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  #31  
Old January 11th, 2011, 11:05 AM
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Thanks everyone, I am happy to say Raggs and I have made it one full year!

However, maybe it's just me but I keep watching him for signs that it is nearing the end. I hate to say it but I keep thinking of his abnormal blood work and keep looking for the changes in him in the last month or so. He is still eating eagerly and insisting on going outside to relieve himself despite the fact I still have a few pee pads around for him. He hasn't used them in about 5 days.

What I see now that I didn't see before is after he eats he wants to go out every few minutes. He seems to be eating snow and rolling in it but after he eats a few mouthfuls of food, he immediately wants to go out. Then he comes back in and within a few minutes wants to go out again. I can't see any signs of diarrhea or any reason for this, but he does have gas despite the digestive enzymes. He was eating snow the other night so I got out some ice cubes and let him eat them. He crunched about half a dozen then stopped but seemed to enjoy them and settled down to rest after he ate them instead of continually asking to go out. I automatically thought he was trying to stop some pain in his belly. I gave them to him again last night when he seemed to want them and he settled down after having a couple to rest. Maybe he used to have ice cubes at his previous owner's place because I didn't need to show him what they were or what to do with them. The snow eating may only be new because last year we had virtually no snow and this last week we've had lots. With my negative mood I of course am looking at this as a negative event even though everything still seems ok. I've been watching the tumour on his belly like a hawk trying to decide if it is getting larger or changing shape. It's like I'm waiting for him to die or to tell me it's time. I hope I can shake this mood, it's not doing either of us any good. Writing how I feel helps and hopefully someone else has experienced this negative thought pattern and can tell me how they worked through it.

I am enjoying him too and playing with him when he wants to play and I'm giving him a lot of love. His hind end is a little weaker the last few days but he has had bad days off and on the entire time I've owned him as we all do. He's still pouting, barking at the cats and doing all his silly behaviours which I should be glad about.

Anyway I have to turn my attitude around and look on the positive side that he's made it this far and hope that he'll make his next date of Jan 20th, a month since he was diagnosed. My vet originally gave him a maximum of a month to live on Dec 20th.

Thanks for all the support, as you see, I need it more than ever now and so does Raggs. Raggs needs me to break this mood and look at him through positive eyes, not negative!
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  #32  
Old January 11th, 2011, 11:57 AM
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It's been my experience with our dogs that cruciferous veggies such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, etc. can cause gas and tummy upsets. If you're feeding any of these, you may want to replace them with small amounts of green beans and carrots (steamed and put through a blender) for easier digestion and absorption. I would trust Raggs' instincts when he has an aversion to anything you're adding to his meals.

Try to tip the balance of the negative feelings you're having with the positive. Just think of how lucky Raggs is to have found himself in your home and your heart. How well he's eating, how much he's loved, how he's having all his needs met. He really couldn't have ended up in a better place...be happy for him. What you're perceiving as him pouting could just be that he's resting or, he could be sensing your feelings of sadness. I know it's difficult but, try to think of all the happy aspects of his wonderful life with you...he's not thinking about the quantity, he's reveling in the quality .
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Old January 11th, 2011, 12:00 PM
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Oh, and happy 1 year Gotcha Day Raggs !
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  #34  
Old January 11th, 2011, 12:24 PM
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Thanks Luckypenny I really appreciate the positive thoughts. Actually he's been pouting since shortly after he arrived in the house whenever he doesn't get what he wants he moves away from me and turns his back to me. It is hilarious because if I offer him a treat or something he likes, he comes back happy and lies down beside me. He often does this when I pay attention to the cats and he perceives that I am favouring them over him. His return to this behaviour was the first sign he was feeling better.

I have cut way down on the veggies and I'm giving him less than a tsp of the mixture each meal. I didn't have them in the original diet and may have to remove them completely. Other veggies like carrots are not recommended in the cancer diet because they are simple carbohydrates and feed the tumour cells. I'm going to look at the pet store for a pseudo veggie mixture in a bottle that I know is available at some pet stores instead of giving him the broccoli, brussel sprout and cauliflower mix. I can only hope that he is getting the vitamins/minerals he needs from the supplements I'm giving him with his food.

