My rescue dog – Dexter The Elderbull – is finally here! Earlier this week my brother drove with me to Hamilton to pick him up from his foster family. The drive home was relatively smooth, though Dexter did try to jump into the passenger seat to eat my brother’s Tim Horton’s donut, but really, who can blame him for that?
Many people have asked me why I adopted an elderly dog – Dexter is a twelve year old Pit-Bull. What I usually tell people is that elderly dogs have a difficult time getting adopted and they deserve a loving retirement home. And that’s the truth. And I’ve always wanted to adopt an elderly dog, that’s also the truth. But here’s the other truth: with my type of cancer – Peritoneal Mesothelioma – a “long-term survival rate” is considered five years. I was diagnosed and treated in November 2014. So far my scans have been good, though that doesn’t mean as much as it does with other cancers. Often patients with Mesothelioma have regular “clear scans,” then start feeling sick, then get exploratory surgery, only to find out that there are Tiny Cancer Dancers doing The Hustle in their abdomen. So, my thinking was: “I will adopt an elderly dog and hopefully he or she will die before I do.” But of course that’s not exactly the kind of thing you say casually to someone at the park, no one wants to hear that.
There was also my partner to consider. After my dog Leroy’s death in March, my partner didn’t really want to get another dog. His primary concern was that I would die, he would be devastated and he wouldn’t be able to or want to take care of my dog. Again, that’s not something that I usually tell people, (other than my family & friends), because I have no interest in making people feel uncomfortable.
Though I am often prone to getting carried away with theatricality, sparkle infused dreaming and wishful thinking, when it comes to my cancer and the strong probability of dying young (ish), I am very pragmatic. I wanted a dog and I found a creative solution. One Elderly Dog + One Mesothelioma Patient who naps like a toddler = the perfect joyful solution!
Editor’s Note: A special thank you to the friends and family who have volunteered to take care of Dexter if ever we need the help. xo