looks into my eyes and I sense her lingering and taking me in as I do her on our walks. It is lovely and poignant.
Lupi had a very hard day yesterday with the mouth stuff but I think it is a bit better. I am feeding her part of the time by hand and goat milk is great as a medium for Chinese herbs. I got an herb at the vet; yunnan baiyao and it supposedly helps with the bleeding and just gave it to her to see if it helps with the tumor seepage.
I went to Herb shop in town, and I found out that if you take two or three homeopaths like hypericum which is good for nerves, passaflora for anxiety, arnica for pain, and trauma, and put them in water to dissolve that it is a good way to not touch the pills, and for her to take them through out the day.
I also am trying some liquid Cell Food, and that seems to help with energy.
Driving along there is a group of ravens tearing apart a rabbit roadkill, and I pull over as we watch from the car window. We meet one raven with a broken wing and see it cache its food and hang out where he could get food.
As we drive by one house there is a dog that spring ups in the air, and runs up and down the fence and barks. Lupi is ampted and looks me in the face and with my hand I ask her to lower, and settle, and she does . After a few seconds I ask her to speak and she barks for quite a bit and then lies down and naps when we need to move on. I think it felt really good to get that energy out and I felt we did it as a team. I am taking her on short rides and little smelling adventures and sightseeing and call it doggie drive in movie time or live shorts on the road.
She really likes it if I softly pet around her head and scratch all around the muzzle because her own foot is a bit too hard for the tenderness of her face so she comes up like a bear wanting to rub on a tree and I watch in the yard how she uses bushes to clean off the blood and I use a bit of damp towel to get some of it off her paws.
I found this on the site of a person I have never met in NDT and it was one of those stock photos but it touched me since I think our animals do speak to us in this fashion in our lives and all creatures that we seem to so blithely move out of the way for our various things like pipelines and parking lots for places that sell mostly crap we call our economy and all get suckered into needing.