It is both poignant and curious that Bodhi, my 9 year old Tibetan Terrier, friend and companion, has symptoms and a diagnosis so similar to my own. During the past year we noticed his increasingly ataxic (or drunken) gait and difficulty with focusing. He occasionally bumped into furniture and misjudged jumps. We thought his difficulties were a result of the polished hardwood floors in our addition, difficulty orienting himself with the sounds resonating through the new halls, doors, and stairs, and the antics and smells of newly arrived Caito (a boy child). Finally, this summer we brought Bodhi to a veterinary neurologist for an evaluation, different from and alike the many I have had over the years based largely on observation and heads on testing of reflexes.
Mentation: mentally appropriate. Postural reactions: delayed proprioceptive positioning in both hind limbs, vestibular signs such as falling over, having a drunken gait. Various causes of this dysfunction consistent with a lesion on the brain this is affecting cranial nerve 8 the long tracts to the limbs. One differential as was mine is a tumor.
Origami of Time
We walk, Bodhi and I. He plows the past up with his nose,
paws loosing scents of other beings
and waves his muzzle to the wind.
Perfect companion, my Tibetan,
turning the smell of was into is.
We stroll through Birch, Cedar, Linden, Cherry, Oak and Maple.
He marks trees along our way
as I leave these marks to you.
So Bodhi and I can’t take the longer neighborhood walks we once did, substituting a wheelchair stroll up and down the street. We put runners down to give him better traction as years before we took them when I used a cane rather than rolling wheels. He shares the elevator when we go upstairs to visit Caito, Dan, and Anna and due to the prednisone Bohdi is, as I once was, prescribed,he pees more often with occasional accidents, another resemblance to my past, and we both try to do more than we should.