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My Life Is A Zoo

This is where I will post interesting (or not so interesting) things that happen in my life. The subject matter will include any random things that I decide to put in (including animals, my work, my hobbies and my family).

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Darcy's Last Day...

I wanted to let everyone know that Darcy passed away peacefully yesterday afternoon around 430. She had four people in the room with her - Me, my friend Beth, the vet and the vet tech. At no point was there no one touching her. Thank you to everyone who sent her good thoughts, prayers, zen, white light, whatever you want to call it, for a peaceful passing. That is exactly what she got. She simply went to sleep. I hope I go so well.

Prior to her final vet visit, Darcy, Beth and myself all went to a local park. It is fairly large and one part has a lake with a path around it and ducks. It's surrounded by lots of open, grassy area with trees scattered around it. The three of us went and sat down under a tree and spent an hour just enjoying life and talking. At one point, a duck decided to come check us out...up until Darcy sat up and the duck realized that there was a *dog* there too. :) She really seemed to enjoy her time out there with us in the fresh air and the sunshine.

When the time came, we drove up to the clinic. We arrived a little early and had to sit in the waiting room for a short while. In the waiting room with us was a gentleman with a young boy holding a dachsund puppy. (side note: that puppy has got to be one of the cutest things I've ever seen. :)). (I'm pretty certain that they did not speak English so most likely did not know exactly what we were there for). The boy seemed a little afraid of Darcy and stood near his dad. After a short while though, he got brave and came over to an open area near us (still holding the adorable puppy). He set the puppy down on the floor and the puppy, being a puppy, immediately headed straight towards us to check us out.

Now, the waiting area is not that big so the puppy didn't have to go very far. He started checking out my shoes and allowed me to pet him (he was *very* soft by the way!) Then the puppy decided to also check out Darcy. Darcy didn't mind a bit (she always got along well with other dogs she met while in my care). In fact, at one point, she turned her head to look at the puppy and they touched noses. It was very very cute. The little boy, meanwhile, is near us, watching us and the puppy. I looked at him and asked him if he wanted to pet Darcy. I also mimed it - pointing to him and then petting Darcy. He nodded and I told him he could (and smiled and nodded to him). He gave her some really gentle pets and then just sat near us. Shortly after that we were called into the exam room and he picked up the puppy and went back to stand near his dad.

Now, I have no idea why that little boy did what he did. I do know our body language said we were sad about something. Whether he picked up on that and decided to do something to help or if he was just a very friendly (and polite) little boy who wanted to meet Darcy I don't know. But I am glad he did. He definitely made the time in the waiting room so much easier and I appreciated it. And, obviously, language was not a barrier here. There truly are angels among us. I wish him, his family and his puppy well.

Sleep well, Darcy. And wake up healthy and strong. And remember, You Are Loved.
1995 - June 27, 2007

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


I wanted to let y'all know that I will be sending Darcy to the Bridge tomorrow afternoon. The prednisone helped her a little bit but it's just not able to help her anymore. Her back legs keep giving out on her and she can't get up now without assistance. She also is no longer interested in food. She is wasting away. I cannot make her stay with me any longer. So...I made an appointment with our vet for tomorrow at 420 p.m. There were earlier ones available but I have to work until noon tomorrow and I wanted to be able to take her to the park and give her a nice send off. I didn't want to have to rush her to the vet. I want her last few hours to be filled with sunshine, fresh air and love. I am going to have her cremated. I will keep her ashes with me until I find a suitable place to spread them.

I want to thank all of you for your thoughts, prayers and good wishes these last few weeks. I really appreciate it and I know that they have helped Darcy. Now, please send her easy passing zen. She is a special girl and will always have a place in my heart and home. She has done her job on this earth and it is now time for her to go home.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A Darcy Update!

