Marlo Silva was a classmate of mine through grade school and junior high. Three-quarters tomboy, Marlo rode horses, rode to school in a big truck, and didn’t give a rip about what others thought of her. While Marlo was chucking dodgeballs on the school yard, I was wrapped up in pre-teen girldom (frienemies with Shannon Parsons, wanting Daniel Bigham to like me). But Marlo seemed to be above all of that. She was confident and non-judgmental. I remember her being among the first to talk to the new kid in class and tolerate all of the crappy things that little kids did to one another with a nonchalance that was unusual for me.

In high school, I was in awe of Shelby Borchard. Shelby was 2 years older than me, girl-next-door pretty, a cheerleader, and dating the quarterback of the football team. She could have easily been a Mean Girl, but she wasn’t. She was one of the sweetest people I knew, and she was always very kind to me.

Teva is very much an amalgamation of all of the cool girls that I’ve personally known, and some of the ones that I wish I knew. Part Mia Hamm, part Jennifer Garner, she is an adventurous, confident, and audacious go-getter. She has always done things her own way with a spring in her step and a smile on her face. The pretty girl tomboy who can keep up with a rough game in the schoolyard, welcomes the new kid to the house without attitude or judgment, puts up with the crappy things other “lesser” dogs do, and she’s the only one in our family that I trust implicitly with children, the elderly, and other animals with my back turned. She could have easily been a model in an REI or Title 9 catalog – snowboarder in winter, rockclimber in summer, yoga poser/salsa dancer/pizza eater and beer drinker year round.

But that was nine days ago. After a hemangiosarcoma diagnosis, three trips to the emergency vet in 7 days, and several seizures or “syncopal episodes” (no one really can tell us which with any certainty), Brent and I are talking about euthanasia. We’re not there yet, but if we can’t get these things controlled with the meds soon, we won’t have her the 1-2 months that the “experts” tell us we have. The oncologist said we could “go aggressive” with treatment – surgery, chemo. But that would only give us another 5-7 months with her, and that’s being optimistic. So, we’ve opted for hospice. Steroids to control swelling and inflammation, pain meds, and yunnan baiyao for any internal bleeding.

I can’t tell if any of it is doing any good, though, because she still seems pretty out of it. She’s sleeping more, but she did hang out in the backyard yesterday morning eating grass and breathing in the sun and wind. Then again, we did have to run to the E-vet yesterday evening because of an “episode.” It is just so hard to watch her deteriorate and not be able to throw any amount of money at it to fix it.