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My Dog, One Life-Loving Animal

The word “Animal” seems to fall so short.

Here’s an update about Max for those many of you who expressed concern, support and love when I last blogged about his heartbreaking cancer diagnosis.

First of all, he’s alive and happy, constantly at my foot in the StartupNation World Domination Headquarters (in the spare bedroom). He has proven to be incredibly resilient, this “animal.”

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I’ve opted not to give you play by play reports on how his condition is evolving. After all, this blog is mostly about business-related stuff and i don’t want tough news about Max to overtake the incredible sense of optimism that so many of us share and foster here at StartupNation.

Trust me. There’ve been some close calls, including two events that apparently were internal hemmhorages. Each time, though, his spirit pressed on and his body recovered. He’s bounced back quickly each time and remains FULL of life force. His spirits, in a phrase, are “Game On!!!”

Recently, dreadfully, his tumor ruptured externally. It was a blood everywhere situation. Like some kind of horror movie taking place in my home. The vets had warned me that this would happen eventually as the tumor swelled so much that the pressure would basically cause it to explode. It happened at night and I stayed with him through the next morning under the coaching of my vet who’d given me her cell phone.  “Pressure, bandages, cold packs,” etc., was the advice until she was able to stop by in the morning. That was last Tuesday and I thought Max was nearing the finish line.

But don’t sell him short. Ever. After a couple of days of rest, 24/7 nurturing, and crash course lessons for me in wound care, Max was back. I mean COMPLETELY back. All he wanted to do is get in the back of the car and go to the farm (where I ride in the evenings). Day three he was back protecting the perimeter of the yard, barking at nearby coyotes. He was packing 3 tennis balls in his mouth, lock-jawed. And just to keep me on my toes, at every possible chance, he was and still is trying to roll to work off his wound dressing, which wraps around his back and tummy.

Here’s an account of yesterday that I emailed to some friends. It’s a take-off on a favorite poem of mine, “Otherwise.” It might make you appreciate the little things today… and the big ones, too.

We woke.

We walked in the old cow pasture, frost crunching the grass.

We dug for gophers.

It might have been otherwise.

We ate a big meal with fresh meats mixed in.

A nice sleep ensued.

We woke for a long walk into town, Salmon Tandoori at the Himalayan restaurant.

Drank water from a take-out container and  ate a bowl of basmati rice and peas.

We got a lot of scratches and “what kind of dog is that?!”s.

It might have been otherwise.

It was hot, like summer, so we came back and napped for a while.

We groomed a paw or two, rotating sleeping sides on the cool wooden floor.

The sun set golden, a confused breeze in the house.

It was another good day.

It might have been otherwise.

As always, I deeply appreciate the love you folks have expressed for Max, me and these beloved best friends.

Original Blog Post about Max

Second Blog Post about Max


About the Author: Rich Sloan

Rich Sloan is chief startupologist and co-founder of StartupNation and host of StartupNation podcasts. He is also co-author of the acclaimed how-to book, StartupNation: America's Leading Entrepreneurial Experts Reveal the Secrets to Building a Blockbuster Business. Rich encourages you to [...]

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