Last year's other major theme was the illness of my sweet dog Daisy.
I think it was September when we found a big lump in Daisy's abdomen/pelvic area. I'm lucky enough to have a friend who is some kind of kick ass super duper fancy schmancy veterinary surgeon, so she was the one who took it out and gave us the bad news. Very aggressive form of cancer. Both the pathologist and the oncologist were surprised to see it in such a young and asymptomatic dog. Prognosis: three to five months with treatment, another three to five months with chemo. We decided not to do the chemo; it didn't seem right to put her through that just to wring another three months of life out of her.
So we opted for some diet changes to boost her immune system instead (vitamin supplements, high protein diet) and somehow she thrived. For a while, anyway. She ate less and less and got skinnier and skinnier. We resorted to treats to get her to eat something, anything, but Violet benefitted more than Daisy did, to the point that she got quite overweight. But other than becoming a wraith, Daisy seemed fine. She wasn't in pain. She still jumped up on our bed (something that Violet, who is not quite so close to death, still will not do unless she thinks you're not going to put her up there, but that's another story). We watched for the signs of intestinal blockage or pain and there were none. She slowed down and slept more, but she still lasted many months as a pretty happy dog. She was just Daisy with a lump.
Eventually, by August, we knew things were coming to an end. She started licking herself constantly and we knew she was no longer comfortable, and our highest priority was that she wasn't going to suffer, so that was it.
I did a lot of second-guessing regarding the decision not to do chemo. If we had an unlimited supply of money, I would have done it to give her a few extra months. And if it had a chance of saving her, I would have done it for that chance. And if I had known she was going to live almost a year without the chemo, I would have done it, thinking that we might get another year.
So, now we've got Violet, who has never been an only dog. And this was not what we wanted, so we had to find her a buddy. We tried to find a rescue dog at first. We really wanted another basset hound, we wanted a female, and we wanted one who was close to Violet's age. Turns out these are few and far between, at least in my part of the world. We tried to adopt a basset puppy from a one-person "rescue" who kept a couple of dozen animals in her home, but that failed because apparently we weren't available during the one day when a home visit could be done (I say "apparently" because we were never told when the magical day was. But no, I'm not bitter. Why do you ask?). The last time I checked Petfinder, the dog was still up for adoption. Good luck with that, crazy pet-hoarder lady.
We met another dog who was advertised as full blooded basset, then described as "at least 3/4 basset" over the phone, and turned out to be half basset at best. Oh, and also she's food-aggressive. But that might be because she lives with 11 other dogs. And I think she digs, but I can't be quite sure, because she's in her crate most of the day. Yeah. Pass.
So, we're getting a puppy. Part of me is excited because, you know. Puppy!!! The rest of me is all ugh. Housebreaking.
But still. Puppy!!! Squeeee!!!
I know we'll love her to death. But I'll always miss my Daisy.