I have very sad news regarding Toby. I noticed that he seemed to be losing weight, and when I was petting him, I noticed his lymph nodes were enlarged. I took him to the vet, and a few days ago he was diagnosed with lymphoma, and it is a more aggressive kind. He only has a few months left to live. I am opting NOT to do chemo, as it is a lot to put him through, and instead have started him on prednisone (a steroid), and already I can see improvements in the way he feels.
The reason that this is particularly sad for me, is that I KNOW that Toby has had an absolutely horrible life. His teeth are worn down to the gumline (even though he is NOT a chewer, which led me to believe he was cruelly confined), he was terrified of most people and only recently has become more at ease with strangers (even though I have been working on this with him for a year-and-a-half....it took THAT long for him to start to trust again), and he used to bite everyone who came near him. He was scared to death. I don't normally keep my rescue dogs, but he was so traumatized and I felt so sad for him, and it took SO long for him to trust even ME, that I knew it would be detrimental to adopt him out and make him have to go through all of that adjusting, all over again. So I kept him. And I know he has had a great life with me. He loves me. He loves my dogs. And he loves our daily outings for an off-leash romp at a local park or at the golf course. But the thing is, I was hoping to have him for 4 or 5 years, where I could make him so happy, to make up for the years and years of abuse he endured. Bus sadly, I have only gotten a short 18 months with him, and several of those months were spent just trying to rehabilitate him. He's such a terrific dog now! He no longer bites people....in fact, if you go slow, he'll let you pet him even if he doesn't know you. He would NEVER do that when I first got him. He likes to hang out in the tv room with us now, instead of always hiding behind the wet bar. He gives me kisses, and OCCASIONALLY, he'll even give a kiss to my roomate. I never need a leash on him. He follows me everywhere I go. He never complains. He is no trouble at all. And I love him.
This is such sad news. Fortunately, all my rescue dogs have been adopted, except for one small Cairn Terrier mix that is going to a potential home tomorrow. And I have no out-of-town trips planned any time soon. So I have the luxury now to spend all my time and attention on him. I can't believe I'm going to lose him already. 18 months went by so quick. It is absolutely heart-breaking.
I love my Toby.