I went to work yesterday evening then went out to eat after closing. This means I came home very late... Around 12:30.
Expecting a quiet house, I found my Mom and sister both still up and rather upset. Popo, our 11 year-old Golden Retriever, has a mass under his face that is obstructing his breathing and right eye. He was struggling to breath through his nose, looked exhausted but seemed unable to sleep.
We knew that there was nothing we could do about it so late. We're in touch with the vet and he told us that Popo needs a CT or MRI scan, which no vet in Bowling Green can provide. So, we prayed, turned on a CD with scriptures about healing, and went to bed. I was still praying when I fell asleep.
Popo seemed much better this morning. At 8AM, he was sound asleep in his kennel, breathing heavily. He has not moved around much today, but we know he's not in pain and he seems peaceful. He is a little disoriented because he can only see out of one eye.
Today was the first day the vet used the dreaded word... Cancer. He said it's either cancer or fungus. The CT or MRI will show us what is going on. We needed to find a vet with the equipment to do the scan. He (our vet here in Bowling Green) said he would make some calls. We made some calls of our own to fellow pet-owners in Nashville, looking for an animal hospital with the right tools. We prayed.
In a matter of two phone calls, Mom found a vet in Nashville that can do a CT scan for Popo and... (this part will blow your mind).... They're located on 12th Avenue South. Our condo in the Gulch is on 12th Avenue South. My brother's college preparatory tutorial is on 12th Avenue South. My Dad's Nashville office is on 12th Avenue South. My favorite burger place is on 12th Avenue South. In other words, this place couldn't be in a better location.
The bad news was that this scan could cost an estimated $700. That's just the scan. If he has to have surgery, recovery, etc., the costs will increase. Mom and Dad are talking about how far they are willing to go and how much they are willing to invest in him. It's grim but necessary.
I have felt surprisingly peaceful throughout this ordeal. Some people do not believe animals go to heaven, but I think they do. I think that our dearest pets will be there for us - waiting just inside the front door of the mansions Jesus prepared for us, tails wagging and big smiles. While I want Popo to remain here with us, I also know that my life is full of love and peace. I remain hopeful. God loves and provides for the smallest animal, how much more will He love and provide for those animals that have loved us, His children? If Popo's time is drawing near, my prayer is that God give him comfort and peace, that he would not suffer. He is a God of miracles, however, and we will continue to pray and minister to our puppy. God has already provided for Popo - the needed equipment is just down the street from our condo. He is on our side and ready to love us to the end - even by loving our pets.
Tonight, Popo is already asleep. I hope he has sweet dreams of chasing tennis balls and carrying his favorite stuffed animal.