In September 2006 our oldest Sheltie, Maggie stopped eating. I knew after a couple of days of her loss of appetite something was wrong. We took her to our vet and they did blood work and found that her blood sugar was low and sent for additional blood work to be analyzed. That Saturday concerned that her blood sugar was low and that she might have a seizure I took her to the emergency animal hospital. They kept her over the weekend and referred her to the internal doctors at the veterinary hospital. That Monday they took several xrays and did an ultrasound. The doctor called me that afternoon and said I am afraid I don't have good news; it is cancer. He wanted to do a biopsy and send it off to determine the type of cancer. He called on Tuesday to tell me it was Malignant Histiocytosis. The only option for Maggie at that time was palliative treatment until such time we would have to put her to sleep.
For weeks I cried and wondered how such a sweet dog and not even 10 years old could have such a dreaded disease. We just lost our beloved Joey who was also a Sheltie 3 years ago to cancer. His cancer was Hemangiosarcoma with Splenic Metastasis.
Maggie had very little time left with us and we were making the most of it. We were very careful to not show our emotions around her since she was so sensitive to how we felt. I thanked God for each extra day to love and hold her. Each day was a precious gift.
On October 18, 2006 I had to make the heart wrenching decision to put Maggie to sleep. This has been the most difficult decision of my life. On Thursday Maggie didn't eat. I wasn't concerned since she sometimes had those days. Friday came and she only ate a few bites of chicken. Saturday I took her to see the Vet since I felt like her breathing pattern had changed. The Vet said it was more labored than usual but nothing to worry about. Saturday evening she ate a few bites of steak and Sunday, Monday she ate nothing. Monday evening I noticed she could barely run across the yard but she gave it everything she had. Maggie from the time she was a puppy has slept in the bed with us. That changed about a week before she died, she slept on the hard wood floor beside my side of the bed. Monday evening she couldn't get comfortable and I could hear the hunger pains coming from her stomach. I sat there wondering what it would be like to die from starvation since there are many humans that do. I couldn't bear the thoughts of her going another day without eating. Tuesday morning I got ready for work and thought I will make all her favorite foods. She was outside just sitting there as she has been doing which is kind of odd behavior for her since she normally barks for us to come outside with her. I took the food out and she just turned her head. Maggie had been throwing up for several days and the vet gave her some medicine to control her nausea. This didn't seem to help. It was not right to make her continue going without eating. I made that decision and our vet came to our house and we put her to sleep. I held her and kissed her telling her how much I loved her and that Momma was with her. I am experiencing many emotions right now, peace, and for brief moment's guilt. I know that I did everything I could for her and in the end I felt like I owed it to her for her broken body to be whole again. Today she and Shelley met at the Rainbow Bridge and are probably playing a good game of fetch. Thanks for being a virtual friend and giving me a shoulder to cry on.