This has been a very difficult couple of weeks for me. On November 12th I had to say goodbye to another loved one and one of my best friends – our dog Samantha.
She started showing signs of nasal cancer about the same time my husband passed away. Unfortunately this was also during the pandemic and my having to move from our rental home to Illinois. I couldn’t find a vet that was taking new clients nor could I afford treatment for cancer. I was hoping the symptoms were incorrect and things would clear up. Needless to say that didn’t happen.
We were so lucky to come across Samantha in September of 2007 at a local shelter on Long Island, New York where we were currently living. She was a rescue so nobody knew for sure her exact age, but the vets estimated at just under a year, so she was born sometime in 2006. She was a member of our family for thirteen years and lived to be a little over fourteen if not closer to fifteen, which, unfortunately, is pretty good for a dog her size. I just wish it had been longer.
Sammi (as we called her) was very loved by every member of our family and I honestly don’t know if I would have survived the death of my husband without her. She was the only one available for me to hug and cry with since the pandemic wouldn’t allow any other family members to travel to me. I had to go through everything alone and she was the stabilizing comfort big enough for me to hug. My cat, Millie, also did her best to comfort me but it’s just not the same as a big dog’s warmth and unbelievable loyalty during these type of events.
She kept me sane.
Anyway, in the past couple of weeks the cancer had grown and pain was starting to become a very serious issue. I won’t describe what we went through as it was too horrible but I would advise anyone dealing with a cancer issue in a pet to be prepared to have to make the awful decision of putting your pet down once it reaches the pain point. Believe me, you do not want them to go through this if avoidable.
My sister thankfully was available to help and was able to convince her vet to help me out since I still couldn’t find a vet taking new clients. My sister went with me and the vet came out to the car to perform the procedure. So my beloved Sammi passed peacefully in her favorite spot in the world – the car. She was a real road warrior and have travelled with us from New York to Florida to Michigan to Arizona to Alaska and back to the east coast in New Jersey. She loved every moment in the car. I was glad that her last experience was a car ride and I didn’t have to take her into the vets office which was a place she hated. I was able to sit with her, hold her and say goodbye.
So things have been rough again, and I’ve gotten behind on my work but I’m just starting to get back to a normal routine. Hopefully work can keep me a bit distracted as I deal with another loss. I know so many of you have experienced much loss during this horrific year, and my heart aches for all of us. I pray that each and every one of us will soon find peace and hopefully a new normal where we can move forward together with love and compassion for each other. Very few of us have found this to be a good year and empathy will be the key to surviving it.
I wish each of you health and happiness.