A few weeks before Christmas Pongo had a really bad day filled with multiple seizures. With the help of my vet, we got the seizures under control, but came to the conclusion that Pongo most likely has a brain tumor. Not shocking considering he had been having problems with his hind end and balance for several months, but still not easy to swallow. The next few days were extremely difficult - no seizures, but Pongo was behaving in a way that made us question whether or not he had suffered brain damage. He seemed super happy and was walking all over the place, but the look in his eyes...it was like the lights were on, but no one was home. Kinda like "I see dead people and it's really, really cool! I could hardly stand to look at him without breaking down. That was not my Pongo.
Of course the timing was bad...I knew it wouldn't be easy, but right before the holidays? I had a few conversations with my vet about timing and when he might be available to come over and whether or not with the help of meds, Pongo could/would make it through Christmas. It was not a fun week. And then all of a sudden Pongo started improving...the lights slowly started to come back on.
So we made it through the New Year and now it's nearly February and Pongo continues to do pretty well. He's on prednisone which I think is likely keeping any swelling in his brain down. He's still happy to eat and is always first in line when it's dinner time. And aside from a few slips here and there, he's able to get around pretty good on his own. Overall, I think he's hanging in there, but I have a feeling that it might not be for too much longer.
I find myself watching him a lot and wondering if there's something I'm missing. Signs that he might be in pain, or not mentally well. I don't see them now, but I'm so afraid of not knowing when the time is right to say goodbye. Everyone tells me that I will know, but will I really? What if I hadn't waited a few days last month. Then he would be gone by now and I would probably still be wondering if I had made the right decision.
I know that at 15+ years, he's lived a long and happy life for a dog. And I'm certainly very grateful for that, but it's still hard to think about. For now, we're just taking it one day at a time.
So that's my long Pongo update...thank you to everyone who has asked about him and have been sending good thoughts! Here's a picture I took a days few before Christmas (after he started improving)...still my sweet spotty boy.