Beautiful Baxter Has Leukemia
by Baxter's Mum
We discovered this week our gorgeous, handsome boy, Baxter, has leukemia.
Our bouncy six year old Golden Retriever had been lagging behind on morning runs and was slowly going off his food. The vet suspected a stomach infection and prescribed antibiotics. A week later he was no better, so stronger antibiotics were given and blood samples taken. This didn't do the trick either and the vet thought he could have an obstruction or peritonitis. Unfortunately it wasn't and after exploratory surgery and further blood tests, leukemia was diagnosed. His white blood cells were sky high.
It took a while to sink in, but then it hit me like a freight train. We are going to lose our beautiful, loyal friend who has loved us unconditionally from the word go. I never imagined feeling such extreme emotion and fell apart for the next 24 hours. Then feelings of guilt rushed in - have we loved him enough, spent enough time with him etc.
Friends and family have been fantastic; so supportive and understanding. Fellow dog owners have stopped to give us a hug and share in our sorrow. Baxter is such a lively, fun loving spirit who touches everyone he meets and always up for a frolic with his canine buddies. He's a big ball of fur who offers buckets of love without question and it breaks my heart seeing him a shadow of his former self.
He has started on low doses of steroids and chemotherapy, as his surgical wound needs to heal. He goes out for short loo stops and sleeps a great deal, but seems brighter already having had surgery only four days ago. We're giving his favourite foods and lavishing him with tender loving care. It's the least we can do for all he has given us; I didn't realise how much that was until now. I guess we need to be patient and wait for the medication to do its job. We're cherishing every moment and hoping to share at least a few more months of good quality life with Baxter.
It's comforting to share this experience with you all and my heart goes out to everyone in similar situations. If anyone has tips or suggestions as to how we can support Baxter and each other through this, please share this with us.
Wishing you all lots of love and strength on your journeys.