On 01.02.02, I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. Too late for surgery, I had chemotherapy, which failed. In May the chemotherapy was changed and I was soon in remission which was celebrated and welcome and lasted nine years - until October 2011. There was progression in 2011 so more treatment was indicated and I am now back in partial remission. But I'm not only a cancer patient - I also enjoy my family, walk my dogs and am learning to draw and paint. Life is good!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Life's ugly prickles

Sometimes things don't work out the way we would hope. I received a heartwrenching telephone call this morning from Canine Companions for Independence that the puppy we raised to become a graduate service dog, Demi II, has a life-threatening kidney condition and is dying. The only question -- unanswerable -- is whether her condition will progress quickly or whether she might have a few more good years.

Either way, she has been retired from service and we have agreed to take her back. How could we not! While there is some joy in that, it comes with the price that the family which has cared and provided for Demi for over a year, will suffer the loss of her companionship and the help she offered their disabled child. I feel so incredibly sorry for them, it wasn't supposed to turn out this way.

For those of you who are medically inclined, Demi has been diagnosed with renal dysplasia, a progressive condition with no cure and limited treatment. She is on a special low-protein diet which will help her be more comfortable but won't lengthen her life.

The exchange, family to family, with the legal paper signing for Canine Companions for Independence, will happen on Monday. We like the family who had Demi and have been grateful that they have kept in touch since Demi's graduation. Now it's our turn to keep them updated on Demi's condition.

In the meantime, I comforted myself by painting the prickly seed-pods, if that's what they are, from a liquidamber tree. These things hurt like the dickens if their thorns pierce your skin.


  1. its always soo sad when something happens to our furkids...draw your heart out...

  2. I'm so sorry. It's hard, sometimes, to be a mom for a sick pet, and this time it's doubly hard because of this dog's service roll. You're doing a good thing.

  3. I'm so sorry about Demi. It's so good of you to take her back. Interesting that you drew something painful when you were hurting. The drawiang is really good, too.

  4. My deepest sympathies and condolences now while this sad news is raw, and over the next how-ever-many months as you lovingly tend Demi#1. I think of you every Tuesday because my office mate's noon client brings HER service dog in training (a lovey Rottweiler). Peace. xxoo
    The liquid amberpods make perfect sense to me.

  5. Oh, wow, poor Demi. She's lucky though, that you are willing to take her back. I heard a priest say once that we are NOT dying, we are living until we aren't any more. I've always thought that puts a different perspective on things. Demi is coming back to LIVE with you and I am sure she will be happy for as long as she is with you.


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