March 2nd 2009 10:04 pm
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it's been two weeks since our beautiful girl wrigley has gone off to a new adventure. But she would have appreciated all the love and good wishes from strangers. on many levels that is so appropriate. Wrigs had a way to make even non dog lovers love her. And its only appropriate that strangers send her much love. While it isn't hard, and those who have lost their buddy for sure know how hard it is, we are so grateful to everyone's well wishes. this experience has been tough, profound and an epiphany for me personally. While i've never been one to delve too much in emotion, I think wrigley's purpose here was to unlock that in me. I think her time, albeit short, had a purpose . . . to unlock many personal issues i've neglected for many years. I thank wrigs for that and while I miss her everyday, i have her memory of being such a sweet buddy and will see her when my time comes.
February 13th 2009 2:18 pm
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February 13th 2009 10:47 am
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I now truly know why rollercoasters and me didn't get along. She started chemo last friday and she was doing well, but then over night she was a completely different dog. She wouldn't eat, wouldn't move, all she did was breath real hard and looked horrible. We took her to the vet and she had a high temperature and clearly having a bad reaction to the treatment. They got fluids in her and her temperature dropped. She started to wag her tail and even ate.
Seeing her when she got home was a revelation. Sure she could get over the chemo and be herself, but what happens when we start the other phase of chemo? Will we see the same fine for days then crash? My wife and I struggled over these past few days but always clear that so long she didn't show pain we would continue. We were in total agreement.
While we were in agreement that Wrigley is strong and recovering what dawned on me was we were seeing what we wanted so badly to see in our hearts -- Wrigley like the old Wrigley.
But last night as I saw her, I felt that I didn't really recognize her. That's when it hit me.
The decision was clear. Everything we loved and cherished in our beloved Wrigley has already gone. Her wiggling butt, her wagging tail, her incessant begging for treats, and her happy vibe was gone.
I am wracked with guilt because I know we could get more time with her and yes perhaps she could get over the side effects, but why would I be doing that? I feel guilty that by putting her to sleep now knowing she could have a few weeks or days more of ok days seems wrong. It's just how I feel.
But I know we are delaying the inevitable. She will die. I want to remember my dog, my Wrigley as she was, not what she is going through now.
While she is too young to deserve this, I have had the most amazing 6 years with her.
It was interesting, one day on my commute into work, I thought to myself, why in the heck am I writing a diary? I'm not a sensitive person. Was I doing it for sympathy? Was this a way for me to mourn? I think I'm doing it because I want people to know Wrigley. Wrigley is loved by so many and so many who know her are grieving and in a weird way, I take that as the ultimate tribute to who she was. So that is why I'm writing this, for her. I know she wouldn't understand it if I told her, but for me this diary is me telling her that everyone loves you and even strangers care.
We love you Wrigley.
February 7th 2009 11:36 am
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This morning I was dreading to see her. I know that sounds horrible, but a part of me was hoping Wrigley wasn't there, but once I got out of bed and went to see her, her big tail started to wag. Although she sounded as if she had a stuffy nose, she seemed relatively ok, but that is until we got outside.
She was just like her old self. She was egging me to go throw something for her to fetch. So after taking a brief walk around our park, we went back home, got the frisbee, and rewound time, at least it felt like it.
She was leaping and catching the frisbee out of the air just like before. Her tail was wagging fast and even had the little patch of hair standing up on the tail. I knew she was happy. After playing longer than we normally did, before we learned she was sick, we went home at confronted the basic things I used to take for granted. Food time! I was worried that she wouldn't take to our food, but who could resist pancakes with maple syrup with scrambled eggs. She loved it.
I wish today was like the movie Groundhog's Day, just replay this morning over and over.
On a side note, I never planned to write in a diary. It's not like me to do things like this. Nor did I expect anyone to care or even write for that matter, but people do care and did write. To those, thank you so much, especially for sharing stories about your loss. I know it must open old wounds, but what I've learned today is that people are good and caring. If it takes Wrigley getting sick for me to realize how wonderful strangers are, then perhaps this is a wonderful thing -- I've got to spend the last six years with a wonderful doggie and learned something new.
February 6th 2009 8:33 pm
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A part of us feels we should put her to sleep before things get worse. Wrigley is the type of girl that will hide any pain so seeing any bad effects of either Chemo or the cancer impacting her is hard to spot. She always hides it. What would you do? Knowing optimistic case is 4 months, is it being selfish to just one more day. Right now she has her appetite and we are spoiling her with grilled salmon and cookies. She deserves it, but a part of me feels guilty that the right thing to do is to let her sleep. It's like a fortune cookie we see what we want to see. Am I so biased that I ignore the signs of pain? The vet seems to think she is fine right now, but I don't want to be that owner that goes to far---any pain is not acceptable to me. She deserves so much more. I don't know what to do. All I know is I love her beyond words and don't want her to suffer.
February 6th 2009 2:25 pm
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We got the worst news any dog owner can get. Wrigley has cancer. What we first thought was a simple infection in the paw created a roller coaster of emotions. The vet did a biopsy out of precaution, thinking nothing of it, other than 'might as well.' Well it came back cancerous. We were crushed. But we learned that the type of cancer was plasmacytoma, which is benign and curable via surgery. We thrilled given the circumstances. However, deep down in my gut I knew something else was wrong. Wrigs had all these bumps on her, but most just thought it would be fatty bumps.
We were scheduled for surgery this past Thursday, but the vets wanted to x-ray her belly just to make sure everything was clear.
More bad news. They called to say they were not doing the surgery -- they found lumps in her belly and in her chest. Something was horribly wrong. They drew some node samples and sent it off to the lab to identify the cancer.
Today we learned it was Malignant histiocytosis, perhaps one of the worst and aggressive forms of cancer. Prognosis is very poor. We are going to start Chemo asap, but even if Wrigley responds well to it, 4 months is best case.
I don't know exactly why I'm writing, but something I felt I should do. I can't adequately express how heartbroken I am over this, but all i can think of doing now is focus on how she has been an an amazing, beautiful, sensitive, and caring dog.
I'm a realist. I know -- as soon as she shows signs of pain or suffering, we have to put her to sleep. I'm not sure how I will react at that time, but one step at a time.
We love our Wrigley.