Last month (August 20), the Blondie Rule #1 dealt with overcoming “analysis paralysis”. This month, you will learn how my dog has taught me about perseverance.

The famous quote by Mark Twain listed in the title surely applies to Blondie. In late December of 2004, she was diagnosed with a malignant tumor in her gum. The veterinarian had taken as much out as possible, but sadly reported that she didn’t get it all. At the time, Blondie was 13 years old and all the treatments were very invasive and costly. We opted to do nothing, except make our friend as comfortable as she could be for the remainder of her life. She was given a death sentence of 2 to 3 months.

Fast forward to today and Blondie is 16 ½ and those 2-3 months are almost 3 years. The cancer has come back and spread some. In fact, just a few weeks ago, she was looking so bad and struggling so much; we began mentally preparing for her to pass on over the weekend. She fooled us again. It’s been almost a month since that day and although I can’t say she’s going on strong, she perseveres and lives to fight another day. Sooner than later we will have to make that difficult decision when her quality of life erodes. Based on how she devoured her breakfast this morning, we’re not quite there yet!

Blondie reminds me that not every day is going to be better than the day before. Some days can bring frustration, pain, and struggle. But persevering, “grinding” out the tough days, and living to fight another day should be our mantra, too. Blondie didn’t understand the diagnosis she was given in December of 2004. She just kept living every day, even when some days weren’t as good as others.

I know I have days where I grouse and complain about things. Blondie reminds me that I need to get over myself and realize that struggle is a necessary part of life; it makes us stronger. Instead of trying to be the person my dog thinks I am, I guess I just need to be more like my dog!

Dan
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