He's sleeping soundly right now getting ready for his evening fighting with the cats. LOL
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  #35  
Old January 11th, 2011, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by dbg10 View Post
Thanks Luckypenny I really appreciate the positive thoughts. Actually he's been pouting since shortly after he arrived in the house whenever he doesn't get what he wants he moves away from me and turns his back to me. It is hilarious because if I offer him a treat or something he likes, he comes back happy and lies down beside me. He often does this when I pay attention to the cats and he perceives that I am favouring them over him. His return to this behaviour was the first sign he was feeling better.
Oh ok, I get it now, his pouting is a good thing . What a little bugger .
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  #36  
Old January 11th, 2011, 01:17 PM
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He really is in the best place possible for him! You're doing a great job.

Remember that Raggs doesn't know what you know, dbg--he doesn't know he's dying. He knows he's living! And that's what's important. We humans get all caught up anticipating the loss and they just go from day to day doing what they do naturally and wondering why we're so sad.

When I find myself in your situation and in your emotional state, I keep reminding myself to be more like the dog--appreciate every good moment, bask in the love and live moment to moment. It's time for living; there will be time for grief later.

Keep us updated on how you're both doing, k? And if it helps to talk here, we'll be around
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  #37  
Old January 11th, 2011, 03:02 PM
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My heart truly aches with you. I know the feeling you described. I had the overwhelming fear and panic when my two dogs were dying. The truth is, you know that Raggs is in his twilight time. But remember there is beauty in the sun set as well. Find the simple joys and focus on these -- a bump of the head to your hand, a nuzzle to the back of your knee, the rolling in the snow, happy grunts. Lock these memories in your mind.

Hazel is right. Raggs doesn't know he is dying. He is living. It is so hard to distance yourself from the inevitable, and I know that emotionally I was a basket case. Even as the days were dwindling for my little Tipper, some of my happiest memories were our early morning walks. Tipper, my little dog who had the spleen surgery, developed bladder cancer and kidney failure, so she needed to go out frequently. She would wake me just before sun rise. Our mornings were just the two of us, out watching the sun rise before the neighborhood woke up. It was a special quiet time for just the two of us. Our time; a special time. I hope you can find your special time.

I took a few minutes each day where I just went off by myself and prayed and cried. A few days before "the end" I think I was able to accept that I had to let my girl go. Like you, I set the little milestone dates. If she can just make it to such-and-such day. But there will always be another day you want him to live. In my case, I really wanted to see Tipper make it to the one year anniversary of her spleen surgery. She did, but was gone a couple of weeks later. She didn't make it to the next milestone--her 7 year anniversary with me.

I don't know if you are a person of faith, but when Tipper and Mac were dying, I found true comfort in the words of this prayer:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Amen.

May you find faith, hope, light and joy. You have giving sweet Raggs a wonderful life. Our time with them is never long enough and the hurt you feel is very real. I wish I could give you more than this, , but you will find strength. Try not to mourn now, but cherish these final weeks. We cry with you, because we understand this awful pain.
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  #38  
Old January 11th, 2011, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hazelrunpack View Post
He really is in the best place possible for him! You're doing a great job.

Remember that Raggs doesn't know what you know, dbg--he doesn't know he's dying. He knows he's living! And that's what's important. We humans get all caught up anticipating the loss and they just go from day to day doing what they do naturally and wondering why we're so sad.

When I find myself in your situation and in your emotional state, I keep reminding myself to be more like the dog--appreciate every good moment, bask in the love and live moment to moment. It's time for living; there will be time for grief later. ...
Great advice, worth remembering....

Glad to hear how well that Raggs is doing
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  #39  
Old January 11th, 2011, 09:21 PM
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Again, nothing for advice for you. Just thank you for being you. You are the best thing Raggs could have asked for.
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  #40  
Old January 12th, 2011, 05:45 PM
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Thanks 14+ I know others have said the same thing and I hope it is true. I hate to think of all the unwanted and abused animals that never have the good fortune of having an owner like me. I wish they all did. I think of owners as being the same caring people that I am, but I know when I really think about it that many aren't. It is very sad

When Maxalisa reposted what hazelrunpack wrote I read it again and realized how profound it was and definitely is something we all should remember.

Thanks Scottiedog for your empathy I am really trying to follow hazel's advice but it is hard. I am still very surprised at how much he means to me it is like I am putting all the feelings I've had for all the dogs I've lost into what will happen to him

He was extra hungry today and gobbled his food much faster than he has been. He also still had to go out immediately afterward but that was not followed with the usual 5 or 6 times he wanted out immediately after he came in.

So far so good...

