This note from Kate does cause me to wonder if the Palladia didn’t decrease Lilly’s quality of life in the last two weeks, because she exhibited the symptoms Kate described. Of course, as one of Lilly’s doctors put it, we would’ve always wondered If the chemo could’ve helped if we hadn’t tried it. True, but the manner of Lilly’s death and her final days will haunt me as long as I exist. She came to me in her last moments clearly pleading for help, and I could do nothing. It took me a minute to fully realize she had died. In fact, I’ll never really know if she was pleading for release or to stay, but, knowing her, it had to be the latter. Some great owner I was, I sat there powerless to help. I had decided the night before that it was time to release her. I simply hadn’t told her doctor yet, and now I wish I had. My poor wonderful girl.
I realize that even most dog owners will shake their heads at all this gnashing of teeth over the death of one dog. After all, there are so many. I almost envy those people for their ignorance, for you had to experience Lilly to understand what made her special. No words really do her justice. There are smart dogs and there are sweet dogs, but how many dogs actively spend their lives teaching themselves how to fill the specific needs of their people? All without any formal training? Only one that I know of, and she did it even when her own body was failing her.
A big part of me went with Lilly when she died. That’s probably why I’m so heartbroken. Lilly is now beyond any pain or discomfort. She’s probably beyond everything, but part of me has this forlorn hope that there’s some sort of afterlife where I can eventually apologize to Lilly for her final moments. She deserved so much better.
From: Kate Lawrence [mailto:KateL@gcvs.com]
Sent: Wednesday, August 24, 2011 11:50
Cc: Dr. Heidi Hottinger
Subject: RE: Lilly
Good morning! 🙂
I had a quick question for you. Is the tenderness you have noted when Lilly is walking on her forelegs something that has recently started, or is it an on-going issue for your girl? If it is a chronic problem, has it worsened recently? Oncology let Dr. Hottinger know that they have seen a few patients on Palladia show some discomfort on their front legs, or develop sores on their paws.
Let me know!
Talk to you soon.
Client/Patient Service Coordinator
Gulf Coast Veterinary Surgery