Posts Tagged ‘rainbow bridge’

Cancer Kills—Cancer Sucks

I intended to write about my adventures with two dogs with cancer. Today, I’m just pouring my sadness to you.

One of my dogs who had cancer (Dudley) died. He died on New Year’s Day in my arms while we were driving to the vet to euthanize him. He was a great dog. He had an annoying and demanding bark, but he didn’t’ have a mean bone on his body. He got along with everyone. He was my Velcro dog (so is Carrie, by the way). Everywhere I went, he was there with me.

Dudley (January 14, 2004—January 1, 2016)

Single Doghood

Now, my other dog, who also suffers from cancer, is a single dog for the first time since she came to live with us 2005 when she was she was 9 weeks old. For the first time since 1990, I have a single dog and not a pack.

The Bridge and Gasping for Air

I’ll never forget Dudley’s last struggle for air and how limp and relaxed he felt when he died. It took me a few minutes to realize that he was gone. At first, I just thought that he was struggling because he wasn’t comfortable. He had so many tumors and many were so big. Then when he relaxed, I thought that he found a comfortable spot in my arms. But, actually, he was gone.

I hope that there is a Bridge, and I hope he met with Bailey, the dog that preceded him in death. Dudley and Bailey were adopted together. They were a bonded pair that I heard through BROOD. We had a open adoption with their former “slaves.” Their former slaves and us became friends and consider ourselves family.

Life and Sorrow Is for the Living

Life goes on for the living. But there’s definitely a big difference, and we feel that his presence is gone. The house is quieter. There are no demanding barks for food. I now have to look at the clock to make sure I don’t miss the 5 p.m. meal. He never let me forget it. Carrie is quieter. She doesn’t demand. Dudley, on the other hand,  was on my heels at 4:30 p.m., reminding me to not forgetto give them food.

And Dogs Mourn,Too

But let’s not forget that the surviving dog is also mourning. Carrie is morose. Her snout is longer, and looks unhappier than most of the time (bassets always look sad). Yesterday, when I called out for food, she barked and ran in every room, looking for and calling Dudley to come and eat.

Also, the finality came to me at yesterday’s 5 p.m. feeding. Every day, just before each meal, each dog got their own medications for their illness. I covered the meds in peanut butter. One dog got the right hand “treat,” the other dog got the left hand treat. Yesterday, only one hand was needed. I cried. I missed him.

Also, every day, after the meds were distributed, I would pick their bowls to insert their meals. Yesterday, I absently picked Dudley’s bowl as well.

What Dogs Will to Us

Sadly, dogs leave very few properties when they leave: a bowl, a collar, a leash, a bed, etc. However, they also leave a big empty hole in your heart.

I went through so many losses in the 33 years of dog loving and dog rescuing. Nonetheless, I go ahead and open my heart to break again and again. There’s always a needy dog waiting for your love. My heart has an empty hole. A new dog, will come and fill that hole by giving a piece of his or her heart. It’s just like this saying:

Dogs will us their heart. One day, my heart will be all dog, and I’ll be so proud!

RIP Raven

A few days ago, I posted these words on my Facebook wall:

It takes a village.

This sentence, once a title of a book written by Hilary R. Clinton, has been used in so many ways by so many people. The sentence can fit anything that takes a group effort. In my case, as I’m heavily involved with animal rescue and animal activism, the words reflect the work that many of my virtual and personal friends have worked so hard to do: to alleviate the suffering of animals.

Raven, a cute little puppy that I never met, was the crux of that sentence. Raven was 1-1/2 years old and was one signature away on the adoption contract from going to her new forever home. Sadly, she started losing feeling in her back legs, prompting Dawn Joslin, her kind-hearted rescuer, to decide to take her to the Penn Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) to be diagnosed and cured. Unfortunately, the cure was never found. Raven was sent to the Rainbow Bridge, which is a euphemism that we, animal lovers, use for death. It took two weeks for poor Raven to go from hopeful recovery to hopeless condition.

During the hopeful moments, I blogged here, and I also posted on my Facebook wall, about Raven’s need for financial backing. There was hope for recovery. All she needed, so we thought, was lots of therapy, tender loving care (TLC), and financial help.

Dawn (would post,

They have (hospital staff) Raven playing on the therapy balls. She’s having a grand time. Her neurologist has 4 students that work with her, and they are in love with Raven. They even put her in the wagon and take her around when they do their rounds.

But as the days progressed, Raven was deteriorating. However, her condition, at the time, was not enough to declare it hopeless. At first, she reacted positively to the therapy. Her back legs seemed to get better. But, soon enough, the legs wouldn’t react anymore. It was speculated that she may have had a stroke on the spinal column. She would need to use a K9-cart the rest of her life.

Dogs do fine in K9-carts. Many, especially those dogs that start using the cart at a young age, are able to run and play like normal dogs. A cart was even in the wings for Raven’s use. However, she was soon enough, not only losing the sensation in her back legs, she was losing sensation in one of her front legs. She would need to be carted around because, in order to use a K9-cart, you need full use of the front legs. It was decided that Raven would need to go to a home that would be able to deal with her disabilities. I had that perfect person in mind.

To keep that person’s privacy intact, I’ll call her A. I spoke with A, and though she was full, she agreed to take Raven into her home. Another friend, I’ll call her B, agreed to transport Raven to A’s house, which is 6 hours away. Happily, I updated my status to say, “It takes a village.” I didn’t want to jinx or even say more until the deed was totally sealed. Unfortunately, Raven deteriorated even further.

Raven went from having one spot on her spine to, within her two weeks stay at the hospital, having loads of spots on her spine. The veterinary staff was beginning to think that Raven had cancer, a rapidly aggressive form of cancer. This Friday (Jan 13), she started to have facial twitches, and the staff was concerned that she may end up having seizures. Raven was no longer able to control her bile and bladder. Her urine had to be expressed. There was no hope. The best gift that could be given for this once vivacious puppy was euthanasia. On Saturday night, she was quietly sent to the Rainbow Bridge.

During Raven’s short lifetime under Dawn’s rescue care, she was loved and spoiled. Dawn made sure of that. Here’s part of the note that Dawn sent me:

[Raven] has no chance of recovering. They are giving her a very poor prognosis now. So, it is a very hard decision we are having to make right now. But we have everyone spoiling her and giving her pretty much anything she wants right now.

Unfortunately, Raven left this world with a $9,000.00 hospital debt. We are asking for donations, in Raven’s memory, however small, to help defray the costs. Dawn is a wonderful rescuer who speaks with her heart. She needs your help now! Let’s help Dawn in her time of need!

And let’s, once again, prove that it takes a village!

Video: Till Then

I dare you not to cry

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