Thanks all you have no idea how much your support means to me during this.
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  #41  
Old January 16th, 2011, 08:12 PM
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I took some new pics of him last night because the girl who rescued him wanted to see him again. She has had a rough year apparently and really misses him and his sister. So I decided to post one or two here so that everyone can see how he's doing. I am afraid to become optimistic because I'm afraid that will be the beginning of the end.We took him out for his first car ride since he was at the vet and he seemed to really enjoy himself after he realized we weren't going to the vet. He's now very tired, but I expect he'll join me in front of the TV as usual.

He's still eating well and that's the one thing I keep an eye on as I know when he stops eating it will be time...

Here are the pics I took The second one the flash didn't go off so the colour is off but I love the look on his face:
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Last edited by dbg10; January 17th, 2011 at 12:08 PM. Reason: fix picture
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  #42  
Old January 16th, 2011, 11:19 PM
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Raggs always looks so happy, dbg! What a great spirit he has! Thanks for sharing the pictures!
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  #43  
Old January 17th, 2011, 04:46 PM
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dbg,I just finished reading all the posts and I am very happy to see Raggs is still with you and doing ok
Our animals are so in tune with the way we feel,I know it's very difficult not to cry,not to be sad when you know their time is limited,but they don't want us to be sad.

So,please enjoy every day with Raggs and who knows,maybe he has more time than the vet thought,miracles happen.
for you and sweet Raggs.
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  #44  
Old January 17th, 2011, 05:05 PM
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Such a handsome face! It is good that he has a strong appetite. Keeping you both in my thoughts.
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  #45  
Old January 17th, 2011, 06:12 PM
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Those are wonderful pictures of Raggs and, I love his happy little face.

Glad to hear that he is still eating well.
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  #46  
Old January 18th, 2011, 07:57 PM
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Thanks everyone I love his pics, he looks like such a happy boy. I have one where he doesn't look so happy and I think I'll post it to ask a question of you all. I look at the happy ones and can't see any sign of pain in his face or stress around his eyes. He doesn't lie in a position that shows he has pain but I keep wondering if I'm missing something I should be seeing. The fact he's eating well tells me he's doing well because all my previous dogs either stopped eating or couldn't keep their food down, which made me make the final decison.

Thanks everyone for the support and staying with me during these days. I am hoping I get more time ..that's why I've stuck to the diet so carefully as it is the only treatment he's getting.

This pic was taken after he hurt his paw/elbow and the day he'd been to the vet and received his diagnosis on Dec 20th. I did notice that the 'lump' or tumour on his belly is visible in this pic. I outlined it and put an arrow showing where it is. I have other pics taken the other day with a similar expression on his face but none that showed the tumour as well. Does anyone think he looks like he's in pain in this pic? I think he probably was at that time because of his paw/elbow.
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Old January 19th, 2011, 12:21 AM
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So glad that he is still doing well, great news!!

I understand about being afraid to be optimistic. The great thing is how much additional quality time you have given him, no matter what happens. Wonderful job!
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Old January 19th, 2011, 04:32 PM
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Glad to hear that he's still eating and seems to be feeling better. Sending more that you get even more quality time with your boy!

And as for that last pic, if anything, he looks tired. It had been a busy day. He doesn't appear to be in pain, but they can hide it so well.
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  #49  
Old January 21st, 2011, 10:39 AM
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I am very happy to say that we have passed our last deadline... a month since he was diagnosed on Dec 20th. That was the maximum time my vet gave him to live at that appt.

However, the last few days since Wednesday he has seemed tired and is acting sick. He is still eating and wanting his treats at treat time but he has seemed subdued and has been spending most of his day in his bed. His bed is in my bedroom and when he is well, he usually spends his days lying with me near my computer. I also noticed his gums are a little paler than they were, and a slight bulge had developed on the right side of his rib cage. I assumed it was another bleed from the tumour but it stopped before it finished him. My vet told me these would probably happen and then the blood would reabsorb into his body and he would recover somewhat. Today he is sleeping by my computer so he must be feeling better. Much will depend on how long it is between these bleeds, whether I have a chance to counteract the anemia with his diet.I am keeping my fingers crossed that they won't increase in frequency.

I am glad I have no more deadlines, because now I can just celebrate each day as it comes and enjoy him. I did get beyond the sadness and I'm now ready to take one day at a time.

Thanks Hazel for your comment about the last pic I posted, I also thought he looked tired but wasn't sure if he also looked like he was in pain.

Thanks everyone I will update as things happen, especially if he seems to be going downhill without a bounce back like he's had so far. I can be very thankful that I've had Raggs, he has such a strong personality that he has wormed his way into my heart in a very short year. Thanks to all for the support
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Old January 21st, 2011, 09:28 PM
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Congrats on exceeding the month!

