"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by doing so some people have entertained angels without knowing it." - Hebrews 13:2

Monday, October 29, 2012

A ton of bricks...

I’m a little bit out of it this week. Last Wednesday, we got some bad news regarding our rescued greyhound, Pickles.

Pickles the greyhound  ~ Photo by Loree Huebner

We found out that she has bone cancer. I feel like I’ve been hit by a ton of bricks.

Long story—short, a few weeks ago, Pickles started to limp slightly, favoring her front right paw. I really didn’t think much about it figuring she probably just pulled something while running around the yard. She stopped limping after a day or two, and I assumed all was well. Then she started very slight limp again last week. By Wednesday, it was obvious that it hurt her terribly. I thought there might be a fracture, so I took her over to the vet. After a few x-rays, we could see the telltale shadows on the bone just above her “wrist” on the front paw—cancer. A second x-ray to the chest revealed that it hasn’t spread yet.

All I could do was stare vacantly at the wall as we talked over the options with the vet.

Amputation? Chemo? Natural course?

I needed to think. We brought her home with pain medication prescribed by the vet.

We adopted Pickles when she was four and a half. She ran a long time on the track. The “track life” is extremely hard on these amazing creatures—don’t even get me started there. Anyway, she was happy to be a retired, 45mph couch potato in our home. We welcomed her with open arms. Pickles turned ten in August.

After talking with our greyhound friends, we decided that because of her age, she is not a good candidate for an amputation. It might give her a few extra months, but she would spend it trying to get over the shock of losing a leg. I can’t do that to her. I also found that this disease is not uncommon to the breed. This might have something to do with the track life…what they endure...what they are given...but that’s another story.

On top of everything else, in just a few days, her limp has gone from slight to critical. We have it wrapped for support, and give her the pain medicine—which just knocks her out. I can tell that it’s suddenly become too much for her. She can’t even touch it to the floor anymore. Eric is so sweet. He carries her up and down the stairs, and outside.

Her buddy, Fly, our 14-year-old, Border Collie, knew something was up. We noticed for the last two weeks, Flysie had been leaving half of her canned supper for Pickles to finish. Funny how dogs know stuff…

Well, needless to say, yesterday, we came to a hard decision. This week, we will have to say goodbye to her. The pain is getting worse by the moment. I don't want her to suffer. I didn’t think it would progress so fast. I am devastated. We are making her as comfy as possible and loving her until we take her for the last ride. Eric and I will be right with her as she takes her final breath.

I thank all of you who have sent warm wishes and prayers our way.

Thank you, my friends.

Ever have to make tough decisions for a furry friend?

Between you, me and the gatepost,


Sweet Pickles ~ Photo by Loree Huebner


Sandra Orchard said...

Oh Loree, my heart goes out to you. We faced this decision with our last dog. So heartwrenching. Sending a big hug your way for you and Pickles.

Jessica Nelson said...

I'm so, so sorry...:-( I haven't had to do this but most of my pets have been outdoors and so I've had to deal with them missing all of a sudden. Pickles looks like a wonderfully sweet girl. *hugs*

Jeanette Levellie said...

Oh, Loree, I don't even have words, I'm so choked up for you, darlin'. I will pray for comfort and strengh for all of you, and that God will make you joyful in the knowledge that you gave Pickles the gift of six years of bliss in a loving family.

I've had to put two cats to sleep. It's no fun, even though you know you're making the right choice. I comfort myself that they'll be waiting for me in Heaven.

Hugs to you, sweet friend. I love you. I'm proud of you for making this hard decision.

Wendy Paine Miller said...

I am so so sorry about this Loree. I'm a major dog lover and I know we are getting close. Our dog is about to turn 13 and she has a pee problem.

My thoughts are with you and I really wish I could hug you right now!
~ Wendy

Melissa Tagg said...

Oh, I'm so sorry, Loree. That's truly such a hard thing. In my family, we've had to put two dogs to sleep and both times, it hurt. Sending you a virtual hug...and prayers, too.

Terri Tiffany said...

I'm tearing up as I write this. We had to make that decision for two of our dogs and it still makes me cry when I think of it. You've made the right decision as hard as it will be. I am so sorry for you both. You gave this dog a loving home and life and that is what you must hang on to. Prayers and hugs!!

Lindsay Harrel said...

This made me want to cry for you, Loree. I've had to say goodbye to pets, and it's the worst thing in the world. They really are like family. Praying for you!!

Gwendolyn Gage said...

Praying for God to give you and your family strength and comfort.

Victoria Lindstrom said...

Loree, I am so sorry for you. I've been in the position of having to make the same decision you have made - it tore my heart out. It's been three years and I still miss my little dog. Thankfully, you have your other pet to focus on. I will pray for you, your family, and Pickles!

Brandi Boddie said...

I'm sorry, Loree. I love dogs and I know how hard it is to lose a pet. They're like family. My prayers are with you and yours this week.

Loree Huebner said...

Thank you - EVERYONE - for the hugs, prayers, words, and love. I'm so moved and comforted by your kindness and concern. It means so much.

My prayers go out to those out on the east coast...stay safe everyone.

Keli Gwyn said...

My heart goes out to you, Loree. Our beloved cat go cancer, and we had to put him out of his misery eventually. Talk about a tough decision.

Theresa said...

OH Loree...this is so sad. I am so sorry for you and Eric and the kids. I cannot imagine the pain it has caused your family. Enjoy the few "minutes" you have left with her. I will keep you all in my prayers and thoughts.

Cynthia Chapman Willis said...

Oh, Loree, your post brought tears to my eyes. Letting go of a beloved pet rips the heart into pieces. It takes great strength and love to do what is best for our furry friends. I hope you take comfort in knowing that you are doing what is best for Pickles. Greyhounds are such sweet beasts. Keeping you in my heart and prayers.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Loree,

I'm so sad for you!

Many years ago, my cat, Sarah, developed severe kidney disease. She was so sick, but saying, "goodbye," was as heartrending as losing a dear friend.

I pray God will comfort you, and you'll remember all the wonderful times you spent with her. You provided a loving home and made her final years a joy.


Stacy Henrie said...

Oh, Loree, I'm so sorry! That's a tough decision. ((Hugs))

Loree Huebner said...

This has been a tough week. Thanks for all the love, support, and hugs, my friends.

Just to update you - Pickles is still with us today. We first made the appointment to put her down for Tuesday, but canceled it. Then, we were going to go today (Thursday)...but we decided that want to spend some time with her before it happens - you know, not just come home from work and go do it. So - Saturday, Eric and I are both off of work. We plan to spend the entire morning with her, then she has an appointment.

Her leg is about the same. But she is in pain and needs the medication. The meds help. She rests comfortably at Eric's feet, at his desk. So Saturday will be the day. I am thankful for the week we have been given - to say goodbye to her.

Thanks again for all your hugs
~ Loree

Karen Lange said...

So sorry, Loree! It's hard to say goodbye. We did have to put two dogs down, so I understand a little of what you are going through.

Hugs to you,

Sarah Forgrave said...

What a tough decision, Loree. I pray God's comfort fills your home.

Lynda R Young said...

Oh Loree, I cried reading this post. I'm so sorry to hear about Pickles. Knowing you made the right decision doesn't make it any easier.
Many hugs to you.

Loree Huebner said...

Karen, Sarah, and Lynda, thanks for your hugs and kind comments.

Eric and I were with Pickles as she went to sleep peacefully in Eric's arms yesterday. The vet and staff were outstanding. No more pain...