|Dolly was an ,almost, all white Collie-Great Pyrenees cross who was abandoned in 1992....
but found a home with us thanks to the Calgary Humane Society (SPCA).
We had her for a little over eight years and will ever be grateful for the love she brought into our lives.
| When Dolly
went to the Vet for her annual check up and booster shots ,toward the end
of 2000. Kevin (her Vet at the Bowmont Animal Hospital) was concerned about
her. She was drinking a lot of water, more than usual and he worried that
she may have become diabetic. Yes, dogs can get pretty much anything we
can, and diabetes is one of them. So, he took a urine sample and analysed
it. The sample showed a severe infection. We got an antibiotic for her and
gave it to her faithfully. Two weeks after the last tablet Dolly went back
to Kevin to see if the infection was gone. It was not. Kevin suggested that
we allow him to x-ray our precious girl and so it was done. The x-ray showed
nothing but because Kevin was concerned about what could be happening to
Dolly, he suggested we have an ultra sound done. So we did.
We took Dolly to the Landing Vet Clinic and prepared her for the ultra sound. It is quite the set up when one prepares a pet to be given this kind of examination. The table is a V shaped trough made of metal. In this trough is a nice thick towel. The pet is then picked up, gently, and laid on it's back. You would think the Dolly would feel very insecure and maybe struggle a bit at being put in this position. No, Dolly is a very special dog and was as quite as a lamb. I held her front legs away from her body, and the Vet's Assistant held her back legs ( I got the best end by the way!). Then the Vet, Dr. Joffe shaved Dolly's tummy area and lower part of her chest, to enable him to cover all internal organs except the heart, then covered this area with warmed up gel. He them began moving the measuring instrument over her body.
All this time Dolly kept her eyes on me, she made no sound and no movement. I watched the images on the monitor as the ultra sound tool moved over her liver, kidneys, stomach and bladder. Dr Joffe marked specific areas of concern, and there were several. After he finished the ultra sound the Vet spoke to me about what he thought was there and what he felt should be done at that point.
There were several suspicious areas and he felt them worthy of further exploration. Rather than giving my Dolly an operation which is not always a good idea on an older dog, he asked if I would be willing to have him give her some needle biopsies. He promised Dolly would not suffer any duress when he did this. I okayed it and he took several samples, out of the organs which were suspect. Again, Dolly was an angel and made no indication of discomfort at all. When it was over, Dr Joffe said that he would get the samples analysed immediately and have the results sent to my Vet. So , Dolly and I went home. She seemed quite happy to be out of there.
Two days later I spoke with Kevin at Bowmont. Here he gave me the results of Dolly's ultra sound and biopsies. Dolly has a Malignant Carcinoma. Yes, she has cancer. Her cancer, unlike my experience with the disease, is incurable. We could put her through chemotherapy, but cannot bring ourselves to put her through that particular hell. A human being can understand what is being done, and deal with it, but a dog can't. She would experience the same thing as a human. Nausea, no appetite and loss of hair. We cannot do it. So, we have been told what to watch for, to know when the end is near. We don't know how long it will be. It could be tomorrow, it could be weeks, months or maybe (and I can only hope) years. However, we will not see her suffer, we will not allow her to end her life in pain and sadness. When it looks as if the cancer has taken a stronger hold we will take her to Kevin and ask him to inject her with something to send her on her way to heaven. It will be hard, but it would be harder still and cruel to allow this beautiful, kind, trusting and loving animal to suffer in agony. I will write in here when she is gone..but until then Dolly will be absolutely spoiled. She can anything she wants. I have always avoided junk food for this angel because it wasn't good for her. Since that really doesn't matter now and she absolutely loves Lays potato chips. She may have as many as she likes. It is when she cannot bring herself to eat these things that we will recognise that the end is near. Until then, our precious angelic dog will 'Live Until She Dies'.
Today, December the 12th 2000, we said goodbye to Dolly. In the last three days her condition deteriorated very fast. The Vet said that the cancer had got into her spine and was affecting her back legs and nervous system badly. She could not get up without us helping her as her back legs were very , very weak. She could not walk without one of us assisting her. She could not lay down without assistance. It just plain hurt too much. So, we took her to the Vet's to say goodbye. Both David and I stood with her while she went to sleep, then Kevin left us with her for as long as we wanted. It was hard but we just couldn't see her suffer and lose her dignity. Dolly struggled so hard to just go outside to do her 'business' and it would have been very cruel to keep her alive simply because we love her, and couldn't stand to say goodbye. We are having her ashes sent back to us so that we can scatter them in Dolly's favourite places to walk. When my adored Mother-in-Law was alive (Mum passed on in 1998) she loved Dolly, and Dolly loved her. David and I can picture the two of them now walking together through fields, hills and valleys. Walking by the side of the river , with Mum watching as Dolly meanders into the water and stands, with the water touching her belly, with a look of pure contentment on her face. Smiling that special Dolly smile of hers.Goodbye my beautiful Angel dog. I will never, ever forget you, and thank you for the 8 years of pure love and trust that you have given me. I love you.