Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Goodbye Miss. Butter-Scotch of Killdeer 9/23/2005-08/22/2016
Our sweet sweet Butterscotch has lost her battle with TCC, aka transitional cell carcinoma, a deadly form of bladder cancer. She died just shy of her 11th birthday. We loved her till the end and will forever love and miss her.
She started a year and a half ago with recurrent bladder infections and if I had known more about TCC then, I would have taken her straight to Purdue's chief researcher and world reknowned authority on the disease. When we left the Rio Grande Valley this spring, that is where we took her and Dr. Knapp officially confirmed what our little gal was facing. They offered us chemo, etc., and we declined, opting for a more palliative medicine, but one which has shown promise against this deadly disease. We were told May 12 we could expect about 160 days, or about 5 months. But just a short three months later, she is gone.
We were camped for the weekend in Ohio with friends Tab and Deanna. On Saturday, she quit eating and couldn't pee the first half of the day. That is the big sign. . . if they can't pee, they will be in extreme pain and their kidneys fail and the fluid fills their systems. I had so worried we had waited too long, but then later in the day, she was able to pass some fluid besides just blood. She still wouldn't eat or drink and I couldn't give her the medicines that would help. Sunday was a repeat of Saturday, so I contacted our vet tech and she said to bring her in on Monday when our regular vet was working. We were 85 miles from our vet of 30 years and I am glad for that. He and his office are the most kind, compassionate people and know us and our pets very well.
We drove over Monday
in the morning and allowed Butterscotch one last attempt to pee outside. When we took her in she seemed scared, something she never is at the vets. I held her for some time and then put her up on the table. I continued to hold her and we put Duchess up on the table with her. Nathan, the newest vet in the practice came in and talked with us at length. Such a kind man. He went through school when I taught at New Castle, but I didn't have him. He gave Butterscotch a sedation shot which really put her at ease. . . not asleep, but no more pain. She was laying on her side and Duchess put her head very close to Butterscotch's muzzle and kept it there. I truly think she was trying to understand what was happening. She had to know she wasn't well. They had not walked together for months, because Butterscotch could not walk any distance. Dr. Wisecup came in a delivered the shot in her hind leg so as not to disturb Duchess' vigil over her friend. Then she was gone.
We've had to do this with all but one of our dogs and it is never easy. Even when we know it is the right thing to do. Dr. Wisecup says that ending our pet's suffering is the final act of love we can do for them and I believe that. It would not have been long before her systems would have shut down and I didn't want to wait for that to happen. That becomes an emergency and then we would not have been able to make the two hour trip to our long-time vet. He will be cremating her and scattering her ashes around his apple trees. All my dogs are there so they are all together.
Butterscotch and Duchess lived most of their lives in West Virginia on a farm. They chased every rodent known to man and killed as many as they could. I know there was a skunk they got and a large ground hog. There were five Scotties running free and doing the job they were bred for. We got the girls just three years ago. They retired and spent their time traveling with us in our motorhome. They regularly visit Virginia, Florida, Louisiana and Texas. In the summer they spend time in Indiana and loved their special visits with my Mom and Dad.
By having Duchess there with Butterscotch at the end we are hoping to avoid the kinds of anxiety and other problems we had with Neal after Bailey died. So far Duchess seems to be doing okay. She and Butterscotch used to sleep a lot of the time, but now Duchess sits in the middle of the room and watches us, not sleeping all that much. But she doesn't seem to be anxious or nervous or anything. I know she misses her sister, they have been together since Duchess was born. We are taking good care of her and hoping she is able to get past losing her best friend.
Till next time. . .