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Current blog look inspired by and dedicated to Chance, Blaze, Fiona and Zappa who all kicked ass against cancer and liver disease.

Brut Quote

Brut Quote

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Chance, our walking miracle

Chance is our walking miracle.  This journey with him through his liver cancer and hip dysplasia is one I will never forget.  

In September 2020, Chance was diagnosed with a fist-size tumor on his liver.  Which means it had been there for a while before being discovered.  By my guesstiment, I'd say it has been almost year since the tumor started.  

I woke up today with Mark whispering Chance's name and for me to come quick.  Chance's back legs had collapsed and he couldn't stand up on his own.  Luckily we had a lift harness that we had bought for Blaze, that we were able to get underneath and around him.  

He had a very hard time walking, but with our assistance, we did get him outside to take care of business.  Chance was exhausted and couldn't stand on his own, so he was laying there in the grass and my first thought was, "This is it."  And my second thought was we haven't dug the grave yet.  My mind was whirling with having to go to the vet, the grave, and that we were here, at the end of the road.  I thought that because I didn't know if the weakness in his legs was generated by his hip dysplasia or his liver finally giving out.  And the whole thing triggered off Blaze and when she died.


At the time of our little emergency, I wasn't thinking about how Chance would handle the lift harness, because for the last 10 years he still cringes when I put on his walking harness.  Under the circumstances, he was OK with it, and by the end of the day, he didn't seemed bothered by it at all.  Which is good because he is stuck with it.

As the day wore on, Chance was feeling better, walking by himself and getting up on his own.  Even by bedtime, he was still moving just fine on his own.  I finally felt relieved and like I could breathe again when we said our prayers tonight.  The scare was over for now.  Chance had made it through the day.  

We made the choice to ride out Chance's life to the end.  Whatever that means and how ever it comes.  I have grappled with this decision since Blaze died, until today.  Today made the turnaround for me when it comes to ending his life.  We'd never let him suffer and he is not suffering.  There is a whole lot of dog left in him.  And for that I am grateful.  So very, very grateful.  He is not ready to die and I am respecting his wishes.  Blaze was a hard loss.  Out of the blue she went downhill fast and we were nowhere ready for it, but we learned so much from our little girl.  Knowledge that will save Chance's life for as long as he is here.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

How we lost Blaze-Part 1

We just passed the five week mark of losing Blaze.  The time has been a blur as most of the focus has been on Chance.  Who is doing fine by the way.  No major changes and that is good, because when it changes, that means the liver is failing.  Which can happen at any time.  One minute everything is fine and the next they crash.  That was what happened to Blaze.  We took her to the vet for her heartworm test and to have the fluid drained out of abdomen, she walked out of the vet's office and into the van.  When we got home, she walked in the house and collapsed on the floor, eagle spread.  We were shocked, but I attributed it to her hip dysplasia, getting up and down several times the day before going in and out, and the fact she had to stand to have her abdomen drained.  Figured she was just exhausted from all the spent energy.  She hadn't ate the last couple of days and we thought she just needed to regain her strength.  We didn't know she was going into liver failure.  Nothing prepped us for this.

We had to carry her with towels to take her inside and outside.  By the second day she was weaker, refused to eat and still would only lay spread eagle.  She wasn't getting better, she was getting worse.  Unfortunately, we didn't know her liver was failing and it was all happening so fast.  That's we discovered her stool was black and looked like coffee grounds, she was bleeding internally from her upper GI.  It all went downhill from there.  Even with medicine, nothing could stop what was happening before our eyes.  Most of time she was out of it, but she had her alert moments.  Making the decision even harder.

We talked with our vet, we still couldn't totally comprehend what was happening to our girl.  I felt like we weren't getting any clear answers as to what direction to take.  The shock and disbelief were overwhelming.   But by the third night we knew she wasn't going to get better, she was barely functioning, except to drink water.  I stayed up with Blaze cleaning up her rear and comforting her as she was bleeding heavy through the night. 

It was time to make that decision.  

We took her in the next day, on a Sunday, at 2:15pm, in our van, as our vet assisted in the cross over for Blaze.  The vet at one end while Mark and I were looking into Blaze's eyes for the last time, saying our good-byes.

It was quick and painless and Blaze was finally set free from the wretched body that had betrayed her in the end.  It was over.  Her pain was over.  

Sunday, April 4, 2021

I miss my little spitfire-

 It has been a long three weeks since Blaze left us.  We've settled into a routine without her smiling face and spunky eyes and life seems so empty.  She was the catalyst of the bunch.  Always getting something started.  She never did like a boring life.  

An hour an a half before breakfast, dinner and snack time, she started her famous mealtime is coming up bark.  Blaze always knew when it was mealtime and wanted to make sure I didn't forget.  

She used to drive me crazy with her barking, so I started talking back to her.  I miss our conversations.  

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