Saturday, November 27, 2010

There is never a good time.....

The heartbreak of losing a long-time pet might be lessened if you have an idea how their life will play out....

I found an informative article regarding the incidence of cancer(s) in Golden Retrievers ( My sister called me this morning to tell me that my mixed-breed Golden has been diagnosed as terminal and is currently under 24-hr intensive care at the animal hospital near their home.

My dog, Cagney, was a rescued from a family who couldn't (shouldn't) own a dog. They kept her as a young dog tied to a tree, often forgetting to feed her or bring her water. The neighbor asked to adopt her. When that neighbor moved, she could no longer care for a large dog at her new home, and I was able to adopt Cagney. When I went back to college, in 2003, Cagney stayed with my sister and her two dogs (both mixed breeds), and became well integrated into her family. My sister and her husband moved in 2006, with the dogs, to New Hampshire. I usually visit twice a year.

Cagney had suffered some lesions on/under her skin over the past two years. She had medication for them. My sister left for Thanksgiving vacation earlier in the week, and says Cagney appeared 'normal' considering the usual anxiety the dogs express anytime the family leaves. A close friend and neighbor pet-sit while my sister is away. The sitter noticed Cagney not eating and very lethargic. When the third day, she was not improving, the sitter took Cagney to the vet and called my sister with the news. The vet advised not to move the dog back home, as the cancer was making breathing difficult, and Cagney could be monitored better at the hospital.

I had read something about paternity-tests for dogs not too long ago, and wondered why would that be helpful to know. In that article, it was mentioned abut Golden Retrievers' elevated cancer risk. So, Cagney's situation is not a complete shock. However, it is always heartbreaking to lose a sweet-tempered pet that is such a loving part of the family. Most heartbroken will be her canine playmate, Lucy! I hope my sister will remember to play fetch and catch with her more often now that she has lost her best friend.

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