Prayers Please

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VStar650CL
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Prayers Please

Postby VStar650CL » Thu Aug 05, 2021 6:16 pm

This afternoon the little half-Shih Tzu who is my avatar was diagnosed with an inoperable tumor in his chest. The vet says he has weeks at most. When we first met 12 years ago in a scorching July parking lot, he was so emaciated and dehydrated that the vet didn't think he'd survive the night. He looked like a head with 5 sticks. Yet I felt like I knew better, he managed a tail-wag at the sight of a water bowl and I knew he had fight left in his little body. Indeed he survived not just the night, but twelve years of wonderful experiences that most dogs will never see, from his ears peeled back in the wind of a motorcycle to walking the tallest peaks of Arkansas like the king of the pupper-world. He has appreciated the forever home we gave in every way an animal can.

I've seen the x-rays and I won't hold any delusional false hopes. He's still himself for now, but very soon he'll be on God's knee. That will be a comfy and fitting place for him, just like Daddy's knee. Please say a prayer for him, the very sweetest dog that God ever made.

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Re: Prayers Please

Postby Rogue One » Thu Aug 05, 2021 7:32 pm

Image

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Re: Prayers Please

Postby VStar650CL » Fri Aug 06, 2021 11:24 am

How very strange, this very crazy life. Took Chance to Mills Park this morning like the old days, just him and me. Not expecting much, just a few moments of quality puppers-and-Daddy time in a spot he loves. Then there he was, trotting down the paths with his little ears flapping. What a happy dog! If you didn't watch his breathing, you wouldn't think there was a thing wrong. I cried in front of the whole town of Bryant and didn't care.

He wouldn't let me take him home. I tried to lead him back to the car three times when he ran out of breath, but he simply caught a little wind and led me back into the woods. Thirst was the only thing that eventually got to him.

"Indomitable" is the only word that comes to mind. He got his name twelve years ago because no one thought he had a "snowball's chance". He simply wouldn't be cowed by death, then or now.

I'm still crying, but with my eyes open. Perhaps the very happiest memories will be these final few. He'd thank you for the prayers and wishes himself if he could.

Indomitable.jpg

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Re: Prayers Please

Postby VStar650CL » Sat Aug 07, 2021 8:41 am

Sorry to use this like a blog, but I don't do Facebook or Twitter because of the mob, and of the sites I do frequent, this one feels like it's "filled with friends" more than any other. Forgive me, and forgive my being somewhat out-of-touch until whenever God takes him.

Forever friends are still forever...

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...and summer sun still feels good on the old pupper-bones. Hang in there old man!

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Re: Prayers Please

Postby VStar650CL » Sat Aug 07, 2021 4:28 pm

Funny how ideas always seem to synergize and intertwine. Edison realizes electric heat can also turn into light. A telephone beside a matrix printer becomes a fax machine. Most good ideas only seem to come from nowhere.

I learned a lasting lesson from one of our other pets, a cat named Mommers. She was stricken with an ATE, a clot lodged in the arterial fork that sends blood to the brain on one side and the hindquarters on the other. Her hind legs were paralyzed, the vets considered it hopeless. Yet it was clear to me in Mommer's eyes that she was not ready for the needle. I drove her home with my conflicted brain struggling for some MacGyver-esque solution. I had heard of ATE, and also heard that cats' peripheral arteries were more than capable of supplying enough extra blood to prevent organ death until the clot dissolved. For some unknown reason, they simply don't. More googling led me to an Edison moment. Cats' hind legs are enormously powerful and have a correspondingly enormous blood supply. The answer was right there, in Mommers' veins and not her arteries. "Cusps" they are called, the little one-way valves that allow used blood to fight gravity and return to the heart. Like any one-way valve, they leave a vacuum behind them when they close, a vacuum that would suck in arterial blood. I slapped my own forehead. Just working Mommers' legs and massaging the veins could turn them into lifesaving pumps, an auxiliary heart.

And so we did, every 30 minutes for days. We and those cusps were her extra heart. The vets were amazed when ten days later, she had some discoloration in her paws, but she was walking. No amputation would be needed, and her kidneys were working fine. The first place she headed was the litterbox, wobbling but happy.

