On 01.02.02, I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. Too late for surgery, I had chemotherapy, which failed. In May the chemotherapy was changed and I was soon in remission which was celebrated and welcome and lasted nine years - until October 2011. There was progression in 2011 so more treatment was indicated and I am now back in partial remission. But I'm not only a cancer patient - I also enjoy my family, walk my dogs and am learning to draw and paint. Life is good!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Run, Girl, run

I haven't written about Parisse very often, mostly because she's such a wonky dog there's not much to say.  She's a black lab, six years old.  I was her puppy raiser for Canine Companions for Independence, but she was so weird that she was released long before turn-in to advanced training.  I still can't walk her around the block, she just won't move.

Everything upsets Parisse.  I've had five veterinarians examine her, but there's been no definitive diagnosis.  The veterinary ophthalmologist (yes!) said her vision seems to be normal and she hears.  But she runs and cows at the slightest provocation. I mean, once I tried taking her to a dog park and a chihuahua approached, maybe one-fifth her size, and Parisse hunched down in the corner and never moved until we left.

I've always assumed she's autistic - there is canine autism - because she avoids all contact with both humans and our other dogs, she doesn't know how to play and seems to live in her own little world several rooms away from the rest of us.

Lately we've been noticing that she's approaching more and often jumps on the sofa with a human and is downright cuddly (for her).  It's been an amazing transition just to get that far.  I've also noticed that if I say "car" she will readily leave the house and jump in.  If I say "walk" her butt anchors to the ground and I can't move her, can't drag her, can't budge her no way, no how.

Today Youngest Grandson and I took all three dogs to the dog park.  Because "car" was involved there was no problem getting Parisse loaded with the others.  When we arrived, surprise of all surprises, she leapt out and strained at the leash to "play," our other word to avoid.  There weren't many dogs there (good) but there were two large labradoodles, two small labrador puppies and a couple other mixed breeds.  Parisse joined in.  She ran and ran and ran.  I was so shocked - pleasantly - and happy to see her act close to normal.  A couple times I noticed her crouching in total submission, flat to the ground, but mostly she was in motion and sort of trying to engage.

I don't know why she's changing, but this is the sort of thing that makes my heart sing!

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