Bearnaise Sauce Dogs, Photos, Poetry

The examining room

Sam in the backyard last week From this angle, you look just right: 

fluffy, glossy, long and lean. 

Panting, but that's normal, 

or at least usual. 

Until it isn't.

I pet you and fur flies. 

Is this your illness? 

Your nervousness? 

The time of year?

I don't know.

You're losing weight. 

I have to really touch your sides to know;

your heavy coat hides your frame 

just as it hid the lump on your leg.

You listen to the voices in the next room.

That dog is Bilbo Baggins, 

and you are Samwise Gamgee. 

Your human parents, Bilbo's and Sam's,

are worried, sad, perhaps despairing.

The vet is an oncologist,

a word that sounds like worry.

We wait. 

They are discussing football now, 

the doctor and Bilbo's father. 

Or maybe just college. 

But come on now. 

We are waiting to hear 

what's next.


Sam has a histiocytic sarcoma on his left hind leg. He started chemo today. We're hoping to get some period of remission. Right now, he feels fine and is sporting a cute bandage on the chemo leg. Let's hope the chemo doesn't disagree with him! 

18 thoughts on “The examining room”

  1. oh, no. praying here for beautiful Sam, and for you. My heartdog Munro had cancer in his right foreleg, and we bought some time with an amputation. I’m crying at the memories.

  2. A friend of mine had a dog that had to have chemo. She tolerated it well and had some high quality of life. Her cancer was not curable, but she did go on to live a full life for awhile longer. I’m praying for even more than that for Sam. (and as I write this I fear that my oldest dog and our oldest cat are facing similar health issues…sigh).

  3. Thinking of you, and Sam and hoping he does well with the treatment. Hugs to you my friend.

  4. O Songbird (((O)))! Prayers are with you all and Sam. So sorry to hear your dear companion and friend has this and may the chemo be of help.

  5. I hope by now it’s clear that Sam’s doing well. Not just well, but better than expected. He’s a dear boy, and lucky to have humans who take such good care of him.

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