Closure begins

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I picked up Freckles’ ashes on Saturday. Today I conducted a tearful “funeral” for my girl. First, I spread a few ashes around in the place she loved to “sunbath” in the back yard at home. Then I took the remainder to her favorite park. I spread her in her favorite places in the park…where she would fetch the stick on a hill…near the trees where she would look for squirrels to chase…and in a wooded place near a stream. She loved these places in life and I am sure that she will appreciate that Daddy put her in her favorite places. It was a funeral full of tears. But, as I remember how she was suffering in the last…I am sure she now fully at rest. I will always love you Freckles…. Goodbye


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End of the line

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I had Freckles put down today. She had developed another MAST Tumor. This one was larger than a fist and located on her belly. She had really been fighting, but her breathing was irregular and she would only eat minimal food. The quality of life had really crashed. I should have her ashes in about a week. I plan to scatter them in a grove of trees in her favorite park. Thank you all for the support and information. Her long, strange trip is over. I loved her so.

Best of the Season to All

It has been a long strange trip, but now we are home for good. Early last month, Freckles had all of the patches and stitches removed FINALLY. To remember that this all started on Sept 15th and how far we have come. All of the support and encouragement from folks on this site has been deeply appreciated. The “site” is now totally healed and there is some “scar skin” that has just cleared. Freckles is a STAR the way she has dealt with this all. She is now on two medications: a Benydril (store bought) and one Prednisone (I get discounted at the vet). My vet said that these could extend her life by keeping the cancer still left at bay for a while. She does have a quarter sized patch on her back that looks just as the other tumor did as it began to develop. The vet took a sample and said there was no tumor detected. We are now up to a walk about 1/2 the distance we used to walk before the operation. Occasionally I will “stretch” it some and take her a bit farther. She does not seem to mind that at all. She loves to sniff out and chase squirrels at the park. She hates it that I have to help her up to sleep on the couch or lift her in and out of the car when we go to the park – I can just tell. But she has never let anything get in her way if she can accomplish things on her own. Cross fingers and hoping for a great New Year for You All … and another one for me with my Freckles..my love and my hero.

OMG!! Freckles…N-o-o-o

I have not blogged for a while. It was about 2 weeks after the procedure. I finally accepted a one day job…leaving Freckles and my other dog and 2 cats at home alone. I had purchased a “no bite” collar and it was working well. I thought I had no worries. BUT, when I got home, she did not meet me at the door. Next, I found the “no bite” collar on the floor in a hallway. When I did find Freckles, it was plain that she was trying to avoid me. Then, I SAW WHY…she had been licking her “stitches” all day and the area around them was beet red and raw. She was just a couple of days from having them removed! I immediately called the surgeon who directed me to bring her in immediately so she could assess the damage. That has been a couple of weeks ago now. I am taking her to the vet every 2 or three days where they medicate and change her dressing. She is also back on antibiotics for 2 weeks. I so hoped we were finished with pills…she HATES them so! Now we take one each morning and 3 in the evening. The vet said that giving her Benedryl and Prednison daily could extend her life 2 or 3 months. So, I had started giving her these once daily. Now, 2 weeks of antibiotics as well…she is not a happy camper. Each visit, they replace a multi-layered dressing of medication/packing over the spot around the stitches and cover it all with a blue plastic-like patch that is stapled to her hide. She only tolerated this for a few times…now they use anesthetics because placing the staples hurts her so. Everyone in the clinic knew when they were doing it – she would whine and cry out so loudly it filled the clinic. Now when I pick her up she is very groggy most of the day. Still, she is eating well. We go on some short walks in the morning when it is cool. And though I have not seen “the area” covered by the bandage, the docs assure me that a nice scab has formed and all is going well. So…by my experience…avoid the plastic “no bite” type collars. They are sold by width (from bottom of ear to shoulder bone) and length (Freckles has a 16 inch neck diameter). The width was 4 inches, however she is very stocky. The only collar they sold that was 4 inches wide was also only 18 inches long. I could barely fasten the velcro strip without it being too tight. So… she easily removed it after working on in while I was away. I now use the dreaded “cone of shame” with a blow up no bite collar behind it (as suggested by my vet) when I have to leave her alone at home. I wish I had done this in the first place. When I am home, I use the blow up collar and watch her closely. But, when I have to leave her alone, I put on the cone and then the “blow up” on the base of her neck. She has not been able to “chew or lick” the area since then. We have to go back to the vet in 3 days…and again 3 days later. She now whines when she realizes where we are going in the morning. I will be so glad when this phase is over and they can take out the stitches. I am sure Freckles will be too. She still gives me kisses and loves me despite it all. I wish she could be around forever.

Biopsy is not good

I had to take Freckles to the vet today to have her stitches taken out. The wound was still “weeping” a small bit, so they left them in for another week. The results of the biopsy came back. Unfortunately the results were not good. The doctor is sure that the cancer will spread despite the amputation. She gave Freckles 2 – 6 months. I realize that is just a guess on her part and I hope that she is wrong. However, at the same time I must be realistic and just suck up every minute I can to enjoy what time we have left.