Until We Meet Again….

Maddie august 19

We said “Farewell” to our Madeline yesterday. We could not tempt her to eat…..grilled salmon, chicken, turkey breast, beef roast. She only ate the jerky I made for three days, and then did not want that any more.

Joe thought he could hear congestion in her lungs.

I could see she was tired.

Many were afraid of Maddie, but she loved us and we loved her. We knew she would not hurt another human. Dogs were another story.

Anticipatory grief was strong since her diagnoses of hemangiosarcoma on August 10th. I must admit it is a relief to no longer worry if today is the day she crosses Rainbow Bridge.

We sang her across, “Oh Sweet Pea. We love you Maddie B……”

She’s across. Joe got this song as a message today. God and Dog


Hemangiosarcoma Changes Your Perceptions

Madeline 915

Madeline is mole hunting this morning.

The evening before last Joe installed new smoke detectors. Riley started to act really weird like a dog who senses a thunderstorm, only he isn’t afraid of thunderstorms. We tried to soothe him and I gave him some CBD oil, but he was still afraid.

Joe fell asleep and I continued to watch TV. When I turned the tv off I realized what Riley was reacting to – the faint sound of a smoke alarm.

Now ALL five dogs were on the bed shaking.

I awoke Joe (which wasn’t easy) and told him one of the smoke alarms was going off on the other side of the house. I thought he had turned down the volume as it was faint, but obviously a smoke alarm.

After checking out all of the smoke alarms, none of which was going off, he found one of the old ones, in the trash, near the can of tuna cat food castoffs, screaming in the trash in the garage. He removed the battery and we had silence.

Everyone went back to their usual sleeping spots except Madeline. She was breathing heavily laying between Joe and me. We immediately thought she caused a spleen bleed by jumping up on the bed. (She’s not supposed to jump.)

We checked her ears and feet which were still warm. Her gums were pink. Yet she panted. And panted. Wouldn’t take water. We gave her CBD oil. She continued to pant.

We thought we were losing her.

For over an hour we lay with her. Rubbing her. Cooing that she is a good girl. Telling her we loved her. She could leave if she wanted to.

Then, she hopped off the bed, laid down, no more panting and went to sleep…….snoring.

Madeline doesn’t like to be hot. Our tempurpedic  mattress has always been too hot for her. We clearly have hemangiosacarcoma on our minds.


Let Her Eat

Maddie 91019

After almost making an appointment to help Madeline cross Rainbow Bridge yesterday, then spilling meatballs which she gobbled up, Joe and I decided to quit giving her the Chinese herbs that may extend her life.

They seem to give her an upset tummy and she won’t eat anything with them in it which makes us have to inject them down her throat. Not an ongoing relationship we want to have with our girl.

So no meds yesterday. No meds today. She waited in the kitchen and chowed down dinner yesterday (that was after a lunch time snack of pulled pork left over from Joe’s dinner at Mission BBQ.)

This morning I woke up to my alarm as Joe did not wake me to tell me Madeline had not eaten as he has most mornings recently.

All five dogs shared my breakfast and lunch.

She seems like her old self…..growling at her siblings when they are doing something she doesn’t like, barking at the neighbors, going outside to guard the yard, AND she was looking for moles today. She’s famous for routing them out of our yard.

If we suspect a bleed we will follow the emergency protocol and are still giving CBD oil.

So, we may have less time with our girl, but she seems happier which makes us happier too.


Not Today

Maddie sept 9 2019

Joe gets up really early to go to work so he feeds the dogs. This morning, as many it seems recently, he wakes me up to tell me Madeline won’t eat or take her Chinese herbs.

He gave her a couple of pieces of chicken and that was all she would take.

For the next three hours I lay in bed listening to Madeline breathing heavily at times and then drifting back off to sleep.

Yesterday Joe and I did a quality of life assessment with her and according to the assessment she wasn’t quite ready for euthanasia as she is still mobile and still eats some when hand fed. We are not sure if she is in pain, but she seems uncomfortable at times.

I sent Joe a message to see what time would be good for him to meet me at the vet if Maddie still wouldn’t eat this morning as it feels as though the time is near to help her cross Rainbow Bridge.

I got up and took a shower and sang the “Who wants meatballs song?” that I sing every morning as that is my pups morning snack. Maddie hasn’t eaten a meatball in over a week, so needless to say when I spilled the bag of meatballs and they tumbled all over the kitchen floor and Madeline was scarfing them up with the other dogs, I was surprised.

I continued to give her as many meatballs as she would eat. She probably had 10 altogether!

I called Joe and said, “We may need to help her cross this week, but I don’t think today is the day.”

Adapting to Hemangiosarcoma

all five august 2019

After three bleeds in our first month of Madeline being diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma, we are beginning to adapt to having a member of our pack with a terminal diagnosis. After her initial diagnoses we believe the two other bleeds were from her jumping up onto our bed. (How do you tell a dying dog she can’t sleep with you? We will happily help her up if she would allow us.)

At first Madeline’s canine siblings (Maddie is first dog is second row to the left in this photo taken yesterday.) were sniffing her a lot, laying beside her and in general being respectful. They have mostly stopped these behaviors except during a bleed and are back to their normal selves.

Madeline has self managed by waiting until the other four go out the door first, choosing not to eat high carb foods when offered and resting more.

The times she has bleeds we’ve adapted our schedule so one of us is with her. I cannot imagine how it must be for dog families where humans must go to work. I now feel it is okay to leave the house for three hours although I often wonder if I will come home to find her having crossed the bridge on her own.  But at least I am no longer obsessing about how she will die.

I talked to Dr. Forrest and he said she will start to have more frequent bleeds that take her longer to recover from and we will decide to euthanize or she will have a massive bleed and we won’t have much control. He said as long as the cancer stays in her spleen it is not painful as there are few pain receptors in the spleen. The liver is a different story.

The crisis phase is over. Daily life routine equals love.