My Thoughts...

Several days ago I mentioned that Abbie had her last Chemo treatment this last Friday.  Although this is not the hardest road I have ever traveled, it’s pretty close, something you can never experience and I thought I understood, but really didn’t.  Nearly 6 years ago, I was contacted by a person who had just lost their Border Collie.  I never met him but remember the words he said. “I knew you would understand” and that’s why he called.   I remember the conversation well and it was sad to hear the pain he was in and my heart broke for him and his dog.   I hurt for him and invited him to share his story on our Rainbow Bridge web page which he did.  It is a wonderful story and told from his heart.  His dog lived a wonderful life and was his companion till the end.  He wrote… “She left us this week while curled into my chest out in her backyard. The birds were singing, the squirrels were chattering, she could hear all of the sounds that had made that place what it meant to her.” His dog’s name was “Abby” and she died from the same disease my Abbie has.  Little did I know we were traveling down that same road…

 As the days and weeks have gone by since Abbie was diagnosed, at first she was eager to go with me and a ride in the car, not really knowing where she was going but always finding out it wasn’t very pleasant in the end.  Soon she didn’t like the car rides and would lay on the back seat looking at me or put her chin on my shoulder as I drove licking my face.  As hard as I tried to cheer her up, she would lick my face and give out a sigh.  I knew she didn’t want to be in the car much less go for her treatment and as the sessions were coming to an end, she wouldn’t walk to the door at the clinic but looked at me as if saying “please” and once inside, she would stand at the glass door and look outside and then back at me again saying “please” again.  The hardest part of the whole trip was when the technician would take her leash and walk out with her for her treatment.  She always stopped at the door, looking at me with her black eyes and pleading for me to help her.

To go through this is bittersweet for us.  Although we have extended her life, at times I feel I am losing the closeness I once had because she sees “me” as the person who is making her uncomfortable and giving her one of many pills she is on but she always sleeps at my head in bed and comes to my lap when we sit.   Many times, I have said to her “I’m trying to save you, please understand” and hug her tight.  Just like our kids, we do these things to make their life better, knowing the end may justify the means doesn’t means it any easier.  I try to make their life better from knowledge or experience but I also feel like a “slug” for doing it, knowing its necessary, hopping they understand.  In Abbie’s case probably not because she can’t understand but I wish she could, maybe someday she will.  
At least the Chemo is over but we’ll have several days of sickness and hopefully she will recover and play, run and jump in the water with everyone.  Something she misses so much and I always said if we could have one summer to jump and play in the lake we have won.  We love them so much it hurts…

Although my Facebook time is limited by choice, I’m there is spirit, when this kind of things happens to pets or family, priorities seem to change a little and in truth, I don’t let many know how things are because I don’t want anyone to hurt or feel like me, even if just reading about it.

As Winston Churchill once said “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end.  But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”  Time will tell… Ken

John's "Abby"

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