Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Maybe love will keep her alive

Last Sunday, my 11 year old pit bull Lola was acting strange after her walk. After lying in her cage alone and not even taking lunch meat that I dangled in front of her face, I knew for sure that something was majorly wrong. That night I couldn't sleep. I stayed up and watched over her all night. I even crawled into her living room sleep spot and cuddled with her for hours.

Lola is 2008

The next morning I called the vet as soon as they opened. Craig and I  drove her down there a moment later.   They took Lola in for tests right away, and after a long wait, the vet finally came back with x-ray results.  Not good news. Lola has an extremely large lump in her abdomen. From the x-rays, he couldn't tell us what it was or what it was attached to, so they recommended going to the veterinary specialists in Henrietta,NY.  Through blurry, stinging eyes, we drover her across town to the specialists office where we had to leave her all day until they could squeeze her in for an ultrasound. Four grueling hours later, they had us come back in for a consult and to tell us some more bad news. It's a tumor, attached to the worst possible place, her adrenal gland. Where it is pressing down on her bladder and colon and excreting a fluid that might be blood. Also, in a matter of 2 days, her red blood cell count dropped 10%. (I had the vet do blood work a few days before this incident because out of nowhere Lola was making "accidents" all over the I know why) According to the surgeon, there would be a 8% mortality rate if we should decide to take out the tumor, which sounds great until you hear what the bill would be...$10,000. yeah, that's right 10 GRAND.

Beautiful hike with my girls

I love my dog very much, I would consider her nothing less than part of the family. I have had her since I first became an adult. She's been with me through thick and thin. Always by my side and forever happy to see me. I watched her be born, she is my soul dog, I couldn't just give up on her. especially because of money, but lord knows, I don't have 10 large laying around the house. So that's when I really lost it.

this is how I fall asleep every night

I thought that was the end, until the vet suggested that we go to Cornell University to have the surgery done because it would cost less. I asked her to call and get a quote. They came back with a $3-$5,000 estimate, I said book the appointment.

So we drove to Cornell, got there around 9pm. Dropped off Lola and drove another 45 min to our friend's house in Binghamton to spend the night.

another summer hike in Durand Park 

In the morning, I was full of hope, until I got a call from Cornell at 10am. They told me that the surgery is much more complex than first thought. There were a lot of complications to take into consideration and with a dog of her age and a tumor of that size, being optimistic there was a 45% chance she would make it through surgery, and even less of a chance she would make it the first 24 hours after surgery. She also told me that the last 2 dogs that had this surgery had passed away within 24 hours of the surgery. There was NO WAY I wanted to take the chance of Lola dying in some cold room surrounded by unfamiliar people in a strange place. She was coming home with me.

Lola and her favorite dolly

So with all hope lost, we drove back to Cornell to take Lola home. I was beyond pissed that none of the vets I spoke with in the last 24 hours were even remotely honest with me. (and it took over $1200 just to get to this point) I felt as though I had lost a whole day of being with my dog because they all gave me hope that surgery was the answer. Her first day home, she wasn't eating or drinking at all. We invited Craig's parents over to say their goodbyes. I cancelled the arts and craft show I had for Friday and Saturday and I loved and cuddled with her all night long. And in the morning....

She had somehow reverted to the dog she was two weeks ago! Eating, drinking, alert and even asking to go for walks! It seriously has been a miracle that she is able to have some sort of a quality of life. We took it really easy with her the few days after coming home from Cornell but yesterday we took her on a short walk and she was just fine. Not even one accident in the house. Weird, but welcome. I know in the back of my mind what the facts are, but until she is showing signs of discomfort I'm going to treat her as I always did. She deserves the best out of life that I can give her because for over a decade she has been the best part of my life.


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  2. Im so sorry Erin!!!...i am bawling and praying for you and your baby. If you need anything please call. xo

  3. Lots of positive thoughts coming your way. Sorry to hear this story, but so glad that right now and for the time being things are well.

  4. Sending happy doggie thoughts and prayers! Such a wonderful friend to have for so long!

  5. Thinking of you Erin. It sounds like Lola is a real lucky dog to have a Mom like you. You tried everything you could and made the right choices. Hope all of your holiday walks are as special as the come.