Shop-dog Sally


I've had a good six years with me mate, we've chased wabbits, made rabbets, shared dreams, made and chewed curlies, discovered compressed air and lawn mowers and walked a few hundred miles together.
Every day I get to go in the shop she's there getting underfoot and generally being "right there". If I lose something she helps me to find it, it doesn't matter that she doesn't know what it is, she helps anyway. Nose down, tail up snuffling through the sawdust. Just being a mate, helping out. And she always finds a squeaky toy because that's what I am looking for. It must be, because I always throw it when she brings it.
Last week, I took her to the vet for a regular injection and asked about the lump on her chest. The young girl vet becomes still, and I can tell that her manner is more serious, more thoughtful. "I need to check this" she says, and goes outside to get a needle to sample the lump. After looking in a microscope she is concerned that the lump has uneven cell growth, and suggests that a small surgical procedure is in order to know for sure. Today we got the results and they were not good. The 'growth' is a mast cell which is particularly aggressive.
So, there is not a lot can be done without radical surgery or chemotherapy. I don't mind the expense, but they delay the inevitable and lower the quality of what time remains. For now we'll focus on making fun the time left, leaving snacks around the place by 'accident' and going for more walks.
Ah crap, it's getting foggy in here.
Look after your furry friends folks, they love us more than we deserve..
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Enjoy the time you have with her, Groggy.
We lost two furry friends last week, so I'm feeling a bit melancholy myself. I was expecting it with Ben, our Yorkie of 12 years, but I surprised myself with how sad I was over the death of Flair - a pet rat. They're amazingly good pets.
JP
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It's really tough when you know the inevitable is going to come sooner than later. Just know that she enjoyed your company almost as much as you enjoyed hers that and you're going to make sure she doesn't suffer in the end. You'll see her again soon enough.
http://www.petloss.com/poems/maingrp/rainbowb.htm
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Groggy wrote:

And we never have better friends...
--
dadiOH
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Groggy, you and Sally are in my thoughts. My dogs have always held a special place in my heart - it's so rough when they go.
--
Owen Lowe
The Fly-by-Night Copper Company
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Fri, Nov 25, 2005, 11:36am (EST+5) snipped-for-privacy@nothanks.com (Groggy) says some sad stuff:
Sorry about that Groggy.
JOAT Just pretend I'm not here. That's what I'm doing.
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Our first child was a miniature schnauzer. Schnapps was the best behaved and most well trained dog most people had ever seen. It seemed his primary mission in life was to please me, and he did so with a love only a dog can give. He went everywhere with us, and if a hotel didn't take pets, they didn't get us either.
Our neighbors warned us that the dog-catchers in our little town were very strict. They would take your dog out of your own yard if he wasn't fenced. One day Schnapps heard a noise in the front yard and wanted to go out to investigate. Since he was trained to stay in the yard, I let him out and sat back down to my TV. After a few minutes I heard a car door slam. The engine growled as the dog-catcher's truck pulled away from the curb, past the window and on down the street. THAT SOB HAD TAKEN MY DOG RIGHT OUT OF MY OWN YARD! He was taking him to THE POUND! THEY KILL DOGS AT THE POUND!
It didn't matter that I was still in my pajamas and stocking feet. I snatched up my keys and dashed out to the car. At the speed I was traveling, it didn't take but a couple of blocks to catch up to the dog-catcher's truck. He was driving slowly along, looking for another victim. In a classic move from TV, I passed him on the left, then cut back in and stopped almost sideways across the street in front of him. I flung open the door and stalked right past the startled dog-catcher to the rear door of his truck. I tore open the rear gate of his truck to rescue my first child and . . . the truck was empty.
The dog-catcher was downright unfriendly about being interrupted in this way. I apologized without a lot of exlpanation and slunk back to my car. I took the long way home in case he followed me, but I guess he wasn't interested. When I pulled in the drive, there was Schnapps, greeing me with his usual enthusiasm. No, the police never showed up. I'm not sure why.
When our daughter was born, then our son, I felt a little guilty because I just didn't feel as much genuine affection for either of them as I did that old dog. But they grew on me as children will, and after a while, I didn't have to feel guilty anymore.
He tolerated the little intruders, maybe because they dropped food on the floor. Then one day, my 3 year old boy was walking around, eating a peanut butter sandwich he had made himself. He let his hand fall a little too low, and in a flash, the dog lunged for the sandwich, nipping some fingers in the process. THAT BEAST HAD ATTACKED MY SON! Before I knew what was happening, I was across the room, on the floor, and the poor dog was yelping from the repeated blows from my open hand.
I knew some corner had been turned in my life. I loved that old dog with all my heart, but he was just a dog.
As he tottered into those twighlight years, nature began to take things away. First his hearing went. Then the cataracts got so bad he could barely see. One morning he just couldn't seem to get his legs under him, and my wife and I agreed it was time. We all went to the vet together. I carried him in on his favorite blanket and carried him out the same way, only limp now.
I thought I would simply never get past the pain. There was just this big ache in my heart that wouldn't go away. I kept reminding myself that he was just a dog. I wonder how people who lose children ever go on.
The puppy we brought home could never replace Schnapps, but it helped a little. He wasn't as smart, but he seemed eager to please. He grew on us as puppies will. After five years, I can't imagine how I ever could have ever loved another dog more.
DonkeyHody "The cup of life is sweetest at the brim - the flavor is impaired as we drink deeper, and the dregs are made bitter that we may not struggle when it is taken from our lips."
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...

