This is just a quickie because:
a) It's late and we just got home after dinner and Wii with The Hun's workmates which was lots of fun and makes the wait until Christmas all the harder;
b) I'm off to the coast tomorrow for two nights with the bro's, some cousins and various partners and I feel I should let you know before I go AWOL;
c) I have something I want to talk about but want to give it the time it deserves, but it's constantly in the back of my mind so I have to get it, shorter and sooner than preferred;
d) All of the above.
I mentioned in this dot point post that Max the dog was unwell with pancreas and bronchial issues, with potential meningitis. Since he started his medication he had pepped up again, cheery and friendly and our happy dog again. When I saw him on the weekend for youngest bro's 21st, he was acting odd again. Watching him in the hallway, his front left leg kept slipping out from under. He was panting and his tongue was hanging out on one side, which whilst may seem cute, is also not normal. He was walking side by side with Elvis the dog, in the exact same way Elvis and Tom used to do (always walking as one) and then he went berko at Elvis and had to be smacked a sent away - something that hasn't happened for quite some time. He came out onto the deck and peed on the mat twice, in front of everyone - he has never done that before.
He was taken back into the vet on Tuesday for further tests and came home with dadsy and youngest bro just before 8pm. Dadsy jumped in the other car with mumsy to pick up birthday dinner Indian, and I met up with youngest bro in the driveway. Youngest bro started to explain what the vet had said, but was intertuped by Max shaking himself, like all dogs do, but landing himself on his back, legs up in the air, unable to get up and unwilling to try. I asked if he'd been sedated and was told that no, he hadn't, just as youngest bro opened the gate for Max. Max turned anticlockwise in almost a full circle to turn right - "He's not turning right" I was told. And whilst typically this could also be amusing in a Zoolander kinda way, it just wasn't. Max was panting and keen to get inside for a drink of water, so took off up the back stairs as per usual but got it wrong again - jumping to the right and almost jamming his head in the corner of the deck under a bicycle tire.
I nearly burst into tears all three things happened within about ten seconds - all I could kinda do was stare at him with my mouth open and feel my stomach fall.
Youngest bro got him inside and told us that one eye was weaker than the other and one leg was weaker.
They told him he may have had a stroke - a blood clot through to his brain; he may have a tumor in his brain; he may have cancer in his brain.
Eldest bro summed it up the most articulately: So they're not sure what it is, but whatever it is, it's shit.
It could have happened before he slipped down the stairs, it could have happened during, it could have happened after. It goes to explain his personality change. It could happen again.
The vet put calls through to Sydney Uni - it's the only place where they can do an MRI. And whilst they said they may not need to take it that far, if they can piece together what's happened, dadsy told me this afternoon that the vet was waiting for the call back from the uni.
I've volunteered to take him up if he needs to go.
Because everyone had a hard enough watching Tom die, and I wasn't there.
Because I was the one so determined that what we needed was another dog.
Because I was the one who picked him out from the pound with mumsy.
Because when I picked him up from the pound I saw such love in his eyes it brought tears to my eyes - the crazy sobbing driver and the ecstatic lovely dog.
Because although he shows no sign of any attachment or loyalty to me, I can't help but feel so much a part of him.