The greatest gift you can give someone is TIME! And when it comes to the time you have with a beloved dog, there is never enough. No matter when or how they leave you, you always wish for one more GOOD DAY! In Irish's memory, help give the gift of TIME!
On October 30, 2017, my sweet Ellie girl was diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma. It was caught too late and we had very limited time before our goodbye on November 10, 2017. She was a month shy of her 12th birthday, and the quality of those last days were not good as she could not eat which was her favorite thing to do! I was completely heartbroken. Yet, I couldn't barely process losing her because on the day of her at home euthanasia, it was discovered that her (non-litter mate) brother, Irish, had a mass in his mouth. He had surgery on November 13, 2017 and by November 17th, he was diagnosed with Mandibular Osteosarcoma. I was overwhelmed, my heart was shattered and I was desperate for TIME with him. I was not ready to say goodbye to him too. I just couldn't lose them both, and by the grace of God and expert veterinary care, I didn't.
Thanks to my local vet and Ohio State Veterinary Medical Center, I had 959 bonus days with my sweet Irish Boy.
That's 2 years, 7 months and 26 days!!
When Irish was first diagnosed with Mandibular Osteosarcoma in November 2017, his prognosis with a partial jaw removal, radiation and chemotherapy was at best 8-12 months! This miracle gift of "TIME" was due to the amazing care Irish received at our local vet and at The Ohio State Veterinary Medical Center in Columbus where our local vet referred us to for follow up treatment. We happily made the two hour trips to Columbus from Northern Kentucky because we knew we were in the right place with the best medical staff to care for all of Irish's needs.
And there were a LOT of needs as Irish liked to keep us on our toes!! Irish had several dental surgeries due to issues from his partial jaw removal which resulted in him being hand fed soft food and his inability to "chew" to clean his teeth. He also had heart issues that resulted in him getting a pace maker in April 2019. However, Irish always seemed to roll with the punches and find a way to rebound which lead to us lovingly calling him "The Fighting Irish".
But, TIME is never infinite.....
In the last six months of his life, Irish faced decreased muscle tone, an inability to stand or walk very long or very far, and lack of safety on the stairs. Ironically, this was by far our biggest challenge because a GOOD DAY for Irish meant a walk around the lake, a car ride with his head out the window, a little bit of play time with a toy (if he felt up to it) and free access to the backyard via the doggie door in the basement. So, with these changes, he couldn't walk the lake or play, had to lay down on car rides and I had to restrict his access to the doggie door for safety.
Dr. Cook, Irish's wonderful Oncologist, recommended we try acupuncture with Dr. Markley to see if that helped. It was a long shot, but I was always game to try anything to make Irish's quality of life better. I wasn't sure how it would go, but Irish LOVED it and Dr. Markley! Every Wednesday, he seemed to know it was our day to go and would be impatient to leave for Ohio State. He would be so excited that I sometimes had to leave early just because he would not stop running to the garage door trying to get to the car. It seemed he had a bit of a crush on Dr. Markley. She had become his favorite person, and her treatments made him feel better which made both of us happier. When he would be taken to the treatment room, as soon as he was in the hallway to the therapy room, he would try to take off running. He never reacted that way to any veterinary he had in his life, and the acupuncture treatments helped greatly. Immediately, Irish was able to do short walks, increased his play and was able to put his head out the window for short spurts on our daily car rides. Stair access was still supervised but easier and safer for both of us. Even in the midst of COVID-19, Dr. Markley and Kelly continued to ensure Irish got the treatments he needed. When his health took a turn for the worse due to other issues in late June of 2020 and he was admitted to the ICU at Ohio State, it was Dr. Markley who went to the ICU daily to give him treatments to relieve his pain, provide him comfort and give us the reassurance we had done all we could do for him.
I said goodbye to Irish under the care of all the same wonderful staff at Ohio State. I am forever grateful for the wonderful and priceless gift of TIME that they gave me with Irish. He died on June 26, 2020 at the age of 14 1/2 years old. That's a good age for a Labrador....and an amazing age for a Labrador with cancer whose heart was 100% reliant on a pacemaker!! I'm grateful that until the last week of his life, the days were GOOD, QUALITY bonus days.
Yet no time with a good dog is ever enough. We are never ready to let them go and always wish for more TIME...for one more GOOD DAY.
In the past, before losing Irish and Ellie to cancer, when friends and family always ask what I want for Christmas or my birthday, I could always come up with some "thing" I wanted. But now that they are both gone, the only thing I wish for is more "TIME" with them. So I'm asking instead of getting some "thing" for me to show you love and care for me, please consider giving a donation to Ohio State to help give someone like me (who loved her dogs like human children) more quality "time" with the dog they love. Help me bless someone else the way that I was blessed and able to give Irish the expert care that Ohio Veterinary Medical Center provided to us. Help Irish's fighting spirit live on!!
Because of his love for Dr. Markley, I have chosen her fund as my designation. She has a wish list of items that would help her provide better care to her patients. It's an ambitious goal for the year 2021, but I would like to target raising between $2,000.00 -$5,000.00 over the next year (perhaps two) for her department to help towards the purchase of either of the two Top Priority items below:
Companion Animal Health Cold Compression Therapy Kit (3 needed) (Top Priority):
This device combines cold therapy and compression to accelerate recovery from injury or surgery. This technology is frequently used in human sports medicine and rehabilitation.
Ultrasound Machine (Top Priority):
Ultrasound uses sound waves to heat tissues, increase tissue blood flow and tissue relaxation, break down scar tissue and improve healing.
I appreciate any donation you can make towards this gift in memory of my beloved Choco Kids - Irish and Ellie. They were my two true loves and the time I had with them were the best years of my life.