It might not be that bad... last year our nine year old Golden Retriever Megan underwent a major surgery to remove a similar large and aggressive mast in her abdomen. After a few weeks of recovery she was running around again like a puppy... Now that the cold weather has hit it looks like she has arthritis in her hind quarters and she is dealing with her annual bout of dermatitis but there are no symptoms of the mast reoccurring. She's off to the vet this afternoon to deal with the current issues!
John
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Sorry to hear of the news but something to also consider. We have a 13 year old Chocolate Lab that has had a lump behind her left front leg at her chest. This has been there for at least 5 years with no problems other than her gate is a bit off. I would let the dog tell you when it is time.
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Hi Leon, the lump is likely a fat growth - benign for the most part but as you've seen it can throw off their movement if they get too large and obstruct the range of motion. Our 13 year old Navajo mutt has several of these as well and has had several removed in the last year or so. Vet's only concern is if they appear to be growing "rapidly" and if they get in the way. I'd hate to see my dog naked - all the lumps would be pretty freaky.
--
Owen Lowe
The Fly-by-Night Copper Company
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wrote:

Yeah the vet did say that they were fat deposits. They show up quick and that was basically that.
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wrote:

Our lab had a lipoma which we dieted off of her. Vet said they can do that. Just try some of the old and overweight food, making sure you stay with a fairly low protein analysis to protect the kidneys.
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They make you feel good at the end of a day even if you missed a cut or put the saw blade on backward.

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Groggy, It's particularly tough to lose a great friend like your dog. Heck, I've got a 16 year old cat on the way out and I'm finding I'm much more attached to him than I thought. In any case, best thing you can do is make sure they know they're loved by you before they go. At least you have that opportunity vs. them getting hit by a car or something. Good luck with it. cc
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Thank you all for the kind comments,
Greg
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Greg,
I've lost part of the thread here, but our thoughts are with you.
If it's truly a mast cell tumor, rather than just a lipoma -- our "little one" had one of those on her toe. Depending upon where the lump really is, the surgery still might be a viable alternative. She had to have her toe removed, but that was 8 years ago -- she's never missed it.
Our "big guy" had cancer in one kidney; we thought long and hard, and maded the decision to have it removed (the other looked clear from the x-rays). The nut came home from the vet, with a belly wrap, wandered through the house, then promptly grabbed a sock out of the hamper that was waiting to go downstairs! He was with us for another 18 months, before the cancer came back elsewhere ...
Well, this is all armchair quarterbacking; only you know the whole situation.
Take care, give her love, and may things go well for you all.
--
Regards,

JT
Speaking only for myself....
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<snip>>

Ahh Groggy, I share your pain. Losing "kids" (no matter how many legs they have) is a terrible thing. Enjoy the time you have with her (and we'll pray the time is somehow extended!) Tom
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