Earlier this year, we mentioned Czar in a post enumerating the pack at that time. In fact, he’s been mentioned a couple more times in this blog. Czar is one of those marvelous seniors whom we love so much. He’s been with us a couple of years and has been very little trouble and lots of joy. (Barbara and I are in slight disagreement about how long — I think it’s about four years, but she thinks it’s less. She’s usually right, so I’m not going to argue about it!)
A few weeks ago, shortly before Sly died, I noticed that something didn’t seem right with Czar’s head. I thought that I felt a sort of bump or swelling on the side of his face. Not long prior to that, we had the vet remove a largish growth over one of Czar’s eyebrows that had finally gotten large enough that it was interfering with his vision…and the vet confirmed our fear that it was cancerous. We were told that the tumor had been excised pretty well, but that it would undoubtedly recur somewhere, and pretty soon. Naturally, when I felt the bump/swelling, I immediately told Barbara and she set up an appointment for Czar.
The vet confirmed the feared diagnosis — more cancer — and we all agreed that it would be imprudent to subject Czar to any more surgery, especially on his face, with the accompanying general anesthesia that would be required. By today, the thing on his face is approximately the size of a baseball and has varied in the last week from rock-hard to merely firm. And it’s caused the shape of his head to change enough that his eye sockets are at different angles. I don’t imagine that he sees the same thing in both eyes, so either he’s learned to adapt to double vision or he doesn’t have much sight in one of his eyes.
Whichever, we’re both pretty certain that he won’t make it until Barbara’s shoulder replacement surgery, scheduled for 19 January. It’s going to be so hard to lose this little guy. He’s such a gentle soul. He waits patiently at the bottom of the stairs every night for me to carry him up to the bedroom and put him into bed — he can no longer climb the stairs himself. He cuddles with Barbara most of the night, sometimes turning over and laying his head on my arm, chest, or leg. And he asks for almost nothing but to be fed and to be loved. We’re going to miss him a lot when he leaves us!