Lokai turned 16 this past week. No mean feat for a large breed. Many of you met Lokai as he road shotgun on my reflection tour, traveling cross country back in 2009. He has been on medication for arthritis for about a year, has suffered at least one seizure, and is nearly deaf. Even so, he is still a happy guy that still has his appetite and derives a great deal of enjoyment in barking at every stranger that dares walk past the house.
Lately he has experienced some trouble breathing and has coughing fits. A trip to the vet today unveiled another issue we had not expected. Lokai has a tumor in his left lung that is already larger than a golf ball. The vet is 95% sure it is malignant and will eventually grow to a point where breathing will be very difficult. We will return to the vet for more X-rays in three weeks. If it is growing we will know for sure.
We almost lost him once because he had a strong reaction to being sedated, so surgery may not be an option. And, at the ripe old age of 16 I really don't want to put him through chemo.
If it were up to me he would live forever, but I can't be greedy and only think of myself. He has been a true friend and companion through some of the darkest days of my life and I want him to enjoy our limited time together. He will decide when it is time. As long as he is happy and able to carry on his daily protection of the front lawn he will be here. When the quality of his life begins to fall he will let me know and we will have to say goodbye.