Learning to Accept Things as They Come

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My beautiful Border Collie, Dollie Maddison, passed away the day after Christmas. She was barely 6 years old. She had been sick off and on, but we thought she was getting better and had finally figured out what she needed.

Christmas night she was sick repeatedly, but this was not uncommon, so I put her out in the lean-to with an open door so she could get out. In the morning she came in and acted like she normally did after a bad night, exhausted and not well, and went to her bed and slept hard.

We had to go to town and as I thought she would just sleep the day away, recuperating, I put her outside on the chain when we left. We were gone until about 5 pm and when we came home I found her lying under the carport, barely breathing, with her eyes bouncing to and fro. I talked to her, trying to get her to come out of it, and finally when I picked up her head and called her name she looked at me.

We immediately took her into the vet. She was awake, but she was in and out of consciousness. She tried to sit up a few times, but could not. Once we arrived at the vet the doctor took some blood as she thought it was maybe Dollie’s blood sugar. She also gave her some Kyro Syrup, which Dollie tried to eat.

I knew she needed to go, but it was like she was holding on for me. Finally, I told Dollie that I loved her and that if she needed to go it was okay. I told her that she was a lady and ladies always know when to leave.

Within 15 minutes she passed away. The vet said that her lungs did not sound good and that some of her symptoms were weird. It was almost like she had had a seizure or stroke before we found her. I have never cried so much over an animal before. She had been acting fine Christmas Day and before. She seemed her regular happy self.

The doctors told us that she had been a puzzle to them as well. They did an autopsy right after we left and called about 20 minutes later to tell us that she had had cancer. There was a tumor the size of a golf ball in her intestines and her intestines had closed around it.

She had had foul smelling breath (like she had been eating poo) a couple of days before which puzzled me because she never had bad breath. It made sense to me now. If only we had recognized the signs. She was very young to have cancer. I’m not sure if it had been there for a long period of time or if it only developed over the last 3 months that she had been sick.

I kinda feel silly feeling the way I do, but it is very odd to not see her come bounding up as I pull into the drive or to come stick her head on my lap wanting a hug, speaking her love language to me. I felt very guilty for having left her that day when I knew she wasn’t feeling well, but maybe it is for the best. She was watching her prairie as she often did and I think that she was not really conscious of her end.

A part of me is missing now, though. It is a relief that she is not suffering or sick. Also the she isn’t waking me up in the middle of the night anymore (Well, kind of), but I wish she was.

My Husband says that I can get another Border Collie if I want, maybe by the summer. I’m not sure though. We will see. The thought of a new baby to dote on does make me smile, but I don’t want to feel like I am replacing Dollie. I guess that won’t happen because she can’t be replaced, but the thought is still there.

I have scoured the internet looking for others who have experienced the same thing, but have not found any yet. So this is my story and I hope it helps someone. If this sounds even a little familiar to you then please email me with questions and/or better yet, go to the vet and ask them to look for cancer.

My vet took x-rays and saw a little something about a month ago, but they thought it looked like a piece of bone or maybe a piece of cloth and they thought she had passed it during her stay there. The first symptoms I noticed were bloody diarrhea, straining to poo, lack of appetite, burping after drinking water to the point of urping some up, kind of like a baby spitting up. She did have some vomiting off and on, but it was not as prevelent as the diarrhea.

At the vet, she would get better on antibiotics and steroids and a diet of Science Diet Brand Gastrointestinal Health and Sensitive Stomach Food. At home she would continue to get better, until she went off of the antibiotics. Then the bloody diarrhea would return and the not being able to eat. Exercise also caused her diarrhea to return. Steroids helped give her solid bowel movements and so we thought she had Irritable Bowels.

This has been a learning curve for me… Another thing to teach me to trust The Lord and His Voice when He speaks. I knew she was going to die that day. I knew and I pushed it away and doubted the truth as I have done so many times before.

A new year starts in about 36 hours and I beginning to look forward to it. A brand new year full of possibilities and promise. On that note I am going to go. This post has been long enough I think.

Thanks to all of you who read and put up with my shenanigans :)… XOXO

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