We own a little dog named Nala. Who was rescued in Texas and fostered by a wonderful woman named, Lynne, who we have kept in contact with over the years.
Lynne just adores Nala - and I must confess, everyone who has ever met Nala falls in love with her. Even those who have never physically met her, love her! She has many fans thanks to my online health coaching business (which I have let go of since my new adventure with the Eclectic Green Witchery).
Nala was deemed the name, The Dalai Nala and she helped me Health Coach people with her wise words of wisdom.
A good friend of mine, Robert McCann Dowd, drew our logo. Isn't it adorable?!
We even wrote a book or two.
On Monday, November 22 our little girl woke up and refused to eat breakfast. Which is very NOT Nala-like...so of course we called the vet and had a check-up.
They did a full "old lady" panel of bloodwork, listened to her heart, lungs, looked in her eyes, ears, pressed on her tummy. Nothing blaring -- even her temp was considered within the normal range.
We were sent home with some chicken and rice easy to digest food and something called Entyce to bring her appetite back.
I was not happy with this diagnosis. I KNOW my dog, and every cell in my body was screaming --" this isn't right."
My intuition was yelling so loudly at me, but I pushed it down. Hoping the doctors were right and I was just overreacting.
Ya know, anxiety brain always goes to the bad stuff first - but I was trying to fight that thought pattern and go to a "good" place.
We had a few people telling us "oh the vet bills! It's just a dog!" Yeah, our vet bill is stupid right now, (we're up to about $1900) but we'll figure it out and it's not "just a dog." She is our family! She's been in our life for 10 years.
For the record, those words, "It's just a dog" are not welcomed in my space.
Anyone that really knows myself and my husband, knows our dogs are like our human children. We would go to any lengths to protect them and provide care for them.
Back to the story...on and off over Thanksgiving Nala would eat and not eat. Be spunky one minute, not so much the next. So, of course due to the holiday we had to wait for her normal vet's office to be open. She was not in distress so we felt an ER visit was not needed.
But first thing Monday morning I was making a phone call and back to the vet we went on Monday, November 29th.
More bloodwork was taken and X-rays. This time the blood work showed a raised white blood cell count - which usually indicates infection. X-rays showed "something" but they could not identify what it was, so we scheduled an ultrasound.
She stayed the entire day on IV fluids and antibiotics. She even ate a can of food. Yay Nala! We were hopeful.
Tuesday we took her back for another round of IV fluids and antibiotics. We were doing IV antibiotics because she was not eating well. Again, she ate another can of food plus she ate a little bit of peanut butter when we got home. Yay again!
Wednesday, December 1 - we had the ultrasound -and we, unfortunately, received some very devastating news about our little Nala.
She has been diagnosed with
Lymphoma. Her spleen is also being affected. Basically, she has cancer. A fatal cancer with no cure and no hope of recovery.
The life expectancy with most types of lymphoma in dogs is limited to only a few months. With chemotherapy protocols, this is increased to an average of 6½ to 12 months. Nala is 12 years old and will be 13 in July of 2022.
We are completely heartbroken beyond belief. There are no words to express how shattered we are right now.
Because of Nala's age, we opted to not put her through chemotherapy. We opted to take her home with prednisone.
Prednisone lessens the swelling, and will increase her appetite, but a side effect is excessive thirst, which means frequent urination.
Approximately 50% of dogs with lymphoma will respond to prednisone (a steroid), but the remission times are only 2 to 4 months with prednisone & no chemo treatment.
Basically, this will give her a "quality" end of life and gives us time to properly send her off without her being in pain.
We will take as many "easy" walks as she is willing -- she loves walkies! We will feed her whatever she wants, and will shower her with love.
This time will also give our human children a chance to say good-bye and will allow us all to process what is happening -- all while she is being kept comfortable.
Even our other pets know she is not feeling well....as you can see in the image to the left Floki and Tank surrounding her on the couch. That image was taken last night when we got home from the vets office.
We have a one month supply of prednisone and depending on how she responds to the prednisone, will determine our next moves. We are hoping to be able to get through Christmas with Nala...and again, depending on her cues, we will more than likely be contacting someone to come to our home to help her transition.
As, I write this the tears stream, and my heart breaks over and over, but I know we are making the right -- non-selfish decision for Nala.
She has been a light in our world...and we want to repay her by allowing her not to suffer and to transition feeling filled with love.
This dog has helped me through more panic attacks than I care to admit too.
And when the time comes, we will let her go...my little Dalai Nala, you will be forever in my heart.
The moral of this story - listen to your intuition, & trust it when it's screaming at you. Slow down, and live in the moment as much as possible. Love the things in your life now, as tomorrow is not promised to anyone or anything.
Thanks for reading...and if you can spare the energy...send some healing our way.