I say “slight” departure, because Afton is a huge part of my life, and she always wants me to do better, and to be better. Helping people to do better, and be better, is what libraries (of all types) try to do. Afton loves me unconditionally, and when I was still working 9-5, was always happy to see me come home, and let me know she loved me,
no matter how much I may have screwed up that day, or how little I had accomplished. Now, she is a willing and attentive audience when I practice my lectures at home, welcomes me home week after week, and loves me even if I didn’t quite get my point across to the students that day.
We all need that unconditional love and support to do our jobs, whether it comes from our pets, our family, our friends, or our colleagues (and often, a combination of these!)
Now, Afton wants and needs our unconditional love and support, even more than ever. She has a tumor on a rear leg, which has been diagnosed as sarcoma, most likely osteosarcoma. Rather than pursuing more aggressive treatment like amputation and chemo, we have decided simply to manage her pain, make her comfortable, and make the most of our time together. We don’t know whether that time together will be days, weeks, or months. All I know is she still wags her tail, and rolls over for belly rubs.
Dogs don’t live as long as humans. Large breed dogs don’t live as long as smaller breeds. Dogs love unconditionally every day. They can’t tell us in spoken words when their time is up. They count on us to help them leave this world when the time is right. We will help Afton. But not today, my lovely girl. Not today.