"I already know," said PJ, giving his mom a kiss, "I'm dying and
they can't help."
"Well," said Mommy Cricket, "I talked to the doctor last night.
The tests have come back and you have a lot of damage in your lungs.
You are a sick puppy!"
"I'm so sorry Mommy Cricket," said PJ. "I really wanted to
get better. I heard you talking on the phone last night. I
know there is no hope."
"The doctor said you have terrible masses in your lungs," said
Mommy Cricket. "Plus the pneumonia. She didn't have the best
news, but she called back last night because she had an idea."
"Well," said Mommy Cricket. "There is an easy part and a hard part.
The easy part is that the doctor said you are to have as much fun as you
want. You are to have all the stories and playtime that you
can manage, and all the fun you can stand!
"They are just saying that because I'm dying," said PJ sadly.
"Not really," said Mommy Cricket. "Having fun is good for you.
And it will also help with the hard part."
"What is the hard part?" asked PJ.
"The doctor wants you to go into a steam tent
twice a day. She wants me to hit those bad spots in your lungs to
break them up. It will seem like I'm hitting you but I will be hitting
the bad spots."
"I'll try anything!" said PJ.
"I trust you Mommy," said PJ.
"This is our last chance," said Mommy Cricket. "It's really
important. You have to be very brave. You have to have these
treatments twice a day, take your medicine, and go back to see her in one
Patrick carefully covered the crate with a shower curtain and attached
the vaporizer to make steam for the puppy to breathe.
He put a soft cushion inside for his young son to sit on, and a timer
next to it so they would know exactly how long he would have to stay inside.
PJ Wigglebee was very brave. He understood how serious
his illness was and he did exactly what he was told to do. He even
trusted Mommy Cricket to whack his chest as many times as the doctor told
her to. Twice a day he endured this treatment for an entire month.
Mommy Cricket sang to him to help him to have hope:
PJ Wigglebee would get into his medical tent to breathe the steam
every morning and every night. He was never late, and he never gave
his pawrents a difficult time.
"Don't forget to tell me a story while I'm in here," he reminded
them. In fact he reminded them twice a day, every day, for the entire