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Old 01-15-2013, 11:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Name: Cathy
Dog's Name: Sprite & Ellie (maltese). And Gruffi (german shep mix)
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Unhappy Previously DoctorCathy

Hey everyone,

I used to be DoctorCathy on this message board YEARS ago. I'm not able to access it, so i finally decided to just make a new name.

Anyway, it's been so long, I don't remember who my regular friends were on here. sorry. I have good news and bad news.

Good news: I got into veterinary school, going to Colorado State, and I'll be graduating in 2014. Ellie, 10 yr old maltese is doing great. Gruffi (german shep, but maltese by heart) is doing fine, he's 9 yrs old, turning 10 in march. He has some neuro issues, but acupuncture and massage therapy has been helping.

Bad news: Sprite, 11yr old female--was just diagnosed with an insulinoma (cancer). it breaks my heart so much. I've been a mess for the past few weeks. I can't stop crying and it's hard for me to 'turn off' that science brain. She hasn't appeared sick at all, so it was hard to hear the news based on low blood glucose in her recent bloodwork.

We did surgery and they found 2.5cm tumor on her pancreas, but they also saw that it has metastasized to her liver (which is even poorer prognosis). I can't NOT curse. you know? it's MESSED up. I didn't think I'd ever have to deal with this. I'm so sad.

I came on here for support. I feel bad that I left without saying goodbye--but we were dealing with so much at the time (moving, family issues, money issues, etc). I just need people to back up what i'm doing. the oncologists don't seem very helpful. and EVERYONE keeps telling me to focus on the time I have left with sprite. it makes me so sick to my stomach. i feel like i have a hole in my heart.

Sprite is my first dog, my first baby. I always imagined her passing at 21 yrs old in her sleep. when i write these things...i just imagine all the time i'm NOT going to have with her. it just sucks.

anyway, i'm here. i need you guys. if you have questions about anything, please just ask. i know i've been MIA for years now. man, 6 years. a lot has changed.

we moved to colorado for me to go to vet school. we hate the snow. all of us, even the dogs. we plan on moving back to california right when i graduate.

anyway, i hope to hear from you guys.
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi, I'm a relative newbie to Spoiled Maltese so I wouldn't have been here when you were here before. However, I feel kinship to you: I also went to CSU where I got my Master's in Wildlife Biology. I've also taken short-courses at the Equine Research Center there. CSU is a wonderful school.

I also lost my beloved 11 year old Golden Retriever this past May to aplastic aenemia of unknown cause. I understand exactly what you're saying. I expected to be with her for many more years and the shock of losing her way too soon really ripped a hole in my heart that still aches 8 months later. I feel that I should have been able to do something to save her and that she should still be here.

When our dogs live to ripe old ages, 15, 16, even 17 (the age my first Maltese was when she died this past August), we are more emotionally prepared for their passing. We can take comfort in the fact that they had a long, full life. When we lose them at the relatively young age of 11, it seems as if we are cheated and they are cheated out of so many more years together, leaving us feeling far more devastated than we would be if lost them at 17. I lost them both this past summer within a few months of each other. When I think of my Maltese I can smile and fondly remember the joy we had together all those years. When I think of my Golden - which I can hardly do because it is so painful - the guilt I feel for not being able to give her those extra years which in my heart I feel she should have had compounds the pain of losing her and makes it so hard to move past it. I feel I failed her by not being able to give her the long life this wonderful girl deserved. I know that is not logical, there was nothing I could do, but that sense of failing her brings a lot of added pain to the loss.

I suspect this is part of the terrible pain for you. You feel she SHOULD be able to live a longer life than what her prognosis now is; you desperately want to be able to do something to help her. Both of you are being cheated out of your time together. That feeling of helplessness adds to the aching hole you feel in your heart.

While I agree with your friends that it is important to cherish whatever time you have left with Sprite, I also understand that for you that time is tarnished by the pain of impending loss. Try to remember though that Sprite doesn't know. She has no idea that your time together is short. She is still happy to be with you and her joy when she is with you isn't clouded by a sense of loss or fear. Bask in her happiness and joy at being with you and take comfort that she feels no sense of loss or fear. Make your mission to keep her feeling as comfortable and happy as she can be which is how you can best help her now. And when it is time, ease her out of this world as you hold her in your arms, knowing that you gave this little girl a life filled with love. Then you can find peace in knowing that Sprite spent her too short life knowing that she was loved by you.

