Great Ponds & Gardens

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The dog days of summer, a personal reflection

Today I’m not writing about plants, stones or landscaping. My pen, err typing, is dedicated to my best friend, my dog. Eleven years old she’s been here tail wagging day in, day out. You take it for granted that she’ll be around forever. Then everything changes. A lump in her leg… cancer. To be specific, a malignant, locally aggressive soft-tissue sarcoma known as hemangiosarcoma. Intensive googling and I’m an expert: common condition in dogs, left untreated it can get very nasty, if radiation is required its best to use a clinic with linear accelerated technology (more effective, less damaging). I find out that the tumor is a difficult surgery with a challenging outcome given its location on her elbow. Like everything, a plan is set in motion. First priority deal with the cancer, then healing. Two days later, the tumor is removed – isn’t pet care amazing?

It’s been a difficult process – grieving, then HOPE. All changes with a call – fantastic news – the tumor is low grade and removed with a clean margin despite its location, no radiation required!

I learned a lot in this process:

  1. The many ways to get your dog to take a pill
  2. Dogs are so adaptable
  3. The importance of investing in a soft comfy cone elizabethan collar
  4. Swift action – no matter how difficult – can make all the difference
  5. There are many great, local pet care professionals, and
  6. Above all, never take a wagging tail for granted.

Many thanks to the Mississauga-Oakville Veterinary Emergency Hospital: Dr. Gauthier, Dr. Halling, Dr. Sylvestre and the amazing team. Your expertise and personal care were so appreciated.

Back to the dog days of summer.