Stevie Ray – AGMCH Runablaze Warrior Princess, CGN (January 18, 2004- September 8, 2015)
It is with the deepest sadness imaginable that I have to tell you all that Stevie Ray is gone now. Shortly after 11 AM Tuesday, September 8 2015, I said goodbye peacefully and with all my love :'(
On Tuesday, September 1st, Stevie Ray showed up for bedtime with a swollen belly that sent shivers through me.
Since then we established that there is no doubt that she has a ruptured tumor bleeding into her belly. Her X-ray shows her belly full of blood (and also the severe spondylosis that contributes in a huge way to my decisions that have followed). Her blood tests confirmed it. Of course, as usual, it was at night and as so often seems to be the case, preceding a holiday. All emergencies have the same pattern in my life it seems.
But having been there before with Jagger I did not go to emergency, just like Dylan before as well.
The tumor was either on her spleen or on her liver. If it was on her liver, there was no possibility to remove it. If it was on her spleen, a moderate or low probability of being able to remove it, depending on whether it is benign or malignant. Plus a whole host of other possible complications and post-operative complications and care.
Complicating my decision was the fact that in recent weeks, Stevie Ray had lost all of her ability to do any activity, no tugging was added to the major list of things she was no longer able to do and the X-ray we did, shows how serious her spondylosis was.
Unlike Dylan, who could be happy just being able to get outside and sniff the air, Stevie Ray needed more. She needed her ball. She needed to tug if not chase it. She needed to play. Not all dogs are equal and in fact I would look at all uniquely. Stevie Ray was not a laid back dog, even with her spondylosis. Throughout all of her trouble, including the week with the tumor bleeding in her belly, she was only happy when I brought out her ball. Never a sign of pain, just sadness and indifference while lying in her kennel and it was all she would do in her last days, unless I brought out the ball. Which I was certain I would never be able to do in her future if she survived surgery and the treatment hell that would follow.
So given the low probability of success with surgery and the fact that she would still be crippled even with a successful removal of the tumor (which I know was not going to happen, I could see that) and the huge expense when I also need to also support my two other healthy dogs; I decided to play it out. I didn’t do surgery and although money was an issue, it did not play into the decision I had to make.
Maybe this happened to spare her from a life of being crippled and unable to do what she does. I’m sure other Staffy owners will understand.
I was giving supplements to help clotting (Phosphorous and Yunnan Paiyou (Baiyou)) in hopes that it would stop the bleeding and give her a little more time. And although she was feeling okay, eating as usual, drinking and peeing regularly (she consumed more water as she was losing fluids that followed her excretion of protein from the recovery of blood from her belly), pooping as she needed to, she was not recovering and she was not going to be happy.
She was highly anemic, but producing red blood cells like a machine, just like Dylan did (diet is everything!!!). She was still bloated but okay, not showing pain (stoic Staffy for sure). At that moment, I didn’t feel that she would recover at all from her current state and really risked more bleeding, suffering, and an ugly and painful death if I didn’t step in and stop it. If it ruptured further, she would have suffered.
So although I would have done anything I could have to have saved her, I don’t think saving her to be crippled in her kennel, unable to walk, unable to play at all would have been saving her. Yes, maybe there was an outside chance I got that beautiful soft girl I have spent the last 11 years next to. So many amazing things we have done together. But I know in my heart the rest of her life would not be happy. We would exist here only.
So that indeed was her last weekend here with us. It was beautiful and sunny and quiet together. WE played ,we ate and we slept, together as had always been the case. She was the most amazing companion a person could ever want. I desperately wanted her to stay. But I could not! I could not do it for me. For her I needed to let go and Tuesday morning I called our Veterinarian and arranged to say goodbye.
And that I did peacefully, quietly, together