A Split Day
We had a pretty interesting day today. Spent the morning at work and got some things done that I needed other people for. Then a bit after noon John and I went home. Borax was stuffed with all our recycling and we had fun getting it all into the bins at the recycle center. I had to giggle a lot at a Victoria's Secret shopping bag we'd gotten that was now completely filled with aluminium and tin cans. It's pretty cool how much stuff can be recycled.
Then we went home.
Fezzik was there and happily snapped up bits of my lunch when I gave them to him. I had leftover potstickers while John had some of his green chile cassarole, and then I went upstairs to work while John was downstairs. I discouraged Fezzik from climbing the stairs 'cause I didn't want him to fall and I thought he'd be okay with attention from John. But Fezzik wandered back and forth between John and the bottom of the stairs, and got mildly upset for a little, and then I heard John going, "What are you doing?" and then a, "No, don't come down!" and then I saw Fezzik come into the upstairs office, panting pretty hard.
John laughed, "There you go." and went back downstairs to work some more.
Turned out Fezzik had almost made it to the top of the stairs and when John actually went to find out what he was doing, he'd gotten about two steps from the top and had turned around and was looking like he was going to try and come back down. Poor pup. He must have gotten all intrepid and made it as far as he could and then gotten tired or something and it nearly made me cry just to think of him giving up right then; but John found him, went up and helped him up the last few stairs and so he made it.
I made much of Fezzik and he looked very pleased with himself. Hugging the smug dog was really cool. He leaned against me, got lots of hugs and pets and was made very much of and then he lay down beside me and was in exactly the right place for pets when I was thinking, which was pretty often. He was very content for a good, long time.
Eventually, I had to go back downstairs to make some vegetable thing for the dinner at Mason's. We'd bought cauliflower on the way home, and so I made alu gobi, following vague half-remembered things that James Walden once did as well as advice from Penzey's. I basically dropped a bunch of butter into a pot, then added half an onion, chopped, and then added three tablespoons of Penzey's Balti seasoning. I hesitated after the second tablespoon, but was bold and did it. I then let the spices toast in the hot butter until the house was just filled with the scent of the stuff. When that happened, I then added a cut up head of califlower and three potatoes in pieces. I then essentially stirfried the veggies until they started to caramelize. I then added a bit of water, covered it and let it steam itself to doneness. The house was filled with the sweet scent of the spices.
Fezzik, in the meantime, had gotten up, upstairs, and come over to the rail to watch me cook. He just lay up there and watched, and when I came back upstairs, he settled by me again for a while. He took another hour of watching me type and think and getting petted when he decided he wanted to go down. He paced at the top of the stairs and you could see him debating the long trip down, and I think he knows that his hind legs can go out on him while he's going down. I've heard what happens along the front stairs when he almost falls down the last few stairs. So he was hesitant and I don't blame him. John came up while I was asking Fezzik what he wanted to do and the two of us took hold of Fezzik and brought him down the stairs. Took a few stops for me to catch my breath, but we got him down safely and he immediately headed outside.
He came back in not too long after, and just lay on his bed to watch John, occassionally sniffing at the steaming pot.
I came down around four thirty and realized that Fezzik didn't have any more food. His dry stuff had run out so we were running through the beef and rice at a much faster rate. So I went down into the basement, thawed one and two thirds pounds of ground beef, and we'd cooked rice last night, when I first remembered. He'd had just enough for breakfast with some supplimenting, but nothing for dinner. So I browned the thawed meat and mixed it with the rice by hand and put a bunch of it into his dinner bowl along with a bit of the aloo gobi. Spicy goodness. Fezzik really enjoyed that. I was very glad that we'd been able to spend the afternoon at home with him, as we all had enjoyed it so much.
While scritching him under the chin I found that his lymph nodes were pretty big. The ones in his hind legs are really large and starting to harden and there's even the small ones behind his elbows that are getting pebble hard. They're coming back. Quickly even. He's still happy and mobile and proud of himself and doing things, but the disease is likely going to go like wildfire this time around. I was sad and I hugged him, but it really made me glad that I was pretty sure I was going to stay at home this coming weekend.
John and I then left for dinner. The Masons had invited another couple that was due about a week after John and I. They wanted for us to get together and the evening was very pleasant. Good food, great desserts, and much sharing talk about the pregnancies and kids. The Masons had just had their second, and Zeta, their first, was running around and entertaining us. I, however, was most taken by Jo Jo, their golden retriever, whom they got when Zeta was nine months old. Jo Jo's about two, now and active, enthusiastic and the nicest dog with the kids, no matter how the kids abused her. She just walked away when they got too bad, and she even curls up about the six-month-old when the kid is left alone downstairs. Very protective and very sweet and she reminded me some of Fezzik when he was young. I petted her a lot and it was oddly comforting to remember that there were dogs in the world that are healthy, happy and in the prime of their lives.
Odd that it actually made me feel better. Or maybe it's just that Jo Jo was enjoying her life so much that it was fun to just pet her and watch her with her family.
I'm gradually figuring out that the depression is an okay thing. That I have reasons to be sad and to be depressed and to be tired feeling. That losing Fezzik is a terrible thing that I don't have to be cheerful in the face of it all. I can feel bad and it's okay to feel bad. I've been, in some ways, crying since April about him, so it's no wonder I feel bad now that it's coming down to the wire. It's okay to feel bad about missing all my friends at Orycon but still feel good about deciding to stay home. It's human. it's all a mix.
When we got home, I hugged Fezzik a lot and he nosed me all over because of Jo Jo's scent and then cuddled in for a good scritch all over. Happy dog.
John and I stayed up doing things, including cleaning up the house for the housecleaners tomorrow. It surprised me when I found out that it was 11, we went to sleep soon after that and Fezzik went outside. Another warmer night, so I didn't worry and it was comforting to hear him walking along the all-around porch, and have no problems with the stairs. I'm almost glad that his mobility has come back with the 8-hour proceedure eventhough the swelling lymph nodes means that most of his major organs are now under attack by the cancer. At least he can get around and do what he wants to do and he's in no pain. He's enjoying things and that's what it was all about.