Borrowed time

My dog Jake had the canine equivalent of a stroke last night. Our neighbour helped us get him down the stairs, and we bundled him off to the vet in the bike cart. He’s back home now, alert and wondering where his next snack is coming from, but keeling like a drunken sailor everytime he tries to move. The vet, a wonderful woman whom we trust 200%, suggested we give him until the end of the week to see if the cortisone shots do any good. She pointed out that he has more lives than a cat and has surprised us before, but was honest and said it doesn’t look good. My gut tells me the same thing.

I’m trying to stay positive, because he’s a smart pooch and super-sensitive to my moods and I don’t want to distress him. But when I hug him and bury my face in his fur, there’s no fooling him. He sniffs my eyes and then licks the unshed tears off my cheeks. I’m not sure who’s comforting who.