Wmtc5 was a great success, despite the rain. Or perhaps partly because of it. J&L came with a pop-up canopy, and M&C came with a beach umbrella and a tent tarp, and people set about rigging up shelter. Folks huddled their chairs under the makeshift tent, and crowded into the kitchen, and I managed to convince a few people to make use of the nice dry living room.
There were about 30 people, seven dogs, one sleeping baby and an abundance of good food. And a lot of water.
That's the good news.
The bad news, which I was waiting until after the party to announce, is that Cody is not doing well. We don't know if it's a recurrence of the cancer, or something new, but her quality of life has taken a downturn. She is clearly unhappy.
The details are new in my experience with dogs. She has developed a condition that is affecting the skin wherever there is no fur - her nose, around her eyes, and on her paw pads. The skin is cracked and crusts form from fluids that ooze out. At first we though it was dry skin, but it didn't respond to anything, only worsened, then spread to other areas.
It could be skin cancer or it could be some new disease. Our vet wants us to do a biopsy, in case it's something simple and treatable. I'm not expecting that, but it might be best to do a biopsy, just to know.
Allan and I have lost three dogs together. Each we loved well beyond my ability to describe; each death was a mountain of grief. I will say this: it never gets any easier.
Cody has lived the longest of any of our dogs so far. She's had a good, happy, long life full of love, joy and adventure. Right now that knowledge doesn't ease the thought of letting her go, but eventually it will.