AKC Registerd: Little Miss Can't be Wrong, CGC We call her .. Missy.
This is a "brief" story about Missy (although it's hard to be brief about 13 years)
I got Missy when she was 8 weeks old. My husband told me "you are not bringing a pitbull into this house". And I did. Missy had a rough start. Shortly after I brought her home she became very sick. I took her to the vet and he said she had parvo. I called the breeder & he said that when he took the puppies (a litter of 13) to the vet to get their shots they lost track of who got their shots and who didn't. After a week and a half in intensive care, (and a vet bill that my husband TO THIS DAY - 13 years later - says he does not want to know the total of
) Missy was well enough to come home.
I wanted to do everything I could to be a responsible owner, so when she was 6 months old we started obedience classes. She was so smart and learned very quickly. After finishing the obedience class we went farther into classes and she earned her CGC title (Canine Good Citizen). She has been the best dog, companion, family member that anyone could dream of.
Many years had passed, We played many games of "get the bottle" and "catch the treat". And we had walked MANY miles together. She always wanted to lay on the couch with me but she knew not to get on the couch without permission and she knew she could not get up there without a cover on the couch. If I was laying on the couch, she would come over and lay her head on the edge of the couch and not move anything but her eyes. She would look at me then look at the couch, then back at me, then back at the couch. She would not move until I said "ok", then she would spring up on the couch and lay beside me with her head on me. Missy also thought she was a "lap dog" and would climb into our laps to curl up and sleep. Missy had many little tricks that we loved. One of our favorites, which she taught herself was that if we were eating something, she would go get her bowl and come stand infront of us holding her bowl until we put a treat into her bowl. She would then put her bowl down, eat the treat out of it and pick her bowl back up and hold it until we put something else back into her bowl. And if she was thirsty and her bowl was empty, she would bring it to us at the sink.
When she was 11 years old I noticed that her eyes had developed cloudy spots. The vet said cataracts. She could still see, but the vet said her vision was not real clear. I had noticed that she couldn't catch her treats in the air like she use to. And sometimes she would miss judge the door facings.
In December 2006 (Missy was 11 years old) She developed a lump on the right side of her neck. On 12/6/06 Missy had the cyst removed. And due to miscommunication with the lab we were unable to get any results from the cyst.
Then in October 2007 (10 months after her first major surgery) the cyst returned and Missy had another surgery on 10/11/07. This time we would get results from the lab. On 11/3/07 the vet called us to come in for a post-op checkup. And she had the lab results. Cancer. Myxoid Liposarcoma. I was devestated. Could barely drive home. Couldn't talk and could barely breathe.
I researched everything I could about this, and this is what I found ...
Myxoid liposarcoma is a rather infrequent tumor that tends to behave aggressively.
Myxoid liposarcoma is a killer. It tends to start deep within the body and spreads quickly. Even when the primary tumor is removed, the cancer spreads to other organs in about 40% of patients. Survival from this point is usually about two years.
Liposarcomas are aggressive, locally invasive, and commonly metastasize to the lungs, liver, and bone.
The vet said that at this point she does not recommend chemo or radiation for Missy because of her age. The vet said she thinks they got it all and we will have to watch her.
Then one day my husband said "you need to take Missy back thru training classes, she doesn't listen to us anymore". I then began to "test" her and found that Missy could no longer hear. The vet said she had somewhere between 80 to 100 % hearing loss. I was worried that it was the cancer that caused the hearing loss but the vet said it was just her age (12 years old). So, at that point I knew what I had to do. I called the trainer that had taken Missy & I thru our earlier training (12 years earlier) and explained my problem. He told me to bring Missy and come back to the beginner classes. And as he was teaching all of his new students, he also taught me how to teach Missy sign language. My husband joked about this and would tell our friends "They are taking Deaf and Dumb classes and we know who the deaf one is". HAHA - he thought he was funny. I was worried about her learning sign language because in the 12 years Missy had learned SOOO MANY verbal commands that I thought our communication would be lost. But Missy being so smart picked up on the signs extremely quickly. Everyone in the class was just AMAZED with Missy. Our bond grew stronger.
Everything was going good, until May 2008. 7 months after Missy's 2nd major surgery, the tumor had returned. The vet said that the type of cancer that Missy had was rare. And that it had little finger like protrusions that would branch out and sometimes it is hard to get everything. So on 5/27/08 Missy had another major surgery. I was not prepared for the incision that she had. The vet said she was "a little more aggressive with the removal this time". Missy had a very rough recovery from this surgery. One evening, I thought I had lost her. But I think she had become dehydrated. Once I got some Pedialyte in her, she came back around. Her recovery on this one was rough but she had came back around. She was such a good patient!
Then just 2 months after her 3rd major surgery, on 8/5/08 I noticed that the tumor had come back. I didn't notice it at first as I thought it was still the incision from her surgery on May 27th. I noticed it was getting larger. I took her back to the vet and she told me that with it being so soon after the last surgery and this time the tumor was located too close to the juglar vein that she would not operate again. The vet told me that this type of cancer will keep coming back & will come back more & more aggressive every time. She suggested we take Missy home and keep her comfortable & let her enjoy the time she had left. I couldn't believe it. I called several other vets and faxed copies of her records and they all said the same thing. So we kept her home and I took care of her. What was SO HARD about all of this is how she still continued to play and run. I did notice that she would get out of breath more quickly and now wonder if maybe it had started moving into her lungs.
I took care of her and changed her bandages 2 times a day. Then on October 16, 2008 my husband called me at work and said that the bleeding was MUCH WORSE. We took her to the vet that evening and she was put to sleep. I stayed with her and cried the whole time. I couldn't bare to just leave her there so we brought her back home and buried her under the White Oak tree in the back yard.
Missy kept me company while my husband worked. He works shift work and would work nights and Missy was always there protecting me. I always felt safe with Missy there. She grew up loving and playing with my 2 kids. She was also around my nephews and my neice and never once growled at them. Not once! They use to hang & lay all over her. She has been with me while the kids grew up and graduated, my son moving out and my daughter moving back home. And she was here to welcome my first grandchild. My grandson is now 4 years old and he loved her very much. He asks about her all the time. He doesn't quite understand.
After 13 years, 3 months and 27 days, Missy is no longer with us.
After fighting Cancer for almost 2 years, 3 major surgeries and several minor surgeries, Missy is now at peace.
I will miss her forever and love her always!