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I took Junior to the vet to have his ear checked for infections. He’d been on the special food for many weeks so this trip would be to see if he had any wax and infection problems and also to find out if his left ear had cleared up enough to peek inside.
At what time Junior seemed to enjoy going to the vet. Maybe not enjoyed, but he didn’t seem to mind very much. Now he hates it. He won’t come out of the carrier so I have to take it apart. Even then, he won’t leave it until he’s forcibly removed from it. 

I brought along a toy this time in case he felt like taking a bite out of something. He didn’t go for it. He didn’t get quite so upset when poking at his ears, though, so I and the vet took that as a good sign. 
She looked in his right ear first and was happy to report that it was clear, the ear drum was fine, and there was no infection. Cheers all around.
Then she looked in the left and the news was not so good. All the wax had been cleaned out but, instead of revealing ear drum, it showed a bloody mass situated in his ear canal. 
It seems, then, they’ll have to go in and do surgery. Either to remove the mass to biopsy it, or to remove the ear canal altogether.
I’m not happy with this news. It’s not the vet’s fault, of course. And, really, she went out of her way to try and make me feel better, even down to saying I did a very good job of getting the ear drops and ear wash in his ears. Still, I can’t help but feel like a bad pet owner. Worse, a bad friend. 
What’s good for him, though, is he’s allowed to have his old food. So he’s eating now. He’s also staying very, very far away from me unless he needs something. I’m getting the feeling that he’ll get over this right around the time I take him in for surgery. In two weeks. 

I was feeling pretty low about all this and that’s when I heard that Terry Pratchett had died. The first Pratchett book I read was The Light Fantastic that I found in a bookstore. It had a wacky looking cover and I was bored so I bought it.
I have to admit that I didn’t like it very much. I liked pieces of it, like the bits that made fun of Dungeons & Dragons spell names and wizard levels. I decided that maybe I should find the first book, The Colour of Magic and re-evaluate.
I managed to get my hands on Equal Rites. I enjoyed the little bits of information that he threw in the books that came from old legends or physics. But it was Mort that cemented my feelings for his books. Mort has been, in a way, a comfort to me through all the losses I’ve gone through over the years. 
It wasn’t long before I was one of those poor Americans who waited years for a new book from Terry Pratchett. What made it worse was that I knew there were more books, they just weren’t making their way over to the States. His writing has been a huge influence on my own, despite the fact that I’ll never have an audience larger than whoever reads this blog. But that’s okay. I’m still happy to have him as an influence.
Good Omens is one of my favorite books and that’s why I was genuinely sad when I finally realized that I just didn’t like The Long Earth. I still have Dodger around here, somewhere, that I haven’t gotten to. But I will.
I can’t even begin to express my sympathies to the Pratchett family, and all the other fans around the globe.