In Loving Memory of the Sweetest Dog in the World

1998 – 2009

  

Dolly & Me in Friskier Days

Yes, we lost our sweet Dolly over a year ago, but I have not had the heart to write this until now.  Dolly was approximately 11 years old and for the last 3 years of her life we had been treating her for what we and the doctors thought to be arthritis.  We tried all the home remedies and prescription medications that could be thought of with very little effect.  She was a very energetic dog and did not let her true pain show.  She would insist on climbing the steps up to our deck if she thought we were out there without her, even though, she winced in pain with each step, we again assumed that it was the arthritis.  One weekend in November of 2009 we returned home from a trip and noticed that she was no longer putting her hind leg down on the ground.  This was a new symptom that came on suddenly and was not apparent to my niece who was dog sitting with Dolly and the other 3 dogs while we were away.  This continued for a few more days so we returned to the Vet to see if she had been injured in some way while we were gone.  Unfortunately, when more x-rays and tests were done we were told that our sweet dog had bone cancer. 

Of course, Bill and I were devastated with the news and were willing to try any new treatment that might save her.  Her doctors gave us pain medicine to make her life a little more comfortable, but none of them seemed to help at all.  A couple of aspirin rolled into a ball of cheese seemed to help more than anything else.  Her hind leg just around her  knee now had swollen into a round ball that was about the size of a door knob.  She would bark all night long as if to let us know she was in pain.  Bill’s job at the time required a lot of travel, so I don’t think he really realized the extent of her pain.  About two weeks after her diagnosis I told him that we had to let her go that she was suffering terribly.  At first he disagreed, arguing that she could still eat, wag her tail, and smile, so therefore she was still enjoying life.  Later that night after putting our dogs up for the night, with a worried look on his face he agreed with me that it was time.  He said she told him with her big brown eyes that she was suffering and relying on her people to help her. 

The next day I stayed home from work and we made the last trip to the vet’s office with our sweet, smiling dog.  I drove the car and followed Bill and Dolly so that she could take her last ride in her old blue truck – the one that she rode in to my house  the day Bill found her at the rest area and saved her from the dog catcher.  She always loved that old truck and considered it hers and was always eager to jump into the front seat and ride anywhere her master might be going – and always hoped it was going to involve tending the cows as she loved to run alongside the wagon and keep those cows in line (so she thought).  It was a very hard day for us, as we sat in the waiting area trying to ignore the fact that this was not just another routine doctor visit.  Dolly was her usual sweet self as she lay on the floor relying on her people to take care of her and willing to do whatever we asked of her.  

I realize there are some folks who cannot imagine going on about the loss of  “just a dog”.  I feel sorry for those people who have never had the unconditional love of a dog like Dolly.  These dogs don’t care what you look like, how fat you are, how much money you make, and even how badly some of their masters may treat them – they are still there beside you – loyal and true and so eager to be your companion every day of their life.

The procedure took longer than expected due to difficulty finding a good vein to administer the medication.  The doctor gave her a sedative to relax her so she would not feel them trying to get the needle in.  She lay on the floor of the examination room and we sat down beside her and stroked her ears and whispered to her what a good dog she was and that we loved her so much.  Finally, after she slipped in to a deep sleep and unaware of us being in the room, we could not take it any longer and returned to the waiting area in tears.  Bill insisted on having her cremated, so there was nothing more for us to do but pay the bill and go home.  Bill hung her collar on the rear view mirror of her old blue truck where it remains today. 

Her ashes were returned to us in an oak box with her name on it and a big paw print engraved on the lid.  We will leave her there for a while until we decide on a suitable memorial for her.  I think we may take her old blue truck out for a ride on the farm and open the lid and let her ashes fly all over the farm and imagine her again running along side it as a much younger dog ………….

 Run, Dolly, Run!