Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." Genesis 9:13

Tuesday, December 07, 2010


There's another reason I've been so emotional and struggling here.  The first year I was working I had a chance to get an adorable 1/2 lab, 1/2 golden retriever puppy for my mom. Her golden was approaching 20 and I didn't want her to suddenly be without a dog if the elderly one died.  (She lived another 2 years amazingly).  So I worked out this huge secret.  I didn't get the puppy until the Friday before Thanksgiving when my mom would be on break. I actually had her at work for the whole day; I carried her around for my entire day. I had my mother's friend take her out and he invented ridiculous errands to do, then when I called him with a code ring he abruptly brought her home.  I had parked up the street and hidden in my basement room.  When he thumped on the floor I brought the puppy up with a big red ribbon and said Merry Christmas.  It was hilarious because she immediately assumed the puppy was from him.  When we got it straight Gracie quickly became part of my mother's life.

Gracie is a weird dog. She has bizarre fears.  Thunderstorms require sedatives.  I had to sedate her when I was dog-sitting with whooping cough b/c she is afraid of coughing.  She also will leave the room if you have a spoon and bowl in the living room.  As a puppy she once barked at a broom for hours.  Where my mom used to live she became afraid of the driveway.  She wouldn't walk up and down stairs until she was about 40 lbs.; until then my mom carried her to her crate.  She failed obedience school, which was hilarious b/c if the male teacher had her do something she was perfect, whereas my mother had a huge struggle just to get her to walk from the car to the class.  I've seen her refuse to go for a ride, which she loves, because the car wasn't an SUV or because the seat was folded down and that is NOT how she rides.  She is just different.

We bonded that first day and she loves me and I love her as much as if she were mine.

Tomorrow she goes in for surgery to remove a large tumor from her spleen.  There is a 50% chance is it not cancer.  My mom has had to make some incredibly hard decisions including writing a letter to the vet saying that if this is going to be rapidly terminal or if Gracie will only suffer for the remainder of her life that they are to not wake her up.  If the diagnosis/prognosis isn't clear or it appears good or they can remove it all then Gracie will hopefully be home tomorrow night.

We are very hopeful.  Gracie has been through a lot medically the last 6 weeks and the tumor was an incidental finding.  She is acting totally normal, including wrestling hard with the other dog for 45 minutes last night while my mother was writing the letter to the vet.  She has no pain, no changes in behavior, and well, for a weird dog she shows her feelings through behaviors.  Even if it is cancer it may be totally removable.

But I'm scared.   I can't stand the thought of life without her and thanks to feeling like crap I haven't even gotten to go see her to give her a hug and a belly rub (her love language).

Getting through tomorrow is going to be hard, and that would be true if I felt ok, which I do not.  Between my mom and I our vet has now had the hospice for pets talk twice in 6 weeks.  The difference is that my cat DOES have something terminal and her dog MIGHT. Nonetheless it is a rotten conversation even though He's been totally supportive of what both of us have wanted (in my case I don't want testing or treatment of any kind; I don't want to monitor numbers because I know my cat and when she doesn't like life anymore I'll know.  I do watch her weight and make sure she has tons of food to eat, but that is all I will do for her.  If her kidney failure makes her uncomfortable and there's something easy to make her comfortable that extends her life we'll do it, but I will not change her diet, I will not do a lot of testing that just leads to dread on my part, and I will know when it is time.  This cat and I have been together for 13 years and I've been around her for 15.  She can read me and I her.  The same is true for my mom and Gracie.  It's very hard to pray that if she's going to die that the vet is able to make a clear decision tomorrow though.  As much as I hate losing her I would hate more having her recover from surgery, deal with pain, and be gone in a few months, especially if those months prohibited her from being happy and doing what she wants.

So anyway, please pray for my mom and for her Gracie.  It's going to be a long day for both of them.


WinnyNinny PooPoo said...

Praying for you all! Hoping for the best outcome possible!

Michal Ann said...

Ditto with "Winny." Blessings!