I’m not sure where to start. Some people like hearing bad news first, and others are the opposite. At this point, the bad news is so bad I think I’ll save it just to make it easier to write about the good stuff.
About a month ago Ender passed his TT, which was really neat because we don’t have a lot of ATTS tests out here. The evaluator loved him. He’s doing very well in life and training. He’s certainly a blessing and even though training agility with him can be a nightmare he’s so exceptional at everything else I don’t really care. I hope to go for his BH this fall. Believe it or not, he’s going to be 2 years old tomorrow! It’s amazing how time flies. I still call him “baby puppy” and he still responds like he’s 8 weeks old. The other day he play-bowed at a Japanese beetle.
Sally is a whole new dog since she first came to live here. She’s still got her strange quirks, but her temperament is definitely breeding worthy and her soundness and health seem to be on par. I’ve showed her a bit now, and on July 4, 2015 she had her first win going Winners Bitch, Best of Opposite Sex and Best of Breed in Owner-Handled series all in one day under the wonderful judge Ms. Kimberly Meredith-Cavannah. Not a major, but a 2 point win and both of our first wins ever. Since then she’s gone WB three more times and has 4 points toward her championship now. She is a pleasure to show and train and she got her Herding Instinct Test through the Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club of Southern California a few months ago. She is also featured in Vanity Fair’s video/article about Queen Elizabeth and her Corgis. We’re having a lot of fun together.
I’m not sure how to transition to the bad news, so I’ll just go for it.
This past Monday, August 10, 2015, I was petting Conan while he was in bed with me. I noticed that his lymph nodes were gigantic. My heart sunk. I almost cried then and there. I knew what it was. I took him in that day for testing, and during agility class last night the results came back exactly as I thought they would – lymphoma. I’ve spent the past three days in and out of tears and inconsolable grief. Of all dogs, why Conan? Conan is my heart and soul. There are few things, and people, in this world that I love as much as I love this dog. He is the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me. He’s my heart dog, my soulmate and my once in a lifetime training partner and companion.
We saw our oncologist today, Dr. David Heller over at California Veterinary Specialists. The department head is Dr. David Ogilvie, a renowned canine oncologist. We sent out testing to find out which type of lymphoma Conan has, so we can better plan for treatment. There is no positive outcome to this, other than one or two more years together. But, we’ve decided that as long as Conan maintains an excellent quality of life (he has no symptoms outside of his lymph nodes) we will likely do one of the chemotherapy treatment plans. Which plan, we haven’t quite decided. I’m still talking to many people and doing my own research. This is not a cheap venture, and a part of me is ashamed that I would spend this kind of money on a dog. If he were older, I probably wouldn’t treat him. If he were solely a working dog, I probably wouldn’t treat him either. But he’s Conan. Conan is in his own category. It’s very “pet owner” of me to do, but if I have the means to keep him happy and able to train on for a few more years, then why not?
I would like to thank everyone who has contacted me with support for Conan. I can’t tell you all enough what it means to me. We’ve hardly started this journey, but I already have so many people to thank.