Merry Christmas, everyone. May you and your loved ones enjoy the festive season.
It was three years ago this week that Herbie had his last chemo treatment. When we went back after Christmas, I explained that the tumour had in fact grown, and this rescue protocol, his second, was losing its effect. The vet said the only thing we hadn't tried was potentially risky, and given that Herbie had suffered side effects from his last chemo, he wasn't sure it was safe.
It was such a shock to be told that we were out of options. The vet didn't mention survival times without treatment, but the books I had weren't optimistic. Still, three years later, the boy is still here, still eating and running around, just with a lot of tumours. I sometimes think that if he had a shorter nose, the tumours would have outgrown his head, but fortunately he's a greyhound. I've tried to do the right things with his diet, even though he is now standing by the bookcase which has the dog-biscuit tin on top, with what I call his "Bohemian Rhapsody" expression ("I'm just a poor boy from a poor family"), trying to convey to me that he could in fact die of starvation only half an hour after his evening meal if not given an immediate biscuit. Nice try.
He might be lumpy, but he's still here.
We're all still here, but an era is drawing to a close at Tailends, the greyhound hospice in Devon. One of the founders, Angela, died earlier this year, and her partner has decided not to take in any new dogs, but to let the existing cohort live out their days. Given that most of them came to Tailends on their last legs, that may not be very long. They have done amazing work for the last couple of decades.
I am going through the usual summer lull at work, and am very bored. Fortunately a kind friend has sent me a boxed set of Flight of the Conchords, so at least I can hum silly songs to myself. I'm very much enjoying the dead-pan New Zealand take on life in New York.
And finally, a sad farewell to Soly, my sister's Maine Coon cat. Something got him, out in the fields. He died out hunting, which is possibly how he would have wanted to go, but we were all expecting him to last a bit longer than he did. Rest in peace, Sol.
It's been a busy week. Nigel's baby, William Thomas, arrived in the early hours of last Wednesday - needless to say, the car had iced over at the point when Mel realised she needed to go to the hospital NOW, so poor Nigel was frantically scraping ice off the windscreen at 2 in the morning... at least they got there, unlike this poor couple.
Then another member of the team at work left to join the NHS. And another person at work who left suddenly on Friday looks uncannily like the picture of an Irish woman suspected of being a hitwoman in Dubai. Now we're all going to be wondering... (Actually we think she was here at the time the murders were carrried out, but fiction is so more gossip-worthy than the truth.)
And finally, to add to all the excitement, I took the day off so I could get the chimney swept.