It started on Saturday, as we set off for Rovers, with an inordinate amount of licking - which on investigation showed red weeping patches either side of her vulva. By Monday her mouth was affected and by Tuesday a large patch appeared on her chest.  It was clear this was all causing her a great deal of discomfort so I went home and got a vets appointment on Wednesday.  By then her ear was also showing signs of redness - which developed fully on Thursday morning.  She went in on Thursday morning for biopsies to be taken from each site - and I picked her up at 4.30 in the afternoon.  I took the car and was lucky to find a place at the top of the road opposite to park - the roads seemed singularly unaffected by the tube strike that day.  I carried her inside and upstairs and put her on a fleece on Mike's bed - and we sat there together all the rest of the day and evening.  She slept for most of it and I was there to rub her ear and try and relieve the irritation whenever she woke up.  I did some cross stitching and watched stuff I had recorded on TV.  I couldn't find the cone collar, and in any case decided that if these were going to be her last days on earth then she wouldn't spend them wearing a cone collar and that I would sit with her and stop her licking.

The next morning she ate food but didn't drink all day.  She spent most of the day sleeping and again I sat with her - this time watching John Deed as I had managed to get my usb drive working on the TV.  I tried taking her for a walk in the morning but although she seemed happy to go along on the lead she kept stopping if I went in a direction she didn't want to go, and when let off the lead in the park just sat down.  So we sat together for a while enjoying the fresh air and then went home.  She seemed happy to settle down on my bed at night - but was bang in the middle so I didn't get to sleep until about 2.30 am when she moved over after I had given her an ear rub again and stroked her back to sleep.  She started doing strange things - sitting on the kitchen chair which she has never done before, and liked to sleep on the top of the sofa.  She did not want to walk much - and one day just wanted to get in the car.  So we both got in and I drove to Gunnersbury where she walked a little before sitting down.  After a long anxious wait of 5 days the vet phoned to say there was no sign of cancer - such a relief.  He thought it was a late-onset allergy and took another blood test.  The pound signs are mounting but at least I have my dog back which is all that matters.

Luckily Suki got better bit by bit each day and by the time I was obliged to turn up for Jury Service she was more or less back to her old self - if somewhat scarred.

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