There's no happy ending, because it turned out the ATE was caused by a tumor. We lost her anyway when the ATE recurred. She didn't have the will to fight a second time. I saw that in her eyes as well, so we put her down in the final comfort of her Daddy's lap. But it could have been happy if the underlying cause had been different, and I vowed never again to give up on any animal whose eyes showed the will to go on. The rest wasn't even MacGyver, more like Sun Tzu. Learn to think like the enemy and then out-think him. Some fights are unwinnable and some shouldn't be fought, but surrender is purely optional.

Chance's fight is unwinnable and I know it, but I also know he'll fight like a demon for his very last breath. So how to help, how to buy him a few more hours or days or weeks? His breathing is decent when he's on his feet, the park showed me that. The tumor is gradually kinking his airway, so It gets bad when he lays down. The last two mornings he was practically anoxic, he had to shake his own brain awake after being lifted from bed. That anoxia, I realized, will kill him much sooner than the tumor. I also realized that we don't need to let it. No dog needs a night's sleep, they're purpose-designed for napping. Getting him awake every few hours for a treat will definitely prevent dying in his sleep until the kink worsens. We don't know how long the tumor has been there, either. If it's slow growing, that may take awhile. Even if it's a few extra days, it's a precious while.

What the hell, Daddy's prostate gets him up three times a night to pee anyhow. Not even any real sacrifice. So there, it's a losing fight but I'm damn well going to fight it. We'll let y'all know how it goes.

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Re: Prayers Please

Postby Rogue One » Sat Aug 07, 2021 8:27 pm

Good on you. I've always believed that we get the pets we're meant to have. They give us unconditional love, so what we do to make their final days better is a small price to pay.

In the past 15+ years we've lost three retired racing greyhounds, a whippet, and two Italian greyhounds. One of the IG's, Sky, was a rescue that came to us with some disturbing scars but a heart of gold. When she was found to have a mass that completely surrounded her heart, the vet's prognoses was that surgery wasn't an option, and said she'd be lucky to survive the next three days. We nursed her and cheered at every small morsel she ate. The tough old gal managed to live for another three months. Then one night she came and let us know it was her time. She spent half the night sleeping with me, and the other half in my partner's bed. It is a memory I shall always cherish.

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Re: Prayers Please

Postby VStar650CL » Sun Aug 08, 2021 2:31 am

You're the best, Rogue, I needed that. :)

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Re: Prayers Please

Postby VStar650CL » Sun Aug 08, 2021 6:01 am

You tell 'em, boy. Piss on leashes! :rotfl

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Re: Prayers Please

Postby mdmellott » Sun Aug 08, 2021 7:22 pm

Nothing warms the heart like a cold nose. I love the care and devotion you have shown. The same, from our Father, will see you through this time and comfort you.

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Re: Prayers Please

Postby VStar650CL » Mon Aug 09, 2021 6:44 am

mdmellott wrote:
Sun Aug 08, 2021 7:22 pm
Nothing warms the heart like a cold nose. I love the care and devotion you have shown. The same, from our Father, will see you through this time and comfort you.
Bless you, Md. He's still hanging in there, I'm gonna keep that nose cold for as long as God permits. :)

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Re: Prayers Please

Postby phmichel » Mon Aug 09, 2021 10:21 am

Hi VStar. Bless you for sharing your heart and struggles like this. We had to say goodbye to our 2 cats this year. They were brother and sister and both went at 21 years old about 4 months apart. When I took our big boy Stanley in for the last time (multiple issues), He knew something was up. He was very calm. He did a walk around the exam room and sniffed everything, then just jumped in my lap and looked at me like "Yeah, I know it's time. Thanks for everything". It's hard and sweet and part of the blessing of connecting with an animal.

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Re: Prayers Please

Postby VStar650CL » Mon Aug 09, 2021 11:16 am

phmichel wrote:
Mon Aug 09, 2021 10:21 am
Hi VStar. Bless you for sharing your heart and struggles like this. We had to say goodbye to our 2 cats this year. They were brother and sister and both went at 21 years old about 4 months apart. When I took our big boy Stanley in for the last time (multiple issues), He knew something was up. He was very calm. He did a walk around the exam room and sniffed everything, then just jumped in my lap and looked at me like "Yeah, I know it's time. Thanks for everything". It's hard and sweet and part of the blessing of connecting with an animal.
Like I said, I'm sure he'd thank all of you with a wet face for the prayers and wishes. What's really tough about this is that the tumor doesn't seem to cause him any pain, just hard breathing. He still wants to do all his normal doggie stuff and there's no way he's ready for a needle. Unless it starts to hurt, he may never be ready. So we can only hope that when his breathing becomes bad enough, he'll go in his sleep from anoxia despite our efforts. I doubt he'll be asking us. God love him, but you can't look in his eyes without realizing that there will be life and fight in there until the very last moment. That makes it so hard.

