All around are signs:
Dusty's lead, bowl, bed, pills, food -
absence feeds worst fears
I am at home. Dusty is not. She went in this morning for investigations. It wasn't an old-age stroke after all; it is a specific mystery condition, which they can't actually see, but which they imagine to be a 'space-occupying lesion' which I think means a tumour in lay language, which is resulting in 'oedema' (swelling) in the neck and, hot-off-the-press today, a collapsed lung. It is presumably the same thing that has been pressing on her heart and stopping blood flow to brain, hence funny turns. She is having a night at the vet's while she comes round from the anaesthetic.
Tomorrow I have been invited in to 'discuss options'. Always a bad sign.
I call Dan, who doesn't think it's my fault for taking her on that long bicycle walk at Easter, after which she could barely move for 10 days. It's apparently unlikely that she ruptured something then. Cars running into you rupture things, apparently, not long walks.
I call Hugh and Jemima. 'Don't go on the internet,' warns Hugh. 'Cyberchondria is the worst thing. I guarantee you'll find the worst-case scenario and end up in tears.'
I call Dusty's greatest fan, Sophia, who says all the right supportive things and then asks what happens now. I say I'm going for the miracle cure.
'Are you taking her to Lourdes?' she asks in her sweet voice reserved for endearing acts and moving moments.
'No,' I say. 'Apricot kernels.' Apparently the people of Hunza in the mountains of north-west Pakistan have no incidence of cancer or any other disease. And it's all down to apricot kernels, I'm told. Seven a day keep the doctor away. I've gone out and bought two packets. I've taken mine. Just praying Dusty lives long enough to eat hers and fulfil her status as Miracle Dog.