I’ve briefly introduced The Kat, my bride, who will have her own entries to write on this site. Now it’s Pink’s turn. We don’t know as much about Pinkie as we need to. We met her in 2007 as Springer Spaniel rescuers after she was found in a dog pound in North Carolina. Pink had advanced heartworms, was malnourished, and sensed she was on Death Row. She had no collar or microchip, thus no history. We don’t know even know her age.
We know that Pink came to us in poor health when I was in poor health. She had to recover from spaying and heartworms; I had to recover from cancer surgery and get through months of chemo. I had to keep her from running. She had to keep me from feeling too sorry for myself. We did our jobs. We both got well. I went back to work. She found employment as my Alarm Dog. (At 6:30 every morning, Pink put her forepaws on my side of the bed to sniff me awake. That’s a useful service, except on weekends.) I learned to sleep on my side, facing away from the edge on weekends, so she compensated by vigorously shaking her collar and its metal tags. I compensated by removing her collar on Friday nights. Pink compensated by picking up the collar in her teeth, and shaking it vigorously. I gave up, let her wear it, and soon she realized that we all had a five day work week.
Pink is special. Not athletic like most Springers, but more empathetic than any others I’ve known. She likes kittens and has tried to adopt them. Not a perfect soul, she has prejudices: Muscovy ducks and shelled creatures, especially tortoises and armadillos. She’s forever hungry, perhaps from her time of near starvation. To a dog, food is currency. And currency to humans, once we have to live without it, becomes precious. (My parents and grandparents, survivors of The Great Depression, all had great difficulty spending money, even a dollar.) It’s like the lyrics to that old blues standard “Nobody Loves You When You’re Down and Out”: “If I ever get my hands on a dollar again, I’m gonna hold onto it ‘til the eagle grin.”
Pinkie has had four cancer surgeries in the past 18 months. Three were mammary cancers; all with good post-surgical prognoses. The latest was to remove an adrenal tumor. This was a malignancy, although not an especially aggressive one. They got good margins (pathology talk for ‘there was a lot of clean tissue between the cancer and the edge of what you removed’), and her other adrenal seems to be picking up the load of regulating whatever adrenals do. She has adjusted well with one gland, and if all continues to go well, the three of us will hit the road in two to three weeks.
That’s Pinkie. Let’s watch her meet her first chipmunk.

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