When you're a 40 something single mother of a teen with lots of ambition, you find yourself in all kinds of interesting adventures and situations. Come back to laugh at us any time you feel the need, heaven knows where we'll be doing what next. Here you can expect a few words, a lot of images and hopefully ideas on what you can do for your next adventure.

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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Homage to Samantha - potential for tears alert! :)

I apologize in advance for this heavy blog, but I feel the need to spread the word of warnings signs that show our furry friends could be in trouble. After the fact I went online to do research and found that what we experienced is a very common occurrence with similar end results and I wish I had known in advance. You'll see what I mean.

Samantha of Snowshoe Country was our Bernese Mountain Dog born in Durant, OK on September 30, 2004. Her AKC paperwork shows that she was born of Fred is Country and Silvers Country Queen, both parents with bloodlines running back to Switzerland. For years she was complimented for her hips, eyes and overall health as well as her temperament. She was just a fantastic dog.

She had gone through a period of time in September where she was ill but I attributed that to the introduction of new treaties I mistakenly bought that were for puppies. She never did well with high protein foods and as soon as I stopped giving them to her, it stopped.

In early October, I noticed that she was limping a lot and she stopped jumping up on the bed to sleep with me. I figured that at 9 years old, she was having some difficulty getting around. It wasn't bad, she was still getting around fine and would jump up on the couch to snuggle up with me.

We had a big storm hit around the end of October that brought in heavy rain and high winds (Hurricane Sandy, to be exact) and with it, Samantha received more pain and agony. I felt terrible, I figured that's it - her hips are going now. I had scheduled an appointment with the Vet that following weekend, but when I worked from home on Wednesday (Halloween) I realized that I needed to get in much quicker since she was no longer able to lay completely down. I laid down with her and she put her head on my chest and immediately fell asleep. My poor baby was in definite agony but had never let on to how bad it really was.

We went to the office that evening and they too originally considered it her hips, she was wagging her tail,  friendly and happy to see her old friends and had no signs that anything ominous was happening.

Until the assistant spotted bruising on her belly. And near her ear. Large spots where there was no way she could have bumped into anything or been hit by anything to cause such a spot. They also noticed that her gums were incredibly pale in color, not the typical pink.

This brought on a blood test to see if she was experiencing something tick-borne, but that blood test proved how grim the situation really was when she wouldn't clot after the draw was complete. Her results came back with zero platelets. None. Zero. Nada. They had never seen a dog with results like that before - ever.

It was quickly explained to me that she wasn't going to come home with us, there was nothing that could be done to save her, it was far too late. They could give transfusions but considering her condition and how far advanced her problems were she might only be saved for a week or so and then be right back where she was. I made the ultimate sacrifice for my baby doll and with her tail thumping and her eyes bright and shiny, I watched as her lights dimmed and went out.

So it was determined that she had fallen to one of the BMD's worst plights, stomach cancer/tumors.

Please watch your pets. Typical signs that I wasn't aware of and had overlooked (probably for the best for both of us) were blackened stools, pale gums and bruising. They claimed that if I had brought her in for the stomach ailments they would have brushed it off as the new treats as well. She was such a happy, loveable baby and I miss her every day. I would highly recommend the breed to others, so long as they were aware of the complications that can occur. 9 years old is pretty darn good - the typical life span is 8 years.

A special shout out to the team at the Standish Veterinary Hospital for their care, concern and quick action. They were right there for me the whole time with hugs and condolences. Thank you for being direct and to the point and not leading me down a senseless path of hope during a hopeless situation.

Taken the week before, smiling and happy snuggled up with mom

Thelma & Louise headed to the Vet. So glad I have this. ♥


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