I’ve got some sad news. Abby (Clover inspiration; the model for the cover of my book; and my best friend) had surgery to remove a tumor in her mouth, and it was cancer. Specifically, an oral melanoma (sarcoma). On her one-month followup visit, the tumor is growing back. She’s doing ok–still running and jumping and wanting to go out and eating, and barking at anyone who goes through the park that borders our house. I see some changes in her though. She’s sleeping more and sometimes she looks like she’s in pain. Her breathing is a little noisy when she sleeps. She doesn’t jump off the steps of the deck anymore like she was doing all her life up to just a couple months ago; she walks down them now. I’m giving her Chinese herbs and holistic remedies and the vet prescribed an antibiotic to get rid of any infection. I’m thinking about taking her to Cornell just to see what they have to say. She’s 13 so any serious treatments, like cutting out jaw bone and doing reconstructive surgery or chemo/radiation would, I’m afraid, do her in. But if it weren’t for the cancer, she’s a strong, fit, healthy dog. I’m spending more time than ever with her and trying to do all the things she likes and hoping and praying she sticks around and doesn’t suffer.