Darcy is improving!! Her breathing is still fairly rapid but she is no longer coughing! The pred appears to be working. :) She has also expanded her food list to include: boiled chicken, boiled rice, deli ham and cooked hamburger with garlic. She also thinks peanut butter is okay but not as yummy as the aforementioned food items!

Also, for those of you interested, here is a picture of Darcy's xrays.

The vet took two laterals (one from each side) and a ventral/dorsal (in other words, she was lying on her back). For those of you who do not know, lungs on an xray should appear black not white. The reason being that the lungs are full of air and the xrays cannot pass through it. If they are white, like these, it means that there is fluid in the lungs. In fact, Dr Lauren's (a zoo vet) comment when she saw Darcy's xrays was "Wow! You usually only see something like that in a classroom!" In other words, her lungs look pretty bad. However, she is still breathing. She is not ready to go yet. When she is, she will let me know and I will let her go.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Darcy needs some prayers....

Darcy was diagnosed with cancer today. We do not know what type nor do we care at this point. He strongly suspects lymphoma. Whatever type it is, however, has affected her lungs. She has a large amount of fluid in them (as well as a nodule or two) and is coughing and having trouble breathing. She also has a very poor appetite. I took her into the vet last Thursday because of all of those things. The vet, at that time, took xrays of her lungs and found them filled with fluid. So much that you could see the bronchial tubes (lungs on an xray should be black due to the air). However, he did not know the cause. It was either a serious fungal infection or cancer. We did blood work which still did not point him in one direction or the other. Well, today, he was able to do an aspirate of one of the nodules in her lungs. He did not find anything that would point to a fungal infection so the diagnosis is cancer. Since I refuse to make her go through chemotherapy she is now on prednisone in the hopes that it will give her a good quality of life for however long she has left. I would much rather she have a short time with a good quality of life than a long time with a poor quality of life. What's fascinating to me is that she is still in excellent condition, weighing in at 60.8 pounds on Thursday. I have picked up a variety of canned and human food to tempt her into eating. We'll see how we do.

For those of you who don't know (or don't remember) Darcy, here's a recap of her story. Darcy was dumped at a rescue in San Angelo Texas last September. (for some reason, I thought it was earlier than this but this is what her paperwork says, so there ya go. lol) She was 12ish at the time so she is (or almost) 13 years old now. The reason on the surrender form was "too many dogs". Poor Darcy drew the short straw, I guess... She had surgery to remove a lump that turned out to be dermoid.

The vet did not get all of it because she isn't experienced with these and she didn't actually think it was a dermoid, despite all that I told her...luckily for Darcy, it has not abcessed again. Darcy is an excellent dog - great with kids, other dogs, cats, birds, men and women. She has settled into my home well. But I always thought she wanted something different. I pictured a retiree as the optimum home for her. Someone who would be home most of the time and give her all the attention she wanted and deserved. Someone who could take her for walks throughout the day and would take her sightseeing and visiting with friends. Unfortunately, that is no longer in the plans for her. She will stay with me until she goes to the Rainbow Bridge.

What I am hoping for from all of you is simply good thoughts/prayers/wishes/whatever that she has some good days before she has to leave us - and that we can make her remaining time with us as comfortable as possible. However, while she may not have a long time left here with us, I will treat her as if she does. After all, it is possible to beat the odds! And when she does leave, whenever that is, her ashes will have a place with me. For while I started off as her foster home, I have become her final one. She is a special old girl.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Woo hoo!!!!!!!!!!

This is my new car! Ain't it purty? :) I ended up getting a Honda Fit Sport. It gets 33-38 mpg and has a 10.8 gallon tank. This is much better than my truck...

I can also put the seats into all sorts of configurations for the pups. The back seats will fold flat and even with the cargo area and the front seats can fold all the way flat with the back seats. If I needed to, I could actually sleep in my car. :) And it's a hatchback so I can just open the back to put the dogs in. They no longer have to try and jump up into bucket seats. And the *best* part is....it has a/c! :)