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|