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This guy, right here.  My Kingsley. 

Today I found out he has an incurable degenerative disease – mascatory myositis.  I’m feeling like pretty much the worst dog mama on the planet right now.  

I took him to the vet today because he seemed to be depressed.  His tail was always down, he wasn’t eating his kibble, he wouldn’t do any tricks.  A couple days ago, he tried to eat a rotten sandwich he found in the snow and when I pried his mouth open to get the sandwich out, he yelped.  I thought maybe he had a tooth infection that was causing him pain.  So off to the vet.  I wasn’t prepared for the diagnosis.  

His immune system is attacking the muscles that control his jaw.  First, they become inflammed and sore.  Later, in the advanced stage of the disease, the muscles waste and atrophy, leaving the dog with a very stiff jaw and unable to chew.  The vet pointed out that his tempo mandibular muscles had quite wasted away, but because he is so furry and fluffy, I just didn’t notice.  I did notice that he wasn’t eating, but I thought he was just being picky.  He ate his raw food fine; he just didn’t want his kibble.  I put it away after ten minutes.  Essentially, I’ve been starving my dog.  Worst mama ever.  

He’s on high dosage steroids (prednisone) and a pain killer that is the dog equivalent of morphine.  He is feeling fine.  I soaked his kibble so it was soft and chewy, and he gobbled it up.  The steriods should bring down the inflammation, but he is thirteen years old.  The vet said that at this point we just want to make him comfortable.  We may be able to stop further detrioration, but he won’t improve.  

So, Kingsley, I’m sorry.  I’m sorry I didn’t notice what was happening.  I was so busy with work and foster babies, that I neglected my fur babies, my furry soulmates.  I despise people like me who have human babies and suddenly neglect their fur babies.  All I can say is that it wasn’t on purpose, Kingsley.  I thought I could handle it all.  I never meant to push your needs aside.  I can’t imagine my life without you, and I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do when the day comes that I have to say goodbye to you.  My world will grow dim.  Also, I know you can’t actually read this, Kings, smart as you are, so instead, I’m just going to sit on the couch and rub your belly while you sleep and snore softly beside me because affection is the language you understand best.  I’m so glad we found each other, Kings.  

(If you want to know how Kingsley came into my life, you can read The Story of Kings here).