A week ago, I took Bella to the vet, because she'd started to struggle when sitting to wait for her dinner. The first time, I thought it was because she was on tiles in the hallway--she doesn't like walking on slippery surfaces and can be intimidated by restricted space. The second time, on Thursday, both Karli and I saw her as she sat herself down on the deck--and at the same time commented, "that looks painful". So last Friday, we went to see the vet. It took four attempts to get Bella into the truck, when usually she just steps up and in. I thought she had hurt a muscle, or was developing hip problems, or had simply maybe just ripped a claw.
But no. She has canine osteosarcoma. It was confirmed by a specialist on Wednesday this week.
The prognosis is not good: it has most likely already spread. The options are equally not good: the majority of treatments, including amputation and chemo, do not prolong the dogs life for very long, if at all. And I would rather she has as comfortable time, and as fear-free time, as possible.
Bella started off as the most fearful dog I have ever known... and that is not a place I want to take her back to. She has come a long way since then.
Hopefully, we will have many more months of her happy company. I will keep you updated.
More of her story: http://www.flickr.com/photos/alisontoon/sets/72157630577326710/