Sparky took his last breath today.
We took this picture of him yesterday with Vash. His eyes look funny because the cancer that appeared out of nowhere a week or so ago had already taken over his liver functioning and his eyes were turning green and oozing mucus because he was becoming dehydrated.
He had lymphoma. No one knew. One day he just stopped running with the other dogs and laid down and watched. After a few days we started wondering. Then he didn’t want to eat so we brought him to the vet. Out of nowhere tumors the size of golf balls appeared all over his body. Lymphoma. What to do.
Chemo was an option, but our vet had not seen much benefit to dogs with this type of cancer at this stage, but it was still an option. I took to the internet and read stories written by other dog owners who had gone the chemo route with their own dogs. Some saw a benefit – others talked about how hard it was on their dogs who were already sick. We went the route of Prednisone and antibiotics to ease the symptoms and see how it went. At first it helped and he started to eat and to move around, but it did not last long. He stopped eating again. We couldn’t get the medication into him. He was just not interested in life anymore.
The last two days he was velcro with Chip. He wasn’t eating or moving except to follow Chip into whatever room he was in. Last night we carried him into our room to sleep. Around 3:00 in the morning Chip got up and carried him outside to go to the bathroom. Sparky did not want to go back upstairs, so Chip slept on the couch next to him. By this morning his skin was ashen grey instead of pink. His ears were yellowing and his eyes were green. He took a few sips of water and laid down. Chip made the call. We went in at 1:00
Carlene felt his belly and told us it appeared that he was bleeding internally too. When she gave him an injection just to relax him, he stretched out next to Chip and closed his eyes. It was time and he just wanted to go to sleep. We let him go.
Sparky was a rescue Aussie out of Western New York. We never knew how old he was. He was found roaming the streets with a friend and he was a scared little boy. He was a red merle. I adored him. I named him Sparky because that was my very favorite name for a dog (after a cocker spaniel my aunt had when I was little). There was a time when we had found a home for Sparks, but Vash sobbed for hours at the thought of him leaving, so he stayed. He became devoted to Chip and followed him around – not pushy – just always there. He slept in our room, starting out next to me but always moving during the night to squeeze in between the bed and the dresser on Chip’s side of the bed.
Tonight Mary, who watches over all of our dogs on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge, is receiving Sparky. He has joined Jesse, Jett, Onyx, Rodeo and Bantam in Mary’s care and is probably sitting under her chair – making sure he keeps her safe.
We love you Sparks – wait for us, okay?