April 2nd 2008 9:44 pm
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I'd like to say Thank You to Dogster for choosing Dutchess as Dog of the Day today. I know she's probably bragging to all her friends over at the Bridge!!
And Thank You to everypup and their families for the PPRs, stars, rosettes, gifts, pawmails and incredibly kind words of support during this extremely difficult time. It's getting better with each passing day, but I still have my moments when I just think about her and cry.
I made the decision to help Dutchess cross over to the Bridge on Wednesday March 26th because her quality of life was starting to become compromised. The tumor in her mouth was starting to cause her problems in terms of her breathing; it was becoming obstructive. She could still breathe just fine, but it was becoming a little labored. And she couldn't sleep entirely comfortably anymore, she had to be laying on her side so she could breathe out of the side of her mouth because her nostrils were almost completely obstructed due to the tumor. And there were times when she didn't want to sleep like that, she just wanted to curl up or lay on her belly and rest her head on her paws. But that would last for about 8 seconds when she would have to lift up her head and open her mouth to breathe. That really upset me to see. I couldn't let her continue to go through that. And with her cancer, things would have only gotten worse for her. So after speaking with her Oncologist and family & friends, I made the heartbreaking decision to let her go. So for the next few days I spoiled her rotten. Extra cheeseburgers from McDonald's, Frosty Paws, lots of bologna, baby food mixed in with every meal. She loved every minute of it! And on Wednesday she had Mac & Cheese with bologna bits mixed in for breakfast, lots of bologna throughout the day, and then a Frosty Paw for her final treat. She was so happy. We took a nice walk earlier in the afternoon, just her & I, around the neighborhood. It was a perfect spring day. My best friend Kirstie came over to support me and say her final goodbyes to Dutchess. She's known Dutchess since she was just a baby. Around 5:30pm that evening, the doctor came to my home; I didn't want to take Dutchess to the vet since it made her nervous. After we talked and said our final goodbyes, the doctor started. I held Dutchess in my arms and kissed her beautiful face and told her how much I loved her and that I can't wait for the day that I get to see her again and that I will never, ever forget her in all my life beause she was that dog for me. And within seconds she relaxed and was gone. It was so peaceful and so fast. I thought for sure I'd start freaking out and sobbing uncontrolably, but I didn't. Of course, I was heartbroken, but I felt a sense of calm, like she was at peace. She was finally taking a nap comfortably, no more nasal tumors inhibiting her breathing. I felt like I made the right decision given her situation. The decision was easy, it was the choices that sucked.
Afterwards Kirstie, Dr. Waters, and I sat and talked about Dutchess and told different stories. Dr. Waters actually knew Dutchess as well because she used to be a doctor at my vet's office, but left a couple years ago to open her own mobile pet clinic. We decided to leave Dutchess' body laying there for the time being so that Jackson could figure out in own his way what had happened. He walked over to her and sniffed her, and stood over her for a moment. And then he came back over by us for a minute and then went back to Dutchess and sniffed her again. This time it was obvious that he figured it out. It was very sad to see. Talk about heartbreaking. The next day all he did was sleep. I tried to get him to play, nothing. Go outside, nothing. I had to prod him off the couch to go out. He ate his meals okay, but that was it. He was sad, I could see it in his eyes. So we just sat on the couch together, doing nothing other than being sad with each other. Jackson is much better now, he got better little by little each day. But it's tough on him being an only child now.
Dutchess will forever be in my heart. She was my first baby, I got her when she was just 10 weeks old. She stole my heart from the first moment I saw her, and she's had it ever since. I was truly in love with her. Dutchess was incredibly loyal and smart, totally stubborn when she wanted to be, strong, fearless, fun, playful, loving, silly, happy, awesome, absolutely beautiful, totally unconditional, and just a joy to be around. She loved everyone, and everyone loved her. She is absolutely one of a kind. I feel so blessed to have had her in my life. We had (almost, but close enough) 11 great years together, and I'm so greatful for each day. I couldn't imagine how different my life would be if I hadn't found her. She changed me in so many ways, taught me so much. I will forever be grateful to her in so many ways for so many things, but mainly just that she picked me to love.
Thanks for 11 fantastic years!!
I'll always love you, Baby Girl. Always.
