Dearest Rachel –
It would seem that another milestone has just slipped past me without notice. Granted, it’s probably because I didn’t think to make the calculation earlier, but I just realized that a week ago, Chompers has survived for seventy-three days since the accident.
Based on the generally accepted rule that (apart from the first year, which is equivalent to the full eighteen years of childhood and adolescence) every calendar year approximates to five years of an adult dog’s life, that means that Chompers has survived a full dog year since your passing.
You know we never thought he’d make it this far.
Even the day before, after you’d taken him to his first hydrotherapy session at Splash Dog (and informed me that you’d signed him up for a full ten session course because “it was so much cheaper per session” to do so), you expressed doubt that he’d actually live the full ten weeks to take advantage of them all. Well, while he didn’t get a lot out of the last three or four sessions, he made it through the full course and then some.
We didn’t expect him to last until spring, and here we are, closing in on the middle of April, almost a month into the season. And now, it’s been over a fifth of a year and he’s still going.
Now, I won’t say going strong, to be sure. I wouldn’t even say that he hasn’t changed over all this time. Given that he’s waking up whining on a regular basis before seven these days (even on Saturdays – well, let’s face it, especially on Saturdays) – to say nothing about his adverse reaction to my attempts at showering – he’d absolutely destroy any romantic life we would have had these past few months had you still be here. On the other hand, that may be because I’m putting him to bed waaaay sooner than you did when you were around, so it may just stand to reason he wakes up like that.
At least he sleeps most of the mornings once I’ve fed him and gotten him outside – or so Daniel tells me. Although afternoons are apparently hit or miss, and by 5 o’clock, there seems to be nothing that settles him down until he gets fed, which I refuse to do any sooner than six, so I just have to put up with it. It put rather a crimp in yesterday’s online gaming session with the gang. Well, at least I can use it as an excuse as to why I’m so lousy at Splendor.
You would have liked that game, too. For my part, it’s one of those games where you can see a loss coming a mile away, so it’s no fun to lose – and (if I were ever able to win a round) embarrassing to win, because I know how much losing hurts. But the girls enjoy it, and I’m not about to prevent them from playing it after having cleaned up a bit too well on some of the Jackbox games. You literally win some and lose some on Sunday afternoon.
But back to Chompers. So, yeah, he’s survived longer than we ever thought he would. Don’t know if I can get to take any credit, though – I’m just feeding him as best as I remember you doing, and he’s still cleaning out his bowl. So I can’t simply give up on him. Ellen says she felt some kind of lump on him when she was by on Saturday (she brought over some photos on a thumb drive as a belated birthday present – right now, anything of yours is all I could ask for anymore), but didn’t really suggest it was anything serious. I’ve set up an appointment for his annual checkup in a couple of weeks, and maybe we’ll know more about how he’s doing then.
I’ve also left a message with his groomers; whether or not he’s nearing the end, he could definitely use a bath, a nail trimming (hey, maybe it’s why he can’t negotiate on linoleum or tile) and a summer haircut. Hope he calls back soon, so I can arrange a time. At worst, he can go like Sweeney Todd’s clients to ‘meet his Maker impeccably shaved.’
That’s it for now, honey. I’m off to work on the camp’s books today; more on that subject tomorrow. You enjoy yourself, and I’ll talk to you later.
I love you.