In late November 2022, Tess—our 9.5-year-old Giant Schnauzer—developed a limp on her right front leg. When conventional OTC drugs failed to work, we promptly took her to the vet. It turned out she had osteosarcoma—and an aggressive one at that.
We had to make a fast decision: reduce her pain through painkillers and be prepared to say goodbye to her within a few months or have her leg amputated in hopes of stopping the cancer in its onset.
We immediately chose to prolong her life by taking the more drastic measure. On December 15, 2022 Tess lost her right front leg and became a “tripawd”.
Two weeks later she started her chemotherapy treatment, which is supposed to last until next May.
She has since learned how to jump on furniture, do her business in the grass, and run in the park on three legs. She’s still a fierce defense dog and will bark at strangers, other dogs, skateboarders, and cyclists as though she still were 100 percent whole.
Incidentally, this serves as a lesson for us humans who tend to complain a lot and feel sorry for ourselves when we have nothing more than a headache.
Needless to say, we’re spoiling her rotten and making the most of our time with her. Ten years for a large dog is old age and we don’t know how long she will last, even if the therapy is successful.
But we’re determined to take care of her 24/7 and enjoy every single minute we spend with her, hoping it will be for a long time.
Every time I dwell on this aspect, I am reminded of the final line of my favorite old movie Blade Runner.
When Deckard (played by Harrison Ford) is about to escape with his replicant lover Rachael (Sean Young), Detective Gaff (Edward James Olmos) yells: “It’s too bad she won’t live! But then again, who does?”
This iconic quote is a chilling reminder that people (and, by extension, relationships) don’t last forever. All we can do is make sure we live our lives to the fullest and show our loved ones how much they mean to us.