March 16th 2008 4:02 pm
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OK fellow pups, I'm not sure what to make of this. It's kind of embarassing for me to talk about, but here goes... Just for the record, I'd like to say that I've always prided myself on having good dog breath. (Okay, not like minty-fresh breath, after all I am a dog; but as good as breath can get for a dog!) Mom said my breath has been getting really bad lately- so bad that it's starting to smell like something died in my mouth! Can you believe that?! I was shocked by her remark and quite frankly, a little hurt, too. I mean, who even says that about someone they're supposed to love? It just seems a little harsh to me. I love her, bad breath and all, and I don't pick on her for it, so why the mean comments about my breath all of a sudden? And it didn't just stop there. Two of Mom's good friends came to visit over the past couple days and Grandpa stopped over, too, and they all said the same thing. Mom said Grandpa looked the most shocked out of them all; he looked like he was gonna fall over after he got a good whiff! Does no one love me or care about my feelings anymore? Mom said it's not that she doesn't love me or care about my feelings anymore (or anyone else for that matter, because they all do very, very much!), it's just that she's worried there might be something more going on to cause the change in my normal good-breath status. Nice save, Mom! She then went so far as to call my Oncologist Dr. Jessica to tell her about it. I guess that's okay because I love Dr. Jessica, she's the best! She always tells Mom to give me a kiss for her after they talk. Well, now I'm on antibiotics for the next two weeks because Dr. J thinks I have a secondary infection from the tumor that has formed on the roof of my mouth. Dr. J said this is normal and it's nothing to worry about unless the odor does not go away or at least lessen after I complete the meds. I want to be upset about the stinging remarks that Mom made, but I can't for a couple of reasons. The first reason is because I'm a dog and it's not in my nature. I truly love my Mom unconditionally and I know she loves me unconditionally, too, no matter what I say about her in my diary (I just like to be dramatic sometimes! And I hoping to score some extra bologna by making her feel guilty!). After all, Mom wouldn't have made the sacrifices she's made over the past couple years to treat my cancer and give me a quality life if she didn't love me and think the world of me. Plus, she tells me all the time how much she loves me. I like when she tells me that, it makes me feel good. The second reason is, and this may be the most important one depending on where your priorities lie, because she's still the keeper of the bologna!! Mmmm, bologna. I'm getting all warm and fuzzy inside just talking about it. I'm positively hooked on this stuff pups, I can't get enough of it! I've become a bologna junkie! Every time Mom goes to the fridge I have to go with just to make sure she isn't handing out any samples of it, and to also make sure it is well protected and temperature-regulated. My only fear is that one day the bologna will be gone. Mom said I can reast easy, that won't happen cause she'll just go to the store to buy more before that happens. But what if the store is out? Then what?! How will I get my bologna fix then? Mom said the odds of the store running out of bologna are slim to none, but I just don't know if I can believe that. After all, she said I have bad breath...
Wags and Licks,
March 8th 2008 10:37 am
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So it is official. In addition to torturing me for 30 minutes every day by making me wait for my kibble to completely soften in warm water before I can eat it, Mom took away my favorite bones (you know, the really yummy, hard marrow bones that come from the butcher shop). She said they were making my mouth bleed too much. She originally thought the bleeding was coming from my teeth since I do have significant bone loss in my jaw due to my cancer, but then a few days later Mom found the real reason behind all the bleeding. Apparently I have a new tumor that has now formed on the roof of my mouth. And anything hard and sharp (like the bones) makes it bleed. So now I can't chew on my bones, and I'm no longer allowed to sit outside and eat ice chunks anymore, both of which happen to be my favorite things to chew on. I do still sneak a few pieces of ice though, when Mom isn't looking, but now she's on to me so she watches me out the window when she doesn't feel like going outside in her pajamas. And if she catches me eating ice, she opens up the window and yells at me. I don't like that too much so I just eat the ice when I know I'm completely out of her sight! But somehow she still knows; how does she do that?!? So even though Mom has now officially taken away my favorite bones and won't let me eat ice chunks anymore, she has made up for that in other ways. I still get the occasional McDonald's burger, I sometimes get baby food mixed in with my water-soaked, mushed-up kibble, I now have many more soft squeaky toys to play with, although as soon as I get the squeaker removed she promptly takes it away, and I now get bologna!!!!! I love that stuff!! Why has Mom not given me this stuff sooner? I mean, I AM her baby girl, so why has she been holding out on me all this time? I'm not sure I can easily let this one go. Maybe a slice or two of bologna will make it all better....
Wags and Licks,