It’s May 8, 2008.  It’s a 90 minute ride to Ft. Collins, a ride that goes much too fast.

We meet with Dr. Withrow, Dr. Biller and a handful of other people (my apologies to those whose names I’ve forgotten). Dr. Withrow is a Professor of Surgical Oncology and the Director of the Animal Cancer Center. He is also the surgical oncologist who will be performing Cain’s surgery. I’ve been told by many, the best hands my dog can be in. Dr. Withrow is amused that Cain drinks from a water bottle.  Something he’s done for most of his life.  I explain that Cain’s tongue is abnormally short, with an upward curl at the end and when he drinks from a bowl, there is more water left in the bowl when he’s finished and a fair amount that manages to make it down the wrong pipe to his lungs (that tracheal problem again!) which usually results in a trip to the doctor for aspiration pneumonia.  A brief check of his tongue confirms that I am not a total lunatic.

Dr. Withrow gets right to the point.  I recall him saying, “What’s making the decision so hard?  That thing has to come out of there now.”  I explain my fear of anesthesia and he reassures me that Cain is in the best of hands, a fact I’m well aware of. There is no more indecision.  Cain is led away and we wait…