Enjoy What You Can While You Can


If you’re done trying to get pictures of me eating tomatoes, how about you give me a boost onto the orbit lounger? I can’t get up there on my own anymore.


Thanks. Now how about a neck rub?


Thanks. Now how about sitting with me while I sniff the breeze for a while?


Thanks. Those were some good breezes. Okay, I’m ready to go inside. Hey, do you have any cardboard boxes you could give me?


Thanks. When life gives you cardboard, make confetti, I always say.


Why am I on the floor? Well, I can’t make it onto the furniture anymore. And if I did, I wouldn’t be able to get off again. So except for when I crawl my way onto the human bed, I mostly sleep on the floor these days.When I really want to get on the furniture, I’m not above asking for help. Hey, Dada, would you mind giving me a paw up? And yes, that’s more of my cardboard-shredding handiwork in the background.


When I stay on the floor, sometimes I like to curl up on a nice warm fleece. And yes, that’s some of my shredded cardboard artwork in the background.


Other times I’m content with a cushy mat, Mama’s backrest, and a soft blanket that I can scuff around until it’s properly configured.


Hey, Dada, isn’t it time for you and Mama to go to bed?


What? You say 5pm isn’t bed time? Hmph. Maybe not for humans, but it’s bed time for me. Try not to disturb me when you come in later. Okay? Bye.

Dada’s Note: As the osteosarcoma in his left pelvis continues to progress, Dennis is having gradually increasing mobility issues; his “bunny hop” isn’t as hoppy as it used to be, and he is generally unable to get onto his accustomed spots on the furniture without assistance, which (unlike his brother Tucker, who was Mr. I’ll-Do-It-Myself-Or-Not-At-All) he does ask for from time to time. Fortunately he can still get onto the human bed, which we lowered years ago for Tucker’s convenience, and several months ago lowered even more (like, directly onto the floor) for Dennis’s. Because it’s one thing to sleep on the floor during the day and quite another to sleep on the floor instead of with the humans. Beyond controlling the pain, which is well-managed right now with medication and the two previous radiation treatments (there will not be a third), nothing more can be done for the osteosarcoma at this point; the cancer cannot be stopped, and he’s already exceeded the six-month median survival time by four months, tough little dog that he is.

Even more worrisome than the osteosarcoma at the moment is Dennis’s IBD, which has flared up over the last week or so, resulting in gastrointestinal distress for Dennis and “Cleanup In Aisle 6” distress for the humans. (Yesterday’s Caturday Matinee of Dennis eating well was shot a couple of weeks ago; unfortunately, he is not eating with that kind of gusto anymore.) We are currently struggling to bring that back under control. At this point all conventional treatments have failed and we are down to trying a few unconventional ones.

Finally, at Dennis’s recent cardiac recheck, it was found that his heart enlargement, which had been reversed when he started on pimobendan some time ago, is worsening again. In light of his other issues, the cardiologist recommended we not make any changes to his medications at this time. I suppose it says something when a Grade V heart murmur with a partial rupture is considered the least threatening of one’s medical conditions.

Despite his health issues and recent difficulty with his furniture therapy, Dennis remains in good spirits most of the time, but we can see what’s coming and have made arrangements for his favorite vet to return to her old practice to help him out one last time. When he lets us know he’s ready to join his departed pack and all his other friends over the Rainbow Bridge, or if we can’t make some headway soon against the IBD, we will be scheduling Dennis’s last appointment. We’re just not quite there yet.

26 thoughts on “Enjoy What You Can While You Can

  1. Dennis, you ask for all the help you need. You have earned it and even more. Make all the confetti you can and party like you have never partied before. We love you, Dennis, and wish you many more months of defying the evils that plague you.

    Your pals – Lightning, Misty, Timber, and Mom


  2. We are here with you and your family, D. We love you and will share your best and worst moments. You have brought us many smiles and your family continues to give us a look at courage up close. Stay strong, buddy. xo OK. Bye.

    Love and licks,


  3. You hang in there Good Buddy! I’ve just gotten to know you and Mom and I really admire your spunk! (And I admire you cardboard art, I’m thinking of maybe I need to see if I like cardboard art). You ask for all the help you need! Boomer and Mom


  4. Dennis! It sounds like your traumatic childhood has taken it’s toll on your handsome self. You is one of the bravest doggies we know – and one of the luckiest to have found your human fam. We know that that nasty Osteo monster takes no prisoners. That monster took our brother Gizmo to the bridge when he was only 6. Keep on asking for helps. Our rottie paws are crossed for you and for your fam. Sending rottie loves to Dada and Mama, too!

    -Otto and Osa


  5. Meow meow Dennis mee iss so furry sorry that yore I-Bee-Dee an Heart murrmurr an thee ouchie-sarcoma have ganged upss on you. Mee thinkss yore thee BESTEST doggie mee efurr met an mee wantss to hang out with you more…..
    Butt mee understandss.
    LadyMummy iss weepin like a sick kitt. Shee tow-tallee LOVESS you like you are her own.
    Shee told mee to tell you that shee iss goin to purray her heart out fore just a bit more guud time fore you! An mee will think of you eatin more an beein OK too…
    Just fore a while longer…..
    An mee meowed to angel Unccel Siddhartha Henry an hee told mee to tell you hee will bee reddy an waitin with Tucker an Trixie an Trouble an all yore frendss when you are leevin fore Pure Land.
    Butt stay a while longer ok???
    Yur adorin frendss BellaDharma an LadyMummy
    P. Ess>: Wee send all our ❤ to you an yore sweet an lovelee Pawentss an thee Hipster Kittenss too!


  6. Dennis you are an expert destroyer of cardboard. You are doing a great job of asking for any help you might want. Our paws are crossed for you and your family during this difficult time. We hope you IBD problems will get better.


  7. Our Mr Bailey needed a lot of help at the end too. He hated that Mom or Dad had to help steady him so he could poop with out falling backwards but always appreciated the help to the pillow above Mom’s head at bedtime.
    Our paws are crossed for you Dennis – your pawrents will do whatever is best for you cause they love you so much
    Hazel & Mabel


  8. Aww, Dennis, you are such a good and talented doggy. We luvz you and want you to be well forever. But we also know you can’t stay forever but just a bit longer for all your family and furrends. But if it becomes too hard to stay, we will understand and we will all miss you terribly. You will have lots of old furrends waiting for you if you decide it’s time to go across the bridge. You have friends and family in all realms to love you.
    Luvz Patzy


  9. Always so good to hear from you and see you, dear friend Dennis! We are glad you are not hurting anywhere, even thought you need help getting onto furniture. You are still making pretty good cardboard confetti!
    Meows and purrs from the Cat Gang


  10. hugs to you all we wish we could be there with you for a while to hold your hand and the paw of Dennis…. you are right, if life gives you a cardboard make confetti and celebrate the good times together…


  11. Sweet Dennis that is the best cardboard shredding we have ever seen…good job! We are so happy that you have a loving mama and daddy that make sure you have a comfortable place to sleep and rest and even help you up on the furniture when you want to be there. Sending lot of love, hugs and nose kisses to you all from all of us.


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