We found out yesterday that our beloved Napoleon has cancer in his back, front leg, abdomen, and spleen. I've been a wreck since and I'm sitting here writing this with tears flowing. He's had an off and on limp for the past few weeks and every time we though it was time to take him in to the vet, it seemed to go away. We just dismissed it as a "boo-boo" he got from playing with Otto. About a month ago, we took him in for some much needed dental work/surgery that required a full blood work up, all of which came back normal. Last week, after peeing in the house a few times (which he's never done), I took him to the vet and they discovered he had a urinary track infection. This past Saturday, he started struggling to stand up on his back legs and literally laid in the same spot all day. We knew something was wrong and took him into the vet yesterday morning. After x-raying his front leg and back, the vet told me there were some abnormalities in the scans and a radiologist confirmed it was cancer. There's nothing we can do, except wait for the "right time", which is a weird and sad thing. We spent the entire day yesterday just been loving on him as much as possible and giving him things to eat we never did before like turkey burgers and peanut butter sandwiches.
In trying to explain this to Ella, we brought up my parent's dog, Kudzu, who they had put to sleep several months ago. I asked Ella if she remembered where Kudzu was and she said "with Jesus". I told her I thought Napoleon was going to be with Jesus soon and she asked, "Mommy, will Jesus have toys for Napoleon?" I laughed. What a sweet girl she is.
We rescued Napoleon in September 2006 on the way to Jackson. We walked in to the house to pick him up and I'll never forget when I first saw him. He was on a leash, jumping on his hind legs, and barking like crazy. David looked at me and asked me if I wanted to get him and I gave him a nervous "ok". We fell in love with him immediately and all of his little quirks. Like how his tongue was too big for his mouth or how his booty never touched the ground when he sat down or how he loved to chase and spin around when he saw the beam of a flashlight or any sort of light reflected onto anything. He loved to lean into you and he totally mastered the boxer wiggle and he loved to go on runs, which eventually turned into leisurely walks. For a while, it was just me and Napoleon because we didn't have kids yet and David was always traveling with work. We were buds. He loved riding in the car and he would go everywhere with us. And, he didn't seem to mind when too much when we got Otto on a whim and when his status in the house was "downgraded" just a bit when the girls came along. He loved us just the same. David and I like to joke that the girls aged him because he went from a young, spry dog to an older, calmer dog once they came into the world. Throughout it all, he's been our sweet and loyal dog and our biggest protector.