Thursday, April 29, 2010


I returned from Florida to some bad news here at home. Ruby, one of our boxers, appears to be seriously ill.

When I leaned down to pet her after I got home, I noticed that her belly seemed unusually large. She’s never been particularly svelte, but this was definitely abnormal. At first, I thought she’d just put on weight, but Dave said he’d noticed it earlier that week and we agreed it didn’t look or feel like plain old fat.

I took her to the vet yesterday, where x-rays revealed that her abdomen appears to be full of fluid. The vet thinks she has a malignant tumor, probably on her spleen, but she couldn’t see Ruby’s organs on the x-ray to confirm her hunch. So today we’re having an ultrasound done. Dave took the day off to be with her.

Ruby is not a young dog -- she’s somewhere between 9 and 12 years old -- but I still feel sucker-punched by the news. Selfishly, I feel like I should have more time with her. I've only known her a year. Dave's got to feel ten times worse.

Everything is impermanent. Every moment counts.

(Photo: Ernie (left) and Ruby on the balcony, on April 8.)


  1. Oh no. I'm sending love and good, strong energy to Ruby and to you and Dave as you move through whatever is happening to her.

    much love, and yes, every moment counts. Yes.

  2. I'm sorry to hear this: thank goodness you & Dave were alert enough to notice something wrong. Here's hoping the vets can treat whatever is causing the problem.

    Living with pets whose life-spans are shorter than our own is such an exercise in impermanence. As you and Reya said, every moment counts.

  3. Wow, that's bad news. I hope the best for all.

  4. I'll give a full update tomorrow. Some good news -- nothing in the spleen. There are abnormalities in the liver but we're suspicious about the cancer diagnosis. We think she may merely have had a reaction to an NSAID she was taking. Wouldn't THAT be great????

  5. I wish you and Dave and Ruby the best!

  6. will keep my fingers crossed for your drug reaction theory (and NOT that awful C word you mentioned). sending happy doggy thoughts your way...

  7. I feel so bad about Ruby I've decided to send you Henry. He'll be in Jersey on Monday.

    Hide your dirty washcloths. Good Luck!