Golden Retriever Journey Has Acute Leukemia
(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)