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June 3, 2009

Our first week home was pretty un-eventful, which is good!

My sister and my Dad popped round to see Barney. Of course, people are going to be curious to see what he looks like now. I would be. They both agreed that he didn’t look half as bad as they’d expected, especially my sister. I think she had expected the same as Matt and I – something really horrific. She seemed pleasantly surprised. My Dad was pretty much the same. They both confirmed that it was definitely the right thing to have done which always makes you feel better. We know it was the right thing, but sometimes amongst the tears and worry, you do have your doubts, if only for a split second.

The weather was mostly nice this week, so we spent a lot of time in the garden to keep Luke amused. It also gave Barney a good opportunity to relax, but to also be outside in the fresh air. He’s not having walks at the moment as he has a tendency to put the lead and harness in his mouth when he goes out and we just can’t risk it. It doesn’t make him happy but at least he has the freedom of the garden.

With regard to everything else, it’s hard to not mollycoddle him and to want to wrap him in cotton wool, more so because Luke is way too young to understand what he has been through and still wants to share his toys with him and pat and play with him all the time. Barney also doesn’t understand and still tries to open doors with his nose and therefore uses his mouth without realising it. All things that make us flinch and go into crazy, over-protective “parent” mode. Yes, it even happens with a dog. His lack of pain (for which I am not complaining at all) makes it even harder because he still wants to chomp on things and we have removed every last trace of his toys from his reach, along with most of Luke’s harder, chewable toys.

Feeding has been fun. Well, okay, it hasn’t, simply because it is so messy. We have been lucky enough to be able to feed him his breakfast and dinner in the garden since the weather has been so good, which has been a bit of a blessing because the amount of food that gets slung out of the bowl is amazing. It ends up everywhere. Not only is the floor covered in it, so is Barney and anything within a 6 foot radius. It’s worse right now because his usual tinned food with mixer is just tinned food, which needs to be watered down so it’s real slop. We only have to do this for a few weeks though until he can go back to having mixer again. Right now it is too hard for his mouth to cope with, as all the tissue is very soft and only held together with sutures.

The feeding actually isn’t a problem. It was to be expected. Barney has very little control over his tongue at the moment and that’s something that may improve over time, but then again, it may not. Either way, it’s fine for us. If what we have to deal with is a dog that makes some mess when he eats, then so be it. It’s a very, very small price to pay for his life.

This week proved to be a rather emotional one. I felt like every time I looked at Barney, I burst into tears. Not because I don’t like the way he looks, not because I feel sorry for him, not because of anything other than the reality of the entire situation hitting me like a brick between the eyes. It all happened so fast, from diagnosis to removal, that I barely had a chance to sit and process my thoughts. Any thoughts I did have were purely worry about what the future held and what the end result of the operation would be. I’d not really thought about exactly what had happened, and not only what Barney had been through, but also what we’d all been through.

It finally hit home that my baby, my Barney, had CANCER. It’s one of the worst, most horrible things that anyone can have, and he had it. It’d always been something I’d feared for him because he’s always been quite a “lumpy” dog, but I guess I always thought we’d be lucky with him.

As it is though, and as far as we are aware, it’s now all gone and we can look to the future. 🙂


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