Friday, December 31, 2010

2011 is upon us, my reflection on the past year

Rilley, the Christmas Beagle has changed hats today and is looking forward to what the new year will bring. I just want to take this time to reflect on 2010.

The year started off well enough, the first three months seemed to race by as I travelled to Vancouver for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Once I returned home after six weeks away, time didn't seem to slow down. It felt like we raced through spring and right into summer and everything seemed to be going along just as it should. Rilley seemed to be happy enough in his usual routine of sleep, eat, walk, nap, eat, sleep, all the while managing to fit in the odd attempt at stealing someone's lunch. Life has been good for the great Beagle of Georgetown who thinks he owns the world, well, the sidewalk anyway.

People who know me, our daughters as well, can attest to the fact that I've never been one to express much emotion towards our four legged companion. I have to admit that 7 years ago I wasn't thrilled about the idea of getting a dog in the first place. However, we do live in a democracy so I graciously accepted the 3-1 vote and went along with the status-quo as long as we adopted a "shelter dog". As the years went by I staunchly insisted that I did not love this dog, but I merely "tolerated" him. However, deep inside I knew that despite all of his mischeivious behaviour causing a lot of trouble around our household, I could never imagine ever giving up this beast of the Beagles. Yes, he began to grow on me...and I had to wonder how, at barely two years old, he could ever have ended up at the Orangeville SPCA.

Then August 10 of 2010 came along and it all changed. If you've been following this blog you will remember that was the date when Rilley experienced his first seizure and our journey into tumour-land began. At first, perhaps naively, we thought that this could've been an isolated incident. Without retelling everything that has been told, this proved not to be the case. Aside from all the disappointment and despair of the situation, a new, positive thing began to emerge. I began to realize how much a family pet can work its way into your life. There was no way I could fathom letting him go. Yes, he means the world to our two daughters, but I am slowly coming to terms that during all those years of merely tolerating him, he was really and truly growing on me. And this, my friends and kind blog readers, is my reflection for 2010.

However in the process we have met many amazing people and I am thankful for all the veterinarians that have help us along the way, such as Dr. Ewing (Mountainview Animal Hospital, Georgetown), Drs. James, Duque and Gauthier (Mississauga-Oakville Veterinary Emergency Hospital) on this side of the border. I am also in awe of all the research being done at the University of Minnesota, their College of Veterinary Medicine and the Ohlfest Brain Tumour Lab. Especially the surgical skills of Drs. Pluhar and Hunt and the medical wizardry of Dr. Ohlfest. Finally, let's not forget Jessica Bedi's determination in dealing with cross border vaccine shipments!

So as 2010 draws to a close, we are making plans for our first return to Minneapolis for Rilley's follow up visit and MRI. This will take place at the beginning of February and I hope to be posting some positive notes and images during that trip. Finally, we would like to thank everyone for your continued interest in Rilley's story and we would like to wish everyone a very happy and prosperous new year!


Oh, in case you're wondering, Rilley has been curled up at my feet as I sit on the bed writing this blog entry:

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