I honestly didn't know if she'd make it through the night, but decided against emergency vet care because I could not stand the thought of being told that I'd have to leave her there, alone, without the ones who love her. My worst fear is of her dying alone. No one should die alone. Not even a dog.
But we made it to morning. A few tests and bloodwork later, we're not sure what's going on with her. She has a large growth that might be cancerous and maybe not. It's been there for a long time, but recently it's started changing, at a rapid rate. Her bloodwork pointed to some abnormalities, but nothing 100% conclusive. If it is cancer, there's not much we can do except make her last days comfortable--whether it be 6 days, 6 weeks, 6 months or 6 years. She is, after all, an old girl. We've been advised to simply take it one day at a time. I'm trying to remind myself of that. I tell myself to stay present, lest I melt into a puddle of tears.
To make matters worse, I have approximately 2 weeks to complete 9 portraits in preparation for an opening and major event that takes place on October 8th. After getting sick and not being able to work for almost a month, I am mondo-behindo. I am tired. This year (numero 34) has been a somewhat hellacious journey and I am just so tired of pulling magic out of my ass. I will do it again. Magic is, after all, a specialty of mine. So far, I have deeply enjoyed the time spent painting in preparation for this show. It seems like an impossible feat to accomplish in such a short amount of time, but I have surprised myself before and have no doubt that I'll somehow be able to do it again.
I paint from such a deep place of love. It is hard to paint while Anu lays next to me in pain. My heart breaks. Not yet knowing if it is her time...I feel torn into a millions pieces. I will let her go when it is time. I don't want to. But I will. I paint with my heart up wide open. That's just the way it works. I am glad to experience such a profound sense of love through the work I do, but holy hell. I feel like I might metaphorically bleed to death (or maybe just cry to death, if that's an option).
On Saturday a magazine will be coming out to do a photo shoot of my studio for an upcoming feature. I am so excited about it. The photographer, whose clients include Life , Real Simple, Modern Bride...she's incredible. But, I admit, much of my energy flew right out the window when Anu got sick. Last night I kept getting this image of the photographer showing up to take photos of my red, swollen eyes and no Anu--which is not, by any stretch of the imagination, my idea of an ideal photoshoot. At the moment, I just feel haggard. I feel the need for an ice pack and some sleep. I feel the need for a big long snuggles with my girl. All of which I am going to indulge myself in--because there is no other way I'm going to make it through the next couple weeks unless I do.
Right now, Anu is asleep on the floor near my feet. Behind me, my other dogs, Louie and Ella, they have their legs wrapped around each other in sweet muggle-puffin play. They know something is up, their movements are especially quiet and gentle. Louie, my Chessie, is the most sensitive. His thoughtful expression breaks my heart again. Both the pups stop and sniff Anu and keep a watchful eye on her. We stay close and surround her with love.
Needless to say, my world is filled to the brim. So much love that I feel it sharply, painfully. Maybe everything is going to be alright. No matter what the outcome, in the end, I know it will be alright. But life just seems to be happening all at once these days. And, damn. This is just a bit too much.
My wolfie girl is my heart.