Farewell, My Friend: Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Well, I knew this day would come. I think I'm really ready for it. (And I think my parents are too since they've shouldered a lot of the burden as of late.) However, I'm still a little sad. River, my loaner dog, is heading South tomorrow to be returned to his rightful owner (my brother, Bobby, in case you're just joining...).

The fact is, I'm back to my old self again, which means I'm running around like a crazy woman and am rarely home. Obviously, this is not condusive to having a 90 lb. Lab who needs lots of exercise and wants company all of the time. As I've told many people, I knew there was a reason I didn't have a dog before I got sick and my post-treatment lifestyle has been a big reminder of that reason. I just don't have time...or the space...or, frankly, the patience.

So, while I won't miss finding my bathroom trash can partially emptied every time I come home (because I rarely remembered putting the trash up or closing the bathroom door...), or having dog hair all over my mostly black wardrobe, or paying large vet bills on top of my own medical expenses, or being relegated to one small corner of my queen bed so that he can stretch out comfortably, or having him wake me up at about 5:30 a.m. everyday to be fed and walked (...in the dark, bitter cold), or having him want to play with his nasty toys at the most inopportune times, or...well, you get the picture, I will still miss him.

I will miss our long walks, our trips to the dog park (where I endured dozens of dirty looks due to his humping issue), the way he patiently laid by my side or at my feet everytime I got teary during my treatment, and most importantly, I will miss seeing just how excited he is to see me after everytime I've been gone -- whether for five minutes or for five days.

So, his departure is sad...and I must confess that I'm a little weepy as I write this. As one friend just pointed out, his departure is a watershed moment in my post-treatment life. He was always going to go home after I was better. And I am 100% better now so it is time. It's a new year, I'm healthy again, and it is time for River to be reunited with his master, who has missed him terribly.

Thank you, River, for being my constant companion during the dog days of treatment this summer. Your affection was one of the best complementary therapies I arranged for myself. I will miss you and can't wait to see you again.

We had our last walk together with my mom this morning. This shot was taken when I stopped by my parent's later to drop off a few more of his things for my mom to take with them when they return him to Bobby this weekend. It was so cute, he wanted to follow me out so we let him. Always a gentlemen, he walked me to my car and gave me a kiss goodbye and only left the side of my car after my mother called for him to come inside for a treat. He loves his treats!

Oh, and you can see above, "Brenda" has been on vacation since we left for the BVIs. My hair is pretty thick (actually, thicker than before I was sick...) and while I still don't know that I like that I look like I might prefer women, I'm just so much more comfortable and seem to have fewer hot flashes without her. Another watershed post-treatment event, wouldn't you say?!


  1. Love it - your hair is looking great! Bella will miss River and hopes to see him when his travels bring him back to NoVa.

  2. Sorry you will miss River, but so glad you are feeling better and can be busy again!

  3. This is sad. Every time Amelie sees a dog she calls it River. We'll miss him. As for your hot lesbian hair-love it!

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  5. Hey Jennie:
    Pets make the best post-chemo companions. I'm still leaning heavily (so to speak) on my cat who naps with me daily, and my dog, who forces me to get the hell up and go for a walk. I'm so sorry you're having to separate - may I recommend a kitten?

    (My hair is in the exact same place as yours, and my husband told me I had to change out of a sassy vest and t-shirt over skinnies last week because I looked like I preferred women, too. But the mod dress is sure cute!)

    Grow on,

  6. Was great to see you the other night. Lucy misses River, her first canine friend. If you get lonely for River, she says to come visit her!