I decided to write a little post about my dog Julius because having a dog by your side during a difficult periode like this one, is a very special thing. Please allow me to explain. Right after I got the bad news someone told me that dogs can smell cancer. I found it very interesting and actually very obvious also. If we use dogs to find drugs on people or locate explosive munitions on vehicles or in buildings, it is absolutely plausible that they are capable of smelling cancer in urine or breath or even underneath the skin. After all it’s al about the nose!
I decided to observe Julius and his behavior towards me during the whole period. As a Belgian Malinois he has always been very energetic and eager to work and play. That is no different then how he is today. I can not really say that he did something specific or so. I don’t know if he smelled the cancer inside of me, He didn’t really specifically go smell my pee in the toilet or so :-). I mean, he is a Belgian Malinois made to work, he sniffs at everything. I always laugh about it because his nose is everywhere. He sniffs my clothes when I get dressed, he sniffs my handbags, my backpacks, my shoes, and everything there is around me. There literally is nothing in the house that hasn’t been sniffed, including Bridget, my cat, who doesn’t always appreciate that. He is always by my side. He is like a sticker. Every dog owner knows, there is no privacy left when you have a dog. When I go to the toilet he comes to sit right in front of me, looking at me. Once he was in front of me with a tennisball in his mouth when I was on the toilet. He dropped it and because he was so close, he actually threw it right between my legs into the toilet. Can you imagine that!! :-).
Julius is a big, strong dog. He has a strong personality and a mind of his own. You wouldn’t say, but he is the biggest teddybear ever. He loves to cuddle and comes to ask for it too. He doesn’t have a personal bubble, so you can hug him whenever you want. I touch his ears, I blow into his nose, I touch his paws (I love the smell of Julius’s paws :-)), and he allows me to do everything with him. In short, he is the sweetest ever (or got the best education ever:-)). He welcomes everybody that I let enter in my house through the front door. However, if I were a stranger, I wouldn’t come in when the owner is not at home. He is a kind dog, but his race makes him to guard the house and the family and that is exactly what he does.
During my treatment I got really weak and I wasn’t able to entertain him and be busy with him as I used to do. It was like he understood it all. He started following my rhythm. As I told you in a previous post, getting up, at a certain moment became a real challenge and took almost an hour. Julius never woke me up before. He would stay down, gave me my time and until he really saw me going to the living room to the couch, he followed me and got immediately down in his basket. Before the treatment started I had rules. He was not allowed in the couch or on the bed. I have to admit that my rules got trespassed when I was weak during the treatment. But it was such a good feeling to have him at my feet. His warmth close to me and the feeling of being safe thanks to him. When I was in a lot of pain, I would lay down on him and I asked him to take some of my pain. Julius just let everything happen. He never objected, never asked for more but just wanted to be by my side all the time. If he would be a real guy, I would have found the perfect man!
About three or four weeks after the brachytherapy when I was busy recovering, he started to be more active again. He started coming to me with his ball to play. I got better so I started doing that again. Then a few weeks later, I was still suffering a lot from the bladder infection but that didn’t seem to be of any importance to him, he started to be more active in the morning. Still waiting for me to wake up but there was more respons towards me. Then he started playing with me in the morning. Annoying me when he noticed I was really awake. And by now, he is even waking me up, the bastard! In the morning when he feels it is time to get up, I feel his wet nose to my cheek or his head popping up underneath my armpit.
In about ten days I have my scan and three days after I have the results of the complete treatment. I am getting a bit nervous but I believe in my dog. I believe in Julius. I have the feeling he sensed that I was physically getting better because he did everything in my rhythm and now he is so active and playful with me. He has not been like that during my treatment and I also have the feeling he is more affectionate with me then before the treatment. But that can also be because he has been with me day and night the last six months. But as I said I believe in Julius and he feels that I am ok and good to be annoyed again so I think the treatment must have worked.
Either way, this is a small ode to Julius who is I believe a real body guard in every sense of the word. And although sometimes he annoys me like hell, I love him above everything.