Caesar Augustus a.k.a. Gus
April 7, 2004 - January 15, 2008

I understand the word aggressive. It has been made painfully clear to me in the last three weeks. The dictionary defines it as “boldly hostile” and how true that is.

On December 21st our dog Gus was thought to have lymphoma (Hodgkin’s disease). This was confirmed with a biopsy and yesterday January 15, he passed from this world.

Here is a quote from my vet. “Lymphoma is very aggressive in young dogs”. Now, my question is what exactly does that mean? Two weeks, two months, two years? Jim Shelor, my former sister-in-law’s dad, was told he had cancer and died two weeks later. Some folks go much longer like my cousin Kelly Surface who fought for many, many years. So could aggressive be a relative term my vet was using? I sure did hope so.

It seems impossible that such a playful dog who gave every appearance of health could have such a dreaded malady. How do you come to terms with inevitable death when all indications are for a long, rollicking future? What makes you take notice that all is not right with the world? Did my husband Jimi, and I see things that weren’t there in order to accept that which our minds rejected? Maybe. And if we did it was only to prepare ourselves for the pain associated with great loss.

Aggressive indeed. Up till this past weekend we held on to hope. Actually clung to the flimsiest thread and tried to deny that illness could happen to our little bulldog. Every day that he was happy and well adjusted and a joy to be around was enough for me. I did not want to dwell on the unpleasant things that life had dealt us. But there was a hostile intruder that would not be denied.

Gus was a trooper till the very end. As a matter of fact he strutted into the office of Dr. DeRolf as if to say “I am ready to let this world of woe go and meet head on whatever is next”.

So if you are ever in the position we found ourselves in my advice is to treasure each moment cause that is the only way to defeat a hostile. Think only positive thoughts. Make memories that will last forever. Show kindness for all God’s creatures and be open to the love that is there for the taking.

--submitted by Melinda Malone

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