A Better Friend

It’s been a day for sure. My partner discovered about a week ago that our dog, Ruby, had a lump on the bottom left side of her jaw. We scheduled a vet appointment for this morning. The vet said it was a swollen lymph node and proceeded to check her other lymph nodes, which were also apparently swollen.

Ruby is a fourteen-year-old half Schipperke, half Jack Russell with a level of spunk that has only waned ever slightly with age. She’s never known her own limits. While she spends most of her days presently lounging, it’s only to reserve energy for her frantic walks. She doesn’t often play well with other dogs and really doesn’t always play well with other people, but those of us who are close to her are all the better off for it.

My partner has had her since she was a puppy. There was a short time that their mother had her, but she didn’t have the capacity to meet Ruby’s needs, so fortunately we were able to take her for ourselves. I’d like to believe we improved her quality of life for what we now believe are her final years.

Though, as mortals, aren’t all years our final years?

The vet, although unable to diagnose it conclusively, was able to tell us with a pretty good level of certainty that Ruby had lymphoma. We were unable to afford to get the slides sent to the professionals necessary to completely confirm it, but it seems unlikely to be anything else. While there are some treatment options, they probably aren’t financially feasible, and she’s a very old dog.

I’m not sure that there’s a point to be made here. Yet it’s that same mortality that compels us to seek a meaning to our existence, or even to believe purpose is some innate thing. Whether or not meaning is something to be found or made or simply a destiny to fall prey to, I guess it doesn’t matter much.

I often write to process things. I’m not sure what, if anything, I’ve processed here. Hopefully it’ll reveal itself to me in time.

Ruby is a good dog and a better friend.


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