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Re: Prayers Please

Postby PapaSmurf2k3 » Tue Aug 10, 2021 10:07 pm

Man that's hard to hear. Glad you got to take him out to the park for a spirited gallop before his breathing gets too labored.

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Re: Prayers Please

Postby VStar650CL » Fri Aug 13, 2021 12:30 pm

Well, trail's end came this morning. Our vet told us it would get bad suddenly, and it did. He was fine for breakfast, then went into near respiratory arrest an hour later. He couldn't walk 20 steps without his gums turning white. Still, it was exactly as I feared, there was no life lacking in his eyes when they gave him the sleepy needle. What a horrible Hobson's choice that was. We just couldn't bear the possibility of him arresting in the middle of the night with no help till the morning. Those would have been hours of suffering too awful to contemplate, so we made the choice that we hope, God willing, was kinder.

It will surely have some meaning beyond his little life. Daddy and Mommy have always been heavy smokers, and with a chest tumor, it's impossible not to wonder. I'll go to bed for the rest of my life silently wondering if I killed my sweetest friend. Now it won't happen to Bud or the cats. Daddy has a vape now, and feels dumb as God's own post that he didn't get one years ago. Like the Hollanders say, "We grow too soon old and too late smart."

My wife plans to have tat ink made from his ashes and get his doggled image tattooed above her left breast, his favorite place on earth to rest his head. I'm not big on tats, but that one will be fitting. Life will go on, but different and better for having had his tender presence in our lives.

Godspeed, little man. Daddy and Mommy love you always.

Forever.jpg
Our special thanks to Dr Lavergne and all the staff at Hillcrest Animal Hospital. Easy wasn't an option, but they're the level best when your fur babies are in need. We drive 20 miles when there's another DVM right next door, but they're worth it.

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Re: Prayers Please

Postby DRoush » Fri Aug 13, 2021 6:29 pm

So sorry to hear that you lost your little guy. Hard decision to make. We lost are Lucy just before COVID hit and it was a very emotional night. Kids and wife and me petting her until her last breath. The house was never so quiet. We had to get another dog during COVID and that was hard to even though it was months later. Rescued are Josie and she will never be a replacement just a new family member. I will say she is a little neurotic but two years on her own in TN might do that to a girl. Again sorry for your loss may he be at peace now.

Our Lucy may she always rest easy.
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Re: Prayers Please

Postby DRoush » Fri Aug 13, 2021 6:33 pm

Are Josie. May she learn to trust and not fear the thunder and lightning ;)

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Re: Prayers Please

Postby DRoush » Fri Aug 13, 2021 6:34 pm

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Re: Prayers Please

Postby Rogue One » Fri Aug 13, 2021 6:37 pm

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Author unknown...

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Re: Prayers Please

Postby VStar650CL » Fri Aug 13, 2021 6:47 pm

Rogue One wrote:
Fri Aug 13, 2021 6:37 pm
Author unknown...
No, not unknown. Known to God.

Thank you all so much...

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Re: Prayers Please

Postby PapaSmurf2k3 » Sun Aug 15, 2021 7:38 am

VStar650CL wrote:
Fri Aug 13, 2021 12:30 pm

My wife plans to have tat ink made from his ashes
Wow I had no idea that could be done. What a good idea.
Sorry for the loss.

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Re: Prayers Please

Postby VStar650CL » Sun Aug 15, 2021 7:56 am

PapaSmurf2k3 wrote:
Sun Aug 15, 2021 7:38 am
VStar650CL wrote:
Fri Aug 13, 2021 12:30 pm
My wife plans to have tat ink made from his ashes
Wow I had no idea that could be done. What a good idea.
Sorry for the loss.
Your good wishes are very much appreciated. I knew about the ink from another tech who has his Boston Terrier forever on his arm. Clever and beautiful tat, the ash ink was used to tattoo the sand falling through an hourglass. Like I said, I'm not big on tats, but what my wife wants to do will be very fitting.

https://engraveink.com

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Re: Prayers Please

Postby Dbarry » Tue Aug 17, 2021 10:26 pm

Sorry for your loss. Sending more vibes your way


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