Hope’s Final Journey

new urn 2Shortly after my last blog about Hope, we had to make the difficult decision to let him go.  It has taken me three months to write about it. He had gotten progressively weaker and on his last day he tried so hard to follow me around the house and I could see how it exhausted him.  He fell asleep that day and we could see it was a different kind of sleep than normal.

With a heavy heart we called our veterinarian and made arrangements to bring him in that afternoon, January 14, 2016.

Poor Hope was so weak at that point that when he was given the sedative before the euthanasia drug, he stopped breathing and we were pretty certain he had passed before the final injection.  He died with both my husband and I holding him which was fitting since his most favorite thing was to be touched by the people he loved and that loved him back.

Few dogs get the chance to live the life of a Therapy Dog.  He was able to bring so much joy and love to so many people who needed it.  In all the years we had him, only once did he meet someone he did not like.  You can read about that in my previous blog, Hope’s Journey – Week 11.  Even then, he did something special.

We received so many condolences following his passing.  He had touched so many lives and having to tell the people at the facilities where he was a regular visitor that he would not be coming back was heartbreaking.

Today, my husband finished making the wooden urn for Hope’s ashes and I decided it was time to write my last blog about him.  Or at least the last blog about his illness.

As life often happens, two weeks ago my husband went to Florida to see his brother who is dying of cancer.  When he came home, he had his brother’s one year old, small poodle mix, whom we named Glenda.  What a sweet little girl she is.  I can see a potential Therapy Dog in her and she is another dog that loves to be petted and held.  I know that Hope is looking down from Heaven with that big grin on his face, happy that another dog will soon be visiting and getting to know all of his old friends because life is a circle.Glenda on bed 4-9-16

Hope’s Journey #2 1/10/16

Hope enjoyed a summer of feeling well, working as a Therapy Dog, helping our other dogs chase squirrels and following me around the house. Unfortunately, when we took him back for a follow-up in September concerning his lymphoma, we were told that the lymphoma was back.  That was something I wasn’t prepared to hear so… Continue Reading

Hope’s Journey Update #1

Well, it’s been a little over a month since Hope’s last chemotherapy for lymphoma.  The oncologist gave him a clean bill of health and wants to see him in April for a follow up. I think he’s gained a little weight.  His ribs don’t feel so sharp anymore and his appetite has definitely improved.  He… Continue Reading

Hope’s Journey – Weeks 14, 15 & 16

Time can go by so quickly during the holiday season. Hope is doing very well.  He has had two treatments since my last blog, Vincristine and Cytoxin.  He did not get sick following these drugs, and we have kept him on the appetite stimulant and the oncologist added Pepcid AC to his regimen on Wednesday… Continue Reading

Hope’s Journey – Weeks 12 & 13

These last two weeks have been pretty rough for Hope.  He had chemotherapy on Thursday, October 30 and was given Adriamycin again.  This is the same drug that made him so sick in September, just before we left for our annual vacation. The oncologist gave him a lower dose this time because of the previous… Continue Reading

Hope’s Journey – Week 11

Once again, Hope’s white blood count was too low for chemotherapy, so it’s back to a week of taking antibiotics.  On Thursday the clinic will do blood work again and hopefully he will receive his treatment.  The good news is that is weight is up to 40.8 lbs. Since I can’t tell you much about… Continue Reading

Hope’s Journey – Week 10

Even though it’s been ten weeks since Hope started his chemotherapy, I still get emotional at times with the whole process. This week when we arrived at Blue Pearl – Georgia Veterinary Specialists for Hope’s weekly chemotherapy, he was very nervous.  I don’t know if he was picking up on the energy from other dogs… Continue Reading

Hope’s Journey – Weeks 8 & 9

I missed writing last week’s blog since we had family visiting from out-of-town, then made a short trip out of state for a family reunion.  So here is the catch up. Last week Hope was supposed to receive the oral medication, Cytoxin.  Unfortunately, he once again had Leukopenia, a white blood cell count that was… Continue Reading

Hope’s Journey – Week 7

My goodness, how fast time flies.  It’s hard to believe that seven weeks ago we were just starting our journey together with Hope, our thirteen year old, beautiful Border Collie/Golden Retriever mix who had been diagnosed with lymphoma. After seven weeks of treatment, Hope’s oncologist, Dr. Hamilton at Blue Pearl Georgia Veterinary Specialists, let us… Continue Reading