We had to let Tanner go early last week. It had become clear that he wasn't going to get better, he'd been going downhill for a couple of weeks, and had stopped eating. As Hilda and I looked at photos of Tanner over the years, we realized that he had been ill for at least a couple of years with Cushing's Disease. His weight gain, appearance, and loss of energy are all symptoms of the early part of the disease, which are easy to misinterpret, as we did, as aging signs. It wasn't until about April of this year that we knew something was really wrong, and the vet visits began. One of the first things we heard from the vet was that it could be Cushings, and that they don't usually recommend treatment because of the side effects. Not wanting to subject Tanner to that, we crossed our fingers and began a suggested treatment for another possible issue, an immune system disorder, which was treated with steroids. And for a while he really looked like he was improving, but it was not to be.
Ian and Eric used to get furious with me when I'd slow down hikes while leaning over flowers with my camera. At least this afternoon I restricted my vice to the garden as I took a break from my dayjob, compelled outdoors by bits of sun between clouds of a waning storm.
A cool thing about becoming fairly aged is the span of time one's experiences cover, reaching back into environments and cultures that no longer exist. Another cool thing are the memory clips that bubble up seemingly out of nowhere like little treasures