CREDOS:Breath of life — II

When there was no chance of her bothering visitors, I’d take her off the leash so she could run with her ears flapping in the wind. One weekend Linda and I discussed our observations that Prana wasn’t looking as healthy as she’d always been. We had both noticed that Prana was sleeping more and had less energy. We took her to the vet, and when he X-rayed her, he found an obstruction that could be cancerous. Prana would need to have an operation.

With her surgery looming the next day, I took Prana to the temple grounds that she most loved to visit. She was as excited with anticipation as usual, but this night it broke my heart to watch her jump out of the car, hit the pavement, and squeal in pain. Prana looked at me, then she tried to run.

She could only go a short distance into the prairie. Soon she walked back to me with her head lowered. I bent down, hugged her, and cried. Quietly, I stood near her as she looked around and said good-bye to her special place.

I helped her get into the front seat of the car and we drove away. On every other trip to the temple, Prana had always looked back at the prairie as we left it. This time, though, she looked straight ahead.

There was nothing either one of us could do to change the fact that this would probably be her last visit. The next day, while Prana lay motionless on the operating table, the vet called us with devastating news. Prana had advanced cancer. —