I hate writing about life and death of dogs, but once again this subject is occupying all my thoughts as my friends John & Lisa struggle with the recent diagnosis of inoperable liver cancer in their beautiful Pit Bull rescue, Muay Tai. This is basically the same kind of cancer that likely killed my first dog Jagger.
Getting this news this morning is especially hard as it is 1 year to the moment that my oldest dog, Dog Dylan, lay on my floor, almost dead from anemia, unable to stand, drink, eat or do anything else; both of us afraid of what was happening.
As I have written over the last few days, life is fragile and it can change without any notice. The night Jagger died, our friends lost their dog as well, but for them it was while she was running for a ball. No notice, no time to say goodbye. So hard; and although what happened to Jagger was very painful and sad, she changed our lives forever, having that last few days was such a blessing no matter what the financial cost.
Losing a dog, or saving them, either way the cost is huge. Sometimes it is just money, but more often the toll is much greater. Emotional cost is high. I see it all the time with dogs battling Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia and Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia like Dylan. The value of friendship and support from those around us who care is most often one of the few bright spots in the battle to save them, or make them comfortable.
Both days in my past, Jagger’s death and Dylan’s rebirth, are significantly wonderful and significantly painful. Both evoke tears of joy and tears of pain and sadness.
Muay Tai, or Moo Moo, as she is affectionately referred to is at home, there is no operating, or even investigating that can be done, just like what was true for Dylan and Jagger. Unlike for Dylan and much like for Jagger, managing pain and comfort are all that can be done from a medical perspective.
From an emotional perspective, it is time to enjoy every single moment and every single thing they do. Quite frankly, the lesson here is that this should always be true for all of your dogs, no matter what their state of health. I have seen AIHA take one year-old dogs and ravage young dogs as well as old dogs, dogs of all ages.
Like with cancer; it can be beaten, but in some cases there is just no beating it. However, in all cases it is extremely important to have enjoyed and to enjoy every minute with them. They are so special and so important in our lives. They are embedded in us like children are to parents. They are not outdoor pets we leave alone in a dog house or chained in our yard.
They are our family. They are our love. They are our friends. They are our lives.
Today I am very grateful, as I am every moment of every day, for Dylan’s life and the lives of all my dogs.
Today I hope and pray for the life of Muay Tai, one of my families favorite friends. Another dog like Dylan, given a second chance in a home filled with love. Life is never permanent, but if we can just have one more great moment, I am forever thankful.
Richard, Dog Dylan, Stevie Ray, Jimmi & Joey