Golden Retriever Journey Has Acute Leukemia

Golden Retriever Journey Has Acute Leukemia

by Dee
(La Porte, Indiana)

Journey was a special dog from the start. My husband and I helped to deliver her seven years ago and it was love at first sight. She is a golden retriever who has had quite a career obtaining titles from hunting, obedience, rally and anything else that she wants to, but most of all she is "our" dog.

It started with a couple of missed meals, but we didn't think too much of this. We reasoned, it's winter and she isn't getting as much exercise as usual.

Then one afternoon when she was outside with my husband in the snow she started having trouble with her vision. By the time she came in she was walking into the walls. I called our vet and immediately took her in for evaluation. It appeared she had blood in her eyes and couldn't see around the clots.

We got an appointment with an eye specialist at Purdue University and had her there the next morning. We dreaded the thought of an eye disorder but imagine our shock when the kind vet and students came into the room to tell us she had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and only had at best a few weeks to live.

We took her home and tried to come to terms with the diagnosis. At first all we could do is cry and wonder why.

It has been twelve days now and we have settled into a routine. She goes with me wherever I go. I have started her on a dehydrated raw food diet that she loves. Eye drops have cleared up her eye problems at this time. Of course she is on prednisone pills and is doing OK with them.

We still throw retrieves for her (her favorite thing) and continue our morning walk around the pond in our back yard. She is going much slower now but appears to be enjoying the moment.

We also are enjoying every minute we have with her. Lots of treats, lots of love and attention are the best we can do for her, and when her time comes we will make that as comforting as possible. Our wonderful vet offered to come to our home if necessary to make her transition as stress free as possible.

We love her and she knows it.

(Submitted Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013)

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Feb 14, 2013
Loving Right Now
by: Brad

I feel so sad that you are going through this tough time with such a wonderful pal.

I have had to put 3 of my best friends to rest over the last 30 years due to illnesses and now I have a little beagle mix (Bandit) with cancer. We take it one day at a time and love him every moment we get. We have a beautiful dalmatian/Jack Russell mix - Lily (Bandit's buddy).

I can't live without dogs. They are my favorite people in the world.

The vet thought Bandit had a few days, but its been 4-5 weeks, yes the tumor is getting bigger, but we will keep going as long as he eats and gets around. He has that little bouncy step beagles have when he trots through the yard. He moos a little, but he is not crying out in any pain. You just have to watch things closely and when it's best for him, then we'll make the call.

Right now he is lying on the kitchen floor by me. Just seeing him helps my heart and my spirit. I think Lily can sense something is wrong, she has quit pestering him to play and just likes to be around him. She seems more patient. I know when it is time for Bandit, we will keep Lily with us around the clock. When Bandit's pal Buddy (before Lily) got cancer and had to be put to rest, we had Bandit downstairs that day. The dogs share my weight room with me. It's about 24 ft. x 13 ft. and they have their beds in there. Well anyway, Bandit shredded the door completely from 3ft. up down to the floor and came upstairs. He was pretty upset that Buddy was gone suddenly. We then kept him with us until we got him Lily (we got her at the SPCA).

So, know that we will pray for you and your loved one. Take care and enjoy your time together.

Feb 13, 2013
Thoughts for you and your beautiful friend
by: Jackie

I am so sorry that your wonderful companion's life has been cut so short. I think though that sometimes the love we have for these beautiful creatures can carry them through for just a while longer so keep loving him as intensely as you do and always have.

I lost one of my miniature schnauzers about 8 months ago to microbial liver cancer - he too presented with a blood eye which, we learned later, was the start of his demise. Every minute I spend with my other 2 pooches, the brother of the one who died and a cheeky West Highland Terrier, I absolutely treasure - they make me feel so happy inside. They're both approaching 12 years of age this year so I know that my time with them is limited. I can't imagine them gone ever but I know it's inevitable.

I will think of you and Journey and send out messages to the Universe that his life is extended so he can be with you for just a bit longer.

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