It was 3 years ago that we almost lost Skye to pyrometra, but luckily we not only got through that but after saying what we thought were our last good-byes, we got her back.
A year ago when we had Skye at the vet, they felt her belly and decided that the lump they’d found the year before was indeed breast cancer. She was 12 years old, we decided that we didn’t want to put her through treatment, not at her age. It would be best to just make her comfortable and give her the best time, for what time she had left. And she was fine for a long time, until August of this year, when we came back from our camping trip. Her lump by now had taken over her belly and she was now licking it all the time, and we tried everything to stop her.
We now were keeping a keen eye on her, watching for any sign of discomfort. Slowly we watched as she began to loose her pep, the spring was gone from her step and she stopped playing with Mal, our Belgian Malinois. By November all she was doing was lying by the front door, hiding from us. When we’d call her to feed her, we’d have to go to her and show her why we wanted her and prompt her to come eat her soft food. She couldn’t eat the hard food anymore.
More than a few times Chris and I discussed if it was time. A couple times we were almost ready to call the vet and make that final appointment for her. But we never did.
Then on this past Sunday, we loaded up the family into the Jeep and headed off to a tree farm to pick out and cut down our Christmas tree. We had such a good day, but when we got home we found Skye in a bad way. One of the abscesses on her belly had ruptured and she was now leaving a trail of pussy blood drips where she walked and she was so unsteady and wobbly on her feet.
Chris and I decided that the moment had come to stop hoping that we’d have Skye for Christmas, to stop thinking of ourselves and to think of her suffering.
It was so hard, but we did it, we made the call to the vet to book her final appointment.
We actually went into the vet clinic to speak to them, and the moment we told them what was happening at home, well the only way I can describe it is that dollar signs lit up in their eyes. Suddenly they started to talk to us about all these expensive options for the process, and they wanted to charge us an arm and a leg. They didn’t even have any sympathy or signs of compassion. They just tried to guilt us into spending more money on her, because we love her and doesn’t she deserve so much after so many years of faithful companionship.
As horrible as it sounds, we decided to ‘shop around‘ and see what other clinics charged. The first one we went into the receptionist almost had tears as she talked to us, her main concern was if Skye was comfortable. When we explained what was going on she checked the price and it was half what the other place had wanted to charge us, and that was for everything. We wouldn’t have to pay more for cremation.
So we made an appointment and today at 2:00 we put Skye’s leash on her for the last time. We decided to take her in our van because she’d be able to climb into that on her own. There’s no way she could have jumped up into the Jeep, and we couldn’t lift her without hurting her. So she climbed into the front of the van and tried to curl up at my feet like she used to do. She was so happy. She always loved going for car rides.
When we got to the clinic she was so happy there was even a spring to her step. She walked up to a crate where they had some kittens playing, and she gave them a sniff but didn’t give them a second thought after, which was very uncharacteristic for her. But the kittens were very interested in her, even trying to bat at her ear from inside their crate.I wasn’t able to go into the room with Chris and Skye, not because they wouldn’t let me but because I was already crying and I was worried that I’d upset her at the end and I didn’t want to do that.
So I sat in the waiting area, crying and trying not to think about what was happening in that room.
Chris told me that when the vet saw Skye’s stomach he said that was very normal with breast cancer and that she had her belly full of cancer. He didn’t want Chris to lift her up onto the table, in case it hurt her. So they put a pad on the floor for her to lie on, but she wouldn’t. So Chris just held her as they gave Skye the injection and she passed in his arms, peacefully. A Lady to the end.