I hope he rallies for you again! Sending lots of and keeping my for the old love! Sending along a few s for you and Raggs, too!
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Old January 21st, 2011, 09:42 PM
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Continued and for Rags and you. You are an amazing person to be doing everything for Rags. Many others would have already given up on him. Thank you.
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Old January 22nd, 2011, 05:29 AM
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Old January 24th, 2011, 06:32 PM
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Appears we have another rally
Last night he was chasing the cats and barking at all of them at treat time. He's much stronger today and giving me the evil eye for not feeding him on time. We had to go out in the afternoon and the fact that he has to go out several times after he eats, I didn't feed him before we left. I am thrilled that he's rallied again and have hopes that he keeps it up

@14+ It really surprises me that someone would give up on their adopted dog, especially one with as much personality as Raggs has but his rescuer has said the same thing to me.
I do know he is quite different from our Pepper (adopted at the age of 9) the way he wormed his way into my heart in such a short period of time. However, I think that was partly the way I dealt with him from the start knowing that he had spent his first 10 years with his sister and owned by a priest helped set the stage for things I did with him that I didn't do with Pepper. I did meet her Pepper's owner but he didn't give me any ideas on how she had been loved other than she was very attached to him.

Thanks everyone from Raggs and I
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Last edited by dbg10; January 24th, 2011 at 06:41 PM. Reason: addition
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Old January 24th, 2011, 06:35 PM
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Great news, dbg!!!
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Old January 24th, 2011, 06:38 PM
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Appears we have another rally
Last night he was chasing the cats and barking at all of them at treat time. He's much stronger today and giving me the evil eye for not feeding him on time. We had to go out in the afternoon and the fact that he has to go out several times after he eats, I didn't feed him before we left. I am thrilled that he's rallied again and have hopes that he keeps it up

Thanks everyone from Raggs and I
That's great news dbg it must bring such a smile to your face.
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Old January 24th, 2011, 06:42 PM
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I am so happy to hear that.

Continued coming your way.
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Old January 24th, 2011, 07:12 PM
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Thanks all !

@Chris you better believe it does! I am absolutely certain that all the prayers for him coming from this forum have helped him rally again. His gums are also a bit pinker again and the new lump on his side has gone down a bit. I have added some herbs to his diet too as of yesterday:

Burdock
Green Tea Extract
Astralagus
Ginger
Tumeric

The only problem is with the Burdock I bought - it tells you to add 15 capsules a day to his food and I suppose that is the effective dose but it seems like a lot to me especially when it comes in 60 cap containers. I am looking for a health food store near me where I can probably get the burdock root and it should require less I would think.

I didn't add alfalfa or echinacea because I am allergic to them and don't want to handle them.

Not sure if it will do any good but why not try it. They are recommended at :
Herbs For Cancer in Dogs


Thanks again
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Last edited by dbg10; January 24th, 2011 at 07:13 PM. Reason: addition
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Old January 24th, 2011, 07:20 PM
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rainbow rainbow is offline
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Location: Beautiful BC's Kootenay Country
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I think it is worth a try. I used Flor-Essence for one of my last huskies that had cancer and the first ingredient was burdock root. The vet said his prognosis was 8 to 10 months and he lasted for 22 months after his operation.

Here's the ingredients ....

http://www.associatedcontent.com/art...s_history.html
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  #59  
Old January 24th, 2011, 09:47 PM
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dbg10 dbg10 is offline
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Location: Ajax, Ontario
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@Rainbow what excellent results you got after using it! Thanks for the link. I read the ingredients and it contains Red Clover which I bought a few weeks ago then fortunately I read the implications again before giving it to him and it said that it shouldn't be given to an animal with bleeding tendencies. Unfortunately hemangiosarcoma has that as it's main cause of death. So even though it sounds great I think I may buy all the other ingredients separately and give them to him. I didn't buy the others because I hadn't read up on them.

Thanks for the link it sounds like a great supplement for any animal or human with cancer.
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R.I.P. Raggs 1997 - 2012 ; Pepper 1997 - 2009
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  #60  
Old January 25th, 2011, 09:11 AM
ScottieDog ScottieDog is offline
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Just checking in to see how things were going. It is wonderful that Raggs is having good days. It is heartwarming to know the lengths some will go to in order to provide a quality of life to an older pet. Raggs is blessed to have you, as you are to have him. Sometimes, fate just matches us up with the "right one".

You and Raggs continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.
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