This morning, I did not wake up crying. Felt like a small miracle. I had not felt so grief stricken that I hurt physically, not over any “loss”. Only one time previously, when Myrtle told me for hours how little she thought of me, had I thought I’d have to be hospitalized for “heartbreak” pain. That was many years ago.
It has been only a few days, and Gary and I will “look for” and miss Lady for a long time to come, but today it feels like my heart is physically in one piece. That is, as opposed to being shattered.
I reflect on the fact that we have lost a dog, and it’s not that they are unimportant compared to our human friends and family, but their lifespans are typically so much shorter. On an intellectual level, we have to be prepared.
Our dear old McKenna lived her share of years and then some. We were all very sad to say goodbye, and it is always a difficult decision when and how to usher (“help”) a loved one out of their earthly bounds.
Realizing that Lady had an ailment not treatable came out of left field. Yes, she was twelve and a half, and as Dr. Vogel would remind us, equivalent in age to a person in their eighties.
He would not be trivializing the grievous situation with our pet, simply pointing out that she had already lived a joyful and healthy, fairly long life. He reminds us that at this age, humans become vulnerable as well.
I didn’t talk to the vet yesterday but believe he will have received the blood tests from Lady, which may support his tentative diagnosis. The X-rays strongly suggested hemangiosarcoma, a tumour in the spleen. It appeared that the liver might also be involved, and the image was mostly opaque, suggesting a lot of “fluid” in that part of the abdomen.
I was amazed to learn yesterday that a cousin had had a dog, many years ago, with hemangiosarcoma. This is remarkable because it is found uncommonly in canids, and never or rarely in other animals. Lesley and her husband were advised to go through with splenectomy and possibly other treatments, and they did, but the cancer had spread, and they had put their dear family member through that for nothing.
We all make our best choices with the information we’re given. Now I have read quite a bit on hemangiosarcoma. I am comforted that we did not put Lady through futile suffering. Dr. Vogel told me that she could not even survive exploratory surgery and biopsy without blood transfusions … that was the day before she collapsed. At the same time, he counselled us that the “signs” would have been easy to miss. Heartbreak is easier to handle if it doesn’t accompany regret.
And the heartbreak? I am so grateful that my human family and most of my friends are hale and hearty. We will soldier on.
💕 Rest In Peace, Lady 💕
I might add pictures to this later. Time to go for Sunday breakfast!