PictureAugust, 2014
As I walk with my Golden Retriever Bentley every morning and evening, I find myself walking through falling leaves surprised and grateful that autumn has arrived. This was a tough summer for me and for Bentley who was diagnosed with lymphoma in June. Most of the summer was spent trying to deal with diagnosis and treatment to say nothing of emotions shocked as I was to know this ever healthy dog had lymphoma. Everything I tried that might help him seemed to end up failing, leaving him feeling miserable and leaving me frightened and


Finally we are on top of it and Bentley is, for now, stable with a couple more blood tests coming up to hopefully rule out two more possible sources for the symptoms we wrestled with during these many months.

I remember well a day when Bill and I were sitting at the edge of the Wisconsin River watching people row downstream. I said to him, “This scene reminds me of Betty,” Betty was one of my very closest friends who died of cancer in December of 2003. When she saw me rushing about or being too intense she would look at me and sing softly, “Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.” When Betty first sang this little melody to me many many years ago, I knew she was reminding me to slow down a bit.

She was showing me around the tenth nursing home I had visited in as many days. Bill was in the hospital at the time and each day after visiting him, I would evaluate a nursing home or two in case one was needed eventually. In all, I visited 15 nursing homes.

On this day, the administrator took me to the activity room where I saw a basket of  small towels sitting on a long table. “Some of the residents help fold these because it is something they can still do,” she told me.


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