I'm so sorry for you both that you are having to go through this.
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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ivysmom...oh my gosh, you know i feel. you took my emotions and you were able to really lay it out. i couldn't have said it better. i didn't know how to say that to someone. i feel guilty that this innocent little girl, who was supposed to live to be old, is being cheated. it's just not fair.

and then i kept looking for treatments. i'm contacting sweden and australia and england. and the vet here was insulted. but what if there's something we could do? she keeps telling me not to harm sprite. that makes me feel bad. that makes me feel like she's saying that i'm hurting her.

i don't know how you all do it, having multiple pets. i'm done. this is too much. it hurts too much. i only want sprite. she's my heart. i never thought i could love something this much. when i first got her, oh my gosh, my plan was to have her as a purse dog. i was going to treat her like a doll. she's a living being. she taught me how to care for others, she taught me to grow up. she's the reason i got into vet school.

i lay with her, and i feel her beating heart, the warmth of her skin, the breath coming from her nose....i don't ever want to lose it. i smell her little feet that smell like popcorn...and i dont want that smell to ever go away. i don't know how else to say it...this just sucks.
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Iam A Newbie I Stumped for words, for the both of you.
Loss Well if you know it,one can understand that pain.
its a pain like no other. Your heart wants to explode. I Have had much heartache in my life,You never forget,you just go on. As you do this may god be with you. You Have all my prayers that time will ease this for you,also for IvysMom.
May The Lord Help you Both,and your Memories,In time Help make it Easier. Nickee&Yogi in Pa!!
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:00 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Cathy, I am so very sorry about what you are going through. I do understand it though-- our young Maltese Dolly somehow got pancreatitis (we only fed her good quality dog food, no scraps) and after a grueling several weeks she succombed. I felt cheated, angry, and still miss her. What you're going through really isn't fair, and is incredibly tough. Please know we are here for you, no matter how long it's been since you've been around, so don't hesitate to let us know how you are feeling and how your sweet Sprite is faring. Again, I'm sincerely sorry and send you compassionate hugs.

PS: Dolly was my heart dog-- the dog I always wanted and hoped for. She was such a precious spirit and adorable little girl. Amazing how these little fluff balls can take over such a big part of our hearts.
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:31 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorCathyG View Post
ivysmom...oh my gosh, you know i feel. you took my emotions and you were able to really lay it out. i couldn't have said it better. i didn't know how to say that to someone. i feel guilty that this innocent little girl, who was supposed to live to be old, is being cheated. it's just not fair.

and then i kept looking for treatments. i'm contacting sweden and australia and england. and the vet here was insulted. but what if there's something we could do? she keeps telling me not to harm sprite. that makes me feel bad. that makes me feel like she's saying that i'm hurting her.

i don't know how you all do it, having multiple pets. i'm done. this is too much. it hurts too much. i only want sprite. she's my heart. i never thought i could love something this much. when i first got her, oh my gosh, my plan was to have her as a purse dog. i was going to treat her like a doll. she's a living being. she taught me how to care for others, she taught me to grow up. she's the reason i got into vet school.

i lay with her, and i feel her beating heart, the warmth of her skin, the breath coming from her nose....i don't ever want to lose it. i smell her little feet that smell like popcorn...and i dont want that smell to ever go away. i don't know how else to say it...this just sucks.

You're right, it does hurt too much when we lose them. It does suck, big time. And we never stop missing the ones we've lost.

But I've lived a long time, have had dogs and cats and horses my entire life, and I've found that the joy we share with them while they are here makes the pain of losing them worth bearing. With time, instead of only tears and pain when we think about the ones we've lost, we begin to be able to remember them with a warm and fuzzy feeling, and memories of them can make us smile once again.

Even though the pain of losing my Golden Phoebe and my Maltese Holly was still raw, the first of November I brought home an absolute sweetheart, my now 5 month old Maltese Ivy. She is not Phoebe. She is not even Holly. She can never be what they were to me, but you know what? She doesn't have to be. I have fallen in love and am absolutely smitten with this incredible little love Ivy. I have laughed more and felt more joy since bringing her home than I have felt in many months. I am very grateful to her for the joy and laughter and love that she has brought to me and I look forward to many happy years together with her. I don't want to give up all this joy just because I know that someday I will have to say goodbye to Ivy too. Dogs only break our hearts when they leave us, but in the meantime the joy they bring us makes the pain of losing them worth bearing.

I hope someday you'll meet another little white fluff who you'll be ready to love, and you will bring as much joy into their little life as they will bring into yours.

Please keep us posted as to how you and Sprite are doing during this difficult time. People here really do care. We know how you feel and how incredibly hard this is for you.
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:16 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Oh Cathy, I am sooo sorry!

I remember you - you used to live in the bay area, right? I used to be lucyownsme .

I am so sad to hear about Sprite. I think Ivysmom said it all perfectly - I sure hope you stick around though to keep us all updated on her progress. It's never easy, that is for sure. *hugs*
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:37 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I am so sorry for what you're going through. Reading your story just broke my heart. I lost my 13 year old jack russell just over a year ago and I was devastated. It wasn't supposed to happen that soon. I had always just thought for some reason that she would live to be 18. She had never been sick a day in her life and she still ran around like a puppy so when she suddenly got very sick I couldn't have been more unprepared. I know what a hard time this must be for you and I'm so sorry.
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:55 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I have lost 3 fluffs in the last 8 years, and more before that. It is one of the hardest things that I ever went through. I was like you, not wanting to go through the loss again, and I thought I would never get another. Here I am with 4. I can finally talk and think about my dogs that have passed without crying. I miss them, but I remember the happy days with them now. I am so sorry that your little one is sick. I pray for strength and comfort for you in this time.
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:09 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Cathy, I also remember you. I don't have any great words of wisdom or comfort, but just wanted you to know, we are here for you.
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