Life According to the Vizsla Mutt


Mom petting me
when I was a puppy
She was happy then.

Why does my human cry when she pets me? She touches the gray bumps on my body and that’s when the tears start to flow. I whimper in my sleep and she’s there, singing to me, stroking my head, saying words like, “Please, God, don’t let her suffer.”


I remember the time she left me at the vets office, her eyes so sad they leaked when the strange lady took me to a cage. Dad was there with her, too. He was sad in his own way, but strong for mom. My ribs hurt when I went in and it was so hard to breathe.

I remember waking up, feeling no pain. I could hear my mom talking to the vet. There were words I recognized like, “good girl,” and “no,” but what is, “tumor the size of a softball?”

Mom slept with me every night while I got better. It was nice to be able to breathe again. After I was well, I could run with the other dogs and play chase. Mom smiled a lot. That made me a very happy dog.

Then, a long time later, my front leg started to get stiff. There was a lump growing where the elbow was supposed to bend. It was back to the vet…again! Back to the strange cage, waking up to hear mom and dad talking to the vet. I heard that word again, “Tumor.” This time, the vet was sad, too. I don’t know what “tendrils” are, why he couldn’t get them all, or why they’re bad.

After I got better, the lump was gone and I could run again. I wish I could understand why Mom looks at me with sad eyes, why she pets me and calls me her special girl. As if she’s not going to be able to say the same thing to me tomorrow!

I wish she could see how happy I am playing with Dingo, chasing after him as he chases after the fat white dog. Dingo even makes the Errrrr dog want to play. That takes a special kind of happy. This morning, I was playing with the Gentle Giant and Dingo in the big bedroom. It’s the first time I’ve seen mom smile in a while.

There’s an itch on my stomach. I try to scratch it, but there’s a lump in the way. Mom squeezes it gently sometimes, calling it a loose fatty tumor. Does that mean the fat white dog is one big tumor? With that tiny head and wide back, she looks more like a tick.

Mom pets my head, rubbing my back as she sings, “I’ll be loving you, always,” and she strokes my fur until I fall asleep. She says I’ll be 13 in November as if something horrible happens when you turn 13. I wonder why she’s so worried?

Once, when I was laying on her feet under her office desk, she told dad I was like a guardian angel–all I had to do was be in the same room with her and she was at peace.

I toddle toward her, my front leg is a bit stiff but I don’t fall on her. She’s the one who falls on me when she can’t stand up and she thinks I don’t worry? I’m in the same room so why is she sad. How can she be at peace when she’s sad? I don’t think I’ll ever understand humans.

Mom’s eyes are leaking again, the keyboard above me a staccato of taps. She reaches down to pet me, feeling the lumps on my back, my side, my legs and my arms. One of them is a bit tender so I give her a very gentle warning, “grrr.”

She pats my back says, “You’re my special girl,” and the staccato of taps continue. I don’t know why, but listening to the gentle sound her fingers make lulls me to sleep.