After a year and a half of fighting canine lymphoma, my Dessy's time has come. She's been out of remission 3 times, has been getting chemo every other week for nine consecutive months, and through it all has been smiling and loving and happy. Until this weekend. She won't play, she won't snuggle, she won't get up to say hello. Her white blood cell count drops very low after every treatment and we thought it was just that but she isn't recovering. Even the vet says we're getting diminishing returns from the chemo.

So this is the weekend. I'm going home tomorrow or Saturday after my exams are done and I'll have at least a few hours before we bring her to the vet. It just makes me sad that she won't be herself when I see her. She's the happiest little thing with such an infectious smile that you just have to smile back at her. I don't even know what kind of greeting I'll get when I come in, if I get one at all.

When I get home, I'll be staying a week because my mom leaves for a conference Monday and we want someone to be home for Dessy's big sister. When my first dog died, our lab puppy could tell something was wrong and comforted us, even grieved for a while. The two had only known each other for a few months. Dessy and her sister have been together 8 years. Big sis helped us raise her. She may act tough, but she's sweet on the inside and I think will miss her little sister terribly.

To take a week off from school involves talking to professors, but what do I say? If she was my human sister or best friend, I wouldn't have any worry saying why I can't be there. But because she's a dog, I feel like people's reactions, even if they don't say it, will be "It's only an animal". I'll probably say death in the family, but if they ask what do I say?

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I don't get to go home often, but when I do she's always there to light up my day. Can't imagine coming home without her there.