June 12, 2012. Malicous went to the vet for his annual checkup. There was the usual, for an old dog - losing weight, developing cataracts. There was the usual for Mali - continued degeneration of nerves, resulting in hind legs that don't always work, and several cysts. Then there was the terrible news that one of those cysts was actually cancer. I didn't know how much longer he'd be able to walk, and did know that might affect how much time he had left, but now I'm more concerned about how long he'll still be with us. I have, unfortunately, been in this situation several times, and the heartbreak is tremendous every time. Right now, though, he IS still with us, and he gives and receives love like he always has, he still loves his walks, still puts up with his abusive little cat brother (who will be 17 in a month, and no less ornery, I'm sure), and I'm not going to start mourning or missing him yet.